nVidia Quadro 2 Pro on a Mac

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I just got an nVidia Quadro 2 Pro for a PC. I want it to work in my
Power Mac G4, but I'm not quite sure where to begin. I know I probably
just need to re-flash my EEPROM with something more Mac-appropriate,
but I can't seem to figure out how to do that on this card. FYI, it's
just a re-branded GeForce2 GTS.
I've already dumped the ROM and I'm not afraid to do some hex editing.

Re: nVidia Quadro 2 Pro on a Mac

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Sorry for the double-post, but Usenet doesn't allow post editing!
Anyways, I think it's a dual-head card. It has one VGA and one DVI
port on it.
BTW, I've already done some Google searching, and the closest I can
come is the Geforce 2 MX. I'd be willing to downgrade my card to that
(if I could have the same clock speeds), although I'm not sure whether
or not that would require HW modding (in which case, would it stay a
Quadro 2?).

Re: nVidia Quadro 2 Pro on a Mac

gjsmo wrote:
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Pin 3A  is GC_DET# on an AGP 8x card (AGP30 spec)
Pin 11A is MB_DET# on an AGP 8x card (AGP30 spec)

On the AGP20 spec, both those pins were "reserved" by the AGP standard.

On certain AGP Macs, those are used for non-standard purposes. People
taped the pins to insulate them, as one workaround.


( This site used to have some pictures as well, but the original link is gone.

http://web.archive.org/web/20070615160434/http://www.macmod.com/content/view/74/195 /

Sample of a web site addressing flashing the video card.


I am currently using a Mac 9800Pro in the PC I'm typing this on.
The 9800Pro Mac has an EEPROM twice as big as the PC version. There was
no problem flash upgrading the card with a PC video BIOS. I had a
number of video BIOS to choose from, and one thing to be careful
of, is on the ATI cards, the BIOS controls the video card memory
timing. So you have to match a BIOS intended for the particular
RAM chips and their clock speed limitations, when selecting a BIOS
code to use.

I didn't need to change any declaration resistors, that control the
sizing of the EEPROM. The flashing program took care of the details,
and I knew from checking the part number, that the EEPROM was twice
as big as was necessary. It is more difficult in the reverse
direction (PC video to Mac video), because sometimes the EEPROM
is too small to hold the flash upgrade.

I changed a total of four resistors on my video card. Two of
the resistors are related to pin 3A and pin 11A. By changing those,
I did the equivalent of removing the tape from pin 3A and 11A
(because I went from Mac to PC and not the other way round).
That allowed my Mac AGP 4x video card, to operate in the PC at AGP 8x.

The other two resistors, are related to dynamic bus inversion.
I re-enabled the path for DBI_HI and DBI_LO, but it didn't seem
to make any difference. I'm not sure when or whether the chipset
is required to use those features or not.

In conclusion, in your case

1) Research the G4 computer, and the purpose of 3A and 11A custom
    wiring. It could be for logic signals related to turning on an
    ADC monitor. I hope the pins don't actually carry ADC power.
    If you tape the pins, the card may run at AGP 4x. The
    TYPEDET# signal on 2a is still present, and the video card
    uses that to indicate which voltage to use (1.5V/3.3V), in
    cases where that is an option. So you wouldn't want to get
    tape on that pin (the pin would be right next to 3a).

2) You need a different ROM image, to flash into the card. I
    installed a FX5200 PCI video card, so I could see the screen
    while the AGP 9800Pro card was installed in the AGP port. A
    PCI video card is handy to have around, when you're flashing
    a card like that. By keeping the LCD monitor connected to the
    FX5200 PCI, I could watch while the flasher updated the AGP card.

You really need to find a web site, where someone has been
keeping track of video card BIOS files, to solve the second
part of the project. This site, for example, doesn't have
your Quadro2 Pro in the list.

http://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios /


Re: nVidia Quadro 2 Pro on a Mac

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=612915 seems to say that
my sawtooth doesn't need pin-taping (but I'll do it anyways).
I'm using the card in another PC right now, and I think it seems good
(but nothing like the Mobility Radeon 9000 in my old laptop - when I
was running playstation games I had to actually stick in some extra
gpu-intensive features to make it SLOW enough), but maybe not.

I really want a new Alienware PC though, unfortuanetely $1000 (my
price target) is a ways away. I'll be running OSx86 on it.

Re: nVidia Quadro 2 Pro on a Mac

On Tue, 4 Aug 2009 05:50:31 -0700 (PDT), gjsmo

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I don't recall all the differences between the -MX and -GTS,
but do not think you can use an -MX bios on the GTS even
with reduced or manually edited higher clock speeds.

Since the GTS is more similar to a regular Geforce 2 that
would be the more appropriate bios to try, but since I have
never done it I know no other factors involved.

These are now old low-value video cards, it would seem as
time effective to hunt down a card already known working on
a MAC.

Re: nVidia Quadro 2 Pro on a Mac

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Oooh!! just found http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=3DN82E168 =
on newegg.
Paul's page (http://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios /) said it would work.
Is this any good?

Re: nVidia Quadro 2 Pro on a Mac

gjsmo wrote:
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You need to find a Mac video BIOS file, if you expect to convert
a PC video card for usage in a Mac. It appears at some point,
a 6200 AGP Mac version existed, so there should be video BIOS files


More Mac BIOS files here.

http://themacelite.wikidot.com/wikidownloads2 (see XFX PVT44AWANG


Example of a XFX PVT44AWANG for purchase here.



Re: nVidia Quadro 2 Pro on a Mac

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Well THANKS! Really, I think I'll get that.
By the way, what would be comparable in a desktop GPU to my old
Mobility Radeon 9000?

Re: nVidia Quadro 2 Pro on a Mac

Well, just to get this straight  - I DON'T want to do high-power
gaming. I want to offload most of the everyday graphics to the GPU
(and play some old games as well, which don't require much
horsepower). For example, today I was using Garageband '08. It often
takes a few seconds for the display to update when listening to songs
"live" (before mixdown to an AAC-encoded file). I think that's because
of my video card (am I wrong? I know more about software than hardware
- like I can program in C++, but couldn't tell you why anyone would
invent DDR2 then DDR3 and make all the slots incompatible (JUST RUN IT
AT A SLOWER SPEED!!!)). I run Playstation games, and that only makes
sense to run them at 720x480 (NTSC). Mostly, I want my GUI to be
faster, not my games (although that might be nice too...).

And if the Mobility version of the Radeon 9000 is just a mobile
desktop chip (I think it is, according to ATI/AMD) it's  then I'll get
the 6200. Because that laptop doesn't work. And I'm on a low budget
right now. Seriously, I really think a 6200 is enough. And if I had
the money for a good graphics card, I would just go all out and get
myself a Mac Pro.

Re: nVidia Quadro 2 Pro on a Mac

I should probably apologize to you - you're doing the thinking I
should have done in the first place!
That would be a good idea, to see what's really keeping the interface
from responding. Do you know any Mac equivalent of the Windows Task
Manager's "Set Affinity" for multi-CPU machines?
You're very helpful, really, and I should probably be doing a LOT more
thinking. Like for instance:
The original question was about flashing my video card. You
recommended buying a new one known to be supported. I had looked
around on the subject already (having already tried just sticking in
an old, but slightly better card from a PC), and probably should have
either asked first or just gone ahead with a known working card.
I could have looked up my own GPU stats in minutes.
I could also have tried doing a little bit of "profiling" (though it's
on entire processes, not sections of code) before whining to Usenet.
In fact, don't reply until my next post unless you have something
really good to say. I think I'll do a bit a research, and see how much
gold I find.

Re: nVidia Quadro 2 Pro on a Mac

OK, I think I've come up with a few conclusions:
1.) I should probably buy the GeForce 6200, as this fits my needs (for
graphics), is not too expensive and can easily be modified for a Mac.
I can get the card at
Mac BIOS files are at http://themacelite.wikidot.com/wikidownloads2
and instructions at http://themacelite.wikidot.com/nvidia-general-flashing
Some instructions are at http://lowendmac.com/video/agp/geforce-6200.html
(you gave me all of that).

2.) I may want to buy a CPU upgrade, as GarageBand is using nearly all
of the CPU time on both of my CPUs. My RAM (512MB) appears to be fine
(!) as in most cases at least 100MB was completely free. However, an
upgrade may help as I am currently unable to run a virtual machine
(related to another project of mine).

3.) "Set Affinity" has no equivalent in Mac OS X Tiger, because the
operating system uses a different scheduler and takes better use of
threads. http://developer.apple.com/releasenotes/Performance/RN-AffinityAPI /
gives some details on thread-based commands, but as they work on
threads and not processes, this will not work. I did not research this
too thoroughly, but it appears Leopard may be able to do this.

Thanks for the help - and the lesson (do my own research first)!

Re: nVidia Quadro 2 Pro on a Mac

gjsmo wrote:
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You need to look at a CPU performance chart, while Garageband is
running. If the CPU is running at 100% for those few seconds,
it could be that you're CPU bound. Or, if the computer is reading
data from disk, that could be the rate limiting step. (MacOSX has
good file caching - if the file was recently written to disk, the
unused memory in the computer also holds a copy. The copy in RAM
will be used on a read operation, if it is still valid.)

One of the things the video card does in MacOSX, is support
compositing. Each window is stored in the graphics card memory,
making it easier to move them around, support transparency and
the like. Microsoft does something similar with Aero on Vista,
where the graphics card supports desktop effects.

My experience on my PowerMac with 1.2GHz processor, was that
MacOSX sucked the life out of the increase in processor speed.
I went from an older machine running MacOS 9 at 500MHz, to the
newer machine. The new MacOSX at the time, made the machine
seem as slow as the old one. I booted into MacOS 9 on the new
machine and it felt pretty snappy (as this was the last Mac
that supported booting either OS -- it is the reason I bought it,
so I could use any software I wanted).  I don't use that machine
much at all any more, and use the PC instead.

The day I bought it, I put 2GB of memory in it. Because I'd heard
ahead of the purchase, that the new OS needed plenty of memory.
I've never regretted putting the RAM in it. I could do all sorts
of things, like run the Mac version of VirtualPC, and have room
for it with the 2GB of memory.

I was kinda surprised at my graphics upgrade results, and that
going from the 9000 to the 9800Pro had so little effect. The
9000 seemed to work well enough for compositing, and I never
had any situations where I could conclude there wasn't enough
graphics memory on the video card. I think my computer really
needed to double the processor speed, to see a change in game
performance. Having to pull the 9800Pro back out of it, was
no big loss.

The thing about DDR, DDR2, DDR3 is easy to understand. In a
Powerpoint slide set presented at an industry trade show,
someone from a memory company said they needed to make a new
memory type every 2 years, in order to be able to charge more
for the new memory. Hardware prices decline with time, and
there is no profit to be made near the end of the two year
period. Thus, a new memory must be introduced, to prop up the
profit picture. Memory has had the interface speed increased
tremendously, so that a burst can come over the bus in a
shorter time, but the access time has not improved at quite
the same rate. And access time is important for computing
with no locality of reference (random memory accesses).
Moving arrays around with the computer might be faster
with the new memory, but the access time still is an issue
for programs with large memory footprints and relatively
random data access.

If you're a programmer, you understand the need for "profiling"
and performance analysis. See if there are any tools for the
Mac (because I don't remember right off hand), so that you can
at least monitor %CPU and disk activity. My Mac has no LEDs for
disk activity, so I cannot tell from looking at it, whether
the disk is being pounded. As for CPU, I can listen to the
sound of the system fan, and can tell from the sound of the
box, whether the processor is running at 100%.


Re: nVidia Quadro 2 Pro on a Mac

gjsmo wrote:
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The 6200 is not a great gamer card. But as the above info indicates,
there are ingredients available, to convert a PC 6200 to operate in
a Mac.

I have a Mac. The original video card in my Mac was a Radeon 9000.
I bought and installed a real Macintosh version of 9800 Pro, and
believe it or not, there was virtually no performance difference.
The thing is, the processor in some of those old boxes, is not
that great. So whacking a GTX 285 in there, if you could figure
out a way to do it, might not enhance your frame rate that much.

The most annoying part of my experiment, was the driver for the
9800 Pro sucked. And I ended up pulling the card out of the computer,
because of that stupid driver, and putting the 9000 back in there.

As revenge for selling me a piece of crap with a bad driver,
I converted the Mac 9800Pro to operate in a PC. So I did get
my money's worth from the card. I'm still using the card to this

For basic statistics on various cards (but not benchmark data),
you can use the tables here to compare cards.


Compare a 9000 to a 6200.


<-- ATI Radeon 9000 Pro -->                <-- nVidia GeForce 6200 AGP -->

Interface:          AGP 4X                       AGP 8X
Core Clock:         275 MHz                      300 MHz
Memory Clock:       275 MHz (550 DDR)            275 MHz (550 DDR)
Memory Bandwidth:   8.8 GB/sec                   8.8 GB/sec
Shader Operations:  1100 MOperations/sec         1200 MOperations/sec
Pixel Fill Rate:    1100 MPixels/sec             1200 MPixels/sec
Texture Fill Rate:  1100 MTexels/sec             1200 MTexels/sec
Vertex Operations:  68.75 MVertices/sec          225 MVertices/sec

DirectX Compliance:   8.1                        9.0c
OpenGL Compliance:    1.4                        2.0
PS/VS Version:        1.4/1.1                    3.0/3.0
Fragment Pipelines:   4                          4 (8)
Vertex Pipelines:     1                          3
Texture Units:        4                          4 (8)
Raster Operators      4                          4

The 6200 has a bit more Vertex horsepower, and not a lot else
is different. It is compliant with later standards. Whether
that matters to a Mac, I couldn't tell you. Based on this
data, if I had a working 9000 Pro, I would not bother
buying the 6200. You need to find a better card to use
as a substitute. The thing is, some of the Mac cards are
PCI Express, your slot is AGP, so there is a limit as
to what AGP cards are more powerful than the 6200.
I think there was a "6800 Ultra DDL", so that might be another
example. I don't know if there is a good list that
shows *all* the cards ever shipped with Macs.

6800 Ultra DDL

ATI Radeon X800 XT Mac Edition


Picture of X800 XT. Is the extra little connector on the slot,
for ADC power ? It almost looks like an AGP Pro connector, rather
than a simple AGP connector. "AGP Pro" is used to carry more power.
I doubt you could convert this to run in a PC, without a problem.
But maybe you could go from the PC version, to run in a Mac.
The PC version probably has an auxiliary power connector on the end
of the card, and no ADC power stub on the slot connector.


That card looks like an "AGP Pro 1.5V". The only thing that doesn't line up,
is the two contact ADC power stub, nearer to the faceplate end.
Apple probably had a second connector for that, in the slot area.



If you haven't figured it out by now, it takes a lot of
research and planning, to do this stuff...


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