Project Maya – Upgrading the graphics card

Project Maya – Upgrading the graphics card

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This is a post in the Project Maya series. To see all related posts go to the index page here.

This MDD being a gaming machine, the stock ATI Radeon 9000 with 64MB of VRAM was not cutting it. Sure, games would run fine but with settings way down, and even then I often dipped below 10fps. It’s very hard to shoot people at 10fps or less. I needed something a little better so the search began.

A few good card options but they were either impossible to find or way too expensive.

Bad influence Greg Hrutkay came with an idea that actually wasn’t too bad; I could get a G5 graphics card and modify it to work in the G4. These cards averaged $50 on ebay which is too much for my liking, so the search and wait began. An ATI Radeon 9600 was found for $15 on ebay and with 128MB of VRAM it was just the performance bump I was looking for. It meant losing my ADC port but with an ADC to DVI adapter in the closet that won’t be an issue when I have space to set up my Cinema Display

A few days later, it arrived.

Time to test. The 9000 was pulled and the 9600 was put in it’s place. A snug fit. The MDD fired right up, no issues. I opened System Profiler to verify the card was recognized properly and…. what?

Radeon 9650 with 256MB of VRAM! Score! 😀

Then a quick test and the results did not disappoint.

Compared to the Radeon 9000 it replaced:

Neither card will support macOS Mojave any time soon but for my purposes the 9650 will do just fine!

Games fly, even with all settings maxed out at full resolution. The card does run hot so I keep game settings medium-high until I can whack a fan on it or find another cooling solution.

And so we move on to the next upgrade!

3 thoughts on “Project Maya – Upgrading the graphics card

  1. The 9650 card I purchased worked great after removing the 2 resistors, got 256MB of vram now. Running it in a DP 1Ghz MDD. Thank you for the info. I was surprised how well it worked.

  2. I’m grateful for this blog as I used it to order this GPU for my MDD. I had an extra connector at the back of my AGP slot, so in addition to popping off those resistors, I had to cut the AGP lock off the card. But after all of that, it worked on first power up!

  3. So I’m late to this party but just paid my 50 bucks for the 9650. My question is will this card work in OS9? I have the little agp tab on mine and I saw someone move it to fit, but just wonder if I just leave it off if there would be problems. I’m thinking that is for the apple monitor port but any idea nor would be helpful. Thanks!

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