Re: PC graphic adapters on Mac Harware
On 3 Aug 2003 at 3:54, Michel Dänzer wrote:
> Apparently, PC 3Dfx or Matrox cards might work, but possibly not out of
> the box either, so why not save the hassle and simply get a Mac version?
> :) (I understand some cards can also be reflashed, but you probably need
> a proprietary OS for that, and there's always the risk of frying the
> card in the process) IMHO a cheap Mac Radeon would deliver the most
> 'bang for the buck'. :)
As you mentioned in another message, some low level initialisation of
the card needs to be done, but not necessarily by the firmware: for
x86 computers at least there are lots of overclocking utilities out
there. True, they don't initialise the card, but they do set
registers on the chip(s) as the firmware would have. Most firmware is
proprietary, so the possible is only limited by what the manufacturer
allows and shares.
I once flashed the firmware of an ATI Radeon 8500 LE (RV200) with
some newer firmware somebody had scooped up and packaged. It didn't
really work because apparently any resolution over VGA stressed the
hardware too much I ended up with a garbled display on the monitor.
Apparently the firmware usually sets the chipset registers to very
specific values (timings, clock frequencies, maybe even voltages)
that differ from model to model, maybe even from batch to batch.
So the problem isn't initialising the chips without the firmware, but
what to initialise them to. To get the firmware to run it on a PPC,
ATI usually asks just about double the price for a Mac edition.
compared with the x86 edition. The information with which to
initialise a card (any card) properly will likely be viewed and
handled as a business secret, and remain proprietary. I have no idea
if Nvidia, Matrox or 3DFX are any better in this respect.