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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again System
First off, I cannot take credit for this hint. I came across it on the indispensable xlr8yourmac.com -- it was reported by someone named David. Nevertheless, it's a great hint.

If you have a video card that worked under Jaguar but now refuses to function under Panther, try the following ... booted from Panther, open the Terminal application and type in the following (you can cut and paste if you like):
sudo nvram boot-args="romndrv=1"
Enter your admin password when requested. Reboot and your card will hopefully work. This has worked on older ATI, Formac and other cards that do not have the proper firmware. Saved me about $600 buying an SGI MultiLink adapter on eBay to get my Proformance 3 to work with an SGI 1600SW.
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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again | 30 comments | Create New Account
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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: cydeout on Nov 07, '03 11:12:52AM

I have the same system, a 1600SW, Panther, and Proformance 3 running on a G4/400. This card really sucks. In OS 9, it constanstly crashed the entire machine (I do have the last drivers installed). In Jaguar, the OS was able to run it, but it seemed like it ran without OpenGL - refreshing was terrible. Usable, but terrible. The great thing about OS X is that I was able to use the monitor and it would never crash. In Pather, the monitor didn't work for obvious reasons.

Funny thing is, now that the computer only runs my second monitor (with an original Mac Radeon card), OpenGL is MUCH faster. Before, the refreshing problems on the SGI seemed to translate over to the Radeon monitor too. (i.e. - the flurry screensaver was never smooth when I ran dual monitors under Jaguar. In Panther, running only on the Radeon card now, it's beautiful and smooth.) I originally thought that it was because the Radeon card was pretty old. But now, I'm wondering if Proformance card causes the OS to misbehave - perhaps why that's Apple prevented non-modern cards from being used?

Anyone have similar experiences with this card and can give any tips? TIA!



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: cydeout on Nov 12, '03 11:48:27AM

I've successfully used this hack to force Panther to run my SGI monitor.

NOTE: this hack does come with a steep price in performance, as it appears (I can't prove it, but this is my observation) to disable Quartz or OpenGL on ALL monitors. That, or extra CPU cycles are needed to run the non-OpenGL card.

One of the benefits that I saw on my machine before I ran this hack was a substancial increase in speed while Panther only ran my original Radeon Mac card. Quartz was used beautifully in screensavers, etc. Since I've never used that card by itself with any 10.x system, I always had a problem with Quartz running slow. I always thought it was because my G4/400 was just ancient.

However, Panther ran beautifully on that card alone, and once I used the hack, Quartz or OpenGL is gone from both monitors/cards. The screensaver example I gave above is back to its old self of not being able to render things smoothly.



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: kconboy on Nov 07, '03 11:35:22AM
This hint rules! I recently moved and now have space for my previously dormant video card (an old ixMicro) and monitor. Just a couple days ago, I set up the card and monitor (not used since jaguar, months ago) and they didn't work under Panther. I just ran this hint, and voila! Dual monitors again! Thanks!

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kev

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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: james2777 on Jan 04, '04 11:37:36AM

Hello:

This is my first post to this forum. I'd like to attempt getting my second older ATI card to work under Panther. Could I possibly get a step by step of how to proceed?

I'm not a programmer but I've been using Macs for quite a while and I'm reasonably good at following instructions. For instance I have no idea what a teminal application is or how to access it but there is the possibility that if it were explained to me I might be able to connect the dots. This, providing I do not require any special tools beyond what I can access through what comes with my OS.

Any help would of course be much appreciated.

Cheers and thanks in advance.
James



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: gar381 on Apr 04, '04 06:43:34PM

got a g4/400 yikes... threw in an old IXMicro card I got out of a 233 beige G3. Card worked perfectly with 10.2.8. All I got was a grey screen with 10.3.3 on the monitor with this card. Almost went back to JAG as I need 2 monitors. Tried this patch and WOW .... IT WORKS PERFECTLY!!!!!

THANX GANG!!!!


Gary

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gary



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: leebennett on Nov 07, '03 11:55:44AM

Oh good grief, why oh why couldn't I have seen this tip a week and a half ago before I ordered a Radeon 7000. Yeah, I got a decent deal on it, and I <i>guess</i> it's good that I have an officially supported card--but sheesh! ;-)

The G4/450 I'd recently bought came with a ProFormance III plus that this tip probably would've taken care of. Any idea whether it would also enable a Voodoo3 3000?



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: Freebasen on Nov 07, '03 01:39:17PM

For those of us with an SGI 1600sw monitor who are stuck with older video cards, there is hope without spending $600 on a multilink adapter. A new product is out that will possibly function in it's place. Check this out: http://www.ultraflexinc.com/gfx.html
They say that they are still working on compatibility testing with the mac, but seeing as how this is just a pass-through solution I don't see why it wouldn't work.



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: seeker on Nov 07, '03 03:49:58PM

This is good news.

Here's the setup I have:
********
B&W G3, Rev. 2
OS 10.2.8 and OS 9.2.2
832MB of RAM
Newer Technology G4 533Mhz Processor Upgrade
Original Maxtor 6GB HD
Internal IBM Deskstar 40GB HD,
Internal Zip drive
External LaCie FireWire CDRW drive
SGI 1600SW flat panel
Silicon Graphics 1600SW Flat Panel Display with
ProPerformance III card
********
I just acquired the original video card that came in my G3. My plans are to pull out the G4 processor upgrade, put the G3 processor back in, install the original video card, attach another monitor and see if I can install Panther. If I can,while I am booted in Panther, I will try to run the "magic incantation" in Terminal, reinstall my ProPerformance III card and pray VERY hard that it will work. If not, then it's the $250 for the device you mentioned.

Here's hoping,
seeker



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: Notch Johnson on Nov 08, '03 08:25:44AM

I don't see any mention of MacOS X drivers on their web site. I would also wait until confirmed Macintosh compatibility before considering this product.

A few questions come to mind on this one:
1) Why would a company invest in developing a product for LVDS monitors? As far as I know, the 1600SW was the only monitor to go this way. DVI won. LVDS lost.
2) Ultra-Flex calls it "market-leading LVDS digital interface." Wrong. LVDS died a few years ago.
3) If I were a company interested in the LVDS market, I would develop a cheaper MultiLink adapter, a product that converts DVI to LVDS, not an entire video card!
4) With this hint, the only advantage this card could offer is accelerated video. Would Quartz Extreme work?



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: Freebasen on Nov 08, '03 05:28:36PM

In answer...
1. Evidently the creator of this technology is the same guy who headed up the multilink adapter operations at SGI. (can't confirm this). There were a lot of 1600sw sold. It makes sense to sell to nitch markets when that market includes government and medical laboratories.
2. Marketing BS.
3.That is exactly what this is. The difference is that this is an internal solution. It grabs power from the PCI bus. It needs no drivers because it is simply a pass-through solution. Signal goes in / signal goes out.
4. Accelerated video is precisely what someone buying this card would be after. It allows you to use any video card you want and then simply convert the signal for the SGI 1600. No additional drivers necessary.

The only incompatibility I can see would possibly occur in the new model G5's since they use a lower powered pci bus.



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: Notch Johnson on Nov 11, '03 12:34:09PM

A huge difference between this new video card and the MultiLink is that the MultiLink can be used with a Quartz Extreme-supported video card.

For some reason, I am willing to bet money that this card won't support Quartz Extreme. What's the advantage of this card over existing Proformance3 cards?



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: Freebasen on Nov 11, '03 05:30:20PM

I think you are missing the point here. This IS a multilink adapter. It's just an internal solution. Basically you sacrifice 1 pci slot to be able to run any AGP (or pci for that matter) video card you want. Of course it would support QE bacause it makes no difference to the card. You really should re-read the site.



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: seeker on Nov 11, '03 09:12:39AM

I posted a detailed explanation of my success with an SGI 1600 monitor and a Proformance 3 card here.

I am a bit out of my depth with this solution suggested by a friend. Move the drivers from 10.2.8 (if you still have that system on your HD as I do) into Panther and replace the drivers there that won't play nicely with the Proformance card and the SGI monitor.

Is this possible? Anyone know how to do it?

TIA,
Seeker



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: 5chm31din6 on Nov 07, '03 05:27:32PM
I had major problems installing Panther before I saw this hint on the Apple.com Panther Forums. This tip also allows me to use my old 3dfx Voodoo3 card for my second monitor. Another useful tidbit if your display(s) are only displaying 640x480x16 grays is to gain terminal access, then...

cd /Library/Preferences

Then rename the com.apple.windowserver.plist to something like com.apple.windowserver.backup (don't delete it -- just in case) then reboot. This will allow the system to rewrite the file and it should default to something higher-rez.

---
Signature, schmignature.

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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: ssn551 on Nov 07, '03 06:02:26PM

This is a great hint. Just don't try and boot from your Panther disk or from the DiskWarrior 3 CD. You loose your video and worse when you try and boot from your main Hard Drive, video is still lost. The only way to get it back is to put your alternate video card back in again and run the terminal program with the the code line. I found this out earlier today when I tried this hint.



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: bluehz on Nov 07, '03 06:42:10PM

So I guess this isn't really a solution for my Apple OEM Geforce 4MX in my G4/400 (AGP) that worked fine in Jaguar. It gets the black screen at boot. Sounds like this hint will only work for 2nd monitors, not main booting monitors.



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: SuperGrover on Nov 07, '03 06:07:04PM

Seems like a good hint, but use it with caution. I tried in on my older ATI 2nd video card and it cause my system to hard crash at boot. Had to boot into single user mode and reverse the command



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: jaytopia on Nov 09, '03 11:45:55AM

I used the patch and then my g4/400 hard crashed at startup. Now I'm unable to boot from the panther disc or any internal disc. The cpu just starts up and the monitor(s) turn on but stay black. How can I boot up and reverse this comand? HELP



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: onestyle on Nov 11, '03 04:08:39PM

i'm having the same problem. i'm suprized nobody has replyed yet!



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Nov 12, '03 05:31:21PM

Since the Terminal command:

sudo nvram boot-args="romndrv=1"

...simply modifies an NVRAM setting, you can restore this setting to its default value, by resetting the Mac's NVRAM (same procedure as a PRAM reset, but done from powerup instead of restart): power down the Mac, then power it back up, and then quickly, before the screen lights up, hold down these four key: Command (the Apple key), Option, P, and R, and keep them held down until the Mac restarts itself (you'll hear the startup chime). Then let go, and let the Mac boot up. This worked for me--I tried the terminal mod after upgrading to 10.3.1, and it caused my B&W G3, with an ATI Xclaim video card running a second monitor, to crash at subsequent startups, until I reset the NVRAM.

Before I tried this mod, right after upgrading to 10.3.1, I found that my ATI Xclaim video card was running my second monitor--it wasn't black as some people have found--but it displayed only grayscale, and when I turned on mirroring (in the "Arrangement" tab of the Displays prefspane), the second monitor got a messy overlay of some kind of crosshatch pattern, and both my main and my second monitor would display only 256 colors maximum. I haven't figured that one out yet.



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: BeeRich on Nov 09, '03 12:22:08PM

Sorry guys, it doesn't work for me.

G4/400, Panther Server, 17" Sony (Multiscan 210GS)
GeForce4MX on AGP type
ATI some kind, on PCI
Both cards installed (does this matter?)

Extra RAM from another source, not Apple.

So, when the GeForce card is hooked up (with adapter), it goes blank after the apple shows up.

When the ATI card is used, the screen goes grey, but asks to have Disk 2 for further install. At least that's what I can see from that. It's a greyscale, but the picture is almost not readable.

Any suggestions? I tried the sudo command, but nothing.

Any ideas? I gotta get this baby running.

Cheers

---
BeeRich
G5 1.8 & AluBook 1.25 15"



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: aegidian on Nov 09, '03 03:44:22PM

It's a known problem with Panther and early G4 sawtooths with OEM nVidia (and other) cards.

There's a memory clash between the way Quartz Extreme under Panther uses the card and memory installed past the 256 Mb mark.

You can either a) remove memory down to the 256Mb limit and boot with your GeForce from there, or b) replace the GeForce.kext file in /System/Library/Extensions with an older version that disables Quartz Extreme. See macfixit.com for more details.

Oh and this sucks, really I am so very P.O.d with Apple about it.



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: onestyle on Nov 10, '03 01:51:54PM

How do i reverse this?
I have an iXMicro in a 400mhz G4 and it will no longer boot.



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: blackos on Nov 17, '03 05:01:51AM

Brilliant! Finally I can use my Voodoo 3000 PCI again! Having dusted it off and stuck it in my G4 450MHz with Panther I now have a useable 2nd monitor. Great Tip!



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: bkbro on Nov 28, '03 07:32:16PM

I used this on my 400mhz G4 with an old XclaimGA card. It worked just fine.

This after wasting LOTS of time on ATI's tech support line today just be be told that I had to buy a new card.

Thank you VERY much for the hint.



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10.3: Possibly makes your Mac unbootable
Authored by: DavidPhilliOster on Nov 29, '03 04:49:48PM

I tried this hint to get my ATI 3D Rage Pro, which had worked as a second monitor all through 8.6 to 10.2, working under 10.3. The tip made my machine unbootable. I couldn't even boot from CD. I'd get the panic "You must restart your machine" message in six different languages during the gray screen that preceeds the chrome OS X logo.

The fix: open up the Mac and remove the offending video card. Once it was up, I entered: sudo nvram boot-args="romndrv=0" to undo the hint.

I haven't yet tried re-installing the video card to see if I get the same unusable dithered gray screen that I had before under 10.3.



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: riveteck on May 10, '05 01:14:34PM

This hint still works for me on Mac OS 10.4, I have a G5 dual 2Ghz with a Formac Proformance III card for a second monitor. this little hint saves the day and makes the card work like new.

Only drawback is when I switch back to my Mac OS 10.3.8 partitiion I have to run this trick again under 10.3.8 and restart to get my card to work again.

small price to pay

groovy!



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: Uniquark on May 15, '05 10:27:11AM

I have a 300MHz B&W G3 (must be Rev 1, but I've not confirmed this) with the ATI video card with S-Video in and out (ATI XCLAIMVRPro). Last night I tried to install 10.3 and experienced the 4- or 16-color dithered video. (Interestingly, I was able to open a Terminal and set it to green on black, which was quite readable.) Anyway, I followed both of the hints mentioned here (romndrv=1 and renaming com.apple.windowserver.plist). Neither one worked and the first one did keep the computer from starting up. Fortunately, I was able to restore romndrv=0 in single-user mode. The good news is that downloading the combined update to 10.3.9 seems to have fixed the problem completely!



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: Tish on Nov 04, '05 05:04:01PM

This hint was "BRILLIANT"... thanks so much! Works for me under 10.3 and 10.4.3.



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10.3: Possibly make older video cards functional again
Authored by: bhr on Sep 19, '06 01:30:24AM

Can you tell me if you think that it would be possible to use the SGI 1600SW with the G5. Would it be easy to insert the videocard in the G5 box?
Thank you.
bhr



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