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10.4: Enable Quartz 2D Extreme on unsupported Macs System 10.4
Tiger only hintIf you would like to enable Quartz 2D Extreme (see this hint for more info on it), but don't have the VRAM to support it, you can change the minimum requirements by following these steps in the Terminal:
$ cd /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions\
/A/Frameworks/CoreGraphics.framework/Versions/A/Resources
$ sudo pico Configuration.plist
Once in the editor, change these values to match your machine (use System Profiler to get the required details):
<dict>
     <key>Quartz2DExtremeEnabled</key>
     <true/>
     <key>Quartz2DExtremeMinimumVRAM</key>
     <integer>64</integer>
     <key>Quartz2DExtremeMinimumDRAM</key>
     <integer>512</integer>
     <key>Quartz2DExtremeVendorDisabled</key>
     <array>
     </array>
</dict>
[robg adds: I haven't tested this one, and I can't imagine that the results would be very good -- Quartz 2D Extreme requires a large amount of VRAM to work, and if it can't find it, uses a form of virtual memory to simulate the VRAM on the card. At least, that's my interpretation after reading the review at Ars Technica (linked in the above-linked hint). I would imagine a reboot would be required to activate these changes, and I'd also strongly recommend making a backup (sudo cp Configuration.plist Configuration_BACKUP.plist) before you start editing this file -- just in case you want to easily revert the changes.]
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10.4: Enable Quartz 2D Extreme on unsupported Macs | 12 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Enable Quartz 2D Extreme on unsupported Macs
Authored by: kokaviel on May 13, '05 12:25:46PM

This hint doesn't work on 1st generation 12" powerbooks (PowerBook6,1). Sadly, the Quartz Debugger still shows 2d extreme as unsupported.



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10.4: Enable Quartz 2D Extreme on unsupported Macs
Authored by: Shawn Parr on May 13, '05 01:02:09PM

You will still need to have a graphics chipset capable of Shader 2.0 programming support.

I'm not sure, but probably only recent Powerbooks and Mac Minis will be able to do this.



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10.4: Enable Quartz 2D Extreme on unsupported Macs
Authored by: UberFu on May 13, '05 02:05:16PM

so nothing older such as 5 year old iMac Graphite SE's...



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10.4: Enable Quartz 2D Extreme on unsupported Macs
Authored by: kokaviel on May 13, '05 09:46:07PM

The GeForce4MX that came in the old 12" PBs does have shader 2.0 support.



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10.4: Enable Quartz 2D Extreme on unsupported Macs
Authored by: tseufert on May 14, '05 09:21:05AM

Sorry, the 4MX is not a Shader Model 2.0 chipset. The GeForce FX 5200 is NVidia's entry-level SM2.0 chip.

(For that matter, the Radeon 9200 in the Mac mini is also not a SM2.0 chip.)



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10.4: Enable Quartz 2D Extreme on unsupported Macs
Authored by: Anidel on May 13, '05 02:47:05PM

I did check that file and the values were already the same as the hint and they matched my Pb 12" (1.33Ghz) VRAM/DRAM values.
Weird enough the Quartz2dExtreme was enabled into that file, but Quartz Debug keep saying (after launching it) that is has to be enabled...

---
Anidel



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10.4: Enable Quartz 2D Extreme on unsupported Macs
Authored by: Anidel on May 13, '05 02:49:27PM

If I enable Quartz2DExtreme using Quartz Debug, System Profile will tell me it is supported whereas it says nothing when Quartz Debug is not running.

---
Anidel



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10.4: Enable Quartz 2D Extreme on unsupported Macs
Authored by: dreness on May 13, '05 04:25:14PM

Be advised that quartz 2d extreme is not enabled even on macs that DO support it. Draw your own conclusions.



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How about CoreImage?
Authored by: wangman25 on May 13, '05 08:53:16PM

I'm sure I'll get scolded since I really know nothing about the graphical things and perhaps this is completely unrelated, but would it be possible to enable CoreImage on a Mac that's not normally supported?

Although my graphics card is not supported, I read on an AppleInsider forum that it is possible to send all the CoreImage GPU load onto the processor instead.

It's dumb but I really want to enable it to see the "ripple effect" in Dashboard.



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10.4: Enable Quartz 2D Extreme on unsupported Macs
Authored by: tseufert on May 14, '05 09:43:34AM

I'm afraid this tip won't do anything. All Macintosh video cards (or built-in video systems) which can run Q2DE happen to have 64MB of VRAM or more. Therefore, reducing the VRAM limit in the plist will not expand the list of cards Q2DE works on.

It's not really the amount of VRAM which is the primary determinant of whether Q2DE can be enabled. There are many Mac video cards which have 64MB or more, yet are incapable of running Q2DE. Off the top of my head, the Radeon 8500, 9000, and 9200 all fit in that category, as do the NVidia GeForce 3 and GeForce4 Ti.

Over the past several years, video cards have been getting a great deal of programmable functionality. Instead of implementing a fixed set of acceleration functions in hardware, video cards now provide simple processors which can run limited programs uploaded by the host computer. These processors (and the programs which run on them) are known as shaders.

Quartz 2D Extreme uses shaders to offload some of the work of rendering Quartz graphics onto the video card. In order to do this, you must have a card which implements what is known as Shader Model 2.0 in the PC world. SM 2.0 added capabilities to shaders (such as support for floating point math calculations) which were essential for writing a Quartz rasterization engine; before Shader Model 2.0, shaders simply weren't capable of implementing Quartz 2D. So, there will be no hack to enable Q2DE on Shader Model 1.x chips. (All the video cards I mentioned above as ones which won't run Q2DE even though they have 64MB of VRAM or more are SM 1.x graphics processors.)



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10.4: Enable Quartz 2D Extreme on unsupported Macs
Authored by: dirkstoop on May 14, '05 09:19:27PM

It might have some effect if you hook up a second non-mirrored display to a supported powerbook with 64MB of VRAM, since then only 32 megs will be left for either display.(I don't have a second display at my disposal now, so I can't test this)

It used to work that way with Quartz Extreme at least.. Being disabled on lower VRAM machines when a second display was hooked up to the same graphics card with the possibility of getting it to run when editing the right plist



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10.4: Enable Quartz 2D Extreme on unsupported Macs
Authored by: petersconsult on May 15, '05 05:42:48AM

My 2 cents:

The FW800 Al PowerBook is actually Quartz2D Extreme capable, but that option is disabled by default.
Also unrelated, the 9600Mobility chipset on that PowerBook is seriously underclocked.

I have just set Quartz2D Extreme to be on (in the /Library/Preferences/com.apple.windowserver.plist file only), and overclocked both the processor and memory using the ATIccelerator SystemPreference, and I must say that it really rocks!

As noted in xlr8yourmac, overclocking the 9600Mobility does not improve bechmarks in XBench, *except* with Q2d Extreme enabled: the 'text' portion of the 'Quartz Graphics Test' jumped from the usual ~220 to a whopping ~416!!

I have been using my PowerBook's 9600Mobility overclocked for a week now, and it is perfectly stable, even when playing X-Plane for hours on end.

I hope this helps...
Peter



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