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Flash PC video cards for Mac

There have been several things that have bothered me when trying to upgrade Mac systems:

- Apple seems to hate supporting old hardware.
- Devices made for Apple computers seem to cost up to ten times what they do for PC, even if they use identical hardware or even slower components.
- Third party support usually comes from un-reliable sources. People that can’t keep a website up, people that lose interest in helping the community, and those who are greedy that try to keep the money-saving (or potentially money-making) information to themselves.

I will be putting some ROMs/firmware on my site to help others with flashing video cards for Macs.

I have flashed a few PC video cards for use in Apple Macintosh systems.

Success:

XFX “WANG” GeForce 6200, 256 Megs RAM, $49 from Newegg.
- Requires 10.4.3 or higher. You will get a Kernel Panic if used in an older version.
- Uses a Temp Sensor that can cause long boot times under Mac OS X 10.5.x if you use it on a G4.
- There is a special firmware that disables the temp sensor.
- Supports Quartz Extreme and Core Image

VisionTek 5564 GeForce 2 MX 400 64MB SDRAM AGP DualHead/TwinView, $5-$20 from eBay.
- Works great in Mac OS 9 and all Mac OS X versions.
- Supports Quartz Extreme

This worked in my G4 Mac with the original PC/Windows firmware, however:
- The mouse cursor was a solid “box” when using Thousands/Millions of colors (it looked fine in 256-color mode).
- The system couldn’t detect my monitor or it’s timings, so resolutions and refresh rates were a bit off.
- Things worked perfectly after flashing with the “1075 TwinView” ROM.

* Update, August 2008: I noticed in World of Warcraft that the sky looked like it was filled with artifacts – like the card has bad memory. After staring at the messed up looking sky, the system had a kernel panic and locked. :(
* Double update. It turns out the wrong timings were in the firmware. Default MX400 timings are 200/183, default MX200 timings are 175/166. The VisionTek card uses 200/166 timings. I modified the firmware and re-flashed, and everything is good now. :)

Elsa GeForce 2 MX 400, 32 Megs, $5-$20 from eBay
- So far has worked great.
- No issues in any games.
- No artifact/memory issues.
- Flashed the NV1100 firmware, 200/183mhz timings.

ATI Radeon 9700 Pro, OEM, 128 Megs DDR. $30 from eBay.
- Quarts Extreme and Core Image support.

Fail:

Inno3D GeForce 2 MX 200, 32 Megs, 64-bit SDR, AGP – “Tornado GeForce 2 MX-200″, purchased for $45 brand new back in 2001.
* NVFlash said the EEPROM wasn’t flashable.

* Some random GeForce 2 MX 400, 64 Megs, PCI – Unknown brand, NVFlash can’t identify the EEPROM.
The EEPROM wasn’t the “non flashable” kind on the Inno3D GF2MX200, it just wasn’t listed as a supported EEPROM by the version of NVFlash I was using.
Recently, I haven’t been able to get the card at work at all (PC or Mac). I think I killed it with static or something. :(

GeForce 2 MX firmware:

nv1027f.rom
nv1028f.rom
nv1055.rom
nv1057.rom
nv1075(twin).rom (what I originally flashed on my VisionTek 5564 TwinView, but has the wrong timings for that card)
nv1100.rom
VisionTek 5564 ROM (200/166 timings, TwinView support, based on NV1100 ROM)

GeForce 6 firmware:

xfx_6200.rom – Original 350/266 MHz. (what I flashed on my 6200)
xfx_cube.rom – Cooler running 300/250 MHz.
MLP256XFX2_NoSensor.rom – 350/266 speeds, but with temp sensor disabled (for Mac OS X 10.5 compatibility).

Radeon 9700 Pro:
ati_oem_9700pro_124_agp_full.zip

Misc:

visiontek_5564_original.rom – My original VisionTek 5564 TwinView firmware for PC.

xfx_6200_original.zip – My original XFX “WANG” GeForce 6200 firmware for PC.

PC Tools:

nv312.zip – NVFlash 3.12
nv513.zip – NVFlash 5.13
nv563.zip – NVFlash 5.63
cwsdpmi.zip – DOS Extender (if needed)

For my TwinView:
nv312.exe -f 1075.rom -m

For my Elsa:
nv312.exe -f 1100.rom -m

For my 6200:
nv513 -4 -5 -6 -j 6200.rom


Links:

http://www.cybercoment.com/macgeforce.htm
http://themacelite.wikidot.com/
http://www.eden.net.nz/7/20011005geforce2mx.html
http://strangedogs.proboards40.com/




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