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Ask Jesse Your Own Question

Jesse, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 2287
Experience:  Life-long Apple Geek & Power User, 10+Years Apple Experience
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I have recently acquired a used Power Mac G4 - Dual 500 Mhz,

Customer Question

I have recently acquired a used Power Mac G4 - Dual 500 Mhz, AGP Graphics, Gigabit Ethernet.
I am considering upgrading the Video card.
What I am trying to determine is whether I have to use a Mac-specific AGP card, like the ATI X800 AGP Mac Edition.
Or, can I can a regular PC AGP card, like the ATI X4800 or Geforce 7 series?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Jesse replied 6 years ago.

It's all about drivers. There are some non-Mac specific cards you can use, assuming ATI provides Mac drivers and firmware for them. My advice would be to check their website and see what downloads are available for the specific model.

Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any additional questions regarding the issue.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes, I know that it is all about the drivers.
And Apple will not provide any support for any video cards not shipped with the system.
Which is why I was querying IF IT WAS POSSIBLE to use a generic AGP video card on a Power MAC G4, or if it has to be MAC specific.
Expert:  Jesse replied 6 years ago.
If you want to stick with ATI cards, then you'll need to purchase the Mac editions of the cards. You can use newer ATI cards, as long as your Mac OS version is new enough. If you go with Nvidia, then they don't have to be Mac specific, just have available drivers.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
You say that if you use Nvidia cards you just have to have the drivers...

but some sites so far have ppl saying that you need to update firmware, flash bios, flash the ROMs etc...
Expert:  Jesse replied 6 years ago.
In regards XXXXX XXXXX original question, it is possible to use non-Apple specific cards. The process to do so can be tedious in many cases, but it is possible. If that's not something you want to do, then your best bet is to purchase a used or older Mac specific card, like the ATI series. It's a safe, simple solution, but there are other ways to get other cards working in your machine.