ATI Fire GL X3 256mb AGP
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    Andreas_Wolf
    Posts: 12073 from 2003/5/22
    From: Germany
    > If I am not wrong also Radeon 800/850 belongs to R400 family.
    > They have never been in AGP format?

    For AGP there're X800 cards with R430 GPU, which is a PCIe chip, that's connected to a RIALTO bridge chip in order to make it accessible by AGP. And then there're X800 cards with R420 GPU and X850 cards with R481 GPU, which both are real AGP chips in themselves..
  • »27.10.11 - 11:35
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  • Jim
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    Jim
    Posts: 4977 from 2009/1/28
    From: Delaware, USA
    Sorry for not posting earlier.
    And David, I'll try to eliminate some of my back messages.

    The item has been re-posted here.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/ATI-Fire-GL-X3-256mb-AGP-404563-001-Dual-DVI-Graphics-/290625691561?pt=PCC_Video_TV_Cards&hash=item43aaa41fa9

    No, R400 video cards are not supported by MorphOS yet (and I don't know if or when they will be). Frank (Pega-1) has mentioned them as a possible future option, but the last time I checked he and Bigfoot were busy with other projects.

    The main reason I've posted this listing is I have a FireGL X3 that has been re-flashed with a Mac BIOS and it works quite well (under OSX and Ubuntu) in my Quicksilver.
    Hopefully, one day we'll be able to use them under MorphOS.

    As Miky060 has pointed out, there are slightly faster variants of the R400 family available, but the FireGL X3 has all pipes enabled and works well with a Mac BIOS (and its CHEAP).
    "Never attribute to malice what can more readily explained by incompetence"
  • »28.10.11 - 23:38
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  • Jim
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    Jim
    Posts: 4977 from 2009/1/28
    From: Delaware, USA
    Sending two modified FireGL X3 cards out to Morphzone members sometime later this week.

    Anyone else interested?
    "Never attribute to malice what can more readily explained by incompetence"
  • »01.11.11 - 13:20
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  • Jim
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    Jim
    Posts: 4977 from 2009/1/28
    From: Delaware, USA
    Hey, just a quick word on FireGL X3 cards.
    Don't purchase one thinking that re-flashing them is an easy task.
    The modified BIOS listed on the Mac Elite webpage does not work by itself.
    I've had some luck with a modified Radeon X800XT BIOS.
    When I've got the cards I currently am working with finished I'll post full details on the process.
    "Never attribute to malice what can more readily explained by incompetence"
  • »01.12.11 - 17:59
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    mikeE
    Posts: 1 from 2012/1/16
    Why the modified bios listed on Mac Elite doesn't work ?
    Could you send me the workable bios of X800XT(FireGL X3)?
    Thanks.
  • »16.01.12 - 13:03
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  • Jim
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    Jim
    Posts: 4977 from 2009/1/28
    From: Delaware, USA
    I'm not sure why the BIOS files on the Mac Elite website do not work.

    I've taken a few weeks off to work on other problem, but since I now own four of these cards (and I've promised three of them to other people) I'll resume work on this soon.

    Once I've found a good solution, I'll be sure to post notice and I'll send you the file attached to a PM).
    "Never attribute to malice what can more readily explained by incompetence"
  • »17.01.12 - 14:25
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    ZexXpt
    Posts: 2 from 2012/1/18
    Jim,
    Quote:

    I'm not sure why the BIOS files on the Mac Elite website do not work.

    I've taken a few weeks off to work on other problem, but since I now own four of these cards (and I've promised three of them to other people) I'll resume work on this soon.

    Once I've found a good solution, I'll be sure to post notice and I'll send you the file attached to a PM).


    I already had an ATI FireGL X3 and I decided to flash it for mac.
    I flashed it but my screen was always black. I had to edit the rom so that the ID on the rom was 4a48. It is now working but I think the memory timings on the rom are wrong because setting the Memory frequency above 280MHz will give me artifacts (the stock frequency is 450MHz and it worked just fine on windows). The gpu frequency can take the stock 492MHz just fine. The memories on my FireGl X3 are made by infineon and after looking on their datasheet they work between 250-500MHz and have a WR latency of 2.0ns. The Mac X800 XT has memories that can work above 500MHz and they have a latency of 1.6ns.
    Have you managed to get your card to work on the stock memory frequency of 450Mhz ?
    If so, could you PM me the rom you are using? I have already tried help on other places but I have nothing so far :(

    Thank you!

    [ Edited by ZexXpt 18.01.2012 - 17:20 ]
  • »18.01.12 - 18:19
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  • Jim
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    Jim
    Posts: 4977 from 2009/1/28
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    Actually, you've gotten further along then I have,
    I'm going to try that ID edit with some of the BIOS files I've collected.
    If I find one that works well, I'll let you know.
    "Never attribute to malice what can more readily explained by incompetence"
  • »20.01.12 - 02:11
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  • Jim
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    Jim
    Posts: 4977 from 2009/1/28
    From: Delaware, USA
    Flashing three cards tomorrow with the most likely to function (BIOS files).
    Will use suggested ID.
    "Never attribute to malice what can more readily explained by incompetence"
  • »23.01.12 - 03:00
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    amigadave
    Posts: 2794 from 2006/3/21
    From: Northern Calif...
    @Jim,

    Good Luck!
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  • »23.01.12 - 07:51
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  • Jim
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    Jim
    Posts: 4977 from 2009/1/28
    From: Delaware, USA
    Thanks David.
    Had to push this back to today.
    I hope this is the last piece of the puzzle.
    "Never attribute to malice what can more readily explained by incompetence"
  • »24.01.12 - 11:49
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    ZexXpt
    Posts: 2 from 2012/1/18
    Jim,
    Quote:


    Thanks David.
    Had to push this back to today.
    I hope this is the last piece of the puzzle.


    Hi Jim,

    I finally solved the mistery. I talked with Steve Smedley from the aquamac web page and he said that it was a bug in the Rom in which it doubles the frequency. If I set to 250MHz in graphiccelerator, the memory will run at 500MHz (do not mistake with the double data rate from the type of the ram). I installed Aticelerator II and it effectively reports 500MHz so it seems it is indeed a bug.
    The reduced Rom from themacelite with the name FireGl ver109 works great but you have to change the ID. The Reduced Rom with the name X800XT ver109 works without changing the ID but since I don't know if it has more deferences, I used the FireGl reduced rom.

    I hope this helps you in any way.

    Thank you,
    Jose

    [ Edited by ZexXpt 24.01.2012 - 12:36 ]
  • »24.01.12 - 13:34
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  • Jim
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    Jim
    Posts: 4977 from 2009/1/28
    From: Delaware, USA
    NO, thank YOU.
    This one has been bugging me for awhile.
    I've got four of these sitting around, and once they're up and running one goes to David and two to Frank.

    You may have given me the final clue I need.
    Thanks again.
    "Never attribute to malice what can more readily explained by incompetence"
  • »24.01.12 - 14:22
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    amigadave
    Posts: 2794 from 2006/3/21
    From: Northern Calif...
    Hi Jim, how is the progress of working on these Fire GL X3 256mb AGP video cards?

    Do they report a full 256mb of VRAM when used from MorphOS2.7? Or do they have the VRAM separated into two banks, or segments, so MorphOS can only see 128mb of VRAM?
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  • »29.01.12 - 04:51
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  • Jim
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    Jim
    Posts: 4977 from 2009/1/28
    From: Delaware, USA
    Right now, they don't work at all under MorphOS (only OSX).
    That's why I want to send two to Frank.
    Hopefully, once he and his compatriots finish with the R300 3D drivers, they'll consider R400 support (no promises - I'm just sending the cards as an encouragement).
    "Never attribute to malice what can more readily explained by incompetence"
  • »29.01.12 - 15:59
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  • Jim
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    Jim
    Posts: 4977 from 2009/1/28
    From: Delaware, USA
    I found someone to help obtain R400 cards for our machines.
    They will not be cheap.

    Original Mac cards (X800Xt and X850XT) are your best bet.
    If support for PCIe G5 Macs was ever introduced these would be relatively easy to obtain (at fairly low prices).

    Converted FireGL X3 cards are available in limited quantities (but may cost as much as $180).

    Converted X800XTs will be cheaper (although the cheapest are All In Wonder cards which will have tv tuners we can't use).

    I am also working on a way to convert PC X850XT and X850XT PE cards (PEs are the fastest R400s).

    I'll have the first working cards by the end of the month (Feb).
    "Never attribute to malice what can more readily explained by incompetence"
  • »16.02.12 - 14:36
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    amigadave
    Posts: 2794 from 2006/3/21
    From: Northern Calif...
    The ATI Fire GL X3 256mb VRAM AGP video card that I bought on eBay just arrived today.

    I am hoping that the re-flashing process to allow it to work in my dual 2.7GHz G5 PowerMac will be successful, as it will be a big improvement over my current ATI Radeon 9650 w/256mb of VRAM. The benchmarks that I have found for the 9650 have shown that it performs slower than earlier 9600XT video cards for PowerMac's.

    Let me know if you make any progress in obtaining the same bios file that the guy is using that sells these Fire GL X3 video cards converted for use in Mac's on eBay. I would like to know what you have tried yourself and what happened when you tried, so I can avoid any mistakes, or pitfalls that you have already found do not work.

    I would like to try to re-flash my card first, then if that is unsuccessful, I might send it to the guy that is doing the conversions and selling the cards on eBay to see if my card is one of the lucky versions that can be converted.

    For anyone else interested in using this card in a G4, or G5 PowerMac running MacOSX, or Linux (with the possibility that Jim can successfully get two converted cards into the MorphOS Developers hands and that after they have them, the MorphOS Developers can some day write a MorphOS driver for this card), be aware that not all Windows ATI Fire GL X3 video cards can be converted for use in a Mac and the guy that is selling already converted and tested cards on eBay has told me that only about 15% of the OEM Fire GL X3 video cards convert for use in a Mac. The rest, 85% of OEM versions of the Fire GL X3 will NOT convert to Mac use and many of the cards he converts melt down during the one week of severe testing that he puts them through, before he puts them up for sale on eBay.

    He only recommends buying original ATI cards, not the OEM versions and states that even many of the original ATI cards will not convert to Mac use successfully. Some cards can be flashed back for use in a Windows PC and sold again, until you find one that can be converted for Mac use, but his prices are high because of the high failure rate he finds when trying to convert these cards for use in a Mac. He appears to be fairly knowledgeable about converting all kinds of PC video cards for use in Mac computers.

    I hope that Jim and this eBay reseller can get a couple cards converted and sent to the MorphOS Developers soon and that it won't be too long (6 to 18 months) before someone can write a MorphOS driver for them, because these cards can be used in G4 PowerMac's that are already supported by MorphOS2.7, not just G5 PowerMac's that might never be supported by any version of MorphOS.

    I want to use it as an improvement in my G5 for MacOSX and Linux use. I got mine for $29.99 plus shipping, but did not remember to check if it was an OEM, or original ATI card until after I had bought it, so now I have to just hope that it is one of the 15% that can be converted for Mac use, or I will have to just sell it back to someone else on eBay and look for one of the cards that has a higher chance of converting to Mac use at a decent price, or bite the bullet and buy one of the already converted cards that has passed the stress testing, from the guy Jim and I have contacted who has experience converting them (and other models of video cards) to Mac use.

    [ Edited by amigadave 17.02.2012 - 10:19 ]
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  • »17.02.12 - 19:15
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  • Jim
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    Jim
    Posts: 4977 from 2009/1/28
    From: Delaware, USA
    Things aren't quite as grim as the statistics David just mentioned would suggest.
    I originally focused on the FireGL X3s (as an R400 based card), because they were available at a low cost.
    I also purchased one that had already been re-flashed for Mac operation and, after taping pins 3 and 11, found that it work in a G4 Powermac.
    That original card has stopped working (either due to a problem with the taped pins or card failure) and I haven't had luck flashing the other cards I've bought (I currently own 4 OEM FireGL X3s).

    So FireGL X3s may not be our best bet at obtaining R400 cards for our Macs.
    X800XTs are still available. All In Wonder versions of these have the same specs as the standard X800XTs and are available at only slightly more the the FiregGL X3's cost.

    So I'm going to buy one of those.
    I'll be send some of my OEM FireGL X3s to someone with more experience (in conversion) then me.
    And I'm looking into buying already converted FireGL X3.

    Also, two final notes.
    First, I'm looking into replacing the rom on X850 XT and X850 XT PE cards with a 128K rom that will hold the original Apple BIOS.
    Second, I've located several PcIe R400 based Mac video cards at better prices then their AGP equivalents (so I'm looking into buying a PCIe G5).

    Take care all.

    Jim
    "Never attribute to malice what can more readily explained by incompetence"
  • »18.02.12 - 18:36
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    amigadave
    Posts: 2794 from 2006/3/21
    From: Northern Calif...
    With recent discussion and some members claiming that they don't think the MorphOS Dev. Team is going to support any of the G5's and might switch to x86 and/or ARM instead, you should consider those statements closely before buying a G5, unless you only want it for running MacOSX, and/or Linux.

    I really like my dual 2.7GHz G5 and have used it instead of my 3.0GHz quad core Intel Windows PC since last October (and now I see that my Windows PC will not boot up any longer to the correct screen resolution, so I can't use it even if I wanted to). But, if you are buying a G5 with only the thought that it will some day be supported by the MorphOS Dev. Team, you might be disappointed (but I hope not).

    The Quad Core G5 PowerMac's are all supposed to have the better liquid cooling systems in them and a couple of Mac users have stated that they have never heard of that model having a leak, so that would be a good one to get. I think the dual core 2.3GHz G5 is air cooled, so leaking coolant would not be a concern and it should be plenty fast for most uses.

    Running MorphOS3.x on a quad core 2.5GHz G5, although it would be fast, would be a huge waste of electricity, unless you could find some firmware command that could shut down 3 of the cores, or at least one of the two G5 CPU's, while you are running MorphOS. Of course that concern is a moot point if MorphOS is never ported to the G5 and all you can use it for is MacOSX and Linux PPC.

    Prices continue to drop, and you might get lucky to find a PCIe G5 PowerMac for a very low price if you look around long enough (not on eBay).

    It would be nice to get R400 support for MorphOS, but even without it, I am hoping to use my Fire GL X3 in my G5 PowerMac while running MacOSX and Final Cut Studio II.

    [ Edited by amigadave 18.02.2012 - 10:57 ]
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  • »18.02.12 - 19:49
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  • Jim
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    Jim
    Posts: 4977 from 2009/1/28
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    David has a good point.
    Never buy equipment that isn't supported with the intent (or hope) that it will eventually be supported if the developers have not announced their intent to pursue that support.

    That being said, I've already proven that R400 cards will run on Powermac G4s (like my Quicksilver) and under OSX and Linux they run VERY well (a significant improvement over the R300).

    So, where this leads is (at this time) purely speculative, but its one possible direction (as I feel the G5 is).

    Jim
    "Never attribute to malice what can more readily explained by incompetence"
  • »18.02.12 - 23:24
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  • Jim
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    Jim
    Posts: 4977 from 2009/1/28
    From: Delaware, USA
    I received two FireGL X3 cards modified by Christian at oldmacs yesterday.

    Once I taped over pins 3 and 11 on the back side of the card edge connector they worked fine in my Quicksilver Powermqac (under OSX and Linux).

    They are a little expensive, but worth it for the performance boost.
    I'd highly recommend this vendor.
    "Never attribute to malice what can more readily explained by incompetence"
  • »24.03.12 - 15:00
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    amigadave
    Posts: 2794 from 2006/3/21
    From: Northern Calif...
    Glad you got your modified cards back and that both of them were converted successfully and passed the rigorous testing that Christian puts all of his cards through.

    Have you considered the power consumption of this card over what normally would come stock in a G4 PowerMac? I don't know how much extra power the typical QuickSilver, or MDD PowerMac PSU outputs, above what it takes to run the motherboard, fans, hard drives (considering that the MDD has 4 hard drive bays), optical drive(s), and any PCI cards.

    I am just wondering if the PSU for your QuickSilver, or my MDD, will have enough power to feed this more powerful and power hungry video card, when we also have our systems maxed out with hard drives and PCI cards. I have 4 hard drives in my MDD at the moment, but I am not sure I will keep all of them installed in my system. Have you considered this as a possible problem, or is it something that does not need to be worried about?

    My other question is regarding the VRAM. Is all of the 256mb of VRAM recognized when you are running MacOSX on your QuickSilver with this video card installed in it? Have you tried to run MorphOS2.7 with this video card installed, to see if the existing 2D drivers work on this video card? If you have and the 2D drivers work, does MorphOS2.7 recognize 256mb of VRAM, or only 128mb of VRAM?

    Thanks again for your efforts to get these cards converted for use in our Mac computers and I hope that your work will someday lead to support of this fast card under MorphOS.
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  • »24.03.12 - 21:33
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  • Jim
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    Jim
    Posts: 4977 from 2009/1/28
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    David, you've asked a question that I myself have worried about.
    The Quicksilver comes with a less powerful power supply then the MDD and I'm not sure if these cards tax that supply or not.
    The system starts and runs fine, but only time will tell if this is going to be a problem.

    When using R400s under OSX you just have to make sure to have the latest driver installed. I've done this with either a 9200 or 9800 installed, then I power down and switch cards.
    And yes, OSX recognizes the entire 256MB. After all, the bios is based on a Mac X800XT rom from a card with the same memory capacity.

    I want to try this card with Ubuntu to see if that works (I can't see why it wouldn't).

    BTW - this isn't the fastest card we could install in our G4s. It just the most likely candidate for support after the R300.The fastest cards available for the G4 are Nvidia 7800GS based. As MorphOS doesn't support Nvidia cards of any type, we're never going to see drivers for that.
    And, as it is, we've got to consider how much our current CPUs limit video performance. At some point, better GPU are going to be severely limited by slower processors. I can attest to a significant increase in performance when moving from an R360 to an R420, but I'm not going to have time to do any formal testing right now as I have to ship these cards out soon.

    I will post some comparisons when I get the next cards.
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  • »25.03.12 - 01:53
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    amigadave
    Posts: 2794 from 2006/3/21
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    Thanks for the answers Jim.

    Have you considered testing the FireGL X3 while running MorphOS2.7 to see if the current Radeon 2D driver supports the R400 based FireGL X3?

    I know that it won't have any 3D acceleration, but it would be good to know if it currently works via 2D mode, or if a new driver is required, before the FireGL X3 could be used at all for MorphOS2.7.

    Regarding your statement that we need faster CPU's for faster video cards soon, we might already see better video performance from the exact same video cards, if MorphOS support was extended to the G5 PowerMac's. Over in the thread about the possibility of porting MorphOS to the G5, or a bounty for G5 support, I pasted a link that talks about just that subject, and it shows how the improved bandwidth of the G5, when compared to the dual 1.25GHz G4 MDD, does in fact improve the speed of the same Radeon 9800XT video cards.

    You might want to check out that linked article.
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  • »25.03.12 - 03:22
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  • Jim
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    Jim
    Posts: 4977 from 2009/1/28
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    >Have you considered testing the FireGL X3 while running MorphOS2.7 to see if the current Radeon 2D driver supports the R400 based FireGL X3?

    Oh yeah, I don't have OSX on the hard drive I'm currently using in my Quicksilver.
    R400 based cards don't even post when MorphOS is your primary OS (no video signal at all).
    Unplug the drive and Openfirmware pops up with its icon that lets you know it can't find a boot drive.
    I switched to an older drive (one that I'd forgotten I had) with Tiger on it and the card performs perfectly.

    I'm sure if Frank and Bigfoot wanted to they could probably modify the R300 drivers to get the R400 running in at least 2D. But you've got to remember that they still have work to do on the R300 driver and there is no commitment to the R400.

    One thing the R400 does have in its favor, from a design standpoint its very similar to the R300 only with more shaders, texture units, and ROPS.

    And you are right to point out that our existing cards would perform better in a faster system. Comparisons of G4 and G5 computers with either R300 or R400 based cards always show better frame rates in the G5 systems.

    But should G5 hardware ever be adopted, we can simply unplug the cards we have in our current Macs and plug them into a G5.
    I know the R300 and R400 cards will work and I believe most of the R200s would as well (some would be limited to 4X AGP speeds, but that's not much of a limitation).

    Some G5s lack slower speed PCI slots, so our USB and networking cards might not be transferable (and the G5's built in sound is probably better then a Soundblaster making that irrelevant).
    But, for the most part, much of what we are currently using will move over.

    [ Edited by Jim 26.03.2012 - 11:23 ]
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  • »25.03.12 - 04:03
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