How To Use Old PC PCI Cards With Macintosh

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How To Use Old PC PCI Cards With Macintosh

Just out of curiousity:

I have a bunch of old PCI video and ethernet cards laying around and I have an old PowerMac 7200/90 kicking around as well. Has anybody had any luck getting old PC/Windows video cards or ethernet cards to work in their Mac PCI systems?

I have the following WinTel PCI cards:

S3 3D Virge VGA Card
ATI Rage II+ Video Card
SMC Etherpower 10/100 ethernet card

Does anybody know of anyway to make these cards work with a PCI based 7200?

I figure that if I can get an old Wintel video card to work in the 7200, it will be better than the 7200's built-in video and I wouldn't have to goto much expense. Likewise, if I can get the SMC Etherpower card to work in the 7200, it will be be better than the 7200's built in 10-baseT. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks,

Managed Resistance
U•TOC

"If you're smart enough, you can beat a system that is unfair."
-- Discovery Channel Documentary,
Breaking Vegas

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Mabye

I have used an old PC ethernet card in my 4400 and it worked (you will need to find the manufacturers website and get the mac drivers, or some drivers that support almost anything), but I doubt the video cards will work without reflashing

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I might be interested in the PC PCI video cards

Hi,

I might be interested in the PC PCI video cards. PM me and we can talk.

Thank you,
Chris

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PCI Video Cards

Chris:

I'm going to be using one of the video cards for a PC server that I'm going to be putting on the net in the very near future. The other card would normally be up for grabs, but I'm really backlogged on things that I have to get out in the mail. You wouldn't believe the amount of stuff that I'm behind on mailing. So I'm going to have to pass until I get my backlog cleared up.

If you were local, I'd just give it to you for the cost of coming to pick it up. But as it stands, I really don't want to build my mail backlog any further until I get it cleared up.

Sorry about that. I wasn't planning on being this backed up. You know how things go, #@$% happens.

Thanks for the interest though.

Thanks,

Managed Resistance
U•TOC

"If you're smart enough, you can beat a system that is unfair."
-- Discovery Channel Documentary,
-- Breaking Vegas

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Under Linux with MacOnLinux?

Just a suggestion - never tried this and no idea if it would work.

If there are Linux or BSD drivers, you might be able to run those cards with a PPC Linux or Mac BSD system. Then install MacOnLinux for your Mac software.

You might have to find the source for the drivers and compile them for PPC.

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Drivers

I'm not sure if that would work; under Old World most video crap is done through fbcon (the frame buffer console) instead of direct VGA interaction (like Linux/x86), and in my experience fbcon usually won't work without getting Mac OS to be happy with the card first (absolutely worth a try though!).

X does have support for those cards, but every old-world machine I've tried wants you to "piggyback" X atop of fbcon/fbdev/shadowfb (especially for unisync monitors), including the PowerCC PowerWave (which I'm pretty sure is based on the 7500?) and Beige G3/233DT.

However, I don't know much about the driver architecture on Linux, and I'm pretty sure it's possible to do direct VGA calls if required. I'm just a userland guy, and those are my userland experiences. Smile

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ROM flash ATI Mac

Some ATI cards can have their onboard firmware reloaded with Mac firmware (a "ROM flash"). No idea if the Rage II+ is one of them - google the terms in this post's title and see what you find.

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SMC cards

The OS 9 SMC Driver is at:
http://members.driverguide.com/driver/detail.php?driverid=69676

I have used a couple of SMC cards with my 7600/200 and this driver and they've worked just fine-be aware that OS 9's networking is really inefficient compared to OS X so 100Mbit ethernet won't be that much faster. As an aside, if the SMC has a digital 21x4x series chip then it will be supported by Apple's built in drivers in OS X....

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How can I use a Ultra100 TX2 PCI card in my power MAC?

I bought a Promise PCI card (Ultra100 TX2 ) for adding more IDE or ATA HD's or CD's but this card was made for PC. I hace a powerPc 6500/225 and the card doesn't work. Does I need a driver for the card? THANKS

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I tried this too...

I also tried to use a Promise Ultra100 TX2 to test in a Mac. It really is the same exact card as the Sonnet Temp ATA 100. The cards look practically identical. I thought maybe I could find some sort of firmware upgrade. No firmware upate was found and I was unable to get the card to function properly in OS 9.2.2 or OSX 10.3.7.

The Sonnet drivers and firmware updates do nothing for this card.

As far as I am concerned, this Promise Ultra100 TX2 will not work in a Mac, under any Mac OS that is. It may work under some flavor of Linux, but I didn't test it. I would guess that if it did work in Linux it would not be bootable.

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The deep skinny on PCI cards...

I design PCI cards (PCI-x and PCI-e) but will not claim to be an expert Wink just a guy who makes some cards for a big company.. that being said ....

If a card DOES NOT have an EEPROM on it, it may have a good chance of working in a Mac with drivers. If a card of any type has an EEPROM on it, it will generally NOT WORK. The eeprom holds various code ... most of the more basic boards don't have an onboard cpu or embedded cpu, they rely on the host cpu to execute code. (Host based controllers) the adaptec scsi controllers are one example, the SATA and PATA controllers are another. The chip on the card lets the host cpu access the code in the eeprom so that (like for adaptec on the pc) the code can run. Sometimes (on pc) you get a banner that says press CTRL-A to access BIOS. etc... Obviously on the mac all that is in the background. The code in the eeprom is native to the platform the card was targeted for (ie Intel vs Motorola) so it will not run on another platform.
CAVEAT - if you have an imbedded cpu (modern video cards) then the eeprom may only be local to the card, and the host cpu doesn't access it. Then if everything else is the same, you just would need mac drivers and away you go.

Most/All the old Rage ATI stuff is NOT MAC compatible without a firmware change. Been there, been frustrated...
Good luck!
HWgeek

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