BFG nVidia 7800 GS OC
The BFG 7800 GS OC 8X AGP card from BFG Technologies takes the full-throttle graphics power of the NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GS graphics processing unit (GPU) and overclocks it to give you a free boost in performance.
These BFG 7800 OC cards are sold for windows machines at stock speeds of 400MHz for GPU, and 625MHz for memory. After a day of burn-in testing in windows, the cards are modified with Mac firmware that runs them at the same speeds, then burn-in tested in G5s. Hands Down, the factory overclocked versions of the 7800 GS cards are the FASTEST OpenGL Game cards you can get for an AGP G5 PowerMac. BFG sold the cards to windows gamers clocked at these speeds with a lifetime warranty, so they should easily run the same speed in your mac, unless the fan goes out or the heatsink fins get clogged with dust.
These nVidia 7800 cards were never even made for AGP Macs. Apple had already moved to PCI-Express slots when the 7800 GS cards came out, but those wonderful guys that hang out at StrangeDogs forums, and The Mac Elite have managed to mod some firmware so these super fast agp pc gammer cards can find a happy home in your Old Mac.
So why aren't they also the most expensive card you can get for your AGP G5? A couple of heatsink related reasons come to mind that will be explained below. The 7800s are the fastest OpenGL 8X AGP cards you can get for your mac, but they have to compete with cards like the ATI FireGL X3 converted to mac. The FireGL X3 is slower in GLView tests but beats every other Mac AGP card in XBench Quartz Graphics tests. It has no minus issues related to the heatsink, plus it has TWO DVI Ports, making it more versatile as an all around card. However if your main goal is Game Speed, you don't need TWO DVI ports, and can put up with a little, noise, or cleaning, then the nVidia 7800 GS OC type cards are the way to go.
These cards are really fast, and generate a good amount of heat. To Deal with the heat, BFG has two versions of Heatsink Setups, and each has different "minus" points. This cards Big Brother has a massive Copper HeatSink setup with a large fan that makes a noticeable bit of noise, overhangs the adjacent slot in the machine, but allows for good overclocking. These are a bit tamer in the heatsink and noise departments, they have a lower (more normal) profile HeatSink-Fan combo, with a quieter fan and aluminum heatsink that doesn't interfere with the adjacent slot. Perfect!, you think.. but there's a hidden tradeoff. The quieter (less air volume) fan along with the lower thermal transfer rate of aluminum prompted the engineers to use MANY MORE very closely placed fins in the heatsink.
In itself, this is not a problem, but it does require occasional maintenance. The fins are so close together that dust collects at the inlet side of the fins, and the fans casual air flow, is not enough to force or blast this dust thru the fins and out the other side. So things get clogged up restricting airflow thru the fins. When this happens, the cards get hot, and hit a thermal ceiling, where the video just sort of shuts down for a bit now and then. This seems to happen more frequently when using TWO monitors, or playing games that "Push" the card causing it to heat up more. Hopefully if you are buying and installing a video card you will not be nervous about occasionally taking the card out for cleaning. It's pretty simple, just remove the heatsink cover, clean out the dust, put things back together and re-install the card. The only required you may not already have, would be a very small phillips head screwdriver to remove the heatsink cover.
|Pictured above, you can see the typical accumulation of dust & fluff that clogs up the heatsink fins. this is NOT an exceptionally dirty sample I took a picture of. The card pictured doesn't have as much junk stuck in the fins as most, there is even an area that looks like some air could get thru. When you clean these out, just use air and some fine bristle paint brush, DO NOT use some cheap electronics cleaner. Most electronics cleaners can dissolve some plastic and silicone parts of the fan, and they almost all leave some oily residue, which will just make the dust and fluff accumulate faster.
Below is a picture of what the fins should look like after cleaning (the way they will look when you get the card). You may want to take the card out for cleaning every 6-8 months, at worst maybe once per year. A real good time to clean it would be just AFTER spring cleaning when you move all the dusty things around in the house. While you're busy dusting the furniture, and behind the bookcase, the cards fan will be busy sucking up all this extra dust and pushing into the cooling fins.
|DO NOT USE THIS CARD WITHOUT INSTALLING THE POWER CABLE!|
These cards need Lots of Power, and since they have regular PC-Clone AGP card slot connectors, they can NOT get power from the G5s ADC power connector (the little extra slot connector located in front of the G5s AGP Pro slot). You MUST remember to hook up the card to the G5s drive power (Use the Y connector to split power from the G5s optical drive. Disconnect the power cable from the optical drive. Connect the female end of the Y cable to the male power cable that you just disconnected from the optical drive. Then use one male end of the Y cable to reconnect power to the optical drive, and the other male end to connect to the video card). ATI made a PDF file on how to do this for their Mac Edition 9800 Cards G5_molex.pdf. Failure to hook up drive power can damage the video card, and possibly even hurt your Mac as the card would try and draw the needed power thru the AGP slot, which simply is not built to deliver that amount of power.
Cards are currently setup for full 8X AGP operation in G5 PowerMacs with 8X AGP slots, and were burn-in tested as such. Other Sellers of these cards sell them already disabled to 4X AGP, using this as part of their "sales pitch" saying the cards are G4 and G5 compatible, discreetly not mentioning that in order for the cards to work in the G4, they must be disabled to 4X AGP, which means that if put in a G5 they will still only be running as 4X AGP rather than 8X AGP. The G5s 8X AGP slot can use 4X or 8X AGP cards, so there is no obvious problem using a modded 4X AGP card in a G5, I just prefer to leave the cards working as 8X cards allowing them to perform to their full potential in a G5 machine. It is Fairly easy to disable the card to 4X AGP, you can do this on your own, at your own risk.
The cards can be hobbled down to 4X AGP operation if you want to use them in a G4 4X AGP slot. There are directions and pictures, showing how to disable 8X AGP cards to operate as 4X AGP cards in PowerMac G4s on The Mac Elite Site. This is done by disabling Pins 3 and 11 on the backside of the AGP slot connector. There are several ways disable these pins, such as putting tape over the connectors, or cutting the traces, on some cards you can even remove resistors located somewhere along the trace. The link above is to a Mac Elite page with lots of info and pictures on how to disable 8X cards to operate as 4X cards for use in G4 PowerMacs.
All Items are shipped via the US Postal Service. The Mail Carrier stops by Week Day Mornings (Not Sundays/Holidays), so I can just leave things downstairs for Daily Pickup. The post office only insures Items (NOT including the postage). This results in them effectively Being Paid to loose/damage an item. Since it seems terribly unethical/unfair that they should be paid for loosing/damaging an item, insured items are "Marked-Up" enough to cover the postage fees, so that if they do Loose/Smash something, it is insured for the Full Amount.
For USPS Shipping US Military Bases & Protectorates, Guam, Puerto-Rico, American Samoa, Micronesia, Palau and (US Virgin, Marshal & Northern Mariana Islands) are All Considered Part Of the US.
Given all the time spent pre-testing video cards in Windows, converting them to Mac, and then extensively testing in Macs, it seems counter productive to pack cards poorly so they're easily damaged in shipping. The cards are put in anti-static bags, wrapped in bubblewrap, then placed in a small box, reinforced with rigid foam, so it 's hard to crush. A larger outer box (a bit smaller than the US Postal Service Medium Flat Rate Box), is lined with rigid foam and a layer of foam peanuts put in the bottom. The smaller box is then put inside the larger box, and any extra goodies like adapters (video or power) cables are wrapped in bubblewrap and placed above the smaller box. This uses about $4 in materials, and takes around 20 minutes to pack a card, Priority Mail w Delivery Confirmation, Insurance and packing materials is about $15-16. This may seem like overkill, but it greatly decreases the chances of you getting a damaged card, which would not only be frustrating for you, but a complete waste of all the time put into making sure you got a rock solid Mac video card.
PayPal Addresses & BUGsPayPal, Payments are ONLY Accepted if transaction is fully eligible for Seller Protection. This SHOULD mean the Buyers shipping address must be PayPal CONFIRMED. HOWEVER a Recent PayPal Bug/Error has been making it so many payments made with Cash-In/Credit-Card Linked-To PayPal Account show-up as "Not Eligible" for Seller Protection. If payment Cred-Card based it MAY show up properly, and if Bank-Account based it USUALLY shows up properly. A way around This-Bug is to Select that you DO NOT HAVE a PayPal account at checkout, then you MUST give them a Credit-Card and an email address that ARE NOT associated with Your PayPal account. AND the shipping address you provide MUST match the billing address on the credit card. If either (email or cred card) is associated with a PayPal account they will refuse to process the transaction saying you must login to your PayPal Account. If you login to paypal, they will then process the payment sending me an email that says the transaction is "Not Eligible" for seller protection.
I Do Not Sell or Ship in Washington State, and don't want to process refunds when folks from Washington place orders. People often Have/Leave Old/Out-of-Date/Incorrect Shipping Info in PayPal, which causes problems when things get Lost in the Mail. Sometimes People from other countries use Friends/Relatives address in the US so they have PayPal Confirmed shipping info. Standard PayPal settings can't deal with any of these things. Because of this, ALL Payments are put on Hold/Review, so I can Verify that Buyers are NOT in Washington, The shipping info is Good/Current, and hopefully avoid any other problems/issues/questions by communicating BEFORE Accepting Payment.
I would like to put a contact link in here, but don't want the spam-bots getting info off web pages, and flooding my in-box with garbage. So You'll have to do a bit of cut/paste, sorry for the trouble. Name is christian_g then there is that little round symbol with the "a" inside, and provider is fastmail. net (remove the space before net).
|INCLUDES Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation and Insurance (Canada Adds $17-23; depending on insurance).|
|(Canadian Buyers Please eMail Me for shipping quote on Sub Close-To $100 Items.)|
(Shipping with tracking to Canada is about $33-$35 minus any "Included" US-Shipping)
|PLEASE DO NOT Click Buy-Now if You are in WA; I DO NOT Sell or Ship Within Washington State.|
I'm REALLY busy working on the items I sell. I do the most thorough testing and best packing reasonably possible to make sure You get a great product. Taking time from what's important to the end result, in order to work as an unpaid Tax Collector seems counter-productive. Don't get me wrong, I can't think of anyplace I would rather live, but spending time working on the actual business seems more reasonable than spending it filling out complicated forms. With this in mind, I WILL-NOT sell or ship anything in Washington. The paperwork is much less time consuming if it's mostly a bunch of zeros.