View Full Version : Sleeping screen issue & graphics cards for early '05 G5

22nd October 2010, 12:42 AM
I have a G5 tower (early 2005) which has started sleeping the screen without prompting. Guessing this might be the graphics card (a fair assumption?) and figure replacing that might be a good start. It's only a workhorse, so a lower end/second hand card would be more than sufficient - especially as it may not be the card and I don't want to be spending a lot. The user's guide lists ATI 9600, 9650, X850XT and NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL as standard. Are these the only cards that will fit in my machine, or are there others that are compatible as well? (e.g. there is a Radeon 9200 128MB AGP available locally for only $50 from a reputable seller.) Thanks in advance. Andrew.

22nd October 2010, 04:19 PM
I believe the 9200 should work, but it's hard to say with Macs - they are very trial-and-error in terms of compatibility.

If you want to be 100% sure about the only way is to get a GPU that would have originally came with your model of Mac.

22nd October 2010, 10:40 PM
AJ, it might actually be the monitor going to sleep by itself, not the card. If you have another monitor, try that for 24 hours and see if the problem persists.

23rd October 2010, 06:10 AM
Thanks for your feedback Coxy and Brains.

I share your concerns regarding the hit-and-miss nature of cards for G5s Coxy, having looked at a number of models online which, according to the add description fit my computer but don't seem to have the kind of architecture, from my lay perspective, that would fit my slot.

As for the screen Brains, good point - eliminate all variables. I managed to get hold of another screen (new) but same deal unfortunately.

24th October 2010, 03:36 AM
Then it's quite likely the card. If it's like a lot of other G5/Pro cards I've seen, it has most likely become dust-clogged (especially if it sports a fan-assisted cooling block) and has become so baked that it has developed thermal damage.

Before you go buying a replacement card, try this: Remove the card, clean off as much dust as you can, remove the cooler, clean both the GPU chip (carefully!) and the underside of the cooler, apply a very small amount of a quality thermal compound, and re-affix the cooler.

The reason why only specific types of card will work with the G5 are two-fold:
1) the GPU must have been used by Apple themselves as a shipping item at some stage in the histry of OSX; anything else will not have drivers available, and
2) the card must be PowerPC friendly, you cannot use a normal off-the-shelf Windows card because the card's onboard software is for the wrong processor architecture.

In the second instance, some cards intended for Windows machines can be re-flashed to work with a PowerPC Mac, but not all makes of card can be flashed, even if you choose one with an Apple-supported GPU.

25th October 2010, 10:24 AM
Does indeed look like there is baked on dust on it Brains. There is one glob that is so big I am wondering if a moth got in as well (possibly because one of the other card slot's covers was left off). I have cleaned as suggested but it appears cooked (I wonder if THAT is why the fan suddenly starting roaring not long before the card stopped working) so I have purchased the Radeon 9200 which others have indicated should probably work. Thanks for the advise and I will keep you posted.

26th October 2010, 01:32 AM
If this 9200 isn't flashed, it won't work. Only 9200 Mac (genuine) was PCI. IIRC Daystar was selling flashed AGP ones in the past.

26th October 2010, 09:54 AM
Hi blacksheep,

The card was sold by a Mac specialist who assured me it would work in my G5, so hopefully it will have been flashed.



27th October 2010, 02:09 PM
Card in and screen working now thanks, though interestingly the computer won't sleep now, which has me wondering if I have a logic board problem as well (especially given that occasional roaring of the fan). Still, while it is working I am happy!

27th October 2010, 10:26 PM
Lack of the ability to sleep is the fault of the card. Installing the last-available PowerPC ATI driver pack (from ati.amd.com) will do the trick.

27th October 2010, 11:06 PM
Thanks for the tip Brains. Unfortunately, the machine won't turn on now, this giving me 2 blinking lights upon start-up. Normally, I am told, that would indicate faulty memory. With all these things going wrong however (including the fan roaring intermittently) I'm guessing the problem actually be the logic board, so time to retire the G5 I think.