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Do "PC" video cards work in Macs?

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Do "PC" video cards work in Macs?
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Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
2005-02-10, 14:40

Sorry - probably dumb but I need to know
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
2005-02-10, 14:42

In a practical sense, no. It's possible, in a few cases, to "flash" a PC video card with a Mac-compatible ROM, but it's difficult and risky, and assuming you're even able to understand enough to try, you'd run the risk of frying the card.
Selfish Heathen
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
2005-02-10, 15:11

And the reason for that has, IIRC, to do with big versus little endian bitness.
Join Date: Jun 2004
2005-02-10, 16:50

Originally Posted by Brad
And the reason for that has, IIRC, to do with big versus little endian bitness.
Well, that's part of it. The video BIOS on a PC video card has to support all sorts of legacy cruft to make it work. It has to support old VGA and DOS/BIOS interrupt calls. It has to provide VGA emulation and VGA text mode emulation and a host of other outdated technologies that don't really exist on a Mac. The BIOS on a Mac video card has to talk to Open Firmware and may be written in Forth (I'm not entirely sure) The BIOS of the PC video card is x86 machine code and so would have no way of running on the PPC.

And then there is the simpler issue that ATI and nVidia simply make more models of cards for PCs than for Macs, so certain PC cards may not have driver support on a Mac, even if you could find a suitable Mac BIOS to flash it with.
Join Date: May 2004
2005-02-10, 17:43

Then there's the possibility of different sizes of BIOS chip, even if the cards are flashable...
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