Need help with 30" Cinema Display
April 11, 2007 6:43 PM   Subscribe

Am I stuck using my 30" Apple Cinema HD Display at 1280 x 800 for the forseeable future?

So I bought a 30" Apple Cinema HD Display to replace my aging 23" model. I checked with my Apple rep to make sure it was compatible with my Dual 2 GHz G5. Check. Imagine my surprise when I hooked it up and saw icons the size of silver dollars! I double checked my settings, but sure enough, 1280 x 800 was the highest possible resolution, not the 2560 x 1600 I was expecting.

Turns out I need a new video card. Apparently, the best and really only "available" card that will support the full resolution is a ATI Radeon X800 XT-Mac Edition AGP. But no one has one available anywhere! Other World Computing put one on back order for me (at least 11 days out) but said they obviously can't guarantee it'll be available then. I can't even find a used one anywhere.

Am I just stuck with this resolution until someone has them available? Or is there some sort of work around? The low resolution is surprisingly irritating, so if I'm stuck with it for a while, I guess I'll just hook the 23" display back up. Thanks in advance.
posted by unclejeffy to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You're going to have to get a new video card. No way around it.

In the meantime, me and my quad-core G5 can keep that lovely 30" warm for you. ;-)
posted by CommonSense at 6:58 PM on April 11, 2007

All the macbookpros will handle it, for the record.
posted by furtive at 7:12 PM on April 11, 2007

Uh, let me think about that, CommonSense. NO! :-)

Thanks for the dose of reality, too. Not what I want to hear, but what I already knew, deep down.
posted by unclejeffy at 7:14 PM on April 11, 2007

You could always give SwitchResX a try - maybe it'll open up other resolutions to display.
posted by birdsquared at 7:35 PM on April 11, 2007

I've been searching Google for a firmware patch that allows Windows-based ATI cards to be used in Macs. I'd feel around forums for something along this line, since you'd then be able to buy a card, patch it and use it in your Mac sooner and cheaper than through OWC — or, better, to be able to reuse your current card, if it supports dual-link DVI with a newer firmware.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:38 PM on April 11, 2007

You're certain your PowerMac G5 doesn't have a PCI-Express slot? If it does, there are a wider variety of card options available to you.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:02 PM on April 11, 2007

There is a Nvidia 6800 Mac Edition AGP, as well as an X850 Mac Edition XT AGP, which will both support the 30" ACD.

ikkyu: No, PowerMac G5's do not have PCIE slots
posted by mphuie at 8:11 PM on April 11, 2007

FWIW, here is an ebay auction for the Nvidia 6800 AGP. (Not affiliated with seller)
posted by mphuie at 8:14 PM on April 11, 2007

SwitchResX will not work. You need a video card that is dual-link DVI capable in order to reach those upper resolutions.
posted by pmbuko at 8:14 PM on April 11, 2007

Another ebay auction for the X800XT Mac Edition (auction ended w/o bidders, try contacting the seller?
posted by mphuie at 8:20 PM on April 11, 2007

Sorry for the spam. Search ebay for "ati G5" and "nvidia G5" for a lot more results.
posted by mphuie at 8:24 PM on April 11, 2007

What you might try and do is see if there is a setting on the monitor to display the 1280x800 resolution at a 1 to 1 pixel resolution. You won't be using the whole screen, but LCDs always look best when pixels are mapped 1-1. Everything should look normal size until you get a new video card.
posted by jeblis at 9:29 PM on April 11, 2007

If you'd bothered to read the link I'd provided, mphuie, you would learn that you are mistaken.

You sounded very definitive, though. Bravo.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:41 PM on April 11, 2007

Thanks for the update, I didn't know they supplied PCIE in the G5's. (I was almost positive that my dual 2.0 G5 was the last revision).
posted by mphuie at 3:34 AM on April 12, 2007

I have the latest revision of the dual-core 2GHZ G5, and it uses PCI-E cards. There are several inexpensive graphic card options. I bought it in Jan 2006. I hope you're in the same boat.
posted by squirrel at 8:49 AM on April 12, 2007

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