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Old June 30th, 2005, 04:37 PM   #1
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FCP5 Studio + G4 = no two Digital Monitors

I recently upgraded my G4 DP 1.42 Ghz editing system by buying FCP5 Studio and the only video graphics card recommended for the G4 in order to use Motion.

I guess I didn't read carefully enough, and I wasn't suspecting, since the ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition lists "Dual Display support" as one of its "Key Features", there to be any problems hooking up the two flat-screen monitors I have been using up until now with my existing system. Plug and play and all that.

Well I was wrong. The ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition sports only one DVI out. The other monitor connector is for a VGA monitor.

I looked into DVI to VGA adapters from Dr. Bott and Gefen, but they are very expensive and I don't believe that they will really do what I want them to do. I have also lost faith in product descriptions.

Neither Apple Tech Support nor ATI could offer me a suggestion as to how I could get my second monitor connected to my G4 and be able to use Motion at the same time.

Upgrades are supposed to make your system better right?

Any ideas.
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Old June 30th, 2005, 07:13 PM   #2
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How about a 2nd monitor card, PCI?
That way your 9800 will deliver the full power to just one monitor and run Motion with all it's power.
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Old July 1st, 2005, 02:37 AM   #3
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I specifically asked the tech rep. at ATI if this was an option, with an ATI Radeon 9200 - Mac Edition (PCI), which is offered at the Mac Store. The rep. told me that they were NOT compatible. He didn't explain how or why. The Apple support rep. seemed to think that the two cards would work together, until I mentioned that I was interested in having them work together as an extended desktop, at which point he wasn't sure anymore.

Checking the Apple forum gave me the impression that there is concern that a slower graphics card will or can split the performance of a faster one when installed in one machine. And I didn't have the feeling that anyone was speaking from there own experience.

Does anyone have any practical experience with two graphics cards and an extended desktop?

Thanks
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Old August 11th, 2005, 03:37 PM   #4
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Hi Guy, and all,

Just as a final follow-up on this dead thread.

Guy's suggestion was right-on. I installed a ATI Radeon 9200 PCI card a week ago and everything works how it should.

I wonder why the tech at ATI told me that this set-up wouldn't work?

Thanks Guy,
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Old August 11th, 2005, 04:00 PM   #5
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It's good to know this works Daniel, thanks for the update. I'd also read in the Apple forums that a second card was a bad idea since it would be slower than the AGP card. Does it work OK with Motion when you put pallettes on it? I suspect you would have problems putting the canvas on that slower card.

I'm using a 128MB Radeon 9600 stock card in my G5, and the "net wisdom" is that this is also a bad idea in motion since it splits the VRAM between both screens, only giving you 64MB per screen. Haven't really seen much problem there, although my work in motion is pretty simple and all in SD.

Unfortunately all the newer pro apps from Apple are really geared towards the fastest dual G5's. It's too bad, but upgrades are a never endiing cycle. Personally I don't upgrade my old machines beyond perhaps RAM and an additional internal drive. I just grit my teeth and get out my checkbook...
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Old August 11th, 2005, 04:34 PM   #6
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Hi Boyd,

I have to admit that I haven't put the card through it's paces. I am planning to teach myself Motion in the coming weeks. So there may be some surprises ahead. I was just happy that Motion started, and both screens work.

I figure, that I will need all the time to learn Motion until I have enough money to upgrade to a G5. I'm hoping that my machine will have enough power to function as a Motion trainer. I can always fall back to After Effects if a paying job comes.

I wonder if my VRAM will be split. Both cards have 128 MB DDR. And each card is running it's own screen.

Anyway, we will see. I will post, if anything unexpected happens in the next weeks.

Cheers,
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Old August 11th, 2005, 05:20 PM   #7
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It shouldn't be split, that only happens when the same card runs 2 monitors. You will certainly be able to run motion and do lots of things on your G4 (assuming the monitor issue doesn't give you a problem). I was actually very surprised that it ran on my Powerbook G4/1ghz. On the apple.com Motion forum people said it wouldn't. It was slow and probably wouldn't have handled anything overly complex, but I was able to edit stuff I'd done originally on my G5 which was a big help while on the road in South America.
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