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Wednesday, August 28, 2002
Enabling Quartz Extreme for PCI Macs?
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A recent post to the Ars Technica Mac forums revealed it is possible to enable Mac OS X 10.2's Quartz Extreme on Macs without AGP video cards. While not necessarily game-related, many gamers have upgraded Beige or B&W PowerMacs with PCI Radeon or Radeon 7000 cards from ATI, and those brave enough can now try it out.

The modification requires the user to change one file and restart, though please only do this if you're well aware of the dangers it could pose to your system, and understand that it's not an official Apple practice.

While many IMG readers have verified it does work, there are reports of some glitches with movies playing in the background and stuttering on terminal transparency windows. If you're up to the task, first make sure you "su root" and follow the instructions from the Ars poster:

Open the config file
/System /Library /Frameworks /ApplicationServices.framework /Versions/A/Frameworks /CoreGraphics.framework /Versions/A/Resources /Configuration.plist
Change IOAGPDevice to IOPCIDevice
Restarting should enable Quartz Extreme, which can be verified with a simple "Quartz Extreme Check" application available at Versiontracker. Creative users are also finding they can enable Quartz Extreme on a secondary PCI card if they have something else like a Radeon 8500 in the AGP slot by adding the IOPCI line instead of overriding the AGP line, but as always, be very cautious with any such modifications.

For those concerned Quartz Extreme might negatively affect game performance, OpenGL guru Kenneth Dyke recently made a very informative post to the IMG forum explaining exactly how VRAM is used in Jaguar. He notes that for fullscreen games, the VRAM is used the same by any OpenGL application --whether it be a game or OS X 10.2-- so there is no danger of the OS "hogging" memory from a game. Check it out for the full scoop.

Macintoshian Achaia: Enabling Quartz Extreme over PCI
Quartz Extreme VRAM Clarification
Download Quartz Extreme Check 1.1

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Archives  News  Enabling Quartz Extreme for PCI Macs?