How do i know if my vid card is setup right?

Swampthing

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Feb 5, 2000
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installed 10.5.6, went to about this mac and more info, the video info says nvidia but it only says 512mb of VRAM on my 8800 gtx when it has 768. Is this normal or is something not configured correctly? When i installed, it was either nvinject or nvdarwin and i chose the 768mb option. I know someone is gonna say use efi strings, which i've tried and it still reads 512mb of ram.

Any suggestions?
 

TheStu

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Originally posted by: Swampthing
installed 10.5.6, went to about this mac and more info, the video info says nvidia but it only says 512mb of VRAM on my 8800 gtx when it has 768. Is this normal or is something not configured correctly? When i installed, it was either nvinject or nvdarwin and i chose the 768mb option. I know someone is gonna say use efi strings, which i've tried and it still reads 512mb of ram.

Any suggestions?

Well, first of couple of primer questions to determine if it matters.

Do you have Quartz Extreme?
Do you have hardware accelerated Core Image?
What size monitor are you using?
How is it connected?
Are you planning on doing a lot of gaming on your Hack?

If your answers are;
Yes
Yes
Less than 30"
DVI
Probably not

Then you are just fine, and have almost nothing to worry about.
 

Swampthing

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Feb 5, 2000
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I tried installing the aperture demo and it says graphics card doesn't meet minimum requirements so i'm pretty sure that's a no to 1 and 2. Monitor is a 22" through VGA.
 

TheStu

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Originally posted by: Swampthing
I tried installing the aperture demo and it says graphics card doesn't meet minimum requirements so i'm pretty sure that's a no to 1 and 2. Monitor is a 22" through VGA.

Yea, that is a definite no. Not sure what to recommend to you then, I just try to follow instructions, not so good with giving them for hackintoshes.

What installer did you use? And what instructions did you follow?
 

Zaap

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Jun 12, 2008
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First: Get rid of anything installed by nVinject or nVdarwin. (If you're not certain, you may need to do a clean install).

ONLY after your system is clean of the current drivers, use Aquamac's GFX strings method (download files, follow instructions to the letter) to install the proper drivers for the 8800GTX/768MB. GFX strings, even done right, won't work with a non-working driver file in the way.

The GFX string method IS the best way to enable video cards on a Hackintosh- the injector methods are more old-school.
 

TheStu

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Originally posted by: Zaap
First: Get rid of anything installed by nVinject or nVdarwin. (If you're not certain, you may need to do a clean install).

ONLY after your system is clean of the current drivers, use Aquamac's GFX strings method (download files, follow instructions to the letter) to install the proper drivers for the 8800GTX/768MB. GFX strings, even done right, won't work with a non-working driver file in the way.

The GFX string method IS the best way to enable video cards on a Hackintosh- the injector methods are more old-school.

This is not 100% pertinent to the OP question, but if/when I finally do upgrade to a newer card (let's say, the 9800GTX+) should I do a complete reinstall of the system, or is there a fairly easy way to replace the driver?
 

Zaap

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By the way, the other method you tried probably didn't work if you tried it over the incorrect graphic driver from the install. I've found it's best not to select ANY graphic drivers at installation with the 'distro' OSX installers. It rarely works, and usually only ends up screwing up the correct methods- IE: what you're dealing with now.
 

Zaap

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Jun 12, 2008
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Originally posted by: TheStu
This is not 100% pertinent to the OP question, but if/when I finally do upgrade to a newer card (let's say, the 9800GTX+) should I do a complete reinstall of the system, or is there a fairly easy way to replace the driver?
It really all depends on how you set it up originally. If you used the GFX strings method to alter the com.apple.boot.plist, then really all you need to do is (best way) replace the boot.plist with a clean backup, or edit the current one to exclude the graphic drivers- then reapply GFX strings once the new card is installed.

If you used an injector method that installed kext driver files (Usually something like NV*.kext ) then those added kexts should be removed prior to installing the new card. (And of course the extensions cache cleared). Again, once the system is 'clean' of graphic drivers, install the new card drivers.
 

Swampthing

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Feb 5, 2000
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Is using efi studio the same end result as teh aqua guide you posted, or is that method really the best way?
 

Zaap

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Did you do this from a clean install? (No other graphic drivers present). If you notice, in every method it says this is a must.

IE:

"Step 1: Use a FRESH install for best results. With a current install it still might work, but mods might mess up the process, and previous driver installations might make this not work."

He could actually change that 'might' to WILL.

"...prior to making these changes, browse over to /system/library/extensions and delete NVinject/Natit/NVKush.kext or whatever you were using and reboot."

Ditto EFIStudio or anything else. Also, take note, from the Aquamac guide:

"One more thing, if you have a 512 card or a 768 mb card as I do, you have to insert Total ram size int your in.plist file with XML editor just like in nvinject.

EDIT: I have now included pre patched templates for a number of 512 mb, 768 mb & 1024 mb cards at the start of the post so you do not have to change the vram size."

So EFIStudio and many other methods will not work with your specific 768MB card- it needs a very specific hack to work correctly.


EACH time you try a driver method of some sort and it doesn't work- you need to get rid of any changes the previous attempt may have made to either kext files, or the boot.plist. The problem with that is, you may not know what all has been changed in your Extensions folder. I know it's a PITA, but because of that, I'd highly recommend starting over from scratch.


If you really want to do things methodically, and absolutely correctly- then here's what I'd advise you to do:

Create TWO Mac OSX partitions on the same drive. Install Mac OSX to BOTH. DO NOT install any graphic drivers in either partition.
Boot into one, and open the System/Library/Extensions folder of the other, and apply a color label to EVERY file in the folder. You can't do this (easily) to the same partition you're booted in due to permissions issues. Boot the other system, and apply the same to the other.

Now try the hack methods. Keep a backup copy of your working com.apple.boot.plist. If anything like nVinject adds kext files to the extensions folder, all you need to do is look in the folder and see what doesn't have a label, it'll stand out like a sore thumb. If a driver doesn't work, you know you can delete it, and try something else. Also- because you have TWO working installs of Mac OSX, if just in case during your trials with a driver you completely bork something (It CAN happen quite easily) you merely can reboot into the other install, and fix the other- again by merely removing any unlabled kexts that fuxed the other system up.

I can't recommend this method enough if you're going to go Hackintosh.

It'll cost you roughly 7-10GB of disk space and the extra time spent installing OSX twice rather than once.

It'll save you UNTOLD hours and handfuls of ripped out hair if if/WHEN something goes haywire or needs to be messed with like you're experiencing with your graphic card.
 

Swampthing

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Feb 5, 2000
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yeah i reinstalled last night and tried that aqua guide from scratch with no video installed. It gave me supported resolutions, but the card still showed as 512mb and still no acceleration. I'm stumped at this point. Would it help if i ran a different kernel instead of the vanilla? I really have no clue why i can't get this working at this point.
 

Zaap

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Jun 12, 2008
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What exact install method are you using? Notice at the top of the aquamac guide it states:
"You have to have EFI V8 or higher OR Chameleon. It will not work with EFI V7 to V7.4"

Maybe you're using an install method that uses an earlier EFI version, I don't know. Try installing Chameleon if you haven't already.

You could try using EFIStudio or OSx86Tools- so long as they list your exact card, and exact RAM amount- it should do the same thing as the aquamac method, which is put a custom string in the boot.plist. I still often defer to the aquamac method, because it works with oddball cards that often don't respond to anything else. Your card should work- I'd have to conclude something else in your install method is screwing it up- possibly an earlier EFI than is compatible, or still some other generic graphic driver that's in the way of EFI strings.
 

Swampthing

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Feb 5, 2000
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I noticed i had ideneb 10.5.6 this entire time so i tried installing that quick over lunch. the video card worked instantly with that, everything accelerated. Go figure. Of course my sound and network don't work but that should be easy to fix. If i can't get them working i'm gonna give up on this, getting old reinstalling leopard. Debating if i want to buy an actual mac, but i keep asking myself what i need one for considering how expensive they are.

Frankly, so far with the os itself i don't see what all the hype is for. In many ways windows is simpler and faster. Some things just seem to take more clicks in OSX.

On the other side of things, performance wise. Will a hackintosh with similar hardware as a real mac perform the same or is the hackintosh install always slower?
 

Zaap

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Jun 12, 2008
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Hackintoshing truly isn't for everyone. It doesn't 'just work' even with the most compatible hardware. If you're not using a ready-made hardware recipe, and following a guide, then you have to take the time to read a few stats, and know what patches you need for your exact hardware. If that's too much work, then you would be much better off with a real Mac.

Setup is really no different from building a PC for Windows, except there's a far more narrow hardware choice. With a Windows build, you've still got to know what hardware you have, and what chipset/graphic/audio/LAN drivers you need. That too isn't for everyone- many people are just better served by buying a Dell or whatever other brand.

In my experience, a decent Hackintosh running the retail OSX will perform as well and often better than similar Mac hardware. It's mostly due to the fact that much of Apple's lineup uses laptop not desktop parts. So even the cheapest Hack can have features that only a more-expensive iMac or uber-expensive MacPro has from Apple, IE: full sized parts (RAM, HD, Graphic card), open slots, quad-core CPU, etc. etc. My sig DQ6 system outperforms my [single] quad LGA 771 Xeon I use everyday at work, yet cost a fraction what that machine did.

But clearly, it's not for everyone. It's more for the tech-minded that don't mind a little tinkering to get things working initially, and when it comes time to do some system version updates.
 

Swampthing

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Feb 5, 2000
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Lol i'm gonna scream. Tried ideneb, and while the video now works fine. I cannot get the audio or networking working. The only help i can find on this keeps saying that the 8053 yukon is supported by default, which obviously it isn't in this case because it doesn't flippin work.