Home > Mac, Tech Tips > Installing old ATI Rage Pro 128 video drivers from Tiger into Leopard on G4 Cube

Installing old ATI Rage Pro 128 video drivers from Tiger into Leopard on G4 Cube


Seeing the graphics benchmark results for Leopard being so slow, I got to wondering if it was the drivers which were affecting the performance. Perhaps the old ATI was unrecognised by Leopard.

First I checked the system profile on the Apple menu, but that showed that the graphics card was correctly recognised as ATI Rage Pro 128

Just in case, I checked the /System/Library/Extensions folder. There were no ATI Rage drivers there at all!

I hopped on over to OSX86 at Insanely Mac and read their forums, remembering my Hackintosh days of dragging drivers over and found that it was a trivial task.

Since I used Archive and Install so I had my whole Previous System folder available, I mosied on over to:

/Previous Systems/<somedate>/System/Library/Extensions

and grabbed all the ATIRage kexts bundles and plugins I could find.  I spotted the ATIcellerator, too so I brought that over to/System/Library/Extensions folder, also.

ATI Rage Pro 129 .kext files from Tiger.

I had to change the permissions of the files, delete the old extensions cache and reboot.

This needs to be done as root (using sudo) so be careful, a mistyped command will be executed without complaint by your computer, potentially hosing your entire system.

In terminal, type:

sudo -s

type your password at the prompt and you are now root. You can seriously shag your system up if you’re not careful. So be careful 🙂

chown -R root:wheel /System/Library/Extensions/ATIRage*.*
rm -rf /System/Library/Extensions.mkext
reboot

After the reboot I found that my system was much, and I mean that honestly, more responsive! The slow screen updates, windows resizes, dragging, Safari page scrolling, everything was much faster.

I imediately ran X Bench to see if the results reflected the performance differences I felt and here are the results:

 Leopard with generic v tiger driver

A convincing win for Leopard with the Tiger driver installed! It is a shame that OpenGL performance is not affected, however.

Just to remind us, let’s have a look at Leopard running with Tiger’s ATI driver versus Tiger itself.

Leopard with Tiger driver v Tiger itself

This is extremely interesting. It shows us surprisingly that far from having an overhead, Quartz graphics actually show a very slight increase in performance compared to Tiger (averaged over three runs)! Of course, X bench is fickle, so take this with a pinch of salt.

Unfortuantely, the OpenGL (spinning squares) test shows us that it not receiving any benefit from the new driver. That’s too bad.

Well, I can now reverse my original post with the following shout:

I CAN NOW HEARTILY RECOMMEND LEOPARD FOR ATI RAGE USERS WITH >1GB RAM AND A DECENT CPU!

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Categories: Mac, Tech Tips Tags: , , , , ,
  1. Micha
    January 29, 2010 at 3:28 am

    great help! worked for me too.

  2. makojad
    August 29, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Thanks a million! 10.5.8 on the Cube with Rage 128 Pro feels snappier!

    • nanchatte
      August 29, 2011 at 7:02 pm

      My cube VRM finally popped last summer and on buying a new one I was disheartened to find that the PSU had died over the last year in storage… I think it’s time to put mine out to pasture. Sad to see it go, though.

  3. Rafael
    February 1, 2014 at 12:46 am

    hello
    hope everything is well with you
    I did everything as said but did not notice a difference.
    as the pictures ARE NOT desponiveis, I do not know if I’m doing something wrong.
    if you are able to provide the pictures, I would be grateful

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