Compatibility between Apple desktops and PowerCore hardware

Question

Is the PowerCore compatible with Apple desktop computers?

Answer

There are three types of expansion slot types in the newer Apple desktop computers:

  • PCI, which can be found in G3s, G4s and G5s.
  • PCI-X, which can be found in G5s.
  • PCI Express, which can be found in G5s and Mac Pros.

Please see below for compatibility information on each.



PCI expansion slots:

If you wish to use only 1 DSP card, all PCI based based PowerCores are compatible with PowerMac G5s with PCI slots.

If you wish to use more than 1 DSP card, we can not recommend using the PowerCore Element / PowerCore PCI with the following models:

  • Single 1.8 GHz G5 with PCI-slots (September 2004 low-end model)
  • Dual 1.8 GHz G5 with PCI-slots (June 2004 low-end model)
  • Dual 2.0 GHz G5 with PCI-slots (April 2005 low-end model)

    With more than 1 DSP card in the machine (either a 2nd PowerCore or a Universal Audio UAD-1 card), the PowerCore is not initialised correctly during boot-up. We have checked into this issue and are unfortunately not able to offer a solution via a software update, as this issue is directly related to the hardware architecture of the G5.

    So if you wish to use 2 DSP cards, we therefore recommend you go for one of the other PowerMac G5 models instead. If you already have one of the G5s mentioned above, you should consider a FireWire-based PowerCore like a PowerCore Compact or a PowerCore FireWire or upgrading to a PowerCore PCI mkII.

    Multiple PowerCore PCI mkIIs, run successfully with the Dual 1.8 GHz G5 with PCI-slots (June 2004 low-end model)

If you are unsure which type of expansion slots you have in your G5 model, please refer to the documentation provided with the G5 or the Apple PowerMac G5 product specifications page.



PCI-X expansion slots:

PCI-X is 100% backwards compatible with existing PCI cards as long as the PCI card meets PCI 2.1 or later. PowerCore PCI meets this requirement. To learn more about PCI-X please click here.

In the Apple PowerMac G5 desktops that we have tested, we have been able to successfully use multiple PowerCore Element / PCI / PCI mkII / Unplugged cards in the PCI-X slots.

If you are unsure which type of expansion slots you have in your computer, please either refer to the documentation provided with it or the Apple product specifications pages below:




PCI Express expansion slots:

PCI Express (PCIe) is an entirely new bus architecture unrelated to PCI and PCI-X. Until the launch of the October 2005 Dual Core PowerMac G5 models, only PCs had been equipped with PCIe slots. 

Furthermore PCIe uses a different type of connector than PCI and PCI-X. The two are not compatible, which means that the PowerCore Element / PCI / PCI mkII / Unplugged are incompatible with the last PowerMac G5 models and newer Mac Pro models, which all have PCIe slots.

The only type of PowerCore card compatible with PCIe (PCI Express), is the PowerCore Express.
All FireWire based PowerCores are compatible with the October 2005 Dual Core PowerMac G5 models.

For information about PowerCore hardware crossgrades / upgrades please refer to this FAQ.

If you are unsure which type of expansion slots you have in your computer, please either refer to the documentation provided with it or the Apple product specifications pages below:

For information about PowerCore plug-in compatibility with the Mac Pro models please refer to this FAQ.


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