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Problems with 3rd party video cards and drivers (Not from Apple)

Problems with 3rd party video cards and drivers (Not from Apple)

Mac OS X 10.3 Tip: Update Third-Party Video Card Drivers Before Installing

Before you install Mac OS X Panther, be sure to install updated drivers for any third-party video cards you use, even if you didn't have to do this for Mac OS X 10.2. "Third-party video card" means a card that didn't come from Apple when you bought your computer.


After installing Mac OS X 10.3, or while started from the Mac OS X Panther Install CD:

  • The image on the screen is much larger. Icons and windows don't seem to be the right size.
  • There is no video on the display. It's dark even though the computer is turned on.
  • There are fewer display resolutions and color depth choices in Display preferences.
  • Only black and white or grayscale video appears.

This can happen if your display is connected to a third-party video card. The card and display worked fine with Mac OS X 10.2 or earlier.

Products affected

  • Mac OS X 10.3
  • Third-party AGP or PCI video cards


Contact the video card's manufacturer to see if they have updated the card's software or firmware drivers to work with Mac OS X 10.3. For best results, install the updated software or firmware before installing Mac OS X 10.3.

If the third-party card is the only one installed and the screen is dark when you start up the computer, you may need to reinstall the original video card temporarily, install Mac OS X Panther, install the updated third-party drivers, then put your third-party video card back in.

Additional information

If your video card's ROM (or firmware) is older than March 2001, Mac OS X 10.3 will not load the ROM driver during start up. Instead, it will try to load a newer software driver file if one is present. Make sure the installed driver works with Mac OS X Panther.

These are some third-party video card manufacturers' support websites where you may be able to find additional information:

ATI Technologies: (http://www.ati.com/support/driver.html)

Note: If your ATI video card came with your Mac OS X 10.3-compatible computer, this document does not apply.

ForMac: (http://www.formac.com/p_bin/?cid=help_faq)

ixMicro: This company in no longer in business. However, you may be able to locate drivers using an Internet search engine.

3Dfx: (http://www.voodoofiles.com/3dfxhelp.asp)

Note: The 3Dfx website may offer some drivers as a courtesy, but the company is no longer in business.

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