Apple Display Card 8•24GC
Physical Specs and Compatibility
The Apple Display Card 8•24GC is a 12" NuBus card compatible with 68020- and 68030-based Macs. Acceleration is not available if the card is installed in a 68040-based Mac - in fact, the 8•24GC control panel will bomb the computer. Its driver software (which is required to enable acceleration) is compatible with System 6 (driver version 1.0) and System 7.0-7.1 (driver version 7.0.1), but will not run under System 7.5 unless the Mac is in 24-bit addressing mode. Apple TIL Article #26094 notes some other incompatible applications.
The 8•24GC is PPC-compatible (at least on a PPC-upgraded IIci) under Mac OS versions from 7.6 to 8.6 with the ATI Graphics Accelerator Extension, available for download from Apple. It is unknown whether this works with System 7.5.x. Anyone with a Quadra or NuBus-based PPC in a position to try this is also encouraged to do so.
I've tested an 8•24GC Rev. A in a Mac IIfx, a IIci with cache card, a IIcx, and a Quadra 650. All were running System 7.5.5 on an external Quantum Fireball 2.1 GB hard drive. Each will run the card in 1-, 8-, and 24-bit modes without the 8•24GC control panel. I was only able to use the 640 x 480 setting with my ViewSonic V95 monitor; this may be due to the Mac-to-VGA adapter in use.
The Mac IIci refused to boot with the 8•24GC control panel installed, even if it was the only third-party item in the System Folder. The Quadra did the same thing when set to 24-bit memory; with 32-bit memory enabled, the 8•24GC driver disabled itself as incompatible with the '040 processor.
The following video benchmarks were obtained at 640 x 480 resolution using Speedometer 4.02:
computer 1-bit 8-bit 24-bit IIcx, "Toby" 0.252 0.248 n/a IIcx, accelerated 0.421 0.422 n/a IIci, int. video 0.467 0.461 n/a IIci, no driver 0.385 0.385 0.385 IIfx, no driver 0.448 0.448 0.446 IIfx, accelerated 0.748 0.751 0.738 Quadra 650, int. 1.340 1.341 *1.334 Quadra 650, w/o 0.815 0.809 0.807 * Quadra 650 at 16-bit setting
The Mac IIcx doesn't support 24-bit video with this card. The "Toby" card is Apple's unaccelerated Macintosh II Video Card. The 8•24GC accelerated performance 67-70% in these tests, making it nearly as fast as "Toby" in a IIfx or the internal video of the 25 MHz IIci.
The Mac IIfx runs the unaccelerated 8•24GC about 16% faster than the Mac IIci, which is comparable to results for other unaccelerated video cards. However, the 8•24GC runs two-thirds faster (165-168%) with the driver installed.
On the other hand, the onboard video on the Quadra 650 offers almost double the performance of the 8•24GC on the IIfx; it would not make a lot sense to add the card unless you need 24-bit video or are adding a second monitor. Even then, since the acceleration software doesn't work with the Rev. A on a Quadra 650 running System 7.5.5 (the tested configuration), you would want to use internal video for your main monitor.
Of the many cards I've tested, this is the fastest in my IIfx, so it has become my regular video card in the IIfx.
It provides standard QuickDraw acceleration with the driver software installed.
- 640 x 480 at 1, 2, 4, 8, and 24-bit color
- 640 x 870 and 1152 x 870 at 1, 2, 4, and 8-bit color
- Rev. B adds support for 832 x 624 resolution and 16-bit color
- The 8•24GC was originally designed for the "wicked fast" IIfx. The 8•24GC can actually accelerate the performance of the Display Card 4•8 and 8•24 if installed in a system with either of these cards and acceleration enabled, due to their support of slave NuBus block transfers. (Other third-party NuBus cards may also support slave NuBus block transfers.) If more than one 8•24GC is installed in a system, only one can have its acceleration enabled.
- The Rev. B ROM (ROM part number 341-0266 or 341-0812) is required for Macintosh 16" Color Display support.
- The two RAM slots on the card can take paired, 80ns or faster, 64-pin SIMMs of the same spec as those for the Macintosh IIfx. RAM can be upgraded by up to 8 MB (using two 4 MB chips) but any performance gain is very unlikely as most software will not utilize the full 10 MB of GWorld cache possible with this setup.
- Download software from Apple and read the Read Me document for the software.
- Apple 8•24GC video card, Mike Ford, Low End Mac
- Macintosh Display Card 8•24GC: The Naked Truth, MacTech #3, 1990
- The 8•24GC is often available on eBay for under US$30, though it isn't always listed as an 8•24GC card.
- Macintosh Display Cards Overview, 1 of 3, 2 of 3, 3 of 3, Apple TIL
- Display Card 8•24 GC: Questions and Answers (11/94), Apple TIL 5540
- Macintosh Display Card 8•24 GC: Acceleration Questions, Apple TIL 7655
- Macintosh IIsi and Display Card 8•24 GC: Compatibility Update, Apple TIL 7001
- Display Card 8•24 GC: Compatibility With Other Video Cards, Apple TIL 8408
- Macintosh Display Card 8•24 GC: Upgrade (Rev. B), Apple TIL 10053
- Macintosh Display Cards 8•24 & 8•24 GC: Rev A/B Differences, Apple TIL 9858
- Display Card 8•24 GC: Specifications, Apple TIL 5423
- Macintosh Display Card 8•24 GC: Troubleshooting Screen Flicker, Apple TIL 8813
- Macintosh Display Card 8•24 GC: What SIMMs To Use, Apple TIL 8641
- Macintosh Display Card 8•24 GC: Memory Configurations, Apple TIL 8661
- Macintosh 8•24 GC Card: QuickDraw Printer Problem (11/94), Apple TIL 7252
- Display Card 8•24 GC: Problems with PC 5.25 Drive Card (11/94), Apple TIL 8456
- 8•24 GC Software Must Have Correct Name To Load (6/95), Apple TIL 17940
- CloseView: Conflict Display Cards 4•8, 8•24, 8•24 GC & System 6, Apple TIL 8739
- Display Card 8•24: How to output NTSC without a converter, Apple TIL 8256
Low End Mac Reader Specials
Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
The Vintage Mac Museum
Mac Driver Museum
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ