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8/27/02 Monday's News Story DetailReturn to News Page

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Feedback on Hack to Enable Quartz Extreme
for Radeon PCI cards (in Jaguar to Tiger)

First Posted: August 27th, 2002
Last Updated: Nov. 2nd, 2005
(More reports on 10.4/Tiger)

This page has reader feedback on the Hack to enable Quartz Extreme on PCI Radeons. (Hack noted previously on 8/27/2002.)

FYI: If possible, please test for what effects this mod has on other PCI cards (i.e audio cards, controller cards, etc.) - if Q.E. is hogging the bus (with lots of windows open, during graphics I/O, etc.), this may have a negative effect on other installed PCI cards. (Note that some reported on this below - also see the comments below on why Apple didn't enable PCI card Quartz Extreme by default.)

Other Reader feedback on this mod is welcome (include your system/card details).

Update: 8/28/2002 For those that don't want to edit the config file manually, there's now a utility to do that called PCI Extreme - later updated to version 3.1. (There's also a utility to check to see if Quartz Extreme is enabled -Quartz Extreme Check)
Note the PCI Extreme author's comments (echoed by some reports here):

    " PCI Extreme! enables machines with PCI graphics and a compatible graphics card (i.e. PCI Radeon, Radeon 7000, 9200...) to use hardware acceleration in Quartz Extreme, the new composting engine in Mac OS 10.2, Jaguar.
    Hardware acceleration for Quartz Extreme on PCI machines has proven to boost performance by 5-15% when performing light tasks such as web browsing, e-mail, and word processing. However, it slows down heavy tasks such as encoding or decoding video, especially DVDs by up to 50%. This results in dropped frames, studdering audio, and video falling out of sync with audio.
    Bottom line: When the GUI is piped through the slower PCI bus it tends to choke up other tasks that require heavy processing. "

OS X benchmarks that test various aspects of the system are SpeedRun and Xbench. (One report from a PCI mac owner noted lower Speedrun scores with Q.E. Enabled than Disabled.)

OS X 10.4 reports   |   OS X 10.3.x reports
OS X 10.2.x reports on 4/8/2003, 8/29/2002, 8/28/2002 8/27/2002

Reader Reports: (in order received)

Report on 10.4.3 breaking PCI Quartz Extreme mod (Update 2 readers replied to this post that PCI Extreme v3.1 worked to re-enable PCI Quartz Extreme on their B&W G3 and Yikes G4/PCI Macs w/Radeon PCI cards. I asked Steve to try again in case he was using an older version.)

(added 11/2/2005)
"Mike, I'm sure it comes as no surprise for you to hear that 10.4.3 breaks the long-standing Quartz extreme hack used on PCI Macs. I have a Rev A PowerMac G4 ("Yikes") with a Radeon PCI card, and I've been able to keep the Quartz hack working ever since it was first reported on your site. Without the hack in 10.4.3, I immediately noticed much slower and less graceful screen behavior in the Finder, on websites and in applications. In fact, this is the first time I can remember the lack of Quartz Extreme functionality being so dramatically noticeable. :-(

As in the past, I will try to hack the graphics framework to see if I can restore the Quartz functionality. I'll let you know if I can get it working again. Otherwise, I might restore 10.4.2 from the backup drive, since it was working without complaint.
Thanks, Steve"

I'm not surprised the update broke it (overwriting mod file). I asked him if he tried PCI Extreme to re-enable it and he wrote he's never been able to get PCI Extreme to work with Tiger. (I've don't have Tiger on a PCI mac but a report here back in May (below) said PCI Extreme v3.1 (updated for Tiger support) worked with 10.4.1 - and 2 readers replied to this post that PCI Extreme 3.1 worked to re-enable it in 10.4.3.)

Sometimes I wonder if it's even worth running Tiger on older Macs (updates often break some 3rd party drivers, tweaks, utils, etc. and I'm not really a fan of widgets and spotlight personally.)

BTW - as mentioned in yesterday's news, the 10.4.3 change list notes Quartz 2D Extreme is not supported in Tiger but as far as I know it's always been disabled by default in Tiger. (Although there were ways to enable it from the terminal or using quartz debug app in previous versions - it was reportedly buggy.)
One reader confused this with the original Quartz Extreme, which is still enabled in 10.4.3 with a compatible AGP graphics card (i.e. AGP Radeon or later, or any Nvidia AGP card) - you can verify that by checking Apple System Profiler's "Graphics/Displays" section - It shows "Quartz Extreme: Supported" with a compatible AGP card.

More comments on Tiger/QE PCI Radeon Mod:

(added 5/17/2005)
"Hi Mike,
the PCI QE hack (easy with PCI Exterme 3.1 ) works also with Tiger 10.4.1.
Tiger 10.4.1 installed new CoreGRaphics, so it must be patched again.
In the Macupdate comment of the tool, one AGP Mac user is confused (also in a comment here) about problems using that in an AGP Mac.
Maybe it is very good to remember again those Users:
PCI QE hack is for PCI only Macs, NOT for AGP Macs using also an PCI grafics card.
Thanks, Andreas/mitch "

I've not used that mode myself but the original notes on enabling QE with PCI Radeon cards (way down the page - back when 10.2.0 was released) had notes on settings to enable it for both PCI and AGP cards as I recall. (If it's not possible to enable it for both now - then I'd keep the AGP card as enabled, since the PCI bus is much slower than AGP.)

(added 5/10/2005 from 5/9 mail)
I have an original Yikes G4 (one of the first 100 units shipped, according to Apple) that I've upgraded extensively over the years. It's still doing great duty every day running Tiger now flawlessly. Among other upgrades, I installed an original PCI Radeon card a few years ago, which really improved performance over the original Rage 128 Pro. When Quartz debuted in Jaguar, I tried the hack and found it worked without much problem. When Jaguar came out, I reapplied the hack and it seemed to work even better. It really perks up the UI and makes the entire machine feel more "fluid." The Quartz special effects are cool too. :-)

Anyway, when I installed Tiger last week, the UI reverted back to its non-Quartz sluggishness, so I decided to give another try at the Quartz hack your reader described. I made both the Configuration.plist change and used HexEdit to change the "CoreGraphics" UNIX executable file. Sure enough, after a reboot everything was back to its normal peppiness. The cube effect returned for fast user switching and the widgets now rotate smoothly and "swoosh" in and out of view like butter. I know this hack has potential downsides, but in over 3 years of relying upon it, I've never regretted it. It breaths new life into this 6 year old Mac. Thanks for all you do,
Steve "

(added 5/10/2005 from 5/3 mail)
"Hi Mike
I just installed Tiger on a PowerMac G4 500 Mhz Dual Processor, Gigabit Ethernet with 1GB of RAM and AGP ATI RagePro (Rage128/Pro I assume?-Mike) and PCI Radeon 7000. Desperately wanting the Quartz RSS screen saver, I altered the config and CoreGraphics files manually (see past posts below) and restarted only to find the computer stuck simply at the blue background of the startup screen. No mouse, no progress window, just blue. I restarted in safe mode to restore the settings and then booted up just fine. I then tried the PCI Extreme 3.1 hack and it resulted in being stuck at the blue screen at startup again. I took out the AGP card and just left the PCI card in and ended up at the same blue screen again. I guess Tiger broke PCI Quartz on this computer, it worked fine in 10.3.9.
However, I also installed Tiger on a PowerMac G3 B&W Rev.1 with a 500 Mhz processor and 768 MB of ram with a PCI Radeon 7000. I immediately used the PCI Extreme 3.1 hack and restarted to find that it booted up just fine and displayed the RSS screen saver beautifully. I thought that perhaps there was a problem with something in my system files on the G4, so I switched the G3 hard drive into my G4, but got stuck at that same blue screen again.
Hope someone can figure out how to get it to work on my G4 or else it looks like it's time for a new video card! Your site is amazingly helpful! Thanks!
-Daniel E. "

(added 5/10/2005 from 5/1 mail)
"Hi Mike,
After installing Tiger on my B/W (G4 650MHz, 1GB RAM, flashed Radeon 7000 PCI w/ 64MB RAM w/ ROM v113, 2x120GB harddrives, Pioneer 105 DVD- R/RW, Airport Extreme, USB2.0) was a little disappointed with the slowdown due to no QE acceleration. Dashboard, Expose, opening files, etc. were all jerky and uneven. Even dragging a large window showed slow redraws.

I tried PCI Extreme 3.0 and got an error complaining about a binary mismatch. Later on the developer had posted version 3.1- I installed it and have QE reenabled. Everything is smooth again, as far as the desktop and interface are concerned. Very usable.

One problem that I noted was that while I can still play a DVD or divx file in VLC just fine, Apple's DVD Player no longer seems to work very well (it was just about perfect under Panther). There is some screen flicker and even some artifacting (black block on desktop). I also tried using the version of DVD Player that came with Panther - no difference. (I want to see if this problem is also present with a R7k card that has the normal 32MB RAM.) I don't know if this is a QuickTime issue or not, but I suspect that it has something to do with the reworking of how graphics and video are handled now in Tiger. (I've had some complaints on QT7 performance even from owners of very fast Macs)

I downloaded ATI Displays Updater 4.5.1 and that seemed to fix the some of the problems - the blocky artifacts are gone. Unfortunately, the intermittent flickering is still there.

I like my old B/W max-upgraded tower, but I would guess that Tiger is going to be it's last OS upgrade - the end of a long and distiguished career for it. Next year I'll invest in a G5 that is supported for CoreImage and 64bit processing. G4's are not done for just yet, but the future belongs to G5's, in my opinion.
(name withheld by request) "

(Also see an older post below for comments on why apple disabled QE for PCI cards.)

Mods for PCI Radeon Quartz Extreme w/10.4 Tiger: (from a reader mail - some readers got Tiger early it seems, from shipments sent from dealers too early by mistake.)

Andreas sent more details on the Tiger mods for PCI Radeon/QE mods
(See note below about Quartz 2D Extreme hardware support.)

(added 4/25/2005)

Some changes/added arrays in this .plist since Panther: Orig. Panther with QE enabled

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<plist version="0.9">

New Arrays for Minimum VRAM !!!
ATI 7000 PCI 32 MB (orig. MAC) have to change Minimum also to 32 MB to enable QE.
And also (not in Panther) RAM Minimum of 512 MB is a must for QE. Also change it if necessary.
-Andreas (mitch, author of first ATI 7000 64 MB flashhack) "

Note: Although the reader above said he verified "Quartz Extreme" was enabled in Tiger, a developer wrote to say that the above edit will NOT enable HARDWARE Quartz 2D Extreme for a pre-9600 ATI graphics chip. (10.4.0 has Q.2D Extreme disabled by default on all installs BTW) (The Mac Mini and iBook G4 current models use an ATI Radeon 9200 Mobility for instance. Apple notes for Core image support requires a 9600XT Radeon or better (9700 Mobility or better)/Nvidia FX5200 or better. Hardware support for the ARB_fragment_program extension is required. Note - in reality any 9600 or up (including a 9600 Mobility supports core image/core video in Tiger.)

" "QuartzGL" has emerged as a common shorthand (among the geeks anyway) for Quartz 2D Extreme, in case you were interested. :)
And yes, the CoreImage hardware requirements are the same as those for QuartzGL. Note, however, that CoreImage requires a DirectX 9 (feature support equiv) GPU only for HARDWARE ACCELERATION on the GPU. If the user does not have such a GPU, CoreImage calculations will be performed in software.
-- Damien S.
Macintosh Developer"

Note that Quartz 2D Extreme is disabled in 10.4.0 (on every config), as mentioned in the Ars review of Tiger. You can enable it using Quartz Debug (p/o developer tools) assuming your card supports it but it's reportedly buggy and you may see problems with it enabled. Here's a terminal command a reader sent that also enables it:

    sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.windowserver \ Quartz2DExtremeEnabled -boolean YES

Andreas' earlier post from last Friday follows:

" Subject: Using Quartz Extreme with PCI (Radeon) Card & Tiger
Hi Mike,
same as before: QE Hack (edit configuration.plist of Coregraphic Framework) did't work with Tiger. You see QE Not supported, even if you add IOPCIDevice into the file above.

You have to hexedit CoreGraphics (3.9MB Executable).
Make an backup of that file first.
Dont use that if you have an AGP+PCI card! Use it for PCI only Systems.
There is only one instance of IOAGPDevice (as ASCII) in that file.
You can change this to IOPCIDevice (AGP>PCI is enough change).
You have to also add the IOPCIDevice in the configuration.plist.
Works with my 9200 PCI MAC in G3 b/w.
-Andreas "

I asked Andreas for more info on the config plist IOPCIDevice entry and if he had any permissions issues. (i.e. is it a similar edit as the original one in Jaguar?) Also remember if you screw something up there's no support by Apple on this and there can be some downsides to enabling QE w/PCI graphics cards as mentioned below. I welcome other Tiger user feedback on this mod. (Please include your system/card details.)

Notes on Q.E. PCI Performance/Why Apple didn't enable PCI Q.E. Support: (from a reader post back when this first came up after Jaguar's original release.)

" Contrary to many opinions, Apple actually had very good reasons for not enabling QE on PCI cards. The performance problems aren't always immediately obvious (many of them don't show up until the window server is really stressed), but they do exist....

The B&W does not have the 66 MHz slot on a separate channel from the rest of the slots. The 33 MHz slots sit behind a PCI-to-PCI bridge chip, which is attached to the same 66 MHz bus serving the video slot. So peripheral DMA and video card traffic all end up going through the same channel just like a beige.

It will be a bit harder to find the problems on a B&W since many of them are related to bandwidth, or the lack thereof. 66 MHz PCI is still not enough bandwidth, though. I'm betting you haven't ever tried opening lots of windows, enough to fill the video card's VRAM and force constant texture swapping. That's when the @#*($#@ hits the fan for QE on PCI. On AGP QE the graphics system slows down noticeably when this happens, but the system typically remains more or less usable. On PCI w/ QE hack, in my experience at least, the system becomes nearly unusable.

There are two main reasons for this, one being the effect Stuka reported, where the saturation of PCI starves the system of bandwidth to talk to other PCI devices like disk controllers, the other being that the relatively low bandwidth of PCI and absence of AGP's ability to DMA textures directly from system memory hurt PCI systems a lot during heavy texture swapping.
(That's what I meant by saying it's not always immediately obvious... many people assume QE on PCI is fine based exclusively on experiences which put only light to moderate 'loads' on video card memory.)
Tim Seufert "

(And as a reminder, some graphics chips (like the rage128, ragepro and older models) don't support texture sizes that are not a power of 2, which is a requirement of Quartz Extreme. A Radeon or later ATI chip, or Geforce2MX or later do support texture sizes that are not a power of 2.)

Panther/10.3 Reports

10.3.7 Note: As mentioned on the 10.3.7 Update Feedback/Tips page, the update broke PCI Quartz Extreme with the only fix a reader tip's there on replacing the coregraphics framework with an older version. (Note - see the 10.3.8 Update Feedback/Tips page for notes on it working again after the usual plist edits.)

Yikes owner w/Tips on DVD playback: (Nov. 5th, 2003)

Hi Mike,
I have QE working perfectly on my Yikes G4 now (OS X 10.3). Before I noted that fast user switching was not working with the cube effect- it turns out some Norton files needed to deleted. So all Norton users should delete everything! (anyone else see this problem?-Mike)

I also noted that DVDs would play very choppily. This can be remedied by going to the "windows" tab of the DVD player preferences and switching both "floating overlays" off. It notes there that the floating overlays require QE, and apparently the PCI bus cannot handle it. Yet that has no effect on how the DVD plays- I can watch it fine at all sizes.
Thanks for the great site!

I asked if the Radeon card was in the 66MHz PCI slot and he said yes. (66MHz slot has better performance than the 33MHz PCI slots and therefore may show less negative effects of PCI Q.E.. That plus the fact the B&W G3's 33MHz PCI slots have a history of less-than-expected performance.

B&W G3 owner report - using 66MHz PCI slot: (Oct. 30th, 2003)

" Hi Mike, Been a big fan of the site for quite some time now, and decided to make my own submission here now that I'm using 10.3 (7B85). Your site has been very beneficial to me. I've got a G3 B&W (Rev 1, was 300MHz stock), with 640MB Ram, an OWC G4 450 Processor upgrade, Sonnet Tempo ATA/66 PCI IDE Card connected to Maxtor 120GB drive, with an ATI Radeon 7000 32MB video card in the 66MHz PCI slot. (PC Version that was flashed to work on Mac)

On a whim I decided to install the PCI Extreme 2.1 mod, and immediately also saw speed gains in the finder, roughly 10-15%. Finder quicktime previews play beautifully, standalone quicktime plays fine, and so do AVI movies in full screen using MPlayer. Sheet dropdown and menus are nice and fluid, and tests done with Quake 3 Arena show the video and scrolling to be more seamless than before the hack was applied (intermitted choppiness resulted before the hack with stock settings in Quake). iTunes visuals are smooth, so it appears the OpenGL performance has been enhanced overall. All apps seem to load a lot faster now in general.

No noticeable slowdowns, except for the dock. I did notice it was a little more choppy on the zoom, but it's not really an issue for me.
I will keep the hack applied and update with any problems...or other noticeable improvements!
Thanks for the great site!
Damon G"Using the 66MHz PCI bus is a plus rather than the 33MHz PCI bus (which in the B&W G3 had a history of lower than expected performance).

(Oct. 27th, 2003) Last week a reader reported (below) that the PCI Quartz Extreme mod still works in 10.3, but as in the past - it can have some negative effects since Apple only enables it by default with AGP cards (Radeon series or Nvidia AGP cards, Rage128 AGP card not supported due to that chip not supporting texture sizes that are not a power of 2)
This reader said he saw choppy dock performance with PCI Q.E. enabled in 10.3. (In the past there's been some QT issues reported with it enabled under 10.2.x and possible hogging of the PCI bus for those with other PCI controller cards installed).

"After reading the post from the user who successfully used PCI extreme to get Quartz Extreme enabled in Panther, I was encouraged and decided for the first time to give it a try (I skipped trying it in Jag after reading the reports)

Though I was able to successfully install PCI extreme and get Quartz Extreme acceleration on my Mac (Sawtooth G4 upgraded with a dual 500 Sonnet upgrade card), I did notice an immediate side effect. I have the dock set to auto hide. Without Quartz Extreme running, it appeared smoothly when I rolled over the side of the screen (I have the dock positioned on the left). With Quartz Extreme enabled, the dock emerges in choppy manner.

Since I don't like ANY side effects if I'm going to enable an unsupported feature, I decided immediately to restore Panther to non-acceleration for PCI cards. The way I figure it, if there is one side effect, there may be more, and though the extra GUI boost was nice (especially in Expose), I can't justify using it.
Jim H."

Jim noted he was using a G4/AGP mac - so I'm assuming the PCI Radeon was installed for a 2nd monitor. (He later replied his AGP card was a Rage128 model which does not support Quartz Extreme.)

(Oct. 24th, 2003) First report from a Panther/10.3 (build 7B85) user:

" Hey Mike, Just letting people know about my experience with PCI Extreme and Panther. For people who don't know, PCI Extreme enables Quartz Extreme with Macs that have a 32 MB PCI card. In Jaguar, it worked well, but had Quicktime preview problems.

Well, I downloaded PCI Extreme version 2.1 and installed it on Panther. Viola! Works like a charm. (Download the latest version of Quartz Extreme Check 2.1 (available here-Mike) to make sure it was enabled). Speed increases most noticeable in opening finder windows. AND no Quicktime preview issues! Fast user switching now has the 3D effect as well.
A nice little 10%-15% gui speed jump.
As always, use at your own risk. Results may vary ;)
Art Director
LSHD Advertising "

Some in the past noted a downside to using PCI enabled Quartz Extreme (potential hogging of the PCI bus if other controller cards installed and some QT movie issues) - but not sure if Panther users will see that.)

(Reports below were from OS X 10.2.x use - not Panther 10.3)

(I've been too swamped to update this page with reports since fall 2002, but here's one of the most recent mails from April 2003)

    "Hi Mike!
    I have some reports on the PCI extreme 2.0 mod that I would like to add to your database, as in my research I didn't find reports on my particular uberhacked config. (not sure he saw this page - the databases don't have reports on this mod, just this page posted originally when the manual hack was first noted in the news page-Mike)
    • Power PC 8500 w/Sonnett G4 700
    • 512 MB RAM (non-interleaved EDO)
    • Adaptec 2940 (hacked from a wintel machine flashed the bios to a power domain) with internal IBM Ultrastar 10 gig 10,000 rpm, and external HP 9000 CDRW
    • MacAlley usb 2.0/firewire combo card
    • Radeon 7000 PCI card
    • 17" Gateway aperture grille CRT at 1152x864 millions of colors
    • USB Graphire tablet
    • 2 drives on MOBO internal scsi, (one 2 gig stock, one Seagate Barracuda 7200 rpm)
    • OS 10.2.4 on Seagate, OS 9.2.2 on IBM (adaptec card), OS 9.1 on stock drive

    I have had some minor issues with start-up before the pci mod, sometimes it hangs on boot into OS 10, but a second warm boot brings it right up. Once it has booted, it is stable, it ALWAYS boots into os 9, so I am sure it has to do with SCSI. I suspect it has to do with the Adaptec card timing and OS 10, changed the pram battery, hit cuda, zapped pram, etc. It doesn't hang all the time, only when it has been off for more than a couple of days, so I can live with that, given the amount of hacking this system has had.

    With that in mind, I decided to go for Quartz extreme, this machine is my tinker toy, and I love pushing it as far as I can (thanks to you and OWC!). In checking the postings here, I was a little nervous about trying this, as my PCI bus is full and running an Adaptec card that is NOT supposed to work in OS 10. I decided to backup the plist file on another drive, run the install package, and see what happens.
    After running the install, it booted right up! Right out of the gate, BIG improvement with screen effects (genie window minimize, etc). My biggest concern was the hard drive and external CDRW on the hacked Adaptec card, but in checking them, they seem to be working, including CD burning at 12X.

    The one thing I noticed does have to do with video coming from the hard drive on the Adaptec card. It bombs. Quicktime freezes video. Just for fun, I moved the video file to another drive on the MOBO scsi bus, and it worked great!! That is the only issue I have come across so far, besides the QT artifact before play which I saw in other reports here. I have a simple workaround by just moving the file to another drive. BTW, the test file was a 640x480 MPEG 1 (NOT QT, created on my Windoze PC). I have yet to try a native QT file, I DO know that QT does not like MPEG 1 that much, and the test file is NOT a standard mpg1 size. I still have to check the firewire connection, I have an external firewire DVD burner that I use cross platform, but have yet to test it with the PCI mod, the USB seems to be fine at least with my pen tablet.

    There is some noticeable improvements in apps like iPhoto, and PhotoShop, but not as significant as the actual desktop. All in all a BIG improvement with windows speed and snappiness and my initial report is that this mod is actually better than I expected. Some games seem to be MUCH more responsive.
    I am still putting it through the motions and will update you if I find any other issues. Thanks for your site, and the link that brought me to OWC, both are invaluable to any true MAC freak!
    Jim S."

Reports added 8/27/2002

    " Mike, it works well on my B&W G3 upgraded to a G4-550MHz@600MHz, Radeon7000, 384MB RAM.
    I can watch DVDs through transparent terminal windows, but when i move the terminal window around, the DVD begins to chop in the background. If there are any other QE features you know about that people can test, please let us know so we can test them out.
    (he later wrote)
    ...i forgot to mention that Quicktime movies get a corrupt screen in the background, or when minimizing. However in the foreground or when residing in the dock they look ok.... "

    " Just tried it.
    I've got a B&W G3 overclocked to 500MHz with 896 MB of RAM.

    Main monitor is an Apple 17" being driven by a PCI Radeon (Apple OEM), secondary monitor is a Sony 15" being driven by an OEM Rage 128.

    Main display seems a bit snappier, and Quartz Extreme Check confirms that the main display is accelerated but the secondary one isn't.
    Haven't noticed any problems or wierdness.
    So far a nice little hack..
    JayPee "

    " I tried the hack on my B&W upgraded G4 w/ a Radeon PCI. the Quartz extreme checker
    [Direct D/L link-Mike] showed that acceleration is enabled.
    Everything seems normal, but it doesn't seem to help iTunes at all with the visual stuff. I did notice a small glitch though. When in column view, the preview screen looks crappy, but plays normally once started. I'll see if I find more stuff as I play around with it some more.
    p.s.- attached is the pic of what the preview looks like.
    screen "

    " Hi, I just hacked my Radeon 7000 per the instructions and now I have Quartz Extreme!!!!!!!!!!!! The startup time took longer on my B&W G3 350 but checked with QE tester program and it said I was an accelerated display. Trash emptying is much faster as are the finder menus. Rock on dudes and find more of those speed tweeks!
    Fred "

    " Hello, I tried the tip to enable QE for my Radeon Mac Edition and now Quartz Extreme check indicate that I have an accelerated display. However I am not able to tell if this is really speeding up my machine (Desktop G3 upraded to G4/500MHz with XLR8 MAChSpeed, 416 MB RAM).
    Best regards,
    Laurent "

    " Hey Mike :) It's my day off, so playing catch up on email and news led me to the QE hack on PCI Radeon cards. I immediately tried it on my G3/400 B&W and have to say that it's pretty cool :)

    Watching DVD's through a transparent window is a nifty hack but not something I anticipate actually using. Minimizing, scrolling, resizing, and general window manipulation seems a bit quicker, and Let1kWindowsBloom [Available here-Mike] was 10 seconds faster after the hack. I've not really had much time to play around with it and I'm not really sure what all the benefits of QE are just yet (I work too much to keep up), but at least the system booted and QECheck confirmed the success of the hack :)
    Thanks again for such an incredible site!
    Brent R. "

    " Hi, Mike
    I have a dp800 with the GeForce 2MX and PCI Radeon. Quartz Extreme Check shows display 1 is accelerated, display 2 is not. After applying the change in the Configuration.plist, QEC shows that display 1 is NOT accelerated while display 2 is. Interesting toggle, but not quite what I'd be interested is seeing. Shouldn't BOTH displays be accelerated?
    David T. "

One reader noted removing the entire key enabled it on both displays - the edit may just toggle (enable PCI vs AGP).

    " Mike,
    Your site rocks.. I was going to mention my short term experiences with the pci radeon for QE fix. First off, my system:

    G3 OC to 420mhz
    448 meg ram
    VST card w/ 40 gig drive
    USB card
    ATI PCI Radeon
    10.2 C115. (I had the "beta" installed and then tried the retail and my drive was not showing up in the installer, so i'm leaving it with this til i have a problem. So far so good...)

    I did the fix (via os9, i don't know much about commands in osx), QE checker app says it's accelerated. let1kbloom was about the same and itunes was also the same. The finder seems faster minimizing windows to the dock is fluid. So far I haven't seen any artifacts. I've tried the hulk quicktime preview (hulk size has never been able to play in osx, apparently it's too big) there was no improvement. I'm curious of what else i could use to test it? When I get back from work, i'll try some games and photoshop. See if they are faster.
    Andrew "

    " I have a G4/400 "Yikes" w/576MB RAM and a Radeon 7000 PCI. After enabling QE I took a scrolling speed performance hit, more specifically web pages scrolled noticeably choppier in all of my web browsers. Also when the dock comes out of hiding it seems to skip a few frames. With QE off, the dock always hides and appears smoothly. I really didnt notice any benefits at all with QE on besides a much smoother genie effect. Oh and menu navigation during quicktime movies was a lot more responsive. In conclusion, Im leaving QE off. Maybe my 400Mhz 7400 CPU is the prob, or maybe there is a damn good reason that Apple chose not to enable it on PCI machines.
    Jason "

    " Mike, the QE hack also works on my Beige G3, upgraded to G4/400 OC'd to 450, Radeon 7000, 640MB RAM. Everything seems snappier; minimizing large windows is MUCH more fluid, and the menubar is much more responsive. I also get the corrupt Quicktime movies in the background, but like the previous reader said, it runs just fine in the foreground. Also, another thing that I have noticed is that the Flurry screensaver runs a lot faster as well. No bugs so far other than that, but I will let you know if any come up.
    Alex "

    " Hey Mike,
    I tried the hack with IOPCIDevice first and Quartz Extreme Check showed the Radeon monitor as accelerated and the GeForce one un-accelerated. Then I took out that line altogether in the Config file and presto, both monitors are now running Quartz Extreme.

    Overall speed is pretty much the same, but I tried running some iTunes visuals under a transparent Terminal window...WOW. Before, 35fps average with no windows over top, dropped to around 10fps (if even) with the Terminal window overlapping. With QE on, it drops to about 30fps.

    Why Apple didn't enable this by default is beyond me.
    -Peter R. "

Reports added 8/28/2002 (in order received)

    " Hey Mike,
    I went to the File configuration.plist. Then I chose Get Info. Changed the permissions and made the changes and then locked the item again. Rebooted. And oh my! What a difference. Used Quartz Extreme check and it says it's accelerated. Wish I had a way of gauging how much faster this machine is on my Blue/White, G4 zif , 704mb memory. It was fast before the change. But, this has really made a difference. Booted so fast I was shocked. Opening app's and any click on anything works faster than 500 mhz. Glad I check your site today. I feel lucky. Thanks again for a really great website.
    Don "

    " Hi Mike,
    So far the QE Mod is working great on my 8600 w/350 mhz G4 upgrade and a Radeon 7000. Genie effect and all the other eye candy are running very smoothly now and look great. Running Let1kWindowsBloom dropped from 139 to 123 for me.

    I also set the Flurry screen saver running as my background. Before the mod it would run really choppy and I had barely any control of the system. After the mod, it is running as if it was running as a regular screen saver. It does get choppy a bit when dragging windows (especially transparent ones) around. Which is what I'd expect to happen. The system also doesn't get bogged down from it now. I can type and work as if its not running. Really cool.
    Let me know if there is anything you'd like to have tested or tried.
    Brad "

This reader didn't note any performance improvement:

    " Mike,
    I tried this on my B&W G4 XLR8 500 Radeon Mac Edition (the original Radeon) and there seemed to be very little difference in speed. I verified Quartz acceleration using the Quartz Extreme Check utility. I tried the let windows bloom with Quartz and Without each 3 times.

    Non Quartz 3 Test Average: 92.7 sec
    Quartz 3 test Average: 92.7 sec

    I also tried the let windows bloom with top -u running in the background. For some reason, it actually seemed to use more CPU (there was less idle system) when Quartz was running.

    With top - u running in the background 3 tests each:
    Non Quartz 3 Test Average: 105.0 sec
    Quartz 3 test Average: 106.3 sec

    I tried both with doc animation and without - it didn't seem to make any difference in either the quartz or non quartz. I also noticed the mentioned artifacts in preview and when quicktime movies were in the background.

    Unless someone can offer a reason otherwise, I can't see any reason to use Quartz with a Radeon PCI.
    Jeff C "

    " Very nice so far! Some ghosting and artifacts when resizing large Finder windows, and the previously noted issue with displaying QuickTime movies in the background, but no major problems at all. Window scrolling, moving and resizing are all a little faster, and the genie effect is *much* faster. I do get that strange problem with the show/hide Dock animation skipping frames, but that seems to be the only Aqua UI effect that's in any way hindered by enabling QE. And of course, having these effects handled by the Radeon instead of the CPU ought to free up the processor for other tasks. Thank you for brining this hack to our attention -- and I hope those who kept insisting that the PCI bus was simply not fast enough to benefit from Quartz Extreme are ready to eat some crow.

    My system: Beige G3 DT, 533 MHz PowerLogix G4, 768 MB RAM, Radeon PCI.
    - "Thad" "

    " Hi Mike!
    Hack to enable QE works great on my Beige G3/500 + Radeon PCI. Everything is so much smoother and faster. Only drawback is a small glitch in QT previews, QT minimizing to dock and corruption with transparent windows over QT playback windows. That is not a major issue and I can live with that.

    Photoshop works great! Great hack! However - I hoped that this will also fix slow playback of DVD's in 10.2 with DVD Player 3.2 - but no luck. The problem with DVD Player must be elsewhere. I'll try to replace DVD drivers in System with ones from 10.1.5... I'll report if that is the solution.
    Keep up the great work!
    Davor Pasaric
    Croatia "

I doubt if the drivers from 10.1.x will work with 10.2, so I suggested he make a backup copy of the 10.2 drivers.

This reader using an onboard video (beige G3 he later said) and a PCI radeon card noted problems with the mod:
(remember the onboard RageII/RagePro chip isn't supported by Q.E.)

    " Mike:
    how's that for a coincidence....I email you asking about QE on a Radeon 7000 and the next day there is a thread on xlr8yourmac.com about a hack for enabling QE for my exact setup.

    However, there is a problem with it. It appears to effectively disable the on-board video. So if you are like me, running dual monitors with one connected to Radeon 7000 and one connected to on-board video, the whole system is hosed. It just stays blue screen, never showing the desktop or anything else. It appears to be cycling through some sort of loop trying to get the video working..

    At any rate, I had to disconnect the smalller monitor and the adapter on the on-board video port, connect the second monitor to the second port on the Radeon and then play "go fish" for a while to manage to drag the system preferences window over to the second monitor as the monitor that had screwed-up resolutions was of course the home screen upon which all windows opened. I am sure that there is some way to force an app to open its window in a specific monitor or some shortcut like that but I have no idea what it might be.

    At any rate, might want to add a warning to the PCI QE hack to the effect that it hoses the on-board video.
    jason s."

Since the 7000 card supports dual monitors I suggested he try running the two monitors only off the 7000 card (not using the onboard video and not leaving any mac/vga adapters attached to the onboard video) to see if that helps. Since Beige G3 owners with PCI Radeons noted it worked. (Reminder: The RageII/RagePro chip isn't supported, neither is the Rage128 due to the requirement of non-power of 2 texture sizes.)

    " Decided to try the hack. B&W G3 (OWC G4-500), OSX-2, 1GB RAM, retail Radeon driving 17in. CRT, Radeon 7000 driving 17in. Apple LCD via Dr. Bott.

    Both cards show as accelerated. Got hard lock twice when resizing intensive window for my system (i-Tunes) on Radeon 7000 display. Perhaps running the Apple LCD (Native1280 res) is too much for the card with QE. Didn't bother to try retail Radeon resizing, as I'm going back to original config. I would love to hook up the LCD to the retail Radeon card, but there is that Dr. Bott startup issue (where you have to unplug before boot). Don't really want to risk zapping anything.

    Anyway, I did notice that opening windows, folders, genie effect were all snappier - only resizing caused lockup. Dock appearance from hiding was choppier. Guess I need a new system (sigh).

    Curious, how long are boot times supposed to be in a system like mine? Takes me about a full minute to boot (seems awfully long).
    Duff L. "

That's not a bad time for OS X on an older Mac. (Better than some OS X boot times in my Cube 1GHz review.)

    " Have a Beige G4 500 MHz with original Radeon PCI and onboard Rage Pro. I too had the blue screen problems when booting up after making the change. Doesn't ever make it to the desktop. An easy way to fix it though is to boot into Safe Mode. I've only heard of this mentioned once before, but its really easy. All you do is boot up holding down the shift key, and its back up and running. You can then re-edit the config file and reboot. Hope this helps anyone who had this problem.
    Daniel K. "

    " I tried the Quartz Extreme PCI hack on my Sawtooth 500. As noted in another post it Quartz Extreme Check shows QE disabled for both monitors hooked to my Radeon 8500. Since the monitor connected to my PCI Radeon is actually my television in the basement family room I did not go look to see if was accelerated, but I assume it was, since it has worked for everyone else.

    I am curious about a couple of things. First, if QE is enabled for my PCI Radeon will this have any effect on DVD playback? This is all I use this card for at the moment. I will try it out and see. I will try deleting the appropriate line in the file to accelerate all three monitors. I will have to watch a couple of movies with QE enabled and disabled to really be sure so it may take some time.

    The other thing is this. The file to be hacked also refers to Minimum GLCompositor VRAM. It is set to 16MB by default. If this were edited to 8MB would it allow accelerated multi-display spanning, rather than mirroring on TiBooks and iBooks with 16MB of VRAM and Radeon GPUs? I don't know if or how well this would work, and I don't have a notebook to test it on but someone might find it worth trying.

    (Here is the line to edit-Mike)

      <integer>16</integer> (change to 8 for example)

    G4 500 single processor
    OS X 10.2 - of course!
    512MB RAM
    27 and 30 GB HDs
    Radeon 8500 - 2 crts
    Radeon Mac Edition, PCI - television through RF converter
    Ronald P. "

    " Mike-
    Runs like a racehorse. Quartz checker reports the on board video ati rage pro is not accelerated, but this is a good thing, as it would oversaturate the on board video anyway. [FYI - the onboard RageII/RagePro chip isn't supported - neither is the Rage128.-Mike] This from changing the text string from IOAGP to IOPCI. I do not use the built in video for any reason so this is acceptable to me. -Chris
    http://mywebpages.comcast.net/applewiz/ "

    "Hi Mike,
    Radeon PCI in 10.2 works with QE in a 8600 with G3/432.
    Background QT movie corruption occurs. Finder preview of QT movies are corrupted in the foreground. [see earlier report w/screenshot above-Mike]
    There are some minor video glitches when moving the cursor quickly across different application windows.
    Gary "

    " Good Day Again,
    It did not take me long to test the effects of QE on DVD playback via my PCI Radeon. With PCI QE enabled the only way I could get DVD Player or VideoLan client to go full screen was to mirror all three displays.
    The video and sound were both quite choppy this way, though the video was the worst of the two. With PCI QE disabled I could get either DVD Player or VideoLan Client to go full screen as long as I set the TV as the main display. In both cases the video and sound were fine. This seems to jive with the few reports I have heard about this hack - QE on PCI offers some improvement for "light" video tasks like web browsing, word processing and such but it seems Quartz Extreme taxes the PCI bus too much to allow for smooth DVD play.
    Ronald P. "

    " Mike,
    I enabled it. A B&W G3 300 overclocked to 450 (I know, working for 2 years without a hitch [knock on wood]). If it's doing anything it isn't much. It's nice that Apple is finally acknowledging that the horrible 2D in OS X is a real problem. Hopefully they will keep being creative about a solution.

    10.2 in general has given the biggest speed boost to 2D that I've seen yet but I don't think anything is really any faster after enabling QTE.
    Kevin B.
    Apple Certified Technician "

    " Hi Mike,
    This is day two for me with hacked Quartz Extreme. I was having all kinds of problems with slow trash and slow files moving from folder to folder. Then I remembered prebinding, and since MOX accelerator crashed with Jaguar, went to SpeedMeUp Pro which works great. Tell everyone to run this prebinder after the QE hack and watch your performance zoom! This took care of many slow downs I experienced after the tweek of my Radeon 7000 in my B&W G3 350.
    Fred "

    " Hey Mike, OK. Just ran tests with QE on/off using SpeedRun 1.1.3.
    [SpeedRun available here-Mike]

    My System:
    G4 400 Yikes PCI
    ATI Radeon 7000 PCI 32MB
    ATI RagePro PCI 16MB
    704 MB Ram

    QE will only activate on the Radeon using the plist hack. Now for the results after a fresh reboot with QE off and then another reboot with QE on; test was run 3 times for both. Results are from the 3rd test:

    QE Off:

    QE on:

    So, at least on my system QE is a detriment to performance. You can easily see (visually) how much slower it is during the graphics test. I'm back to QE being off...
    Oscar M. "

Oscar later wrote he made a mistake and sent revised results below

    " Mike -
    The hack worked great on my QS733, with stock GeForce2 MX in the AGP, and Radeon 7000 PCI. I run triple monitors (a 19" at 1600x1200, a 15" at 1024x768, and a 17" at 1152x864) and they all showed up as accelerated after I took out the line completely. The computer seems a little quicker (as does my pismo/400) - I also got the QT artifacting. One thing I did do which I don't think worked before was, I opened a QT movie on each monitor, maximizing the size, turned the QT options to let all sound play instead of foremost sound, and let them run on a loop - I could completely hear movie's sound without any errors, along with all three videos running without dropping frames or getting jerky at all. Seems pretty sweet - although I'm upgrading to Radeon 8500 AGP and flashing, thanks to your site.
    Jacob "

Reports added 8/29/2002

    " Mike, I have some Speed Run results and other benchmark ideas which may be interesting...

    System is a Gigabit Ethernet dual 500. I have both a Radeon PCI and an Apple OEM Radeon AGP installed. While testing the Radeon PCI, no monitor was attached to the Radeon AGP, and vice versa.

    Speed Run 1.1.3 seems to pause before running the graphics tests the first time after launching the program. The pause affects the graphics score (sometimes dramatically). I therefore ran the benchmark four times in succession on each configuration, throwing out the first run and saving the last three.

    The following results aren't averages, though -- I got lazy and just used the first of the three valid runs for each config, as the results become pretty consistent once past the first-run pause.

              Graphics  Harddrive  Processor   RAM  Overall
    AGP           403        343        187   333      317
    AGP (QE)      224        339        188   338      273
    PCI           326        340        188   338      298
    PCI (QE)       51        328        188   337      226

    The differences on everything but the graphics test are essentially in the noise.

    Other notes: QE on the PCI Radeon was noticeably less responsive for me. Window dragging and similar operations that exercise only the compositor (which is what QE accelerates) were smoother, but anything involving changes to window contents was not. For example, I usually use column view in the Finder, and navigating around my HD in column view felt sluggish compared to normal.

    I suspect that's why Speed Run gets such terrible results on PCI with QE. Its graphics test requires the window server to update a window many times very quickly as it draws pictures and shapes, and each update requires a texture upload if QE is on.

    In fact the Speed Run results show that even on AGP, QE has some disadvantages, but that the much faster texture upload performance of AGP allows it to be 'fast enough' to not be a major liability. (AGP 4X machines probably fare better than this one, which is only AGP 2X.)

    This led me to devise a torture test. One way to really stress texture upload performance under QE is to open a lot of windows, enough so the contents can't possibly all get cached in the video card's memory.

    To do this, I simply opened about 70 reasonably large JPEGs. The JPEGs were mostly in the 640x480 to 800x600 range, some larger, some smaller. (You can't use Preview for this, as the Jaguar version of Preview only opens one window and displays a scrollable list of thumbnails you can use to select one image at a time.)

    Without QE (on AGP or PCI), the system would bog down a bit after doing this but would remain responsive.

    With QE on AGP, the system was bogged down more, and switching windows became somewhat painful. But it was still useable.

    With QE on PCI, the system became completely unuseable. Switching between windows or apps took a very long time. The worst thing was when I tried to switch from 16-bit to 32-bit color on the fly; I didn't think to start timing it with a stopwatch because I didn't anticipate what would happen, but it must have taken at least two minutes to do.

    I haven't tried to figure out whether a smaller number of windows can trigger problems as bad as that, but I think this answers the question of why QE is turned off for PCI cards. There are nasty performance problems lurking if you try to do things which require too much texture uploading.

    Still, it may not be that bad for users who never will have many windows open, and who view mostly static content in them.
    Tim Seufert "

    " Mike,
    Here's an update for you. After turning QE off I noticed the machine still locked up resizing iTunes window. Decided to put the Radeon 7000 in the 66 slot (probably should've anyway) & the retail Radeon in a 33 slot. The problem went away. So yes, I can now enable QE, but the glitches aren't worth the increase in my opinion, so I'll hope the next update continues optimization further...
    Duff L "

(BTW: The Radeon PCI is a faster (3D) card than the 7000 Radeon.)

    " I did that hack to my Beige G3/G4-400 with Radeon PCI, and have noticed improved widow dragging and resizing (but not much). IE scrolling doesn't seem any faster. Some tests:

    Let1kWindowsBloom (before): 106 secs.
    Let1kWindowsBloom (after): 86 secs.

    The desktop picture change is faded, not just replaced sound adjustment translucent over DVD I haven't noticed any problems yet, but I'll keep my eyes open
    Adam "

    " Hello again Mike,
    Just wanted to update you on the SpeedRun tests I ran earlier. I think I made a slight booboo in not checking “where” the radeon and the Rage were installed. So read bellow with my updated test scores with both cards installed and just my Radeon.

    OK, here we go again.
    Just want to let you guys know that I noticed I did not have the Radeon 7000 PCI in the 66Mhz slot. So I moved it there and ran the test with one card, then both. Each test was run as before, 3 runs of SpeedRun 1.1.3 for each configuration, full reboot between each test. Here are my results:
    Both Radeon and Rage in the machine:
    QE Off

    QE On

    Just the Radeon in the Machine:
    QE Off

    QE On
    So what can we deduce from all this? Well, first thing, since moving the Radeon to the faster PCI slot, I doubled my QE scores. this says that there DEFINITELY is a bandwidth issue with running QE on on a PCI bus. QE is just thirsty for bandwidth!
    Secondly, if you notice, with QE off, I did not see the same improvement when moving the card, meaning that this is a CPU issue, not bandwidth, as I hit the wall with what the graphics card does with QE off, even on the 33Mhz slot.
    Also, my scores were almost identical whether I had only the Radeon installed, or both video cards in the system (no other PCI cards are installed). And my scores are STILL faster not using QE. And just like before, you can actually SEE the difference in speed during the graphics test. I think everyone is getting some kind of placebo effect going on. I know I did at first, until I ran these tests.
    Oscar M. "

Interesting comments on iPhoto performance:

    " I successfully applied the hack on my B&W G3 450 with a PCI Radeon a 512 megs of RAM.

    I gained five seconds in Let1kWindows Bloom, but lost a whopping 100 points in the Graphics test under Speed Run (210 down to 107!). Minimizing windows into the dock seems smoother, but no faster.

    Most important, upgrading to 10.2 seemed to significantly improve the performance of the slider in iPhoto. I have an 800 pic library and resizing was pretty choppy under 10.1.5. Under 10.2 it wasn't great, but it was definitely an improvement. After the hack it feels worse than ever. I mean downright awful.

    I haven't noticed any significant problems, but the rewards aren't worth the iPhoto losses. I'll be switching back.
    Jacob L. "

    " Good Day Again,
    It did not take me long to test the effects of QE on DVD playback via my PCI Radeon. With PCI QE enabled the only way I could get DVD Player or VideoLan client to go full screen was to mirror all three displays. The video and sound were both quite choppy this way, though the video was the worst of the two. With PCI QE disabled I could get either DVD Player or VideoLan Client to go full screen as long as I set the TV as the main display. In both cases the video and sound were fine. This seems to jive with the few reports I have heard about this hack - QE on PCI offers some improvement for "light" video tasks like web browsing, word processing and such but it seems Quartz Extreme taxes the PCI bus too much to allow for smooth DVD play.
    Ronald P. "

    " After waking from sleep after been away from the computer for a few hours, I discovered that tracking on my optical Logitech USB mouse had become extremely erratic, and overall system performance had taken a nosedive. (And no, I don't have the Logitech drivers installed -- can't see the point, really, the default drivers are fine for my purposes and Logitech's are notoriously buggy.)

    ... moving the terminal window around was never jerky -- in fact, speed in moving windows is probably the most noticeable improvement when enabling QE on a Radeon. But you are correct that moving the transparent terminal window back and forth over the DVD Player window does cause the Firewire transfer speed to take a nosedive (first), and -- if you keep doing it -- the DVD playing in the background will eventually start to drop frames. Although, surprisingly(?), I couldn't get the sound to stutter no matter what I did. And, as I said, moving the terminal window was always silky-smooth, despite the slowdowns in the background processes. And when I stopped trying to swamp the system and just left the transparent terminal window sit in front of the DVD window, the transfer rate on the iPod was as fast as it ever was.

    So while you are correct about QE "flooding" the PCI bus under these extreme conditions, in plausible real-world usage QE is a tremendous improvement in almost every area. I haven't experienced the drawbacks others have reported -- full-screen DVD and Quicktime playback is still stutter-free, etc. The only thing that's worse with QE enabled is the dock popping up -- the animation always seems to skip some frames, whereas without QE it was quite smooth. I don't know why this would be, but I'm certainly willing to trade that minor annoyance for the overall performance boost I get from QE.
    Thad "

Hack to Enable Quartz Extreme on Radeon PCI Cards - (See above for reader feedback on this mod.)
For those that don't want to edit the config file manually, there's now a utility to do that called PCI Quartz Extreme.

Jesse sent a note about a hack to enable Quartz Extreme on a Radeon PCI card. (Will not work for Rage128 cards, which don't support texture sizes that are not a power of 2.)

    Open the config file [use OS 9 to avoid permissions issues, or set root access in the terminal]


    Here is the section that needs changing for PCI card users (again still requires a Radeon card)

    <key>GLCompositorRequiredClasses </key>
           <string>IOAGPDevice </string>

    Change IOAGPDevice to IOPCIDevice
    Save the file.

(Note: A report from a AGP+PCI card user that noted removing the line completely enabled it Q.E. on both displays- but another reader (Michael D.) suggested having both the original IOAGPDevice line and a IOPCIDevice line.)
(AGP and PCI Example)

    " <key>GLCompositorRequiredClasses </key>
           <string>IOPCIDevice </string>
           <string>IOAGPDevice </string>
        </array> "

Reducing the required Video RAM setting (may affect performance but notebook users with 16MB vram chips that want external monitor acceleration may try this)

    <integer>16</integer> (change to 8)

If anyone tries this let me know if you see any problems.

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