Graphics Card Installation

Support this page!
This page describes the procedure for installing a graphics card in the Power Mac 6100 series. Although there are several different types of card that will fit in a 6100, they all are installed in similar fashion:


The Apple video cards (AV or HPV) do not require any drivers in order to work. The AV card requires some extensions in order to capture video or to output to a TV, but it'll run a monitor just fine without them.

If you have a Nubus card, you may need to install the manufacturer's drivers in order for them to work properly. For some, they may work very slowly without the driver. For others, they may not work at all. Better to install the drivers while you can still see!

Back to the top of the page.

Open the computer:

Turn off the computer, but leave it plugged in. If the power cord is attached to a power strip or surge protector, leave that turned on, and turn off the computer using its own power button. This is important to allow you to dissipate any static electricity and prevent you from frying any sensitive components.

Pull up on the small tabs at the back of the computer. Each of them should snap free, and the entire top of the case should rock forward. Rock it forward until it comes free of the computer, and set it aside.

Remove any residual static electricity your body may be carrying by touching the power supply (the big metal box at the back of the computer). Better yet, buy and wear an anti-static wrist strap. Also, remove any wool sweaters you may be wearing and banish the cat from the room until you're finished.

Back to the top of the page.

Install the card:

This is a picture of a Nubus card. The HPV and AV cards use a similar (but not identical) form factor, so I can use this series to images to illustrate. In most computers, expansion cards plug in vertically, so that the card sits perpendicular to the floor.

To accommodate the 6100's flatter form factor, Apple designed adapters which allow expansion cards to sit sideways, or parallel to the floor. Note that there are two types of these adapters--one for Nubus cards and one for PDS cards (i.e. the AV and HPV cards)

The adapters consist of two parts--1) a stamped metal piece and 2) a little printed circuit board (shaded in the picture). This little board has two connectors. The AV, HPV or Nubus card plugs into the adapter perpendiculary (into slot marked "Nubus card connector", and the adapter's "Expansion slot connector" plugs into the PDS slot on the motherboard.

Note that this picture is of a Nubus-PDS adapter, which is slightly different than the PDS-PDS adapter. The Nubus adapter one has a Nubus connector, and it has some circuitry on it. The PDS adapter has a PDS connector, and no circuitry.

This is important, as it is why Nubus cards cannot be used with the G3 upgrade card. The little circuit board in a PDS adapter has no electronics on it; it's just a pass-through connector which can be replaced by a G3 card.

This is a picture of the Nubus-PDS adapter with a Nubus card installed. An AV or HPV card would fit in a very similar way.

The geniuses over at Newer and Sonnet designed their G3 upgrade cards to have the same form factor as the little circuit board on the adapter! If you have a G3 card, remove the little circuit board from the adapter and put the G3 card in it's place.

If you want to use a PDS card with a G3 card, but you don't have the PDS adapter, it may be possible to use the mechanical bracket from Apple DOS card adapter. I have email from one reader who has done this successfully.

So to install an AV or HPV card, simply plug the AV or HPV card into the G3 card/adapter assembly, then plug the whole shebang into the PDS slot on the motherboard.

Back to the top of the page.

Close up the computer:

Tilt the cover towards you about 45 degrees, and align it with the front of the case. Slide it onto the case until the front parts appear to be engaged, then rotate the back down and press down on the tabs until they click. If they don't click, you may have it slightly misaligned. Remove it and start over.

That's it! Plug in your monitor and fire it up.

Back to the top of the page.

Back to the 6100 Graphics Page

Back to the 6100 Upgrade Page

Feedback? Corrections? Mail me @ (Navigator users) or (everyone else)

Warning: Shameless Commerical Plug Ahead!

Books Music  Enter keywords... 
Support this page!! logo Pay and get paid for auctions or private party transactions, freely and securely over the Internet! Sign up for PayPal now! Get a $5 bonus just for signing up, and get me a $5 referral bonus just for using my referral link!

If you want, you can even make a small donation to this site. Obviously, I don't expect anything, but I have put an awful lot of time, money and energy into this site, so if you've saved yourself time, money or Advil by coming here, you can help me defray the cost of a new G4! Heck, even a dollar would show me that you care :-) Just register with PayPal and send money to Thanks!

Last updated: 5/11/99

Thanks, and please come back soon!

p.s. Use Netscape, or be viciously mocked, taunted and ridiculed.