Panther: Fast user switching visual effect on dual monitors?

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
November 13th, 2003 • 1:06 am

The other day, I created another user account on my dual G4 (MDD) for testing purposes, but also so that I could see the fancy user switching visual effect in action. After all, my dual 1.25 GHz G4 with its Radeon 9000 (64 MB) should have enough computing muscle to display the rotating cube fairly smoothly, right?

I am afraid my setup doesn’t qualify for the fancy visual effect, however. I keep trying and trying, and all I get is a simple screen change, with absolutely no visual transition whatsoever.

I am afraid it is probably due to the fact that I have two monitors. One of them is connected to the built-in Radeon 9000, but the other one is connected to a Radeon PCI card (with 32 MB of VRAM). Somehow, the presence of this other card appears to prevent the visual effect from taking place. The Radeon PCI has enough VRAM for Quartz Extreme — but maybe it’s not considered to have enough power to perform the visual effect just the same.

Or is it simply the fact that I have two monitors? After all, that would require two cubes rotating in real time at the same time. Maybe it’s a bit too much to ask.

I could use the Radeon 9000’s second port to connect the second monitor, and thus have both monitors on the same, more recent Radeon 9000 card. But then its 64 MB would be shared between the two screens. I am not sure this would help improve the odds of the visual effect actually happening. I don’t particularly feel like turning everything off and dismantling my computer just in order to find out whether it would work or not.

Oh well. It’s just a visual effect.

9 Responses to “Panther: Fast user switching visual effect on dual monitors?”

  1. Ortwin Zillgen says:

    as long as you are not shooting virtual men in the dark, split 32 MB is plenty of video-RAM for a single screen.
    My 2nd screen in PCI-slot is so much slower, I never ever play a movie on that screen nor do I display a large picture there. If my main video were a dual head, I’d connected both screens to that.

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    Thanks for the advice. My main monitor is an ACD 23″ (HD) flat screen, though, so I thought it best to have plenty of RAM to handle the high resolution (1920×1200). But I rarely play video games, so I might just do the switch.

    OTOH, I haven’t noticed that the display on my second monitor is particularly slow.

  3. Ortwin Zillgen says:

    1920 * 1200 is 9,2 MB at 24 Bit + 1 Alpha-Channel. Plenty of room left for a couple of window-textures.

    Sure a Radeon ist not slow. I thougt of hinting, every video-card is treated seperately.

  4. Evan Gross says:

    I have two monitors – a 23″ ACD + my Ghz TiBook’s LCD. I see the cube when fast user switching, so it’s not simply a dual monitor issue…must be a video card thing.

  5. Pierre Igot says:

    OK, looks like I am going to have to try connecting both monitors to the Radeon 9000, then :).

  6. Pierre Igot says:

    Well, I’ve just removed my Radeon PCI and connected both monitors to my Radeon 9000.

    Still no fast user switching visual effect.

  7. Francois Rigaut says:

    I noticed the same thing. I have a powerbook 800Mhz, which I connect to a 20″ cinema display when I am at work. I see the rotating cube effect when I have only my laptop screen and don’t see it with the other screen connected.

  8. Pierre Igot says:

    I guess I’m going to have to try with ONE monitor only and see what happens.

  9. Rodrigo says:


    I have a g4 733 quicksilver and the visual efect is only a dream for me, I have the gforce v card and a LCD screen which is vga, nothing happens, anyone here can tell me why?


Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.