System/Video/Sound card questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Charles Bober, Jan 4, 2002.

  1. Charles Bober

    Charles Bober Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm FINALLY building my dream system in a few weeks. I knew everything I wanted hardware wise except for the video card. After extensive research, I've narrowed it down to one: Visiontek 5564 Personal Cinema . I wanted an "all-in-one" card that did everything well: 2d acceleration, 3d graphics rendering for gaming, DVD playback, and tv tuner capability for watching and digitally recording DirecTv. Any thoughts and or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Anyone here have any experience with this card or similar products?
    I'm planning on buying the Creative Labs Audigy Platinum because it appears to be the best out there. Is it? Or does Creative Labs just market better? I've heard others here refer to "professional" sound cards but couldn't pull any info from a search. Any information to steer me in the right diretion would be great.
    I'm also listing my final configuration to see if anyone has anything to add or in case I might've missed something:
    • Codegen 6016L-P4 (Silver) P4 ATX Case
    • P4 1.8GHz processor
    • ABIT TH-7R P4 motherboard
    • 1 GB RIMM memory
    • Maxtor 80GB 7200RPM Ultra ATA 133 HDD
    • Plextor 40/16/10 CDRW
    • Pioneer 500M 16x DVD
    • Floppy drive
    • Creative Labs Audigy Platinum sound card
    • Visiontek 5564 Personal Cinema video card
    • Creative Labs Inspire 5.1 5300 speaker system
    • Pioneer DV-A03 DVD-RW drive
    • SYS 17" Flat panel LCD
    My plan is to dual boot with Win95 for gaming only and Win2K Advanced Server for everything else.
     
  2. JohanK

    JohanK Second Unit

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    I have a VisionTek gf2 mx400 card (Xtasy 5644) in my regular computer; decent card but it's still a MX series card. Better performance can be had w/ the ATI AIW 8500 card but it costs more. FYI, here's a review: http://www6.tomshardware.com/graphic...211/index.html and www.newegg.com has this card for just over $300.
    The professional sound card you refer to is probably the M-Audio card. See it here; http://www.digitalconnection.com/pro...dio/ap2496.htm .
    BTW, Intel's CPU prices are scheduled to drop on the 27th of this month. Not sure how much, if at all, Willamette core P4s will be affected.
    Looks like you'll have a nice system.
     
  3. Hugh M

    Hugh M Second Unit

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    I would just get an 8500 without AIW/DV features. You will want to get capture from a seperate card. These 8500 cards offer pretty sweet gaming, and the best dvd playback (along with any radeon card). And getting any video card that has a tuner capture feature is not recommended. Juts make sure you get a retail box 8500, that is made by ATI.
    For sound cards you may want to look at the Hercules Game Theatre XP. which can do 6.1 out to a capable receiver. This means 6.1 out for everything, not just DVDs. if you can find one of those cards (retail box!) for around $100, then I would be able to recommend that for you. I use the card for all my HTPC uses.
    as far as hard drives, I think you can find the Seagate Barracuda ATA IV 80GB drives for $147 at Star Components. These are some of the best drives, and are THE MOST QUIET. And I paid $210 for one of them a month ago, and then got two more for Christmas. I'm not supposed to know how good of price she got though. $147 was a great find, but then she paid like $40 shipping or something....oh well. [​IMG]
     
  4. Charles Bober

    Charles Bober Stunt Coordinator

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    Hugh, Johan, thanks for the replies.

    So you guys would recommend getting a high end video card and a separate tuner card? Why is that?

    Also, about dual booting: I planned on doing this because of the older games I still like to play. I wasn't sure if Win2K Pro/Advanced Server would allow me to flawlessly play the older as well as the newer games. Suggestions?

    I'm not using this as an HTPC per se and certainly will not hook this up to my home theater. Just so you guys know.
     
  5. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    I'm planning on building a new system very soon, and it will most likely be based on an nForce chipset motherboard. That gives me great built-in audio, geforce 2 mx level graphics and built-in networking - and if I later want to upgrade any part of that there are the usual PCI and AGP ports on it.
    One reason to go with a separate video capture card is if you want to run dscaler, http://www.dscaler.org
    The software only works with certain chipsets and the ATI AIW is not using it.
    Personally I can't think of any other reason to go with anything besides the AIW. Impressive connection options and statistics otherwise.
     
  6. Hugh M

    Hugh M Second Unit

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    Hi,
    I suggest not getting an AIW because the best way (aside from a high-end scaler) to view external sources on a monitor or highdef display is the dscaler software ( www.dscaler.org ). This program/project only works with capture cards which use a Brooktree 8x8 chipset. They chose that chip for its usefulness. You can get a cheap capture card like the IO Magic PC PVR and you've got a really clean svideo input scaled to any resolution, and you can apply any number of different deinterlacing methods to it.
    You have to try and think about what you would use the all-in-wonder part for...could you really use the tuner? what are you going to tune? you definitely do not want anything to do with the S/PDIF out that is on those cards. rarely works and never with DTS.
    I hear you on the "not hooking up to your HT", but you did mention PVR stuff, and that is what I am talking about.
    with gaming I think you will need a dual-boot to maintain that backwards compatibility. I am digging XP, and I don't dual boot because there is only one game that I have that I can't play on XP.
     
  7. Charles Bober

    Charles Bober Stunt Coordinator

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    Hugh, guys,
    You've been most helpful and have given me a variety of products and options to research. Hugh's suggestion above is the direction I'm leaning towards. But I have come up with another possible solution: Viewsonic TV Tuner Module
    As I'm still learning and evaluating, can you guys discuss the pros and cons of using this TV Tunder Module compared to the other suggestions above?
    All your help has been greatly appreciated.
     
  8. DmitriP

    DmitriP Extra

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    Here's a place that sells ATI Radeon's for $180:
    http://shop.store.yahoo.com/str8buy/atirad8564dd.html
    They are a Yahoo top rated service, so they can be trusted. I love video editing, by multi-use cards always sacrifice. The AIW is slower than the regular 8100.
     
  9. JasonRH

    JasonRH Second Unit

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    WOW. I gig of RDRAM!!! What on earth will you use that requires a gig?? That must cost a pretty penny.
     
  10. Charles Bober

    Charles Bober Stunt Coordinator

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    I've decided on 1GB RAM for several reasons. First, I plan on DVD editing which includes archiving 1000's of hours of sports VHS tapes. Second is having flawless game play, something I've never had.
    In any event, I didn't get any replies regarding the Viewsonic TV Tuner Module. Here's what I'm thinking: I really like this tv tuner module because I can hook up multiple components simultaneously (i.e. Ninetendo, LD player, camcorder, etc.) and the video card does not need a tv input (AFAIK). That way I can buy a top-of-the-line 2D/3D card without having to worry about the tv in and all-in-one compatability.
    The one question I have with this tv tuner module is: can I still utilize digital vcr software to record DSS eventhough the video card isn't receiving the signal (the tv tuner module does this)? I assume so since this module takes the place of the tv input. But it's always nice to be 100% sure. If this won't work, please give me some alternatives.
    Again, your help is greatly appreciated. I thought this might be a great solution and wonder if anyone has even considered this. Thanks in advance.
     
  11. Lawrence Lin

    Lawrence Lin Auditioning

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  12. Charles Bober

    Charles Bober Stunt Coordinator

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    Anyone else have advise on the video card/tv tuner module option? Which can I record DirecTv on? Pros/cons?
     
  13. Charles Bober

    Charles Bober Stunt Coordinator

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    Anyone? Help a guy out here [​IMG]
     
  14. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  15. Charles Bober

    Charles Bober Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Vince for your input. I will check out AVS Forum right away. And I'll e-mail you privately with any more questions.
    Thanks to all for the help.
     
  16. Mike Purfield

    Mike Purfield Auditioning

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    Charles,

    I would recommend against the Viewsonic tuner module. It's a tv tuner that connects directly to a computer monitor. Therefore, you won't be able to use any software with it. It also uses a VGA pass-thru connection, which in my experience almost always degrades the picture quality considerably.
     

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