Vid Card Opinions Needed!

Discussion in 'Computers' started by JonM, Jan 8, 2004.

  1. JonM

    JonM Auditioning

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    I'm in the beginning stages of building an HTPC, which, for now, will be mostly for playing DVD's and MP3's.

    The hardware will be as follows:
    Biostar M7NCG-400 matx Mb
    512Mb Buffalo PC3200 ram (Winbond CH-5 chips)
    AMD 1700 T-bred "B"
    80Gb WD800SE HD
    Creative DVD-rom (temporary)
    Logitech Access cordless KB/mouse

    Now,I have a choice of video cards which can be used:
    Sapphire Radeon 9600 Pro 128Mb (400/300)
    Sapphire Radeon 8500 64Mb (275/275)
    Sapphire Radeon 8500LE 64Mb

    Which card should I use in this build? I doubt that I'll do much, if any, gaming on this system. I do want optimum video quality, naturally! (Right now, it'll be connected to a 27" JVC AV27020, about 3 years old, good pic!)

    Any opinions will be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Daryl Furkalo

    Daryl Furkalo Second Unit

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    Connecting a computer to an analog TV will look like crap. Old analog TV's don't have the resolution that a computer monitor does. Connecting to a HDTV is a different story though, they are capable of much higher resolutions. All of the Radeon's from the 7000 series on have very good 2D performance, you won't be disappointed with them. 9600 will support DX9 as opposed to DX8 for the 8500's.
     
  3. JonM

    JonM Auditioning

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    Thanks for the reply, Daryl.

    I'm well aware of the 2D performance of the Radeon cards. (In addition to the cards mentioned above, I also have a 9800np that has been flashed to a Pro card!)

    Maybe I need to rephrase the question. Should I use the 9600 Pro for the speed, or will the 8500 be sufficient? If I'm not going to be gaming on this system, will the core clock speed make any difference, or the amount of video ram on the card?
     
  4. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    It shouldn't look any worse than hooking a stand-alone DVD player to the TV.
     
  5. Daryl Furkalo

    Daryl Furkalo Second Unit

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    Since you are not gaming, the 8500 should be more than adequate.

    Jeff,

    An analog TV has a resolution of 640x480i at best, your computer monitor is running at a far higher resolution. Viewing computer text would be next to impossible if the TV is being used a monitor.
     
  6. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    Oh, I didn't know he was going to use it as his monitor. I thought he was just going to watch video with the TV.
     
  7. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    No matter what you do, it will look awful on that 27" JVC. Keep this in mind, so that you won't be surprised by your inevitable disappointment. Hopefully somebody with experience with S-video output from a videocard will tell me that they resolved the EMI issues however...

    With that said, I would definitely recommend having a computer monitor also attached for listening to mp3s and non-movie related tasks...you don't want your mp3 player's window burned into the phosphors of your TV set! [​IMG]

    Don't forget that DVD resolution is 720x480. Likely you will not be able to output anything beyond 640x480i to your TV set, so you will lose horizontal resolution. Also, in my experience, I find black level unsatisfactory when output s-video to a television set. I expect you will lose a lot of dynamic range in the image (ie. poor contrast).

    My recommendation is to get a better TV set first, that can accept DVI or VGA. [​IMG]
     
  8. rob bozer

    rob bozer Auditioning

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    I have the same kinda question. Sorry to "hijack" this thread, but nobody responded to my original thread in another area.

    My system is the following:

    Athlon XP 1800
    512 ddr ram
    100 gig HD
    Dvd burner

    I have it currently running a Ge Force 4ti 4200. Unfortunately, the fan is shot on it, and its REALLY loud.

    I want to run myHTPC on this system. My Television is a Toshiba 46h83. Its HDTV, but theres only like 4 channels I can watch in HDTV (its awesome), so Im guessing Ill have to record mainly though S-Video?

    My main concern is recording seasons of TV shows. Being able to play MAME games would be nice too. But mainly, I want the picture to look as good as possible. Can any of you guys recommend what I should get? Do I need to get two cards (an ati and a pvr-250)? It was my understanding that the ATI card would be enough, until I seen a lot of people with ATI and PVR's both installed. Why is this?
     
  9. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    Real Name:
    Francois Caron


    A front projection system maybe? There's no better experience than playing games and watching movies on a 100" screen! [​IMG]
     

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