Advice Requested please

jd_d60

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Any Graphics experts, I would welcome your advice regarding the selection of a graphics card.

I currently use a HP Pavilon P4/2.2Ghz machine installed with Geforce MX420 64Mb SDR card. I do a lot of digital editing (Photoshop stuff mainly) and am just about to buy a IIYAMA 19" monitor, the recommendations I have seen suggest to get the most out of a monitor you need a good graphics card (esp as the monitor offers DVI input).

Also I have a desire for a TV card and SVideo to transfer some old 8mm tape footage to DVD.

Bottom line is I need a good 2D DVI graphics card and if it offers TV/sVideo even better.

thanks in advance
John
 
Ok two(well three really) possible solution in my mind.

Now this is best for your money IMO, <i>not</i> money no object, and <i>not</i> cheapest it can be done.

Best IMO, but not as 'simple'... A Matrox Millennium P650 as the graphics card (unparalleled 2D video and TV OUT quality), and then add either a Pinnacle <i>Studio AV</i> card, or an AVerMedia <i>DVD EZmaker</i>, or even a generic TV+video capture card like the MSI TV @nywhere or ATI TvWonder will likely suit your needs. Of course if you can find a Matrox RTX line of editing cards laying around in a discount bin at your local store that would be nice to, but at $1000 it's a bit much for just doing some minor video transfering. :wink:

Now you could replace the above card with something like an ATI R9000/9100/9200 which will also give you good quality 2D + TV, although not as good as the Matrox cards. If you prefer nV then the FX5200 would be ok, but I would place it in third place for 2D quality. Anything under the FX line (like a Geforce 4, 3, 2, etc.) is hampered by poorer RAMDACs, as is any ATI card under the R7500 numbering.

You could go with an all in one ATI All-in-Wonder card. The R9000 would likely meet your basic needs (even the AIW 7500 might fit the 'basic' bill). One of the drawbacks with most AIW cards is that there is just one monitor connector (DVI), with the All-in-Wonder R9600Pro you get 2 VGA connectors (plus an FM tuner). These AIW cards combine a good graphics card with a good capture device. Crashman has a recent AIW R9600Pro and might be able to supply you with some feedback, he also has a review <A HREF="http://www.sysopt.com/reviews/ati-AiW9600Pro/index.html" target="_new">HERE</A>.

Anywhoo, that's my take on things. If you are not gaming (other than very casually) and serious about your 2D performance then the Matrox combo is the best choice, but if this is a temporary project and you will be using the card for some gaming in the future then the R9XXX ATI solutions may be a better choice. The performance of the P650 in games would still be better than the AIW R7500.

Anywhoo, that's my two frames worth.


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jd_d60

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Thanks for the post - I'll look into these later, the card I had seen (for about £73UK) is the Sapphire Radeon 9600 APG any take on this.

john
 
I have the Radeon 9600Pro, and it's a great card. The R9600 is an ok card, but likely more than you 'need' if you aren't playing games much. The 2D quality will likely be around the same level as the R9000/9100/9200. However if you are playing games then your 'needs' become somewhat different and it's not easy to give a single choice. But for video editing and just 2D stuff, then the R9600 is <i>slight</i> overkill. As a few people have mentioned before the newer versions of Adobe Premiere and such do use the graphics engine a bit to do real-time effects, but I haven't seen any evidence that the R9600 would offer you any advantage over an R9100.

You should be able to get a Matrox P650 for under £100, but I'm not sure if ~ £25 diff. would be worth it over an R9600. The image quality is better on the Matrox, but I think you would get more use out of more memory, better capture card, or even £25 worth of software, or a few pints. :wink: The same could also be said of an R9600 with an R9100. And there will likely be much greater savings from a P650 to an R9000/9100/9200, and you will have the same image quality gap as betwen the R9600 (no gain over any other R9XXX). You may want to keep an eye out for the R9600<b>SE</b> which in a gaming sense is kinda crummy, but for simple 2D work it should foot the bill quite nicely, and should offer you additional savings over the other R9600(s) out there.

Unfortunately you aren't in the US because they have the AIW R9600Pro on for just over $200 at a few e-tailers during this holiday season only.


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Snorkius

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This is more of a question than a suggestion, what about a DeltaChrome S8. I've read things about it but not really sure...

<b> A mosquito is just a small woodpecker. </b>
 
I haven't seen any 2D quality comparisons between it and other cards. I've seen all the R9XXXs up to the latest ones, I've seen the Parhellia and the P650, and all the FXs up to the most recent ones as well. I have no idea where the DeltaChrome measures up there. The only way to tell is to get a reviewer who specifically looks at that. The specs may say nearly the same thing, but produce worse images.

I have no idea where the Delta fits in, if other people do, then please feel free to share. If most people rightly fear the unknown. You could get stuck with a lemon.


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jd_d60

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Thanks for all the advice the Matrox seems to be the way to go, BTW I have seen the cheaper G550 around would this be much different for 2D photo editing than the G650
 
The <b>P</b>650 is a newer bread of cards from Matrox. It has better RAMDACs and a more modern VPU. The G550 and 450 are last generation's cards, and they don't perform up to the same level. The G550's image quality is nice, but it's not supperior to the ATIs in the way that the P series is. The question is really how true do you need your picture to be? The P650 had 10bit per channel colour (40bit) whereas the G550 is 8 bit per channel (32bit), this is good to ensure truer colour representation required for picture editing. And if you see <A HREF="http://www.matrox.com/mga/products/comp_chart/gseries_pseries_parhelia.cfm" target="_new">THIS</A> comparison list by Matrox you can see the differences. Just from an asthetic perspective the AA on text is a nice feature.

The newer P series also handles higher resolutions better, and for that new monitor (is it 16x12?) it's almost a MUST when using the DVI connector as the older cards with slower RAMDACs won't reach that 16x12 on the DVI.

Hope that helps.


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