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strange question about video quality-long, but help please

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 15, 2005 12:04:58 AM

Hi Guys

I am told this is the place with all of the experts. Please give this a shot.

I have a Compaq desktop that came with onboard video. In order to use two monitors and free up some RAM, I purchased a visiontek ATI with RGB & DVI output. I AM NOT A GAMER. I put the card in and it seemed fine with my KDS 17" monitor.

I then went out and bought a 19" Sony and a 19" Samsung on sale and planned on seeing which I liked and taking back the other to get a second of my favorite. Both the Sony and the Samsung looked horrible on text. When I would look at words, a couple of letters in each word would be way faded and the rounded part of letters would be faded. The only other time I saw text this bad was on my father's Sony Vaio laptop. I plugged a Samsung 17" in instead that I had laying around and it looked okay just like my KDS 17"

At that point, I assumed that 19" monitors just didn't have the text quality I needed. I then was at Compusa and noticed that they had two of the exact same 19" Sony monitors I had, hooked up. One looked good and the other looked horrible just like I was experiencing at home. I had the saleman swap the two so I could see if it was the monitor or the machine. When I swapped, the good monitor now looked bad and the bad looked good. Obviously it had something to do with the machine. They were both Sony Desktops. I asked the salesman the difference. He said the one with the poor text has ATI graphics and the one with the good text had Nvidia graphics. At that point I thought BINGO, ATI's text is poor.

I went home and pulled my ATI card out and went back to the internal SIS graphics built on the motherboard. I plugged the 19" back in and it was still awful. I then went over a friends house who had a machine with Nvidia and a machine with ATI. I plugged the 19" in and it looked good on Nvidia and awful on the ATI. I then went and looked at my dad's awful Sony Vaio to see what it used and it used ATI also.

My conclusion is that Nvidia has good text and ATI & SIS have very poor text. Can this be right? I am not a gamer and just want very sharp text on a big monitor, but all the reviews I read are regarding graphic quality.

Please help - thanks in advance!

Rob
December 15, 2005 12:40:05 AM

I,m using ATI here and I have no complain about text quality. I've used nvidia card and no complain with text quality. I've used SIS integrated video and no complain about text quality.

Maybe you should look at thing like refresh rate in drivers properties. Maybe tha ATI card was a really cheap one.. and maybe your's is not really better.

If you can give more info about the video card, that would help.. There is not only one model called ATI and one called nvidia...
December 15, 2005 1:53:16 AM

I use ATI and am picky about graphic quality. ATI has done fine as far as quality is concerned, and the X800XT-PE aint to shabby, unless you compare it to my awaiting X1800XT!
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December 15, 2005 1:15:24 PM

Thanks a bunch for your feedback.

To help you help me a little more...

The ATI is a Visiontek 9200SE 128mb AGP. The SIS is a 760 onboard my compaq motherboard. Don't know about the Nvidias I tried, but I know it was about 5 years old.

Also, how would you explain two brand new Sony desktops that are virtually identical except chipset?

Also, I tried refresh rates, pitch, etc.

Thanks and please leave me more input.

Rob
December 16, 2005 1:50:20 AM

It sounds like a problem with the way the monitor is connected. You say DVI and RGB? Not DVI and VGA?

VGA usually looks a little fuzzy on flat panels, but not too bad. VGA should look sharp on a CRT.
December 16, 2005 3:38:36 AM

Thank you.

All comparisons were used with standard outputs. VGA is suppose. It is the same connector that has been used with monitors for years.

I think the point that so many are missing is why the difference between the Nvidia and the ATI&SIS?

Thanks
December 16, 2005 3:51:45 AM

It sounds like something screwy is happening in the conversion back to digital. All video is digital, VGA is converted from digital to analog inside the card. When you use VGA on a flat panel, the panel has to convert it back to digital from analog.

The digital-analog-digital has a few places things can get screwed up along the way...I'd like to think that simply changing your refresh rate to 60Hz would clear things up a little.
December 16, 2005 7:14:04 AM

Have you tried changing the font-smoothing types?

Go to Control Panel->Display Properties->Appearance->Effects and you can flick smoothing between off, Standard and ClearType.
December 16, 2005 10:37:57 AM

Maybe that the resolution was not set to the native resolution of the LCD, and in this case, yes the text looks bad.
December 16, 2005 2:29:27 PM

In both your posts I think you're seeing a commonality between responses: Everybody thinks a setting is wrong for the ATI card. You might even get a response, eventually, on the SiS graphics!
December 16, 2005 6:12:57 PM

I've never heard of a quality difference between ATi and NVidia, think I'd notice one as well.. plus I don't see technically how there could be a difference really, without there being a serious bug in the cards. Got to be a driver problem, a configuration setting being different, something - it's not gonna be the fact it's ATi.
December 28, 2005 10:34:12 AM

The battle goes back and forth.
December 28, 2005 11:33:26 AM

10/10 for that stunning contribution to this thread. In fact, looking through the last 10 posts you made, 0 of them had any meaningful content whatsoever.
December 28, 2005 12:37:34 PM

Who cares .. if you look at ll the post I did, you'll find more than 10 being meaningful ...

And this one add another one...
!