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Free beer - j/k Help me choose a gpu for a htpc w/a plasma

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 10, 2006 8:52:05 PM

I was reading the VGA charts and best bang for the buck sticky but still can't decide which card I want to get. I have a 42 inch plasma I use to surf and view divx movies on. I am currently using a 9600xt that seems buggy ever since I connected the computer to this monitor and updated the drivers. I think it's time for an upgrade but I want to stay in the $150 range card.

The 9600xt has a horribly loud fan and makes all video shown on it to sit at the very top of the screen and when I try to stretch the view it doesn't work which I am suspecting is being caused by the driver update (it used to work for my 20 in. widescreen lcd prior to the update).

I am looking at the x800 GTO agp but kinda gun shy about ati drivers (see above problem with 9600xt).

The 7600gs looks nice but I am not confortable with overclocking.

Are there any other choices (maybe newly entered in the market) not mentioned?

I don't play games on this computer anymore (I have my 6700 core 2 duo/7900gto for that) so I am not really sure if I need all the bells and whistles but at the same time I am not sure which bell and/or whistle I need because of the plasma screen size.

I have a dell 4600 with a stock psu with an AGP mobo
2 g RAM
native resolution of plasma is 1024x768
a b U Graphics card
October 10, 2006 9:22:48 PM

WHAT!?!

All work and no beer make Homer something something....



First why don't you roll back the drivers first? Then you'd know if it's the drivers.

Second the XT's fan is quieter than the stock GF7600s or X800s so you might want to think of passive cooling, there's a few out there like X800XL, GF7600GS, and X1600Pro, all of which would do. I'd recommend the GF7600GS and X1600 for primarily video playback and editing functionality.

Consideirng your use I'd say look for a GF7600GS or X1600P with either HMDI out or at least HDCP support.
October 10, 2006 9:52:53 PM

I updated the drivers because the old driver caused a problem where the resolution settings would not be kept. This was apperently a known problem and was fixed by the update. This new driver isn't horrible but I just can't seem to figure out how to make it work like before. With that said, the new driver is the lesser of the two evils.

Do any of the options like GDDR3 memory, VIVO, SM3.0, etc... matter for my intended use?

I am currently connecting my pc using an dvi to hdmi cable. Is this what you mean by HDCP?
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
October 11, 2006 3:07:20 AM

Quote:

Do any of the options like GDDR3 memory, VIVO, SM3.0, etc... matter for my intended use?


No, maybe, no.

GDDR3 matter for gaming performance, but for non-gaming memory bandwidth is not a big concern. GDDR3 runs a little cooler at the same freq but it's usually running faster so that beneft is gone.

VIVO is useful if you want some analogue video-in like from a VCR or something. The Video out you're already handling, so if you don't have an analogue in concern then VIVO doesn't matter, if you do then it's nice to have.

SM3.0 is more for gaming, and between the GF7600GS and X1600Pro I mentioned, they both have SM3.0, and the only difference IMO are primarily gaming differences. Both have great video playback features PureVideo/AVIVO (btw, AVIVO is different than VIVO). Encoding would still be beter handled on your other system IMO so that difference is moot.

Quote:
I am currently connecting my pc using an dvi to hdmi cable. Is this what you mean by HDCP?


No, but it is part of the equation. Almost all HDMI is HDCP compliant, and to playback copyrighted material in the future like from BluRay/HD-DVD PC drives you will need and HDCP card and Monitor. If you use HDMI currently for your PC viewing, then the HDMI equipped models of the card would be perfect for you IMO. Here's the HDMI-equipped X1600Pro;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

And HDMI equipped GF7600GT;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Those would be my recommendations for what you want to do.
October 11, 2006 3:18:47 AM

**Looks around; stops....looks again*


...........i was told there would be beer :cry: 
October 11, 2006 4:26:18 PM

LOL, sorry for the bait and switch regarding the beer but I figured it was like using models in front of a convention booth to attract the "buyers" in.

Does using a DVI to HDMI cable degrade the video in any way?

The ati x1600pro you mentioned says its 'low profile', will that fit in a mid tower pc? I always thought 'low profile' cards were for slim cases.
a b U Graphics card
October 11, 2006 4:39:11 PM

Quote:

Does using a DVI to HDMI cable degrade the video in any way?


Sure, every connector jump does, but is it appreciable, not likely.

Quote:
The ati x1600pro you mentioned says its 'low profile', will that fit in a mid tower pc? I always thought 'low profile' cards were for slim cases.


Low Profile will fit almost all cases (they usually come with brackets to fit the base back plate). Check the different plate for the half-height setup;
http://images10.newegg.com/NeweggImage/productimage/14-...

It splits the one output on one plate into 2 to fit low profile cases like for HTPCs.

But they ship to fit the standard case.
October 11, 2006 5:07:24 PM

Guys,

Sorry to hijack this thread a little, but my question is somewhat related. I was trying to use my DVD player in my PC to watch DVDs on my TV (my original DVD player konked out, so I want to try this option first before forking out $50 for a new one).

I bought this cable, DVI to Component cable:
http://sewelldirect.com/DVI-to-Component-Adapter-Cable-...

I have this video card, MSI x1900xt:
http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/vga/vga/pro_vga_...

I have this TV, 27'' Sony:
http://www.parkaveelectronics.com/product.asp?itemid=Sa...

Guys, please help me if you can. I am at a loss and so frustrated. All I get on the TV is a garbled pic, some red and blue colors, and a resolution that looks way to big for the TV (my desktop pic doesnt fit onto it). I edited the details for the secondary monitor on Catalyst Control Centre, made it the smallest res (640 X something), but still no go. I tried everything.

PLEASE HELP PLEASE HELP! I really need to get this working. I will really appreciate it old wise ones. Thanks man!
October 11, 2006 5:13:10 PM

BTW gunny10, the x1900xt card is great. I think with a mail in rebate, you can find a great deal. I am very happy with the card. Dual DVI outputs, so I can use my PC and watch movies at the same time. If I had a better TV, I could have just got a DVI to HDMI cable to sort this out. I had to get a DVI to component, but should work just as well. Hope this helps a little. I think the x1900xt is the best bang for your buck at the 1280 X 1024 resolution (the last time I checked).
October 11, 2006 6:55:15 PM

FishBoi: you might want to try the DVI-to-component adapter from Ati... maybe the generic one is different somehow?
October 11, 2006 7:54:29 PM

For those who are interested, I AM FURIOUS. I was on the phone to ATI for 1 hour and 10 mins today. I cannot handle such incompetence. The guy that helped me was Tony (wouldnt give his last name). He was really friendly, but just had no idea what the hell he was talking about.

The jist of it - HE SAID ATI 1900xt CARDS DO NOT SUPPORT DVI to COMPONENT OUT !!!!! Geeeeez, thanks for telling me in advance! - after I spent hard earned bucks on these expensive cables!!!! After the website says it does!!!! They apparently have received 100s of calls on this issue. He said you have to use the 9-pin connector if you want to use component. You cannot use DVI to component period. Even that connector you are talking about, is not supposed to be sold with the x1900xt. I WAS SOLD ONE! Gosh, what a bunch of total fools. It seems like now my only option is to buy a component to component cable, and use the 9-pin connector. That really pisses me off. Anyway guys, just FYI.
a b U Graphics card
October 11, 2006 7:54:34 PM

Exactly!

That generic one specifically says not for use with PC/MAC.

Probably is a work around, but why bother, return it and get the right part.

Rememebr component can be sent a few ways, Analogue R-G-B (aka YPbPr), Digital Difference timings (aka YCbCr), and you may be able to set the output but you have to ensure it's sending the info along the anbaloque RAMDAC pins, not the DVI's TMDS. Sound like the this is an analgoue cable, so just ensure your TV can support the input and the card is set for the output.
October 11, 2006 8:07:28 PM

It says that, but also says "unless stated otherwise by your manufacturer". The MSI website CLEARLY says it supports this. What a sham. Click on that link, it actually takes you to a diagram of the little connector. FRAUDS!
a b U Graphics card
October 11, 2006 8:08:46 PM

Quote:


The jist of it - HE SAID ATI 1900xt CARDS DO NOT SUPPORT DVI to COMPONENT OUT !!!!! Geeeeez, thanks for telling me in advance! - after I spent hard earned bucks on these expensive cables!!!! After the website says it does!!!!


NO IT DOESN'T

Note:
These cables are not compatible with PC or Mac video card outputs unless specifically stated in your video card. They also do not support Y, Cr, Cb signals. If you're looking for a way to use your computer video output with your HDTV display, check out our VGA to HDTV Converter.


Quote:
He said you have to use the 9-pin connector if you want to use component. You cannot use DVI to component period. Even that connector you are talking about, is not supposed to be sold with the x1900xt. I WAS SOLD ONE! Gosh, what a bunch of total fools. It seems like now my only option is to buy a component to component cable, and use the 9-pin connector. That really pisses me off. Anyway guys, just FYI.


Seriously, just another example of RTFM !!!

:roll:


BTW, Show me where MSI states that specific cable, not just a generic DVI-component cable. Also it can be made to work with SOME monitors, like I mentioned, but not eaily, and maybe not yours. Your anger is directed in the wrong spot, and definitely not ATi, call MSI if MSI promised it.
October 11, 2006 8:19:05 PM

Dude,

Maybe just just me man, but read this closely. This is how I read it:

These cables are not compatible with PC or Mac video card outputs unless specifically stated in your video card.

My video card states:
http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/vga/vga/pro_vga_...
-supports YPrPb component output for direct drive of HDTV displays.
-if you click on that link, it takes you to this page:
http://www.msi.com.tw/images/product_img/other/vga/feat...

The cable page says:
http://sewelldirect.com/DVI-to-Component-Adapter-Cable-...
-Supports
Satellite TV
HDTV
DVI-I
Component
Y/pb/ Pr video
Most LCD Projectors

I MEAN, THAT LINK TAKES YOU TO A PAGE OF A DIAGRAM OF THAT ADAPTER, COM'ON, clear as day. Maybe someone else can comment.
a b U Graphics card
October 11, 2006 9:13:15 PM

Quote:

I MEAN, THAT LINK TAKES YOU TO A PAGE OF A DIAGRAM OF THAT ADAPTER, COM'ON, clear as day.


That link takes you to the diagram of ATi's adapter, not some generic 3rd party's you don't know if it wrks with.

So once again you need to focus on MSI and the Cable maker. :roll:

MSI only mentiones it without much detail as to how other than directly drive a TV whihc may use both types (which is like our plasmas here at work which supports both ove rthe component in.

So you have a card from one, company, a cable from another and a TV from yet another company, yet the only company that didn't promise you it work work is the one you called and bitched about. :roll:

Like I said, if we know HOW that generic cable works (what pins it's running off, likely one set but could be another which may be the problem [look they have both the VGA and DVI like Tony at ATi mentioned), then you might be able to get it to work with your TV like I mentioned as long as it supports that signal, but really at this point, why detail a fix, if I miss a comma you're just gonna phone ATi (or your MoBo vendor) and b1tch at tony again. :roll:
October 12, 2006 3:48:29 AM

See, this itself prooves how great of a guy grape really is. I wouldnt lend you a bucket of water if your house was on fire.....decieving a man out of beer is damn near a felony. :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol: 
!