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AIW or Matrox on Win2K?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
February 3, 2001 6:28:05 PM

I'm putting together a new system that will be running Win2K and I'm battling over what video card to get. I am addicted to having a TV tuner, so that is a requirement. I currently have the orig. ATI All-in-Wonder on Win98 which I've been happy with. Unfortunately, there is no Win2K SW for this (although I can update the driver for normal video card funcs). The sys must be Win2K as I will be doing SW dev work on it.

I assumed that I would just upgrade to a Radeon AIW cuz it says it supports Win2K, but after reading all the neg comments and Hobbit's repeated rantings, I became a bit scared. It appears that the only other all-in-one solution is the Matrox Marvel G400-TV (and the forthcoming G450-etv).

Does anyone have:
1. GOOD experiences with AIW Radeon (or the AIW 128 Pro) on Win2K?
2. Any experience with the Matrox Marvel G400-TV on Win2K?

The G450-etv is not out yet (late Q1 Matrox says), but the sole review I read says this is solid as hell in Win2K (but it was tested only on PII/PIII systems). The G400-TV also got good reviews, but the Win2K drivers/SW are BETA versions currently.

My sys will be:
- AMD Athlon TBird 1GHz (no overclock - yet at least)
- ABIT KT7A-RAID mobo
- 256 MB RAM
- Montego II sound card

I don't care much about gaming/3D peformance as I will use it mostly for work, but I gotta have my TV tuner. For now, I plan to use my old card and a friend's add-in TV tuner (assuming thw Win2K driver updates work). I don't want an add-in card as a perm solution, though.

Most of the problems I see on this forum were also with Athlon and ASUS mobos. Anybody got exp. on Abit?

My tentative plan is to wait for the G450 etv to come out (soon?) and then get that or maybe a reduced price G400-TV.

Does anyone have any advice for me? Much appreciated!

More about : aiw matrox win2k

February 5, 2001 6:13:56 PM

advice? That's a tough one... I can however tell you that my AIW Radeon works very well with my dual boot, both Win2k and WinME, with drivers that were shipped with my card (newer, beta drivers are also available, but I had no use for them).
AMD 1.1Gig, Asus A7V, 256MB, 46.1GB x2 in RAID0, 19" Samsung DF955, Soundblaster Live Value, etc etc etc

I like my card, wouldn't presently change it for anything else on the market simply because there is no other card that does what AIW does, and definitely not 'better' as some claim (yeah, GF2 has faster 3d graphics, but no TV Tuner).
Everything works just fine in Win2k... that is of course no guarantee that you'll get the same results, but just to let you know that hobbit's experiences aren't the only ones:) 

g'luck either way.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
February 27, 2001 6:25:26 PM

Matrox makes some quality stuff. However, if you just want a tv tuner card, why not buy one seperately? Tuner cards don't generally get out of date as a video card will. That way, when you upgrade you'll be able to take your tuner card with you and upgrade your video card.

Are you going to be doing video capture or just watching TV? If you're going to be capturing, wait for the G450 ETV, then tell me what you think of it. :) 
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
February 27, 2001 7:27:08 PM

thanks, but I already bought the AIW Radeon. Seems to work rather well. I do mostly TV watching w/omly the occasional capture.

I haven't had any serious issues, although I do notice some minor oddities when trying to play more than one media at a time, but that is likely a SW issue.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
March 2, 2001 2:07:53 AM

A few things that might help.

ATI AiW is a software based card, meaning the higher the CPU the better the video capture will be (less frame drops). Also for Mpeg2 capture, the AiW uses PIII SSE instructions. Having an AMD system, even as fast as it is, you "may" have some problems capturing directly to mpeg2. Once again, since it is software based, I have yet to see a mpeg capture method based on software that didnt ditch 30-40% of the data in order to speed up the process. The finished product DOES NOT look as good as the traditional way (capture raw video, encode slowly to mpeg). On the plus side, if you like TiVO like features the AiW is a great thing to have. It can act like a digital VCR and time record shows when your not at home. Either to mpeg1 or mpeg2, you'll never mis your favorite show and the bonus would be that you can captue to VCD (mpeg1) and burn it to VCD which is playable on many DVD players (pioneer is the leader in VCD on CD-R playback).

The Matrox Marvel is a slightly better card for Win2k. Like the ATI card, it will use a compression method when capturing to AVI. The difference with the Matrox card is that its all hardware based (capture with a P200 or a PIII600 it doesnt matter). This codec (which Tom likes to call proprietary) is called Mjpeg. Its just like a jpeg except it captures 30 pics a second (actually its 29.97 fps). Quality can easily be controlled. But the highest setting usually yields the best looking video. Mjpeg was used heavily in semi-professional cards, that is until DV came along. The only problem with this codec is that it can take a few seconds for the AVI to load where as a uncompressed codec will load almost instantly. That and if you want to move a AVI file to another PC, your SOL since they dont offer the codec to be installed. You have to have the card in the machine to install the codec. You can find 3rd party mjpeg codecs, but ive tried them and they really do suck.

Also the Matrox G400 Marvel has dual display, so you can have one display on your SVGA and the other on your TV/VCR. This is GREAT for editing (if your into that), and even better for DVD playback. I think the AiW has finnaly introduced a Break out Box (BoB), something the Marvel has had for many many years. Its ease of use when connecting video and audio cables is a must for some people. Depends on your tastes.

My only experience with Win2k would be with my Marvel G200 PCI card on a Athlon 750. This setup usually causes my system to lock up instantly. But I blame this mostly on the fact that im using a hacked Athlon CPU and the fact thats its an outdated G200 PCI card. Ive tested G200 AGP cards on Win2k and have found only a few problems. But this was back in the spring, the drivers and chipsets have since evolved.
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