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Best value card w/ video in?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 6, 2002 8:10:54 PM

I was recently asked to build a computer for my in-laws. They currently have a Pentium Pro 160 MHz. So basically anything I build them will be a big upgrade. I was planning to go with an Athlon XP 1600, but I am unsure what video card to use. I was planning on a GeForce4 Ti4200 w/ 64 MB of RAM. That would be more power than they would ever use, and the price is now reasonable. The reason I said 'was' is that now they would like a card with video-in so they could record and edit home movies with their camera. Their camera is not digital and doesn't have USB or Firewire. The only outs are composite video and mono sound.

What card would you recommend for this? Would a GeForce4 MX be best? I don't think that they need a GeForce4 Ti4600 and I can't find video-in on any Ti4200 or Ti4400. What about the ATI All in Wonder? They wouldn't ever use the TV-Tuner, but would that still be a better choice over the nVidia card? Are there any other cards out there that I am not considering?

Also, what software would you recommend? Do any of the cards ship with adequate video editing software? I have only used Adobe Premiere 6.0 myself.

Buying for myself is much easier because I do a lot of gaming so I want the best. It is harder to try and decide what would be best for someone else without making them pay for something they don't need. I don't want to build them a Mercedes when all they need is a farm tractor.

Any and all advice is appreciated. Again, they want to have the capability to do video editing, but this is not their hobby and it would only be used seldom for this purpose.

Thanks

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a b U Graphics card
November 6, 2002 9:09:21 PM

I'd get the old Radeon 64MB DDR VIVO card. It's like an AIW Radeon but has twice the ram, higher clock speeds, and no TV-tuner, just RCA Composite and S-Video inputs and outputs.

I'm running a similar card (cheaper version) and it rocks, and has for a long long time. Even the latest games play at reasonable resolutions with good frame rates. And that's what the newer cards give you-better 3D performance, which they don't need. You should be able to find a Radeon 64MB DDR VIVO for around $60.

<font color=blue>You're posting in a forum with class. It may be third class, but it's still class!</font color=blue>
November 7, 2002 1:20:26 AM

Leadtek Winfast MyVIVO Ti4200 has Video in...
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November 7, 2002 2:14:59 PM

Ok, I did a search on Pricewatch for the Radeon 64MB DDR VIVO card. The first link was dead, the next few links don't advertise that it is VIVO on their site, and after that, it just has links to All in Wonder Cards. The one link I found that was accurate sold the card for $100.00 after shipping. Do you know of a place that sells it for less?

I found the Leadtek GeForce 4 Ti4200 VIVO for $176.00. I am sure that would work great, but I am looking for a card under $100.00 if that is possible. Right now the Radeon 64MB DDR VIVO card sounds preferable even at $100.00, but it seems to me like that is a bit high for an older card and that I should be able to find it cheaper. I can find the GeForce4 MX440 64MB with VIVO for $92.00 after shipping, but I am sure that it probably performs the worst of the three cards mentioned.
November 7, 2002 2:54:22 PM

I would have thought those older VIVO cards would be easier to find, hmmm. There was a predessor, the Radeon SE, but they don't show up in a search either.

I'm not exactly a fan of Sapphire video cards but the $73 Sapphire Radeon 9000 VIVO might suit your needs. You can <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?DEPA=&submit=..." target="_new">get it at newegg.com</A> but you might want to <A HREF="http://secure.newegg.com/app/CustratingReview.asp?item=..." target="_new">read this first</A>


<b>I type sixty words per minute. Ten are spelled correctly.</b><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by phsstpok on 11/07/02 11:56 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
a b U Graphics card
November 7, 2002 3:19:08 PM

That card phsstpok mentioned looks like a good deal. Also you could consider the <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=1..." target="_new">$78 All In Wonder Radeon from Newegg</A>. The newer, cheaper card would be better in games, the older more expensive card adds a TV tuner.

<font color=blue>You're posting in a forum with class. It may be third class, but it's still class!</font color=blue>
November 7, 2002 3:38:25 PM

I was looking for that older AIW at Newegg. For some reason only the 7500 and 8500 AIW came back in the search.

I still love my old, old, old AIW PCI. So convenient to have TV in a window while browsing the Web. I kind of wish I had bought the 8500 DV instead of the the 8500.

<b>I type sixty words per minute. Ten are spelled correctly.</b>
November 7, 2002 3:55:49 PM

That Radeon 9000 VIVO is looking better to me now. I just noticed it doesn't have a fan. It should work well for DVD viewing in a home theater PC. Now if I can find a silent PSU. Are DVD drives quiet these days? I have a real picky friend.

<b>I type sixty words per minute. Ten are spelled correctly.</b>
a b U Graphics card
November 7, 2002 4:35:49 PM

My friend just got a Sony DVD, it's super quiet. My Panasonic DVD is average, most of the loud ones are either cheap brands or old version.

<font color=blue>You're posting in a forum with class. It may be third class, but it's still class!</font color=blue>
November 7, 2002 4:58:15 PM

Thanks. Do you (or anyone else) know anything about the Liteon DVD drives. I don't need super quiet like my friend but I don't want something really noisy either. I hear the Liteons are good as CDROM readers (for game backups). My friend will probably want the Sony. He's a big Sony fan. Thanks again for the tip.

<b>I type sixty words per minute. Ten are spelled correctly.</b>
a b U Graphics card
November 7, 2002 8:27:39 PM

I was actually considering a Light-On DVD a while back, they seem to be pretty decent and have good DAE speeds.

<font color=blue>You're posting in a forum with class. It may be third class, but it's still class!</font color=blue>
November 7, 2002 11:54:23 PM

I think I remember that discussion, back when Liteon was the only DVDROM with decent DAE speeds. However, I do not care about DAE. Got other drives for that. I do care about medium noise levels or better from the drive. I've found Liteon CDRWs a bit too noisy (maybe that has changed since the 24x units) so I'm still not sure about Liteon DVDROMs.

Probably should start my own thread regarding this.

<b>I type sixty words per minute. Ten are spelled correctly.</b>
a b U Graphics card
November 8, 2002 12:40:15 AM

Everything I know about Lite-on tells me that it does everything in the middle of the scale, including noise levels, response time, life expectancy, etc.

<font color=blue>You're posting in a forum with class. It may be third class, but it's still class!</font color=blue>
November 8, 2002 3:48:38 PM

That helps a lot. Thank you. It seems to be very easy to find older nVidia cards for sale everywhere, but it is difficult to find older ATI cards.

I think that I might go with the Sapphire Radeon and thanks for the heads up about the drivers. I always use downloaded drivers anyway, but that is pretty dumb to not ship any drivers with the card. Since it doesn't ship with drivers does it also not ship with any video capture software? I guess that isn't too important because I like using Adobe Premiere, but I have only used Premiere to edit video and not to capture it. I'll just have to look to see if it has the option.

Thanks again for all the imput. I just have to wait for one more paycheck and I can start ordering all the parts.
November 8, 2002 6:33:40 PM

You might want to do some more research. I don't know if the card is capable of MPEG2 level video capture (not that I know much about this stuff).

I thought of another alternative. You could go with a video capture card. They are reasonably priced these days. I think Pinnacle has a line of very affordable cards. With this option you could choose any video card you want plus leave the option of a later video card upgrade. You could even get a capture card with standard video options plus firewire (which would be nice if the video camera is ever upgraded).


<b>I type sixty words per minute. Ten are spelled correctly.</b>
November 9, 2002 6:03:01 PM

I normally would agree with phsstpok and recommend a seperate capture card, for exactly the reasons that he recommended. However, in this instance I think that the Radeon 9000 is a better choice. Reason being is that this is what I call a Granny computer. The people who use it will never open the case and will never upgrade anything, so you might as well go for a cheeper one card solution.

The Radeon 9000 will not include any video-editing software (that only included in the all-in-wonder series). Both Adobe and Pinnacle make good video editing software.

BTW: ATI's video-in is generally of better quality than nvidia's. In this case it doesn't really matter since the quality of the source (the camcorder) is likely to be the limiting factor.

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November 9, 2002 10:50:06 PM

I was worried about the lack of software with Sapphire Radeon 9000 VIVO. Probably have to add the cost of Video Capture/Editing software.

This doesn't sound like a bad deal, Pinnacle's Studio AV (version 8) complete with analog capture card. Costs $110.99 + $0.50 shipping at <A HREF="http://www.googlegear.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product..." target="_new">GoogleGear.com</A>. Choose whatever videocard suits the budget and needs.

Granted it doesn't have Firewire but like you said, the in-laws probably don't need it. It does support MPEG2.


<b>99% is great, unless you are talking about system stability</b>
November 10, 2002 3:08:28 PM

On the topic of DVD-ROM noise: Maximum PC thought the Samsung SM-332 was the quitest drive around when they reviewed it in their October 2002 issue. It's a combo drive with 12X DVD and 40read/10CDRW/32CD-R.
November 10, 2002 5:02:08 PM

I think I read one other good review about that combi drive. Seems like a good upgrade for someone with one of those OEM Micro ATX boxes or for someone that just wants a single drive.

My friend might not want to give up his Dell box so I'll suggest he research this drive for himself. His OEM 6X writer is horrible at everything.

Thanks for the tip.

<b>99% is great, unless you are talking about system stability</b>
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