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Please help me decide which Radeon card - Confused....

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Tempest, Dec 5, 2003.

  1. Tempest

    Tempest
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    Ok, thank's to the kind people on these AV Forums I have my Coax Audio lead on order, I also have another celeron chip here which will run cooler and quieter.

    Now i REALLY need to get a Radeon graphics card on order....

    This is what I want (and what I think I know!) and I would really really appreciate your advice on this issue......

    I want my PC to power my Monitor AND my AE200 projector
    I understand most Radeon cards come with DVI out and that some of them come with an adaptor in the pack that plugs into the DVI output port to convert this into a standard monitor socket. Hence allowing me to do what I want.

    Question 1: Do you know WHICH cards come with this adaptor as I know they don't all come with it.

    I will be running with a 1.4Ghz Celeron CPU so am aware that if I bought say a 9800 (which I would not anyway) I would be throwing money away as my CPU is not up to the graphics card, but it would be nice in the card had a little bit of headroom in it just in case I upgrade my CPU, so I was thinking that a 9000 Radeon may be a bit low...

    Poss a 9200 or 9600... what you think ?

    Now I read (just to confuse things more there are so called lite/se versions of these cards, do I assume I should stay away from these as they are knobbled in some way ?

    Memory..... In the various cards, 9000,9200,9600 ect I have seen various memory amounts. 64Mb, 128Mb, 256Mb.......

    WHICH ONE ?

    64Mb seems too low.
    256 seems too high.
    128Mb seems the NORM.....

    But if I'm running dual monitors would the 256 be better, or not matter ?

    What make ?
    I've been told Sapphire is the OFFICIAL make of Radeon card in the UK. should I assume that a Sapphire card in in any way better build/quality wise than a different make ?

    I've seen Powercolor (which look cheap on the box) also hercules which I know is/was a good make.

    Second to last question: Quality....
    As I wish to drive a projector I want really top notch quality of output. I recall some time back Geforce card makers being slapped my using cheap componants on the video out line of their graphics cards and a few makes using really good componants to give a crisp/clear output. Are there any Quality makes to go for on the Radeon front ?

    Finally (I promise)
    What's the catch with dual display.
    I mean you can't get something for nothing.
    A card can't drive two displays without some penalty somewhere.
    Does performance suffer, or what ?

    Many thanks to help/advice/comments on any of the above
     
  2. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    I have a 9600 non pro, and that gives a sklightly better pic with DVD when using hardware assist - it has better mpg deblocking/noise removal. It also has 128 meg, and is 8x capable, so will be fine for Hi Def if you ever go that route. You can download and run the Hi Def demos at least.

    Some older Radeons have the facility for two VGA outputs, but you'll have to look which ones have them. My old VE Radeon does, so it's possible the newer VEs that are available over at ebuyer.com do as well, but do check first.

    My first Radeon HTP could drive both projector and monitor simultaneously, and deliver a good picture on both. Since I upgraded to newer drivers, that doesn't seem to be possible (not even with the new 9600 I'm now using), so I use the alt F5 switch to run one or the other. It works well that way, but not as useful as before.

    If I run both displays at the same time, DVD playback is jerky, and there's tearing, so it's not worth doing it that way.

    Gary.
     
  3. Tempest

    Tempest
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    Cheers Gary.

    To be honest, I don't NEED to run a monitor and Projector at the same time.
    Being able to swap between them (alt F5 (never knew of that) would be fine.
    I just didn't want to have to swap leads around between monitor and projector.

    My mate recommends the Hercules Cards as being very good and very quiet also.

    He has a 9600 (non pro) 256MB version for £106.50

    Or I could go for the Pro version with just 128MB Memory for an extra £33.......

    Thing is, the cheaper non pro version does not have the DVI to VGA adaptor cable in the box, wheras the Pro version does.

    He also says the Hercules non pro has 4 pipelines, but thinks the sapphire card of the same spec only has 2 pipelines.
    (Dunno if that true though)
     
  4. Pootle

    Pootle
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    All this memeory and pipeline stuff is only of value to you if you are going to be gaming on the machine. If you aren't gaming I would go for a non DDR card (cooler) and certainly not max available RAM.

    I got a 9500 earlier this year, and chose it specifically because it wasn't a *hot* card, and I've replaced the cooler with a fanless zalman to keep the noise down.

    I run an LCD screen and front projector both permanently connected in shared desktop mode, and although I had problems originally with crap software that would only use the overlay on the primary monitor (Hauppauge digital TV card), now I can move apps back and forth no problems. I find both on useful as you can do other things on the second monitor while watching telly, like check program guide etc. Especially useful during F1 grand prix when you can display the race position chart realtime, while watching the broadcast.
     
  5. JohnS

    JohnS
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    Just to disagree with Gary:) on running a 128mb 9600 non pro with 2 monitors, I have no probelms with smooth payback or dropped frames in dscaler but I do have 512mb ram and a >2000 processor. Monitor 1 is a tft via vga and dvi to my hs10 at 1368*768.

    I did use to have problems with a celeron 1200 and radeon 9000 though.

    The 9600 is better than the 9200 series but not by very much. I dont think the onboard ram really makes that much difference unless you are gaming inw which case get a 9800.
     
  6. Mr_Belowski

    Mr_Belowski
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    I My mae bought a 9200 which was advertised has having a DVI out. It didn't - it only had VGA and S-Video. So make sure you know what you're buying
     
  7. Tempest

    Tempest
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    Thank's for your help and advice guys..........

    I think I've mentally ruled out a plain 9000.

    The 9200 is still appealing, but perhaps I'm really leaning a little more towards a 9600.

    Given my 1.4Ghz CPU I'm sure a 9200 would probably be more than adequate for the job, but the 9600 may just give that little more headroom. and if I get a faster Mboard/CPU in the future then the 9600 may have a little more life in it.

    Another reason is the DVI to VGA cable.
    I've not seen a 9200 which comes with the cable yet.
    Price wise I guess we are looking at £30 or £40 more ??????

    My friend has got the Hercules 9600 with 256MB of RAM on board.
    Having read reviews of this it's supposed to be Very Quiet. Actually all the hercules boards are supposed to be very quiet.

    Again though, it's not until you hit the PRO version of this card do you get the DVI to VGA adaptor cable in the box.

    Hmmmmm, what a pain......... :(
     

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