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Radeon ATi 9800 Pro + Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS?

Discussion in 'Computer Components' started by Sigismund, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    homeagain - Hi. :)

    Right... please consider me a total computer illiterate - I'm not totally useless, but I suspect most people here will likely take things for granted that would seem a little complex to me :blush:

    Anyway, at the moment I'm using a Yamakawa DVD-365 player connected with a DVi-D cable to a Panny AE300 at a custom resolution of 1280*768. The image I'm getting is very good, nice and clean and reasonably sharp. The one little thing that bugs me is that I cannot adjust Red, Green and Blue colour settings individually, something l would be able to do if I go the HTPC route. I don't have DVi out on my graphics card at the mo' so I was thinking of buying an ATi Radeon 9800 Pro + Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS soundcard.

    The cost of these two cards is about £173.00 - but am I going for too much? Would I get just as good an image + sound by buying cheaper items? I am also deciding whether to buy a Playstation 2, or use the PC for games played on the PJ.

    Any advice would be most, newbiently, appreciated :D

    Sigs
     
  2. homeagain

    homeagain
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    Hi again Mark. To be honest if your only concern is DVD playback and you are not building a new HTPC from the ground up, I think a 9600 series card will do fine, no need for a 9800 Pro. The 9600 is also available fanless if noise is a concern. I'm not a big fan of Soundblaster cards but the Audigy series functions perfectly well for DVD playback over SPDIF, assuming that's the connection you're using.
    Now if gaming IS a consideration then I would look at a newer Geforce card depending on your budget. There's no doubt an ATI 9800 Pro is a good gaming card for the money, but there are better now.
    There are so many variables with regards to hardware and software :
    Will you be running FFDShow, using overlay or VMR7/9, what software DVD player will you use ? etc etc.
    Anyway you'll have total control over gamma and RGB levels as well as 1:1 pixel mapping, so it's all worth it !
    Let the fun begin, Rob. :D
     
  3. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    Hi Rob :)
    I would rather have a sound card that has an optical output - I can't seem to find any cards other than Creative Labs cards... and I was impressed that they are THX certified - it will be linked to a Yamaha RXV-2400.

    Budget is an issue, here - I'm starting to think that I may be able to fund most of the cost of a cheaper Graphics card and get a Sound card by selling my Yammy 365 DVD player!

    Do you have any recommendations for sound cards?

    Cheers,

    Mark
     
  4. homeagain

    homeagain
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    Mark, Try searching for any card with the Envy 24 HT chip. I have a brand new unused Chaintech AV710 that I've been keeping as a standby in case I switched to a motherboard with a poor onboard audio solution. I'm not using it now as I have an Abit NF7S with the NVidia/Dobly digital chip on board. In fact I may never use it, as my next build will use the Nforce 4 chipset and a new digital audio solution is incorporated.
    What's your current PC set up ? There's no need to spend a lot of money to achieve your goals.
    Obviously the AVS forum is a wealth of knowledge if you have time to plow through the long threads, but www.htpcnews.com has more concise threads.
    All the best, Rob. :smashin:
     
  5. KraGorn

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    The decision about using the PC for games or not does impact the choice of video card greatly. For DVD playback then a cheapo 9600 non-Pro can be got for £40 or so, but it'd be pretty naff for FPS type shooters .. thus it also depends on the type of games you'd expect to play.

    A decent 'gamers' card like the 9800 Pro will also mean a potentially noisy fan, eliminating that in turn will cost £40 or so on a Zalman GPU cooler .. or spend something like £250 for one of these.
     
  6. uczmeg

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    I use a 9600 non pro, as do many others, for DVD playback. It is very good and as it has been said a 9800 pro will add nothing, other than noise, if that is all you want to do.

    However I've been following the threads on TheaterTek 2 (due shortly) and there is a lot of discussion about what card is going to be best with that and for DVD in the future.

    It sounds like the nVidia 6600GT cards are going to be the way forward. These are around half the price of the new 6800 based cards and whilst not as good for gaming they do appear to have a slightly better video processor.

    They are however better than a 9800 pro for gaming!

    There is of course a catch right now. It is only available in a PCI Express version with AGP versions expected in a month. Still I have seen the PCIe versions selling for around £135 so they are going to be a bit of a bargain and might be worth waiting for.

    Cheers
    Marc
     
  7. KraGorn

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    Are we sure they're better than the 9800 Pro for gaming? I've not seen any benchmarks that indicate that, are there are out now?

    Also, are there any indications as to how noisey these things are, remembering how ridiculously loud FX cards used to be.
     
  8. uczmeg

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    I'm not sure about anything! That is what I read, but I was on a video discussion thread at the time! They seemed to clearly think it killed the ATI cards on video performance, and this was from a dissapointed ATI fan....

    For any 9800 pro or a 6600GT I'm guessing you are really need to change to some third party heatsink/cooling if you want something quiet.

    I had a 9600 pro for a while and it had an adjustable fan on it so it ran almost silent. It was still too noisey for my liking and I downgraded!
     
  9. KraGorn

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    Hey, I'm not questioning it .. just asking. :)

    One option I am seriously considering is junking my HTPC and using my current 'games'/'other' PC for everything, but to do that I'd want to switch from the 9800 Pro to a 6600GT AGP .. thus I'm very interested in the gaming performance of the 6600.
     
  10. homeagain

    homeagain
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  11. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    Good link homeagain, thank for that. :smashin:
     

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