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WHich dual DVI/D-Sub video card?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Brogan, Jun 29, 2004.

  1. Brogan

    Brogan
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    I'm sure this must have been asked thousands of times before but, as everyone's needs are different, I wanted to get the info' from the horses mouth...

    I've just upgraded to a Dell Ultrahsarp 20" TFT so now need a video card with DVI out.
    I also want to be able to connect to my plasma via D-Sub simultaneously.

    The respective resolutions are:
    TFT: 1600 x 1200 @ 60Hz
    Plasma: 1280 x 768 @ 60/70Hz

    I don't play games or watch DVD's on my PC so it doesn't need to be a heavy duty card.

    The PC isn't currently used as an HCPC but I would like to keep my options open for the future so I would be looking for a card which would also be suitable for HCPC duties when the need arises.

    I'm currently running Win ME but will be upgrading to XP when I get around to it so there must be drivers for both OS.

    So, bearing all of that in mind, which card would be best suited?
    Will it be able to output signals on both DVI and D-Sub simultaneously at different resolutions or will I only be able to see the image on either the TFT or the plasma?
    How much RAM is considered 'normal' these days?
    Does it make a difference if it's an AMD or Intel system?
    Why is life so complicated?

    TIA
     
  2. Brogan

    Brogan
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    After a bit of searching, I have come up with this for £55:

    Asus ATI Radeon 9600SE/TD 128MB - Retail (GX-021-AS)
    Powered by ATI®'s Radeon™ 9600 SE Visual Processing Unit, the only graphics processor supporting DirectX 8.1 programmable shaders in its class, ASUS Radeon 9600SE/TD provide outstanding image quality and high performance for immerse gameplay and business. Incorporating various cutting edge technologies such as ATI's SMARTSHADER™, SMOOTHVISION™, FULLSTREAM™ and ASUS' GameFace™, Additional features such as TV-out, DVI output, 2nd VGA and rich-spectrum of unique ASUS innovations make the ASUS Radeon9600SE/TD a complete solution for the 3D market.

    - Radeon 9600 SE Graphics Engine
    - 128 MB DDR ATI Video Memory
    - 325MHz Engine Clock
    - 400MHz (200MHz DDR) Memory Clock
    - 400MHz RAMDAC
    - AGP8X/4X/2X Bus Standard
    - 64-bit DDR Memory Interface
    - 2048x1536 Max Resolution
    - Standard 15-pin D-sub VGA Output
    - DVI Output
    - 2nd VGA output via DVI to VGA adaptor
    - S-VHS and Composite TV-out

    Will this be up to the job?
    Are there any spec's in that list that are weak and should be improved upon?
     
  3. The Dude

    The Dude
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    should be fine, though you can get the 9600 pro for about a tenner more..
     
  4. Brogan

    Brogan
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    I've done a search and there seem to be lots of different manufacturers making ATI Radeon cards :confused:

    For example, searching on DABS (http://www.dabs.com/uk/Search2/results.htm?searchPhrase=9600) gives loads of returns for the same card made by Sapphire, Gigabyte, Abit, etc.
    How does that work then?
    Which is the best 'version' to go for?

    BTW, The 9600 PRO seems to be about £90.
    Where have you seen it for £65?

    One last thing, what's the difference between PCI and AGP?
    Presumably this is to do with the mobo and how the card connects to it physically?

    Edit: Just checked my current card and it is AGP 4X. Does this mean I can only replace it with another AGP 4X or can I use an AGP 8X? Also, presumably this means that if/when I change my mobo I can't go for a PCI mobo?
    :confused: :mad:
     
  5. Brogan

    Brogan
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    I have found what would appear to be a bargain...

    Evesham Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB DDR AGP DVI TV-out for £125.

    Anyone know a better deal than this?
    Is Evesham an OK make for video cards?
     
  6. rOAdeh

    rOAdeh
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    Never heard of Evesham tbh aside from the OEM computer building company. I'd say spend the extra £10 and get at least a Connect3d/Powercolor or better still a Sapphire.

    However, since you don't play games then i'd suggest that the 9800 series is overkill, save your money and get a passive 9600pro (which even then is still probably over the top... perhaps even a suitably featured 9200 would do you). If you do ever go with an HTPC then you'll appreciate the silence ;)

    PCI graphics cards are pretty much dead now, only the very low end cards use them due to their low bandwidth.

    AGP is the most common one at the moment and is backwardsly compatible (8x will work in a 4x slot @ 4x)

    However, a new connection called PCI-express which has even more bandwidth than AGP. it is just being released now but is currently unnecessary in terms of bandwidth provison even the super top end cards but will provide interesting options for the next gen. AGP is easily sufficient for you for now - if and when you decide to upgrade your motherboard then maybe PCI-express will be something to consider.

    To output an image at two different resolutions the card must have 2 different RAMDACs, this isn't always easy to find out but i believe (but don't quote me) that a 9600pro should be able to cope. Pretty much all cards can support the same resolution over multiple outputs (which obviously won't help you as one display would then be out of native, which is undesirable).

    In terms of video ram, it's mostly used within games but for compliance with WMV-HD and general future proofing - 128mb should be plenty, 256mb is generally overkill for about 95% of the population.

    Apologies if this is confusing - i've just randomly answered questions. In short, i personally would look at a passive 9600 (pro preferably depending on the price) as that should definitely meet all your current and hopefully medium-term requirements.
     
  7. Iain Shields

    Iain Shields
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    Hi mate,

    I have one of the Evesham 9800pro's you mention and am very happy with it, I would also heartily reccommend it if I thought that it was what you need but I have to side with rOAdeh and say that I think it is overkill for your needs. Firstly you don't need anything that powerfull in a PC unless your wanting to run the latest games which you say you have no interest in, secondly it is the loudest part of my PC (something I need to rectify with some kind of silent cooler, any ideas anyone?) so it's straight off something you wouldn't want in a HCPC where noise is a major concern.

    I'd reccommend a fanless 9600 or even a 9200 should be fine if you want to keep costs down...

    Regards,
    Iain.
     
  8. The Dude

    The Dude
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    the 3DConnect radeon9600pro is fanless i've seen these around recently for <£70... overclockers.co.uk would be a good place to start looking..
     
  9. Brogan

    Brogan
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    Thanks for all the replies guys - especially rOAdeh for answering all my noob questions... :blush:

    On reflection, I agree a 9800 is overkill for the use it will get so I will look at a 9600 Pro instead.
    Overclockers have the 9600SE and 9600XT but not a Pro.

    I guess the SE is the bottom of the range and not too rich in features?
    What about the XT - is it the successor to the Pro?
     
  10. Brogan

    Brogan
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    Well it looks like the 9600 Pro is no longer available - I can't find one anywhere.

    Cheapest price for the Connect 3D 9600 XT is £93.94 from Overclockers so that looks like what I'll be getting....unless anyone knows of a cheaper source?
     
  11. Iain Shields

    Iain Shields
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    Remember mate, the fanless versions are the one's to go for if your looking along the lines to HCPC. Since (I think) the XT versions are the top of the range of their respective models, you might find they need a fans to keep the chip cool when it's tuned to it's limit...

    It might be worth giving whatever seller you choose a ring before you order to confirm weather it's fanless or not.

    Regards,
    Iain.
     
  12. Brogan

    Brogan
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    Yes, I appreciate the need for a fanless card if going the HCPC route but that's not required even in the medium term.
    Having just spent almost £1,000 on a new 868 DVD player, I want to get use from that first.
    Also, my PC is in a separate room with all the cables going through the wall to the amp and plasma so noise is not a major issue.
     
  13. Iain Shields

    Iain Shields
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    Well that's a good enough reason as any :D Just thought that further down the line you might've been getting a nice new HCPC case for under the T.V where it would've been good to have a nice quiet card to drop straight into it... but if your plans are to run it from another room, then your completely right, the fan won't make much difference.

    Maybe then that 9800pro might be a good choice, especially if you do other graphic type work from home, if not then there's not much point.

    p.s nice choice on the dvd player, lovely machines :smashin:

    Regards,
    Iain.
     
  14. Brogan

    Brogan
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    Aaarghh! Just when I'd decided to get a 9600 XT, you've got me thinking now... :D :rolleyes:

    I suppose it is only another £45 for the pro...(£138 from Overclockers) :suicide:

    Yes the 868 is a great machine.
    Shame we've only watched about 4 movies on it since we got it over 7 months ago... :nono: :(
     
  15. Iain Shields

    Iain Shields
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    This is the 9800pro I bought, http://www.lowestonweb.com/Products/DisplayInfoMain.asp?e=2F99A0AD-B9A8-470B-B643-2A672531F699 (there's a few short reviews on there too) the price of £125 includes P&P by the way, the only thing you have to worry about is downloading your own drivers. I was a bit worried about this but after I was given some help here on the forum it turned out it was easy to get installed... Up to you I guess :D :devil:

    I'm not going to feel too sad for you though.... 4 movies in 7 months of having a 868 (not to mention the rest of your nice gear!!!) Be ashamed, be very ashamed ;)

    Regards,
    Iain.
     
  16. Brogan

    Brogan
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    I only hope the AV Gods don't condemn me to Beko hell for this flagrant abuse of nice kit... :D
     

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