Graphics card recommendations?

Ben  wrote on 10/13/2004, 10:18 AM
I'm about to upgrade to a TFT display which only has a DVI input, and my current graphics card doesn't support this. So, I'm looking for a new one which does. It needs to be an AGP card, and some 3D power would be nice, though I'm not after one of the really full-on 3D cards. The only other prerequisite is that ideally I don't want the card to have a fan, for noise reasons.

My current card is an ATI Radeon, and I think I'd ideally like to stick with that range as they seem to play pretty well with audio apps and Vegas, with no problems (I use Vegas soley for audio work). But there's a plethora of options out there, so if anyone has got any suggestions I'd really appreciate it.



John_Cline wrote on 10/13/2004, 10:40 AM
Without reservation, I would recommend the Matrox P650. No fan, rock solid drivers, output looks GREAT.

Tom Pauncz wrote on 10/13/2004, 10:57 AM
What display(s) are you driving with this card please?
brant wrote on 10/13/2004, 10:03 PM
I also have a Matrox P650 driving two CRT displays (one 19", one 17"). The card has two DVI outputs so you could drive two LCD displays, or combinations of CRT and LCD displays. Included with the card are two DVI/VGA adapter plugs. Having a dual monitor system with Vegas is great. The only problems I've had with the card is that it is slower than the NVidia card that I had in my PC before. And the biggest problem that I had, is with KX Project 5.1 audio drivers for my 5.1 SoundBlaster Live card. The KX Project drivers stomped all over the Matrox drivers and blew my XP system out of the water. Had to take the KX drivers out. Don't know how I lived without dual displays before. And the card is Vegas certified per specs on the Matrox web site.
John_Cline wrote on 10/13/2004, 10:33 PM

I'm driving a pair of Viewsonic P810 21" CRT monitors and a pair of Viewsonic 19" CRT monitors on another computer. I still prefer CRT monitors over LCD when doing critical graphics work. A friend of mine is driving a pair of 18" LCD monitors using the DVI outputs on a P650. Both of us have been using Matrox cards since the old G400.

While the P650 is indeed slightly slower than the Nvidia cards I have in another couple of machines, the image quality of the output of the Matrox P series cards is absolutely stunning. Much better looking by far than any of my Nvidia cards when driving the same monitors. I think Spot is using Matrox Parhelia cards in his rigs and has mentioned how good they look.

Spot|DSE wrote on 10/13/2004, 11:06 PM
I have 2 P650's, one with fan, one without, 2 Parhelias (Don't spend the money unless you have OGL capable tools) and at least 4 450's and 550's. And a single Nvidia, and a single Asus. Then there are a couple of loose ATI's sitting around. One is a 128 meg card. IMO, you CAN'T beat Matrox for what we do.
Displays are Mitsubishi 20's (Anyone wanna buy one?) HP1701's, CTX something or others, ViewSonic 1750b's. All duals. Only problem at all is the HP's aren't EXACTLY alike, and that's not the card's fault. I've tried matching them exactly and can't.
I do run my B input on my monitors from the 2 Parhelia's. I only use that input/parhelia output for AE and DVD Workshop. And on the very rare/odd occasion, I use it for Media Studio Pro when doing Ulead training stuff.
Tom Pauncz wrote on 10/14/2004, 4:50 AM
Thanks John.
Right now I am using a G450, but am always looking to the future when desktop real estate will permit two monitors.

daryl wrote on 10/14/2004, 7:04 AM
G'day John, I have a question about this topic.

How does the video card affect the output of the video? I thought the video card only puts the previews etc. on your moniitor, while the actual digital 1s and 0s are rendered to the HD for output to recording devices via 1394, usb etc. I can see how a good card can be faster in displaying the previews and edits, but when does it relay digital data to a redering file?

If the video card actually has an effect on the quality of the video file, I need to consider that in my next card decision.

Hep me out here.
Tom Pauncz wrote on 10/14/2004, 7:15 AM
The computer monitor has absolutely no effect on the quality of the video with which you are working. You are quite correct in that the computer monitor only displays the previews.

From my humble perspective, the only reason you'd want a really good card, dual head, triple head or otherwise, is the display speed and at what quality it drives the displays.

For any kind of colour tweaking of the actual digital video, you'd need a good NTSC/PAL external monitor.

Hope this helps somewhat.
daryl wrote on 10/14/2004, 7:23 AM
Thanks to ya Pauncz, what you said is exactly what I was thinking, just wanted to know if I was missing anything.

Thanks much and have a great day!


Bill Ravens wrote on 10/14/2004, 9:03 AM
Since I do a lot of still image work on Photoshop, it's pretty critical that my monitor shows me what I'm gonna get on a print. Thanx to monitor calibration hardware/software, I'm able to do this, as well as make all my monitors be the least among the same type monitor, CRT or LCD. LCD monitors really suffer because their luminance control is flakey. At any rate, these custom monitor profiles that result from the cal process, apply to all the monitors running off of the same video card. I beleive the Matrox allows seperate profiles for each monitor.

Likewise, its pretty critical to adjust an NTSC monitor to NTSC standards, otherwise, it's useless to even have an NTSC monitor. I run the output of my video card thru a proc amp before it goes out to my NTSC monitor. This is a little tricky because I need to be sure that the proc amp settings are right.