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  1. #1
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    Question DX8 or DX9 card

    I'm looking at a GF4 Ti4200 8xAPG (vivo). I take it this is a DX8 card. Which cards are DX9 compatible and are they worth it price wise (is it early days yet)?

  2. #2
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    Yeah, the Ti4200 and all the GeForce 4 line are only DX8 cards (or 8.1, whatever). Decent VIVO cards are the Gainward and MSI varieties, Asus is good too but not really worth the premium. I have the Gainward and am thoroughly pleased with all its aspects. The video capture isn't as good as I would have have hoped, but that's no fault of the card or implementation of the capture chip, you won't get better on a GeForce.

    DX9 cards available right now are the ATi Radeon 9500 and above, nVidia's Geforce FX is also a DX9 card, avoid the flagship 5800 but in the coming months we should see the lower specced 5600 and 5200 cards. If you are buying now though the Radeon 9500 Pro should cost about the same as a decent GF4 Ti4200 VIVO card.

    If you must have VIVO and are serious about video capture editing then I would strongly recommend getting a separate capture card, either now or in the future. It will give you the best of both worlds and allow you upgrade individually so you won't lose functionality when you upgrade your graphics card and will ahve a wider choice of cards to shop for. ATi do about the best non-professional card but it costs $125, it's the All-in-Wonder VE I think and has ATi's latest Theatre 200 capture chip which is a lot better than any the GF4 VIVO line. It wil cost more as a combo to get the 9500 (pro or non-pro) and that card, but it will last longer and give you better performance. You can always buy the capture card later if money is tight now.

    If you need it all the Ti4200 128MB VIVO is still a fine way to spend your cash, and is the way I went after all. Looking now I would go the compound ATi route though.

    Bennyboy.
    If you've got your money for nothing, who cares if the chicks are free!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply. I have a TV tuner card, so the capture side is fine. I really only need TV out which is what most cards seem to have now. I've posted half-asleep!

    What do you think to Leadtek cards?

  4. #4
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    The Leadtek cards are fine, not excellent, but are a useful way to save some cash if you don't need other features. I'll list some of the differences between a Leadtek card something from Gainward or MSI, it's easy to recall because it was only 6 months ago I was having the same thoughts whirring through my brain too.

    1. Leadtek can only display really high resolutions like 2048x1536 at 60Hz. Not a big thing in every day situations, but it's worse than my monitor can do and would be a limitatoin if a got an even better larger monitor. Gainward can do 75Hz, never seen a GF4 do more than that, newer Radeons and all Matrox cards do 85Hz I'm pretty sure. There's not much actual differnece in image quality between GF4 cards, but I figured that if the Leadtek doesn't support as high refresh rates it may also look a little fuzzier too. Although I doubt I could spot any difference.

    2. The Leadtek cards do have big heatsinks but don't seem to overclock as reliably high as the MSI and Gainward Golden Sample cards. My Gainward 128MB GS easily runs past Ti4400 specs and that's with the slower memory on the 128MB models. At stock speeds you won't notice a difference of course, but I bought to overclock. It wasn't exactly free performance cos I paid another 15 to get the better clocking card, but it did have other benefits too.

    3. It was kinda cool at the time to have a red PCB card.

    4. Leadtek didn't give as much in the box in terms of free games, apps, and I also knew that the Gainward (and MSI for that matter) came with DVI-VGA dongles for dual monitor output and all necessary S-video/composite splitter cables. The Leadtek may have done too but all in it seemed a more skimpy package and was harder to get info on.

    They are by no means bad cards and when gaming at stock speeds you will not notice the difference. It's just that there are better packages out there for more money.

    I do feel slightly as though I may have wasted a lot of time here because I'm going to implore you not to get a GF4 Ti4200. If you have capture sorted on a TV card then you have no reason to get a complete VIVO card, as you pointed out in your last post. Unless you are getting a stupendous deal on the Leadtek, I know they are going pretty cheap these days, or should be, then you really will get so much more from getting a Radeon 9500, and even more from a 9500 Pro. It will give you a lot more performance but more importantly better visual quality with its faster implementations of anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering. My GF4 can do these too but at a sever performance hit that makes them only usable at lower resolutions or reduced settings, on the Radeon you can pretty much have them on all day and not worry. It's kinda nice having a DX9 card too, even if it is only for watching cool demos right now.

    I don't know what pricing is like where you are, but this is what costs are here.

    Gainward 64MB Ti4200 110
    Leadtek 64MB Ti4200 116
    Leadtek 128MB Ti4200 VIVO 133
    Gainward 128MB Ti4200 VIVO 148
    Radeon 9500 128MB 134
    Radeon 9500 Pro 128MB 138

    On this pricing the, the Radeon 9500 Pro is a clear choice, costing only 5 more than the Leadtek 128MB model (which is also VIVO). However, over the standar 64MB Ti4200 it does cost 25% more, if you can't stretch then don't worry. If you can it's well worth it!

    Bennyboy.
    If you've got your money for nothing, who cares if the chicks are free!

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