Big Monitor/Video Card question
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Thread: Big Monitor/Video Card question

  1. #1
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    Big Monitor/Video Card question

    I've finally decided to plunk down the cash and get a 22" Iiyama VM Pro 514 .

    My question is, what is the best video card for this monitor? What should I consider when buying a card for a monitor like this? I've been looking at the Radeon 9700 Pro. Will this give me a good, crisp picture? Thanks all.
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  2. #2
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    It all depends on what you want to use it for. That splits nicely into games or not games. If you aren't using it for games you don't need a fancy 3D chip and superfast memory. What you do need is quality for a monitor that size, and if you plan on running it at its maximum resolution of 2048x1536 you can forget many offerings as they can only refresh at 75Hz or even 60Hz, when the the 514 can do 85Hz. For general image quality Matrox is sitll the industry standard, upping the bar with their latest Parhelia card, but ATi has a good reputation also. Like I say, jsut look carefully at the fine print on the technical specs of a proposed purchase, many cheaper manufacturers using ATi's chips skimp on the output componentry, even if the RAMDACs are the same.

    The Parhelia is still fairly pricy, but its most important quality fundamentals can be found in the cheaper Millenium P650/750, about $160/200 respectively at a guess. Cheaper still is to go for an old Millenium G450 for about $75, or an older G400MAX second hand on eBay. The Parhelia and P750 will handle gaming OK, equivalent to a GeForce Ti4200 and Radeon 8500. It's not top-end, it won't play the next gen games too well, but it will run things. Anything from the G400MAX (I've still got mine) and later still edges out current offerings from ATi and others, but in most situations it's not a factor.

    If you do game then look to ATi's series of cards, a great combination of decent image quality and storming frame rates. The 9700 Pro you mentioned would be a superb all-round buy, as would the 9600XT.

    If you don't game though, and on a monitor of such class that budget for a Radeon 9700 Pro would be better spent on a Matrox P750. Enjoy the monitor though it's a beaute!

    Bennyboy.
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  3. #3
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    Yeah, I should have mentioned usage. It will be an all around machine. Gaming and part time graphics machine.

    That Matrox card looks sweet though. But I think that the ATI is better suited for my needs give what you said about the 2 card's relative strengths.
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  4. #4
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    For all round abilities Matrox is indeed going the way of the dodo. The Parhelia is on a par with the Ti4200, which is what I game on and consider myself an avid gamer, so it would be OK, it's just not the most prudent buy if you have an eye to continue gaming this year! For less green you can get an absolute gaming beast in the 9700 Pro, or go the whole hog and 9800XT your system.

    If you can get one, the 9700 Pro is a very fine buy, and it has been spotted for about $210. If you can't get it though, get the 9800 Pro, or if you were planning on buying Half Life 2 on release, get the 9800XT with the HL2 voucher, it makes the difference in price between the Pro and XT almost nothing and you get all the Half Life back-catalogue to chew through while you wait.

    Arrgh, more options, but if those are a stretch on the budget, a 9600XT is a very fine way to employ your gaming alter ego. As for which brands and where, I'll leave that to a US resident to advise! Or you can check the past few weeks worth of threads, lots of people are after these cards, so it's probably been said before.

    Bennyboy.
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  5. #5
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    For a 22" i'd definately look at a Radeon 9700 Pro and higher... I don't think cards lower than the 9700 Pro would have enough horsepower to decently run modern games at 1600x1200, and with a monitor like that, it would be a shame to run at lower resolutions (heck, you can run Q3A at 2048x1536 with that thing ).

    For the brands, Sapphire would be a good choice, but the Built By ATI cards are always a sure bet.

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  6. #6
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    Originally posted by equinoxe3d
    For a 22" i'd definately look at a Radeon 9700 Pro and higher... I don't think cards lower than the 9700 Pro would have enough horsepower to decently run modern games at 1600x1200, and with a monitor like that, it would be a shame to run at lower resolutions (heck, you can run Q3A at 2048x1536 with that thing ).

    For the brands, Sapphire would be a good choice, but the Built By ATI cards are always a sure bet.
    Yeah, I agree that those Sapphire cards are sweet. But they basically just increase the clock speed of the GPU and the memory, right? I thought that there were programs you could use to do that on a base ATi model.
    Antec p160 w/ Panaflow Ultra Quiet 120mm fan
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  7. #7
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    Originally posted by afxdub
    Yeah, I agree that those Sapphire cards are sweet. But they basically just increase the clock speed of the GPU and the memory, right? I thought that there were programs you could use to do that on a base ATi model.
    I don't think they clock their cards higher than the built by ATi cards. However, they have "Ultimate" models in their product line, which are cards assembled with an heatpipe cooler to run silent.

    Sapphire are a good alternative if you can't find BBA cards in your area, they manufacture the PCBs for ATI's own cards so their reputation is actually very good.

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  8. #8
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    I couldn't find anything in Sapphire's specs about what refresh rates and resolutions they support.

    I wouldn't assume it was the same as other cards, but I don't know how you would actually check, maybe email them. It's worth it, if only for those older games that you will be able to run at 2048x1536. Quake 3 and UT will look so sweet!

    Bennyboy.
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  9. #9
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    Originally posted by afxdub
    Yeah, I agree that those Sapphire cards are sweet. But they basically just increase the clock speed of the GPU and the memory, right? I thought that there were programs you could use to do that on a base ATi model.
    I don't know about the whole range of cards, but with regards the 9600XT, then yes, the Sapphire has 650Mhz memory compared to 600Mhz of the ATi version. But the point is, that the memory of the Sapphire is guaranteed to run at 650Mhz, whereas the ATi may well run at 650Mhz, but it may not, and if you run it at that speed and it fries, I don't think it'd be under warranty (although I don't know how they could prove it).

    Also, as you said, there are programs that let you overclock the graphics card (set the Core and/or Memory speeds faster than they are by default) and they apply to all cards, not just the ATi versions, so you could probably overclock the Sapphire just as you could the ATi. E.g. if you took the ATi from 600 to 650, you could possibly take the Sapphire from 650 to 700. I know that the memory on my Sapphire 9600XT is Samsung (one of the best brands) and is rated for 700Mhz according to the Samsung website. What you have to remember though, is that the 9600XT is already by far the fastest clocked 9600, and I can't see a faster version being released, so it may be near it's upper limits of speed and may not overclock by the same proportion as other 9600's, but I guess you would have to ask some people who have overclocked their 9600XT's to find the general consensus.
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  10. #10
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    Trev, thanks for the info. I do agree that pushing the limits of a card is dangerous. But how else are we going to get our kicks?

    I do think I'm going for an ATi card though. I feel they are a better mix of 2D and 3D than nVidia's offerings. But looking around and comparing specs and tests, I really don't know which card to get. The 9700 Pro is a nice card and it can still be found (if you look) for around $200. It seems to outperform the 9600 series. And, while the 9800 series does provide a performance boost over the 9700, it seems too little for the almost $100 more you have to pay. At least, this is the way that I currently see the ATi card market.
    Antec p160 w/ Panaflow Ultra Quiet 120mm fan
    AMD 64 3200+
    1 GB Crucial 3200 CAS3
    MSI K8N Neo Platinum
    ATi Radeon 9800 Pro 128
    160 GB Maxtor, 7200 RPM, 8 MB cache
    Plextor 708A DVD-RW
    Iiyama 514 Vision Master Pro

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