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Old January 11th, 2008, 06:34 PM   #1
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Best Video Card for CS3/Aspect HD?

I'm looking at building a new system, and while it's been recommended to get the a card based on the NVidia 8800GTS 512MB, from reading these forums it seems there's a problem with overlay/full screen output to a second monitor when using Cineform products. Have I got that right?

If this is true, what card is best if this workstation will be for editing only, never any gaming? The Adobe OpenHD page recommends the Quadro FX3500, but I've been told this is overkill and a waste of money, and the Hardware Compatibility page at Adobe shows every card above the FX 1500 and both the GeForce 7800 and 8800 as having "Full support."

The Videoguys go as far as to recommend an even lower-level card if using Aspect HD, the FX540/560.

To complicate matters, the Cineform page talks about AGP, but none of these cards are in that category; the Adobe page specifies PCI Express. At the same time the Requirements page seems apathetic about the choice of card, as neither Aspect nor Premiere really need a really advanced card to work.

All I want in a nice display of my HDV content to play in full screen on a TV monitor while previewing.

Suggestions? The folks I respect most on this forum seem to be of different minds about this: Harm recommends the 8800 while Carl hates his and Mike M notes the overlay issue but recommends it. My head's ready to explode...

Thanks all.
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Old January 14th, 2008, 10:15 PM   #2
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Okay, I gotta admit I'm a little hurt.

No one has thoughts on this? Cineform guys?

Pleez?
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Old January 14th, 2008, 11:36 PM   #3
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You pretty well covered mine for me. :)

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Old January 15th, 2008, 12:22 AM   #4
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Thanks, Carl. I knew I could count on you! ;-)

So knowing what you know now, what card would you go with? Or are you happy with your workaround?
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Old January 15th, 2008, 08:14 AM   #5
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I'm happy with the workaround. There is a half a second delay before playback starts (but it doesn't affect A/V sync) which is kind of annoying, and my understanding is the workaround does NOT work on Vista. (But what does?)

Other than the overlay issue, which there is that workaround for, I've been rather satisfied overall. I would just hate to see anyone buy the card and then find out it's going to require all this trouble to monitor using overlay. I will put it this way tho - I see Vista going the way of WinME. I'm not worried about the Vista workaround not working because of that. And it's not enough of a pain to stop or even slow down my editing - so I haven't pulled it since I installed it. It's not annoying enough to warrant replacement.

That said, I replaced an old crappy eVGA card with the XFX Geforce8800GTS mean machine (when I built the computer, I wasn't doing video) and there's no noticeable improvement on any aspect, other than the fan on this one isn't nearly as loud. Nothing I use seems to use the card to it's full advantage.

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Old January 15th, 2008, 03:26 PM   #6
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Great input, Carl. Thanks.
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Old January 30th, 2009, 09:48 PM   #7
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Well, now that a year has passed and I've upgraded to Vista 64, it seems I'm back in the market for a video card, as the old workarounds (including just using the older XP drivers) can no longer get you full-screen playback on a second monitor.

The Cineform guys have made it clear they have no intention of addressing this (even though it apparently works fine in Premiere without Cineform; it's AHD and PHD that breaks this). Many others besides me have posted about this issue to no avail. The hardware recommendations on their website are several years old -- nobody even makes an AGP card anymore, it seems. So, again, I gotta ask: What's a decent card for Aspect/Prospect?

I don't need a $2000 CX. I don't need a $1000 Matrox. I don't even need a $500 gaming card. All I want is decent performance and the ability to watch preview/playback from the timeline on fullscreen real HDTV. Just dragging the monitor onto the screen isn't acceptable.

Anybody? What's everyone using these days?

As both Premiere and Cineform seem to be somewhat video-card-agnostic, what about something like these? Would they be sufficient?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814161225

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ted-_-14102803

And finally, my monitors are older and not HDCP compliant. Does this mean they won't work at all with an HDCP compliant card, or is that just for commercial copyrighted stuff like Blue-Rays?

Last edited by Adam Gold; January 30th, 2009 at 11:46 PM.
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Old January 30th, 2009, 11:17 PM   #8
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I would like to know this as well. Excellent question Adam.

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Old January 30th, 2009, 11:49 PM   #9
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Adam, I feel your pain!!! For most of last year I used a $100 fanless Nvidia 256MB GS7600. Initially I connected it by component to a 19" HDTV and spent ages getting the settings of the card and HDTV tweaked right. In other respects it worked fine except for the annoying 2sec pause issue.

Then .... Nvidia changed the freakin' drivers and disabled direct overlay playback! Doh! So I moved to spreading my desktop across a 24" main monitor and a 19" second monitor for the playback window. That was glitchy, plus I was running into the Nvidia colorshift issue, plus a Cineform post mentioned that ATi cards had less of a pause.

So I moved to a 512MB Ati card: Newegg.com - ASUS EAH4850 TOP/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

This card was great - no color shift, no pause, no glitchy playback. BUT (!!!!) it gave absolutely zero acceleration to Magic Bullet Looks and Colorista. (Do Red Giant state that plainly on their site? - no they do not! I rant about that here: Very mad at Magic Bullet! NVIDIA not ATi acceleration - The Digital Video Information Network ).

So then I went back to this: Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GV-NX96T512HP GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards which I have been very happy when used in non-overlay mode with my 24" and 19" monitors. Of course that doesn't solve your problem of not wanting to be forced to use the 'dragged window' solution.

Right now I am simply waiting to see if Cineform comes up with their promised support for monitoring using one the Blackmagic cards - saving my pennies for one of those meanwhile.

To answer your question about HDCP, my understanding is that non-protected content will play fine through an HDCP-enabled card to a HDCP-ignorant monitor.

Let us know what you end up deciding on - good luck!
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Old January 30th, 2009, 11:58 PM   #10
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Glad to know I'm not alone in this. This issue has come up so many times in the past year, and not just by me, that I can't fathom why Cineform won't address this. The feature works fine in native Premiere mode but not with Cineform. And while I agree NVidia are jerks for removing the one feature that made me buy a Quadro rather than a GeForce, I think it's up to Cineform to address the problem they caused. Or at least offer a reasonably priced recommendation. I tried the stretched window workaround and it looked so bad, I gave up.

Don't get me wrong, I love these guys, their products and their support. But in this area (and one other) I feel incredibly disappointed.
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Old January 31st, 2009, 02:38 AM   #11
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Yup. Affordable monitoring without tears seems to be the glaring weak link in 'prosumer' video editing at present.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 12:28 PM   #12
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I had used the nVidea Quadro 1500 for quite a while with CS3/ Prospect HD. I was able to keep it working pretty well for overlay HDTV monitoring, etc., but it always seemed like it was somewhat finicky.
I recently switched out to an ATI Raedon 4800 series and am very happy with it. I like the user interface better, it's very stable, and less expensive than the Quadro as well. I'm about 30 min into a 1 hr program using the ATI and, so far, it's doing everything I need with no fuss.
I'm thinking that maybe bigger, more expensive graphic cards are not necessarily better for ordinary video editing.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 01:20 PM   #13
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Yeah, I just ordered a Radeon 4830 and it should be here soon. The only difference I could find with it vs. the 4850 and 4870 on the ATI website, comparing them side by side, was that the more expensive cards could handle 800 streams vs. something like 640 or so for the cheaper one. Not even sure what that is, but I assume it applies to gaming.

No more expensive cards for apps that don't even care or use their power, that's for sure. The FX1500 was great for a while, but now that it doesn't do the one thing that convinced me to pay extra for it, it's an expensive doorstop.

Maybe I can give it to my kids for their games...
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