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Old April 9th, 2006, 11:12 PM   #1
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"gamer" cards good enough for HD output to monitor?

I posted this in the cineform group but thought I'd get an answer here. The two cards that seem to be popular for HD output to external monitor seem to be the Nvidia FX540 and the Matrox Parhelia cards. I was just about to pulll the trigger on one of these units when I went to Best Buy and saw some Nvidia geforce series cards with HD out for much less. My question is....is the HD out the same on both cards or are there some differences that make the FX540 much more expensive? Right now my plan is to edit with Edius.

Chris Watson
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Old April 10th, 2006, 12:52 AM   #2
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Chris, as I'm sure you know the Parhelia can output to two monitors AND a HD display. The other cards you mention all force you to chose between EITHER a second monitor OR a HD display.

Regarding the rest of your question, I'm interested too in what others have to say....

If you decide a cheap card will be OK, I would recommend you get at least a 6XXX series card so you can use Nvidea Purevideo to take the playback strain off your CPU. You can get a 6600GT for around $100 on a good day.

See here: http://www.nvidia.com/page/purevideo_support.html
And here: http://www.nvidia.com/page/purevideo.html
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Old April 10th, 2006, 01:05 AM   #3
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Thanks for posting an answer to my question. My line of thinking is that Nvidia wouldn't go back to the drawing board just for HD playback. I'm thinking both will have some things in common. As for dual monitor editing, I've been just fine editing with a single monitor so that's not a pressing issue. I think I'll probably end up rolling the dice on one of the PureVideo cards I've seen and post results when I get things up and running. I guess someone has to be the guinea pig :)

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Old April 10th, 2006, 09:50 AM   #4
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From what i remember of the who quadro vs geforce debacle is that the chips are very very identical. Up until the geforce 3/quadro dcc they were the same chip but with a couple of resistors that would tell the card to enable a few little things.

Getting wise to this nvidia started to change things a little so people couldn't mod their cards from the cheaper geforce to the quadro (which I did with my trusty soldering iron a bunch of times, only for 3dsmax performance bump)

What I've heard now is that the chips are still idenitical for the most part so the playback output, the dvi link chips, the ramdac's and everything else are still similar and the difference between one and the other is almost non exsistant for everyday use. Certain software packages may take advantage of certain things but for HD output (assmuming you mean the DVI output set to a HD res) should be similar along with similar acceleration aspects between boards of the same generation / chip level.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 10:54 AM   #5
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A related question ... do any of these card/NLE combinations allow for HDV playback direct from the NLE's timeline?

Or are we just talking playback of rendered HD using a mediaplayer app.?
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Old April 10th, 2006, 11:01 AM   #6
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We're talking about playback during editing like scrubbing the timeline, etc. Just like a Storm setup.

Chris Watson
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Old April 10th, 2006, 11:28 AM   #7
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Hmmmm ... if I recall correctly, even the Parhelia couldn't do that at first - at least with Premiere - it took some time before they wrote a WYSIWYG plugin.

So it may prove to be be driver rather than hardware capability that will limit the functionality of the cheap cards.

But...perhaps that may differ depending on the NLE??
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Old April 11th, 2006, 06:44 PM   #8
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I guess I should have gone to the source regarding this. It looks like there is not difference between a GEForce 6600 and a Quadro FX540 in regards to HD output...

http://www.nvidia.com/page/purevideo_support.html

If I'm missing something, let me know but it looks like I might have saved at least $200 on a video output to external monitor.

Chris Watson
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 11:46 PM   #9
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So ... does it work the way you hoped?
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Old May 4th, 2006, 12:19 AM   #10
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At the NVidia booth at NAB, they announced a new Quadro FX 1500 card that had 256MB RAM, 2 DVI outputs as well as an HD breakout box. The card hasn't hit the streets yet, but it should this month from what I understand.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 02:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Hickling
So ... does it work the way you hoped?
Not quite but it's good enough for editing. Basically the video output from the card gets de-interlaced on the way out resulting in some artifacting on high motion scenes for interlaced footage such as streaks and things of that nature. This only happens with the 1080i setting working with HD footage and it goes away if the footage is deinterlaced such as slow motion or the film look filter in Edius. It handles standard def footage like a champ although that is deinterlaced as well. I can't say I'm completely satisfied with this solution and am researching just how much better the Parhelia and FX540 are in handling video output. From what I've heard, they exhibit the same limitations. That being said, the HD footage is very sharp and detailed and I'm able to work with it just fine given the limitations so for now I'll deal with it until something better comes along.

Chris Watson
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Old May 4th, 2006, 02:29 PM   #12
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Good to know ... thanks!
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