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Can someone please suggest sensible video cards for P4PE

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Arranger, Dec 12, 2002.

  1. Arranger

    Arranger Active Member

    I know nothing about video. :confused: I just want to be sure I get a sensible card for the DAW I'm building. I can't remember the last time I played a game and video quality is not that important to me as long as it's generally acceptable. Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt I need a high dollar card principally to perform audio tasks. Of course, I don't want visual interference.

    My main concern is system stability. Could someone suggest some specific video cards/models that will not destabilize my audio system?

    P4 2.4GHz
    512K DDR333
    Maxtor 80GB ATA/133 8mb
    Yamaha CRW-F1 Burner, Nero Burning ROM
    Sonar XL
    Audiophile 2496
    Chieftec Case
    Antec or Enermax Quiet PS

    Thanks for your replies.
  2. garysjo

    garysjo Active Member

    Matrox G550 dual head works great for me and many others on this forum. In my older machine I used a Matrox G400 dual head which also worked great.
  3. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Gary is correct. Matrox is the way to go for the best compatability and as well as dual monitor support. You could go for the Matrox G450 for 88.00 bucks at http:// and be done with it.
    It is an important aspect of the DAW that most people overlook. High intensive RAM based video cards take too much PCI bandwidth to handle the video drawbacks and so forth. This happens while the CPU sits idle as well. Leave that room for your audio hardware and any possible controller cards.
    Typically you will lower your bit depth to 16bits anyways to reduce PCI bandwidth and to not have video drawback resolution taking priority over the audio engine resources!
    That help? Hope so!
  4. Arranger

    Arranger Active Member

    ABSOLUTELY! And Thanks! You chaps are geniuses. So the M450 only lacks the digital video connnector of the M550? Sounds like the 450 is the smarter way to go because it won't tempt me to dabble in video on my audio system.

    Happy Holidays, all. :c:
  5. suspec57

    suspec57 Guest

    Well the G450 atleast has S-video out which is cool. I have two G450's. One on my DAW and the other on my Linux box and they work great. I got my other one from Ebay for $50 with shipping, updated the bios to v2 and I haven't had one problem yet. Wish I had the Parhelia though but it just cost to damn much. ha ha ha.
  6. Arranger

    Arranger Active Member

    Just a little rehash here. My good friend, an avid gamer, says if the video card does not invorporate nvidea or Radeon technology, that it isn't going to be up to snuff. I still hold that gaming is about the last thing on my mind.

    Is there more I need to know, or something I ought to clarify for him? Are the Matrox cards near legacy devices, or just in my buddy's mind?

    By the way, this is the same friend that had me throwing headers, a cam, and and 1100cfm carb on my dad's station wagon! :roll:

    Thanks again.
  7. Sklathill

    Sklathill Guest

    There are some boards out there that don't work with Matrox boards. The Nforce 2 boards, for example, don't like the G4xx and G5xx series of cards. Most of the time, however, Matrox cards should be fine.

    Matrox is prized for their 2d quality. however, in this regard, there are a few cards that actually have as good 2d quality. The Radeons come pretty close...but the real kicker is the high end Leadtek GeForce4s. Leadtek made the 2d quality their focus in designing the card and it is sharp as a tack...the best 2d I've seen.

    Matrox is also prized for the flexibility of their multi-monitor support. Nvidia is close, but not quite. ATI is a little bit behind nvidia. If you're using multimonitor, Matrox is GREAT. If you have the bucks to spend on a Matrox Parhelia, you'll be getting the only 3 monitor solution on the market. (Well, kind of silly to say, since long ago, Matrox made a 4 monitor video card...the G200 MMS.)

    In terms of 2d SPEED, however, all the cards are pretty close, with the Matrox actually falling behind on some of the synthetic benchmarks.

    To your gamer friend...well, I don't think Sonar or Cubase has OpenGL support. :)

    There are some very good multimonitor cards from ATI and nvidia chipset providers, and because both ATI and nvidia dish out their chips to other manufacturers and there are so many, price goes down way fast. Don't discount the ATI Radeon VE based cards simply because it's not a Matrox. The 2d quality be really darn close, though the multimonitor flexibility won't quite be there. OTOH, you might not need it, unless you're intent on working with video a lot. If you just want a larger screen area, a Radeon VE or 7500 based card would be great. I'd stay away from Geforce 2, 3, and 2 MX based cards because the 2d quality is typically not up to snuff. With the GeForce 4 generation, including MX cards, the 2d has gotten quite a bit higher, with most getting close to the ATI point, and a few actually surpassing Matrox.

    Oh yeah...NOISE! ALmost all GeForce cards have noisy fans. DOn't want fans? Get a Radeon VE or a dual head Radeon 7500-fanless. The 8500 and above have fans, and pretty noisy ones. The Matrox Parhelia also has a fan. I can't remember if the Matrox G400 MAX has a fan or not, but pretty much all the Matrox cards (except for the recent Parhelia) do not have fans.
  8. Arranger

    Arranger Active Member

    Thank you, Vincent. Great treatise. I've noticed that two of the popular turn-key system vendors provide ATI Radeon 7000 cards in their preconfigured systems. I'm sure they don't need a lot of tech support calls for unstable systems.

    One thing I am dead against is a fan. It doesn't make sense to heat up and noise up an audio PC.

    I went to:

    DAWBOX provides the Matrox G450 and G550 in their premium systems, however.

    I guess I've also picked up that some cards are AGP and some PCI. I'm not too swift on this. It seems that many are against clogging the PCI bus with video signals. Makes sense to me. Are most audio PC's fitted with AGP video cards? Is that the correct differentiation I should make?

    Thanks again. I'm slowly picking this up! :eek:
    Any other comments?
  9. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Indeed. A gamer will recommend the absolute worst card for a DAW system because they are more interested in the overal graphics and resolution settings than anything. The G450 or G550 can do high resolution settings without any problems but it's not necessary for a DAW unless you have a 21" monitor or the likes there of.
    Yes, DAW's should have an AGP video card, plain and simple. As the AGP is off of the PCI bus.
    Vincent is correct about Nforce and Matrox...incompatable. They no like each other.
    One thing about ATI dual monitor cards that I have seen is when you are using multiple audio cards(i.e...two RME 9652 cards) it causes crashes and unwanted garbage to happen to your system.
    Basically in the long run you don't want to get anything higher than a 32MB AGP card as you don't want the video memory taking performance away from your audio from video drawback. Remeber that it's usually best to turn the monitor off anyways when mixing sometimes. The visuals can make you mix a little differently than without!
  10. Sklathill

    Sklathill Guest

    Unless you're using the Aardvark's software mixer. :) I cannot wait to replace my CRT with an LCD. The sound of those humming transformers bugs the life out of me!

    I use an ATI Radeon 8500 myself on a multi-Delta and haven't experience the garbage that you describe. I HAVE seen problems with people using the All In Wonder type cards, because of the audio driver that is part of that package. In Sonar 2, for example, I can't see ANY of my soundcards but the video. Disable the AIW Rage Theater Audio driver (It DOESN'T mess with the functionality of the card, strangely...) and BOOM. I can my sound cards again! Very strange phenomenon...

    Oh...I was hoping that Trident's return to the video card scene would usher in some nice, low cost video cards. Turns out that these new cards (aimed mainly at the low-mid range 3d gamer) have awful 2d quality (despite the 400+ MHz RAMDACs) to complement their poor 3d. They're not out in force in the markeplace yet, but once you see them, avoid them like the plague!
  11. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Well, I turn it off during the last listen through so I'm not distracted by visuals and I can truly concentrate on the stereo image and so forth.
    I do hear you on the CRT's though. I'm about to consider getting a Samsung LCD display but not sure what size to get at the moment. I want two of em of course. What I'd like to do is this.
    Once LCD monitor and also a Wacom Cintiq touch screen monitor as well. Those things rock! They can lay flat and the stylus pen that you use on them is fast and very efficient. When I was trying it out at AES show scrubbing was like scratching a record! Unbelievable!

    I guess the ATI card has an issue with the RME cards and Nuendo than. Wouldn't doubt it. It's so hard to maintain all the incompatable and compatable hardware and software components! It'll drive you mad trying to figure all of them out!

    Opus :s:
  12. Arranger

    Arranger Active Member

    Well, thanks again, all.

    I went ahead and ordered a G550 along with a new P4PE from NewEgg yesterday. I'm psyched.

    I'll hit a trade show in early Jan and pick up the remaining hardware, then it's off to assemble we go!

    Happy Holidays. :c:

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