AGP videocard with dual-DVI outputs - but ATI or NVIDIA?


A

Andre Willey

[Sorry for the cross-posting, but I'd be interested in opinions from both
the NVIDIA and ATI camps]

I have what I thought was going to be a fairly simple requirement, but
that seems not to be the case.(Is it ever?) I basically just want a
decent AGP graphics card with a couple of DVI outputs and an S-video out,
but they seem pretty few and far between. For some reason, many of the
AGP versions of newer PCI cards seem to feature a DVI and a VGA port
rather than two DVIs.

What I actually want to do is as follows:

1) Connect my main PC LCD monitor to one DVI port at 1680x1050.

2) Connect a Sony LCD TV set to the second DVI port (via a DVI-to-HDMI
cable) running at 1920x1080p. I'm UK based, so it would normally be run
at 50Hz, but easy switching to 60Hz (or maybe even multiples of 24Hz for
movies?) would a plus.

3) On-board hardware decoding for MPEG2, H264 and maybe DivX to reduce
processor load for HD video material until I add a dual-core Athlon
processor later. I've no real need for fancy 3D gaming facilities, but
some drop-dead-demos to show what I've spent my money on would be nice!
:)

4) HDCP compatibilty would be a plus for the future, but not critical.

5) Sometimes I'd want to switch the secondary output over to normal PAL
720x576 50Hz interlaced (via an ordinary S-video cable. which should
remain connected to avoid constantly swapping cables).


I've found a GeCube ATI X1600 Pro card (http://www.gecube.com/products-
detail.php?prod_cat_pid=9&prod_cat_id=141&prod_id=61445) which seems to
offer these features, but the few comments I've seen about it have been
rather negative and anyway I can only find a couple of US-based retailers
that actually sell it, and they won't ship to me in the UK. :-(

The other card I've found is a XFX GeForce 6800XT
(http://www.xfxforce.com/web/product/listConfigurationDetails.jspa?
productConfigurationId=550286 and similar) which also seems to fit the
bill and is sold here in the UK, but it doesn't appear to support HDCP as
far as I can tell (although I could live without that). Also, I'm more
familiar with ATI's drivers so I don't know whether the GeForce software
offers the same sort of profile setup options?


I wonder if the assembled masses of experts and enthusiasts here could
maybe offer some opinions on which of these cards would be best, or
perhaps suggest some other AGP solution which I've not found as yet? (One
thought being Sapphire's new ATI X1950 AGP card, due out in a few weeks,
but that might be overkill for what I want, and I'd really like to keep
under the £100 region if at all possible).

Many thanks for any advice you can give me,

Kind Regards,

Andre
--
Andre Willey

Address edited to avoid spam. Please remove the letters shown in CAPITALS
from my quoted email address to contact me directly. Thanks!
Visit http://www.cix.co.uk/~neverland/dlp/ for the Disneyland-Paris FAQ
List.
 
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S

Sharanga Dayananda

The XFX 6600 GT AGP had 2 DVI ports, though they're only single link.

This might be hard to find and during gaming some of them had overheating
issues. However I had one of these and MPEG-2 HD and H.264 decoding worked
perfectly on this card with the Cyberlink HD264 pack (or PowerDVD7). WMV HD
was a bit iffy though and I've never been able to get this working properly
on an AGP GF6 or 7 series card.

Andre Willey said:
[Sorry for the cross-posting, but I'd be interested in opinions from both
the NVIDIA and ATI camps]

I have what I thought was going to be a fairly simple requirement, but
that seems not to be the case.(Is it ever?) I basically just want a
decent AGP graphics card with a couple of DVI outputs and an S-video out,
but they seem pretty few and far between. For some reason, many of the
AGP versions of newer PCI cards seem to feature a DVI and a VGA port
rather than two DVIs.

What I actually want to do is as follows:

1) Connect my main PC LCD monitor to one DVI port at 1680x1050.

2) Connect a Sony LCD TV set to the second DVI port (via a DVI-to-HDMI
cable) running at 1920x1080p. I'm UK based, so it would normally be run
at 50Hz, but easy switching to 60Hz (or maybe even multiples of 24Hz for
movies?) would a plus.

3) On-board hardware decoding for MPEG2, H264 and maybe DivX to reduce
processor load for HD video material until I add a dual-core Athlon
processor later. I've no real need for fancy 3D gaming facilities, but
some drop-dead-demos to show what I've spent my money on would be nice!
:)

4) HDCP compatibilty would be a plus for the future, but not critical.

5) Sometimes I'd want to switch the secondary output over to normal PAL
720x576 50Hz interlaced (via an ordinary S-video cable. which should
remain connected to avoid constantly swapping cables).


I've found a GeCube ATI X1600 Pro card (http://www.gecube.com/products-
detail.php?prod_cat_pid=9&prod_cat_id=141&prod_id=61445) which seems to
offer these features, but the few comments I've seen about it have been
rather negative and anyway I can only find a couple of US-based retailers
that actually sell it, and they won't ship to me in the UK. :-(

The other card I've found is a XFX GeForce 6800XT
(http://www.xfxforce.com/web/product/listConfigurationDetails.jspa?
productConfigurationId=550286 and similar) which also seems to fit the
bill and is sold here in the UK, but it doesn't appear to support HDCP as
far as I can tell (although I could live without that). Also, I'm more
familiar with ATI's drivers so I don't know whether the GeForce software
offers the same sort of profile setup options?


I wonder if the assembled masses of experts and enthusiasts here could
maybe offer some opinions on which of these cards would be best, or
perhaps suggest some other AGP solution which I've not found as yet? (One
thought being Sapphire's new ATI X1950 AGP card, due out in a few weeks,
but that might be overkill for what I want, and I'd really like to keep
under the £100 region if at all possible).

Many thanks for any advice you can give me,

Kind Regards,

Andre
--
Andre Willey

Address edited to avoid spam. Please remove the letters shown in CAPITALS
from my quoted email address to contact me directly. Thanks!
Visit http://www.cix.co.uk/~neverland/dlp/ for the Disneyland-Paris FAQ
List.
 

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