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 Post subject: GeForceFX 5200 good for watching TV/DVD/HDTV?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2003 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2003 1:03 pm
Posts: 40
Location: San Francisco, CA
I am considering the GEForceFX 5200 for a media center PC, the toughest job would be to handle video, DVD, TV, and soon HDTV. No gaming in sight at all. Is the GEForce 5200 good enough for this purpose?

The other alternative is GEForceFX 5600, but it has a noisy fan which I am trying to avoid. Removing the fan is not an option as this will void the warranty on the computer (according to HP)

The third alternative was ATI Radeon 9200, but I am reading that GEForce 5200 is a better card. No other alternatives.

What are your opinions?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2003 6:47 pm 
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The only thing that the FX5200 has to "offer" over the the Radeon 9200 is its on-paper support of DX9. However, considering that the chip is very weak in graphics power, users won't even get to use the DX9 feature for decent framerates; in fact, a lot of game companies suggest that users should use DX8.1 and avoid the a game's DX9 option to make it actually playable. In effect, the DX9 feature set for the FX5200 is basically marketing. If you want a DX9 card that can be run fanless by default, the Sapphire Radeon 9600 Pro Ultimate is a good start.

Since you intend to use your system for media center capabilities, I would not certainly not reccomend using a high-end gamer card unless you intend to play HF2 or Doom3 (assuming they eventually come out :D ). I have the Sapphire Radeon 9200 and am completely satisfied with it -- it comes fanless, provides great image quality, and plays games such as Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory great at 1028x768 resolution 32-bit color (b/c its based on Q3 engine).

Either card from NVIDIA or ATI should be fine in your media center pc, however. If you want an integrated tv tuner with your video card, skip NVIDIA's yet-to-be-refined media center solution and go for the ATI All-In--Wonder series. I believe that the highest AIW card that comes fanless is the AIW 7500 (in which graphics power shouldn't matter since you only play movies and watch tv).

If you decide to go separate video card and tv tuner...Unless you're a die-hard techno fanatic that must have the latest and greatest (one of my best friends is :D )I wouldnt go for the HDTV tuner cards right now as they're rather pricey. A rather nice value is the Leadtek TV Tuner 2000 Deluxe that can be easily found for a good price at www.newegg.com.

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IBM Thinkpad T42p | 15inch 1600x1200 LCD | 2.0GHz Pentium M Dothan | 1GB DDR | 128MB ATI FireGL T2 | 60GB Hitachi HD 7,200RPM w/ 8MB Cache | DVD-RW | IBM Wireless 802.11a/b/g | 6.0 lbs + 4.5 Hour Battery Life


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2003 8:16 pm 
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Location: Berkeley, CA, USA
Yeah, seems like a waste if you aren't going to play any games.

Hauppauge makes hands-down the best TV encoder cards-- the ones that cost $80-$130, that is, with hardware mpeg-2 encoding. This takes a massive load off your CPU and provides smoother multitasking, etc. Models PVR-250 and PVR-350 (adds radio fm tuner).

ATI's all-in-wonder is OK but it's an 85% software encoding solution. As are all the cheap "TV" PCI cards. I only recommend this type of stuff for relatively fast P4 chips with hyperthreading, and even then, the quality won't be as good as hardware mpeg-2 encoding.

Mpeg-2 encoding is not a trivial computing task.. maybe once 3.0ghz P4c chips are LOW END, but no sooner.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2003 1:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 4:32 pm
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Leadtek Winfast TV 2000 XP Deluxe (wow thats a long name :wink: ) encoding performance on my 2.53GHz P4 (no HT) with 512MB PC1066 and 850E chipset is fine.

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IBM Thinkpad T42p | 15inch 1600x1200 LCD | 2.0GHz Pentium M Dothan | 1GB DDR | 128MB ATI FireGL T2 | 60GB Hitachi HD 7,200RPM w/ 8MB Cache | DVD-RW | IBM Wireless 802.11a/b/g | 6.0 lbs + 4.5 Hour Battery Life


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