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Vid Card or Combo for DVD Machine

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Seusser

New Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2002
Location
Canada
Hey guys I'm thinking of putting together a nice Home Entertainment system and right now I'm just trying to spec the thing out before I actually decide to spend the cash on it which will be in about a month or so. Here are the specs so far:

1Ghz Duron MP
256MB Micron CAS2
GA-72MM-C KM133 mATX (may change but I wanted the thing in a desktop case)
SB Audigy OEM
30-40GB HDD (haven't decided yet)
LG 16X DVD-ROM

My problem is that I can't decide what to do about a vid card. I've been looking at the AIW Radeon7500 which would work nicely and with the added ability to use the comp as a Tivo it looks even better. Of course the biggest problem with this whole machine is price and I'm trying to keep it down around $1000 CAN and with the AIW7500 the machine is around $1200. So I started looking around and found the
Sigma RealMagic Xcard and was wondering what the performance would be like in comparison with the AIW7500 with a combined TNT2 or GF2MX400. I really like the idea of the Sigma card combined with something since the Sigma card has YPbPr output and would look great on my Sony Wega :)

So I'm looking for some opinions on what to go for, the combo idea may actually be cheaper in price but how will it perform in comparison to the AIW7500. I don't intend on running any real games on the machine, maybe some SNES/MAME emulation but it's strictly being built to run DVDs/DivX and Mp3s so gaming performance isn't that big a deal. Any help is greatly appreciated :)
 

Wicked Klown

Hard *** Southern Boy Senior
Joined
Dec 20, 2000
Location
Sheboygan, Wisconsin
The combo would save you some, but as we all know the DVD playback on the ATI`s is hard to beat. The olny thing I would change tho is the sound card. I would get either the Audigy Platinum or the Audigy Platinum Ex.
 
OP
S

Seusser

New Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2002
Location
Canada
Hmm.. ya a Audigy Platinum would be nice to have but considering the price and the fact that the cards are exactly the same but without the Live Drive/Software, I don't really think I need it. Anyone out there have any experience with DVD decoders?? I know Sigma released a Real Magic Hollywood decoder quite awhile back but from reviews and screenshots they seem to do quite a good job. Anyone have any good or bad experiences with that product?? Need some feedback here :)
 

funnyperson1

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2001
Actually if you dont care about games then i would suggest the All-IN-Wonder Rage 128 Pro which will cost less than a 100$ and should have the same features regarding home entertainment...unless you have an HDTV then the added price for the 7500 isnt worht it....
 

RnPgrosz

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Location
NJ
On Newegg.com the cheapest audigy is $61. You could try that. If thats too expensive the soundblaster live 5.1 is always a good chioce and $32.
 

LimeyGreg

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2000
Location
Los Angeles
For more info on HTPC try AVSFORUM.COM there is a whole section just devoted to HTPC, but for DVD and video I would recommend ATI. The 7500 is nice as it has dual output and if you really want OATV the get a cheapie ATI tuner card - how about a nice HDTV card ? ($400 though).
 

primal51

Registered
Joined
Oct 31, 2001
Location
Halifax, Nova Scotia
i've got the hollywood plus, words great on my machine, it's only new from yesturday bt hey, it blow my mind to see the speed and quaity it had. only cost me $110.40CAN so i'd say if you already have a vid card, try to go for that, inless you can get the X-Card, then go for that all the way!!! the dvd decoders have built in sound cards that don't sound bad at all, but the audagy would be supior 100%
 
OP
S

Seusser

New Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2002
Location
Canada
Thanks for the help guys. Althought those Radeon's are really nice and we all know how well they perform 2D and DVD wise I think I'm going to go with the Decoder card/Vid Card Combo. I realized that I should really try to build this system with the parts I have lying around the house before going off and spending a ton on a brand new system. So I'm going with an old P3 450 I have lying around running on an old Shuttle board with a 440BX chipset. I hope that the TNT2 Ultra I have plus the decoder card does and performs how I want, if not then I'll probably end up buying the system I was looking at before.

Thanks again for the help guys I appreciate it :)