[Hardware] Older Hardware and large Current spec monitor

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Harry Putnam, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. Harry Putnam

    Harry Putnam Guest

    [I'll apologize in advance for getting a bit windy on this but I've
    been pondering about this stuff for a while and am somewhat frustrated
    by not understanding what I see on line about the subject]

    I'm really sick of not having enough room to easily work from tools
    like Photoshop, premiere and After Effects or Edius, vegas .. etc.

    I know that `serious' editors use a double monitor.. both large. But
    that isn't an option for me. I am serious about editing.. but not a
    commercial player.

    My hardware isn't antique but is weak compared to todays' stuff.

    P4 3.2ghz with 3gb ram has trouble with modern tools like CS4 tools.
    They run but there is always some kind of grief. So I really need to
    upgrade but again that isn't an option either.

    My video card is Nvidia FX 5700. Now that, I might possibly be able
    to upgrade but it would have to be a model that won't tax the
    other hardware. And if its even possible something that would work
    with upgraded more current hardware.

    What I want to do right now is get a nice big monitor...

    That is where I need advice. Like is it likely that my video card
    would have trouble with something like a 26 in (higher end) monitor?

    Further. what specs would be suitable for video editing. I've lost
    all track of what is going on with monitors. I've been using a 17
    monitor for quit a few yrs so something like 26" will seem huge, at
    least for a while. I also plan to get a TV card but I've been planning
    that for a very long time.

    I see many monitors that say they are LCD which in my mind means it
    will suck... but maybe that's from an antique mind set from yrs ago

    I'd like the monitor to be fairly high res and will be willing to
    spend something like 300-400 on it, but only if my current hardware
    will handle it. (and like I said I might plop down another 150 or so
    for a more powerful video card).

    At least the monitor needs to be versatile enough to work well with
    upgraded hardware when ever I get to that... The video card too if possible.

    That brings me to the other questions:

    Will a video card with more of its own ram make much difference in
    editing? I have no need of gaming style video... but if more video
    ram will help run CS4 tools then I'll get it.

    My current card has 250 (MB I guess?) and I see cards with as much as
    1gb which would be a 400 % increase... But will it really matter that

    I've never really known how much of a role the video card plays in
    running applications.

    I do know that for example... I have to turn off hardware acceleration
    to even run Encore CS4 (that may be an Nvidia related problem or so
    I've seen googling around.)

    So, anyone who can throw some light on these somewhat vague and
    somewhat poorly worded questions please let me know your thoughts.
    I'd especially like to hear from people running similar
    hardware... and what video cards and monitors they use.

    What I want: Big wide crisp monitor.
    A video card that will help run tools like Adobe CS4
    Harry Putnam, Dec 7, 2009
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  2. It's slow for HD, but should be OK for Mini-DV...
    Video card slot types have been changing, but you should be able to
    find a card that will work with a 16:*10* LCD panel (NOT 16:9!)
    at 1920x1200. You need only one for current software, preferably a
    24" (or latger - but 24 is fine, and now cheap).
    From what I gather, there are three color-quality grades of LCD
    monitors. Cheap ones are 22" and smaller (with exceptions), middle
    grade ones (good enough for video editing and viewing, but short of the
    best for high end photo work) are found around 24", and the very best
    are very expensive large monitors (save your money unless you are
    doing critical work for reproduction...).
    Both should cost less ($225 for the 24" monitor, plus $100 for the
    card, if needed). BTW, for video (and certainly for stills), an 8 ms.
    refresh is sufficient, the dynamic range specs are generally useless, and
    for monitoring, if there is a dynamic black level feature, you must be
    able to defeat it.
    I put the bucks into a card with a lot of RAM on it, and saw no difference
    in performance with my software (Sony Vegas).
    Unlikely. Mine was also 250 MB before changing it...
    If you get a good monitor (not expensive...), a good card (not expensive...),
    and run the LCD panel at its native resolution, you will be surprised how
    much sharper it is than your 17" CRT...;-) For some screen layouts on a 24"
    monitor of three editing programs, go here --
    David Ruether, Dec 7, 2009
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  3. Video cards neither know nor care what the physical size of the
    monitor is. The only issue is what is the maximum pixel area that
    your video card (you current one, or your next one) will support
    at your desired refresh rate. Once you figure that out, you can
    buy a monitor that fits your needs, either now or later.
    As you say, the more screen "real-estate" (pixels) the better. Of course
    if you put 1920 x 1080 pixels on a 17 inch monitor, you may need a big
    magnifying glass to see the cursor. :)
    LCD vs. what? Hardly anybody makes or sells CRTs anymore, and plasma
    is being chased out of the marketplace by the "greenistas". Have you
    actually gone out and shopped for monitors lately? What options did
    you see besides LCD? Note that in addition to virtually 100% of the
    computer monitor market being LCD, most broadcast and high-end
    HD (16x9) monitors are also LCD.

    If you are worried about colorimetry, buy a new HD TV receiver. Almost
    all of them have RGB inputs that run directly from your current video card.
    As a bonus(?) you can watch mindless broadcast TV while waiting for your
    own video to render. :)
    Richard Crowley, Dec 7, 2009
  4. Harry Putnam

    Harry Putnam Guest

    Thanks for the input... I saw a 26" Computer monitor for just under
    $300 I believe it was 1920 X 1200. I was surprised it was that cheap.

    Thing about, it doesn't really look much taller than my 17" .. but way
    wider. Is that how they mostly are now...

    One thing you always need in After Effects is a taller monitor, when
    you need to have open several layers with most of the twirlies open
    too. I wondered if these miss proportioned monitors I see now really
    have much more headroom..

    Thanks for those bits... I figured as much but really wanted to here
    from someone with experience.


    [...] Thanks for the basic input about video cards.
    Couldn't tell if your serious here. I wondered about doing that very
    thing. In fact about 1.5 yrs ago... I bought an lcd monitor/tv for
    that purpose... but it was a terrible picture... colors look awful

    It was a Samsung LT P1745. I retired it to the basement where it is
    rarely used.

    The picture is not clear compared even to an ancient tv from somewhere
    in the 80s. That might be where I got the notion that lcd was not so

    You are dead right when you say (about lcd) `compared to what?' They
    all are lcd.

    Thanks for some knowledgeable input.. I've been wondering how much
    different things would work with one of those i7 setups.

    ------- --------- ---=--- --------- --------

    Thanks folks for the good input.
    Harry Putnam, Dec 9, 2009
  5. That is why I recommended a 16:10 (1920x1200) rather than a
    16:9 (1920x1080) - it gives more vertical space for multiple
    timeline tracks and a good-size (preferably 1/2 sized) preview
    window - plus plenty of room for menus, etc. Current monitors
    do tend to be "wide screen", which with current editing programs,
    means less need for running secondary monitors. But, it may be
    that AE, you still may need that second monitor (I run a 24"
    straight ahead of me, with a cheap 19" off to the side at an angle
    when needed - which was VERY handy when I was writing the
    Sony editing guide...;-).
    It can help...;-)

    There are a few possible problems with using an LCD TV as a
    monitor - the resolution is limited to 1920x1080 (or 1280x720),
    not enough, really (and the resolution is limited to the display's
    native resolution for best results); it may have a non-defeatable
    auto black-level (this makes exposure evaluations impossible,
    and these are hard enough on LCDs which change brightness
    with changes in viewing position); and the TV may be too large
    for comfortable viewing on a desktop (the minimum-sized
    1920x1080 display was 32", last I knew...). But "RC's" last
    comment was a good one! 8^)

    Quad-core machines are now quite cheap, and unless you are
    editing 24 Mbps AVCHD, these are quite fast enough for doing
    anything else. I've never been a believer in buying "bleeding edge"
    computer gear unless there is both a budget for it (not provided by
    me...;-) and a real need, since within a remarkably short time, the
    expensive "B-E" gear becomes "outmoded"...;-( BTW, unlike in
    the past where doubling CPU speeds, moving up a model in the
    CPU, and adding RAM bought you remarkably "niggling"
    performance increases, once you go from a P-4 to a dual-core,
    then again to an ordinary quad core, the computer speed increases
    are VERY noticeable (more than 2X speed with each step,
    especially if your software can make use of CPU multithreading).
    I'm sure we are all happy to try to help...! ;-)
    David Ruether, Dec 9, 2009
  6. Harry Putnam

    Paul Guest

    Your P4 3.2GHz computer might have an AGP slot, based on your FX 5700
    suggestion. Nvidia has stopped delivering new AGP cards. (They used
    PCI Express chips and used a bridge chip to make AGP cards, and
    I read a suggestion somewhere that they couldn't make the bridge
    chips any more. I think the chip was HSI or something.) That leaves
    ATI as most able to help you. ATI uses bridge chips too, but are
    still making theirs (Rialto).

    (List of video cards, where I get details on them)

    (Rialto chip, is the one surrounded by the protective green square)

    New video cards would likely have at least one dual link DVI connector,
    which could handle up to 2560x1600. There is a table, further down
    in this article, with what resolutions a dual link connector can handle
    at 60Hz. LCDs don't flicker like CRTs do, so 60Hz is not an
    issue with the LCD.


    Something like a 4650 or 4670 might be an upgrade. The amount of
    RAM here, 1GB, is overkill, and even a 512MB card would be sufficient.
    The difference between the two cards, might be the 4670 has better
    gaming specs. But might not add much to your video editing experience.


    Notice the connectors on that one, are a bit weird. That particular
    card has HDMI, VGA, and DVI. And the DVI is likely to be dual link.


    Depending on what display devices you have, or plan to acquire,
    there may be other cards with a better mix of ports.

    This XFX card has two DVI connectors and a DIN for various video
    output formats (composite, S-video, component ?, the spec doesn't
    say - there is no component cable bundled in the box).


    I can find the words "HDCP capable" here, which is something you
    check for if the card has DVI connectors but no HDMI connector. If
    an HDMI connector is on the faceplate, then HDCP is supposed to be
    part of HDMI. HDCP over DVI is still required, when driving high
    res monitors. HDCP supports encryption over the monitor cable,
    to suit the movie industry attempts to prevent piracy by copying
    the image digitally as it flows over the monitor cable. It is just
    another tick box, when shopping for a video card.

    http://www.xfxforce.com/en-us/products/graphiccards/HD 4000series/4650.aspx

    About the best you can do, is use the most modern card, and hope
    that the driver somehow provides the acceleration you want in
    the tool flow you're using. There is too little detail in most
    software advertising, to determine exactly what works or doesn't

    One problem with the latest AGP cards, is getting good quality
    drivers for them. Always read the review comments for the card
    you're buying, as to where is the best place to download a
    working driver. Sometimes, it takes a particular driver, plus
    the "AGP hotfix" download. The review comments on Newegg, are
    a good place to find mention of driver issues.

    Changing platforms, and moving to a computer with a PCI Express
    slot, opens up more video card options. But you might not
    get much more out of that, at least from the video card
    end of things. You could get a faster processor that way.
    It really depends then, on the GPU acceleration features,
    as to whether some other video card, would give you more.


    Picking monitors is much harder, so I'll leave that to you.
    This is an example of a big one.


    30 inches, 2560x1600, dual link DVI, HDCP, 60 Hz refresh,
    178 degrees (vertical), 178 degrees (horizontal) viewing angle (= IPS panel)

    When I looked at an Apple one, I couldn't see proof it had HDCP.

    Paul, Dec 10, 2009
  7. Harry Putnam

    Harry Putnam Guest

    Thanks for the input.

    And as I look back over this thread I see there was really a lot of
    very useful information packed into it. Once again I feel compelled
    to say thanks to all for the input.
    Harry Putnam, Dec 14, 2009
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