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Old 2007-04-24, 07:41   Link #1
Maes Hughes
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Graphic cards...

You hear people saying it's easy to get new graphic cards working, but is it really as simple as removing and my old card and plugging in the new one? Will any card work with my 5-6 year old PC?

My monitor has showed up a problem where things "move" on dark colours, kinda like constant flickering. However, I just tried plugging in my incredibly dark old 17" CRT monitor and I can just about see the problem on that...

My current card = Radeon 9600 Pro

Btw, I'm open to suggestions for a graphic card that's fairly cheap and perfect for anime watching.
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Old 2007-04-24, 08:30   Link #2
hobbes_fan
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I know its somethng really simple but it could also be the quality of the file as well.
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Old 2007-04-24, 08:59   Link #3
Maes Hughes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbes_fan View Post
I know its somethng really simple but it could also be the quality of the file as well.
No, this happens on every file. I've noticed it even on KAA DVD-rips.

It isn't usually THAT bad, nowhere near as annoying as the backlight issues my monitor has. It's on my mind right now after watching the first few minutes of 720P Romeo x Juilet...the scene looked awful because of this problem.
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Old 2007-04-24, 10:14   Link #4
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Is it just when you play video or do you see the flickering throughout your screen? If so, then it might be the refresh rate. On the desktop, right-click, then select the settings tab. Then hit the advanced button, then look for a pull-down menu that says "Sreen refresh rate". Adjust it from there.
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Old 2007-04-24, 10:34   Link #5
Maes Hughes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom-Takaya View Post
Is it just when you play video or do you see the flickering throughout your screen? If so, then it might be the refresh rate. On the desktop, right-click, then select the settings tab. Then hit the advanced button, then look for a pull-down menu that says "Sreen refresh rate". Adjust it from there.
It only shows up only on video playback. Freeze the video, freeze the problem.

My monitor has some kind of fault where lines move down down the screen when using the max refresh rate, 75... I currently use 60. Never exchange your faulty monitor for one from the manufacturers warranty stock.

I don't think it's anything to do with the refresh rate, I remember testing it before... *has another look* yup, I can confirm it's exactly the same on both refresh rates my monitor supports.

Edit: Want to know something strange? If you take a screenshot of the problem you can see the"movement" freezed... I would've assumed taking a screenshot would only show how it should look without the problem.
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Old 2007-04-24, 13:37   Link #6
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Hmm its very strange, I run most of my anime on a laptop so the video card isn't real high power, and I haven't run into any issues on the better encoded videos

I am building a PC for multimedia and video editing mainly and these are the three bang for buck ones I've narrowed it down to

http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/index....d;3062;pt;2#cb
http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/index....d;1833;pt;2#cb
http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/index....d;3468;pt;2#cb

Bear in mind I don't do a lot of gaming. (PS These are Aus RRP They're probably1/2 the price in the US)
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Old 2007-04-24, 13:59   Link #7
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You cannot just pick any graphics card - you need to find out what connector your PC supports.
The two main technologies are PCI-Express (PCI-E) and the older AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port).
If you have the manual for the current card it will tell you want connector it uses.
(You might also be able to find out by looking in the display settings in the control panel). The system/motherboard manual should also tell you.
If you know what you are looking for you can open the case and take a quick look. They look pretty different.

PCI-Express is much newer and better - this is what most modern cards use.

Before you remove the old card you will need to completely remove the old drivers using Add/Remove in the control panel - especially if switching from say an ATI to Nvidia based card as the drives can conflict and cause crashes.
You will also want to run driver cleaner after uninstalling the drivers as they do not clean up everything.

As far as installing the new card goes should be as simple as
- Remove old card
- Insert new card
- (Depending on card and connector) plugging in a power cable from your power supply to the graphics card

There is a guide to building a PC at toms hardware which will cover the graphics card installation. (Part 1 is how to select components, part 3 covers actually building it)

Almost any modern card will handle anime watching.
Some of the really new cards are very power hungry so you may need to watch now what their minimum recommendation is. The PSU will have a label on it (probably inside the PC case) telling you how powerful it is.
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Old 2007-04-24, 14:21   Link #8
hobbes_fan
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I thought AGP was dead. (Goes to show how much I know). I'm still compiling a bill of materials ATM. Did my list have an AGP??
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Old 2007-04-24, 15:07   Link #9
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AGP is effectively dead, but it is still available for people with older motherboards who don't want to change everything. As for the cards you listed the ambiguous one is the X1600 since it doesn't state whether its PCI-E with AGP. I also don't remember whether or not it came in either versions so you'll have to look it up.

As a side note, version 158.19 of nvidia's forceware drivers seem to have a problem with either .avi or xvid/divx playback. I installed it and got this wierd laggy triangular section on the top right side of the video in all avi/xvid/divx videos. MKV and h264 did not have this and it went away when I restored my drivers. So thats a heads up if you get a newer generation Nvidia card and that driver.
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Old 2007-04-24, 16:15   Link #10
Maes Hughes
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^ Thanks to the above posters.

I opened up the case a few hours ago. I can see two normal PCI slots available, plus the AGP graphic card has to be plugged into the only AGP slot (can't see very well). I'll be needing an AGP card by the looks.

Now, I'm going to post a snapshot taken from the SS 720P version of Romeo x Juliet. It's hard to express how bad it looks when frozen, but you should be able to see what I'm on about if you look at what should be his perfectly clear face.

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Old 2007-04-24, 23:54   Link #11
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To me, as an ex-raw provider who evaluated tons of encodes taken off of TV, I'd have to say that it looks like an encode issue. You're referring to those black blocks in the lower left hand corner of the screen (maybe present elsewhere as well), correct? During playback, the blocks would seemingly dance around. It's a fault with the compression of the codec, in my opinion. XviD encodes were always hit hard during dark scenes, because those blocks became incredibly visible. DivX encodes fared better, but DivX was a different problem on its own... the blocks may be present during light scenes as well, but they're far less noticable.

It's possible that it's caused by something else, but I don't think it's your graphics card. I would have first suspected your monitor (ruled out by the fact that pausing the video causes it), then your codecs in use (may still be a problem), then your video player (may still be a problem), and... well that's pretty much it. If your graphics card is failing, believe me, you'll notice it. The effects would not be limited to video playback, and would not stop when you paused a video.

Feel free to update your graphics card, but don't be disappointed.
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Old 2007-04-25, 03:13   Link #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maes Hughes View Post
You hear people saying it's easy to get new graphic cards working, but is it really as simple as removing and my old card and plugging in the new one? Will any card work with my 5-6 year old PC?

My current card = Radeon 9600 Pro
5-6 year old... for that PC Radeon 9600 Pro would be quite good since you probably doesn't have pci-x slot. My previous pc are only using Radeon 9250SE and it turned up quite good for me.

If you want to change your card, try upgrading your motherboard first.

But... is your monitor really okay? I'm agree with the people says that your monitor are the bad one...
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Old 2007-04-25, 23:46   Link #13
Maes Hughes
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Before I say anything else, thanks for taking the time to post in detail.

Now that's out of the way... Would you mind doing me a favour?
I'd appreciate it if you would download the HD version of Shinsen Subs release of Romeo and Juliet episode 1. We can get the "Is it the file causing the problem?" question out of the way if you do that (the scene my snapshot is from happens at the start)...right?

Romeo x Juliet is highly rated, I doubt it would be a waste of your time downloading it. You'll thank me for getting you into the series later!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Spoiler for Quote:

Now that you mention it, they do look like blocks. I'll call the problem by that name from now on.

For me, the problem is most visible on his forehead on that picture.

The blocks are present during light scenes, you can see them if you look close enough on light coloured material on the screen. Anything darkish on the screen showing just highlights the problem x10, even more so when the dark coloured material is shown near the area on my replacement screen with a minor backlight fault.

What I don't get is why I see this even on HQ DVD-rips, not just TV-rips. Would the compression problem you speak of still exist then?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Spoiler for Quote:
Codec = Latest version of CCCP
Video player = Zoom Player (99% sure it happens on every player, I'll check later)
Graphic card drivers = Newish ATI (I've tried Omega Drivers before)
Cables = VGA and DVI (problem visible on both)

The only idea my simple brain has other than replacing my card is to try the basic drivers that came on the disc with my current card. It's possible the newest ATI and Omega Drivers cause some sort of problem with older cards. Shame the basic drivers only support 4:3 resolutions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem
Feel free to update your graphics card, but don't be disappointed.
While I'm posting...

http://www.retekdirect.co.uk/acatalog/Video_Cards.html

^ Is this card worse or better than my Radeon 9600 Pro? All the numbers are confusing the hell out of me. It's cheap enough to be worth testing with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by furuno
If you want to change your card, try upgrading your motherboard first.
Stupid question alert!

How would I go about doing that?

PC Wizard 2006 couldn't give me much information about my motherboard. I think I saw some information on the motherboard itself when I had a look inside the other day...
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Old 2007-04-26, 00:09   Link #14
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Did you happen to change anything with you computer that coincides with the beginning of this problem?

The card you posted should be somewhat better than the 9600pro that you have right now. In fact that card is the poor brother of the 9800pro and it is possible to actually mod it into an 9800pro (which would be much better). However, as is, it is not all that great.

As for upgrading your motherboard, that is pretty much a complete rebuild of your computer. Since you have said your computer is getting long in the tooth already, it will mean mostly new components. IE. Whole new computer
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Old 2007-04-26, 00:30   Link #15
Maes Hughes
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Grr, this green stuck pixel on my replacement monitor is taunting me... It would seem it doesn't want to leave.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImClueless View Post
Did you happen to change anything with you computer that coincides with the beginning of this problem?
Getting my new monitor. I had to upgrade my graphics card drivers from the basic ones to be able to make the 1440x900 version available. I recall having lots of bizarre problems, such as new and unusable resolutions (1120x1600, 3200x2500...) appearing constantly on my settings...

I can't say for certain if this problem has been here from the start. My old 17" 4:3 CRT is so dark you can't see much of anything on dark scenes, so it's hard to see the problem on it unless you look for it. My bright and faulty 4th HW191D LCD monitor is a different story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImClueless View Post
The card you posted should be somewhat better than the 9600pro that you have right now. In fact that card is the poor brother of the 9800pro and it is possible to actually mod it into an 9800pro (which would be much better). However, as is, it is not all that great.
Thanks!

It doesn't have to be great, cheap and at around the same level as my current card are my only real requirements. I only want it to test my computer with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImClueless View Post
As for upgrading your motherboard, that is pretty much a complete rebuild of your computer. Since you have said your computer is getting long in the tooth already, it will mean mostly new components. IE. Whole new computer
Not good. A better plan would be to buy a new computer, no point rebuilding when you don't know what you're doing and it's fairly ancient.

I was hoping he meant you could download drivers to boost the performance...
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Old 2007-04-26, 00:35   Link #16
ImClueless
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If you just changed your monitor to an LCD then I am now also inclined to say that it is definitly an encoding issue and not a video card issue on your end. It just that new LCD monitors are so much larger and running at a higher resolution that you can see imperfections much more than on a 17 inch CRT. I experienced the same thing when I went from an old 17 inch CRT to a 20 inch LCD. Make sure you can get a refund is you do want to try a new video card though because I honestly don't think it will solve anything.
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Old 2007-04-26, 01:04   Link #17
Maes Hughes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImClueless View Post
If you just changed your monitor to an LCD then I am now also inclined to say that it is definitly an encoding issue and not a video card issue on your end. It just that new LCD monitors are so much larger and running at a higher resolution that you can see imperfections much more than on a 17 inch CRT. I experienced the same thing when I went from an old 17 inch CRT to a 20 inch LCD. Make sure you can get a refund is you do want to try a new video card though because I honestly don't think it will solve anything.
What I'm worried about is that I find it close to unwatchable at times on my 19" monitor. How would I put it with it when I hook my PC up to my 32" TV, or even another 22-25" monitor?

1280x720 is much closer to my screens resolution than SD stuff, yet the part of Romeo and Juliet I took the above snapshot of looked the worse I've ever seen my problem - Even the walls were flickering like crazy during the scene! I can't see it being simply down to my panels amount of pixels making lower resolution stuff look like shit.

Anyway, one last question before I either hit this bloody green pixel or go to sleep: Could this be down to the graphic card not being put it on correctly? As you might guess, I wasn't the one who put the card in my PC.
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Old 2007-04-26, 01:14   Link #18
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Easily. With the computer off and unplugged, just remove, then slip it back in.

The green pixel (if it's constant, no matter how many windows you try to switch through in that spot) is your monitor having a pixel go out. If it's only one pixel, it's ignorable. If it gets worse, make sure you keep count of how much there are. If it's still under warranty, depending on how many dead pixels there are, you can have it exchanged.

As for the way the video looks, I'll have to agree that it's an encoding problem. Reinstall the encoders, etc, etc. If you really think it's the graphics card, then remove it and just go off of the onboard video. (If your mobo has it.)
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Old 2007-04-26, 01:33   Link #19
Maes Hughes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom-Takaya View Post
The green pixel (if it's constant, no matter how many windows you try to switch through in that spot) is your monitor having a pixel go out. If it's only one pixel, it's ignorable. If it gets worse, make sure you keep count of how much there are. If it's still under warranty, depending on how many dead pixels there are, you can have it exchanged.
Without turning this into a discussion about my monitor woes, let's just say Hanns. G are fine with replacing faulty monitors for any other monitor someone has sent in as faulty for a 3 year period. All the HW191D's seem to develop a bluish backlight fault along the bottom in under 24 hours of use, plus some like to add onto this by developing backlight faults in the corners and other areas.

I'm at the stage where I'm willing to spend 200-250 on another 22" monitor to stop exchanging one faulty monitor for another. It's a bit early to upgrade after only around 6 months, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom-Takaya View Post
As for the way the video looks, I'll have to agree that it's an encoding problem. Reinstall the encoders, etc, etc. If you really think it's the graphics card, then remove it and just go off of the onboard video. (If your mobo has it.)
Ah, how could I forget! I didn't even have a proper graphics card before buying and paying someone to install my Radeon 9600 Pro.

Problem: It doesn't work anymore. Would I have to remove my graphics card from my system to reactivate my onboard...whatever?
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Old 2007-04-26, 02:22   Link #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maes Hughes View Post
Without turning this into a discussion about my monitor woes, let's just say Hanns. G are fine with replacing faulty monitors for any other monitor someone has sent in as faulty for a 3 year period. All the HW191D's seem to develop a bluish backlight fault along the bottom in under 24 hours of use, plus some like to add onto this by developing backlight faults in the corners and other areas.

I'm at the stage where I'm willing to spend 200-250 on another 22" monitor to stop exchanging one faulty monitor for another. It's a bit early to upgrade after only around 6 months, but...


If it's a constant problem, then why stick with that brand? Money aside, I prefer quality over anything else. Price is a close second. Before you go off investing on a new monitor from another manufacturer, it's best you read up on the specs and reviews for each monitor. If they don't help you get an idea of which manufacturer you'll go with, it will at least give you good ideas as to what to look for in terms of quality.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Maes Hughes View Post
Ah, how could I forget! I didn't even have a proper graphics card before buying and paying someone to install my Radeon 9600 Pro.

Problem: It doesn't work anymore. Would I have to remove my graphics card from my system to reactivate my onboard...whatever?
Typically, yes. You remove the graphics card like I suggested. On startup, the computer will look for a video card on it's own typically. There are some cases where you have to mess with the drivers.
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