Which HD-3870 video card

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by jkohm, May 13, 2008.

  1. jkohm

    jkohm OSNN One Post Wonder

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    I'm zeroing in on the components to build my first computer.

    My system will be a multitasking unit used mainly, in order of priority, for video/photo editing, as a Media Center PC, web surfing, word and excel and occasional game playing.

    I plan on using an Asus P5K DELUXE/WIFI-AP MB, Q9450 cpu, Vista Premium 64 bit, DDR2 800 memory.

    I have a Antec 900 case and 650w True Power Trio PS mod TP3-650 and two WD Caviar SE16 sata300 500gb HDs. I would like to over clock but, not to the extreme.

    I'm not limited by a budget but not interested in wasting $. If spending a little more will provide a noticeable improvement I'll do it.

    Question: Which video card? I'm leaning toward the hd-3870 GPU, 512mb. Newegg shows 11 different cards from 8 manufactures priced from $150 to $223. Please make a recommendation on what to buy and or what to avoid.

    I can't figure out which specs are important. HDMI out isn't common to all cards on Newegg but seems to be a must for HTPC and HDTV. Some cards ship with adapters. Some card specifications list "TV-Out: HDTV / S-Video Out" and include an HDTV cable. Is this standard s-video with an s-video cable? Very confusing. TIA jmk
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2008
  2. roirraW "edor" ehT

    roirraW "edor" ehT Builder/Installer

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    On NewEgg I always lean toward the hardware with the highest user ratings yet fits my budget. I try not to buy anything that hasn't been rated yet - I let others be the guinea pigs first.

    AFAIK, every video card these days has at least DVI and S-Video out one way or another. You might have to look at the pictures for the different cards because they usually have pictures of the ports and accessories/cables that it includes. Some video cards come with a quasi-S-Video out port and a special cable which splits it into S-Video and Component out, and you can always convert S-Video to Composite if you really have to.

    Yes, if it says it has S-Video then it's "standard". Doesn't necessarily include the S-Video cable, or one long enough but a videophile would normally want to buy their own good quality one anyway.

    Does your TV support HDMI input? If not how likely is it that you'll get one with HDMI input in the lifetime of your computer? I haven't investigated it thoroughly but since ATI has really been aiming at HDTV it wouldn't surprise me if ALL of the 3870 cards support HDMI.

    The way they normally do so is either coming with a SPECIAL DVI->HDMI adapter. If you used a standard DVI->HDMI adapter instead, the HDMI wouldn't carry the audio signals to the TV. Even if it doesn't come with the special adapter, you can get that from NewEgg as well for like $7+s/h.

    One thing to look for is "PCI Express 2.0 x16" as opposed to just "PCI Express x16". This is specified in the "Interface" drop down.

    I would recommend http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814103050 because it specifies that it includes VIVO *and* uses GDDR4, versus GDDR3. It's the only PCI Express 2.0 x16 3870 on there that says it includes VIVO. It also gets five out of five eggs with 168 user reviews, plus includes the DVI to HDMI adapter. It's also a reasonable price with or without the rebate, and has free three day shipping.

    I hope you don't mind it taking up two slots on the back of the computer (look at the pictures).

    If I was in the market for a video card right now, this is the one I would go for.

    Hope this helps. If you have questions about specific cards (give links), ask away.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2008
    Bman likes this.
  3. jkohm

    jkohm OSNN One Post Wonder

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    What is VIVO? How dose it work? What is it good for?
     
  4. roirraW "edor" ehT

    roirraW "edor" ehT Builder/Installer

    Messages:
    529
  5. jkohm

    jkohm OSNN One Post Wonder

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    Thanks Very much. I understand better now and seems like I'm not the only one confused by the one S-Video port. The Diamond goes to the top of my list. Not even knowing what VIVO was makes that a real bonus. Still not sure how I would use VIVO or if the box contains the necessary hookups but still a bonus. I'll look for the manual online. Thanks again for the useful help.
     
  6. roirraW "edor" ehT

    roirraW "edor" ehT Builder/Installer

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    You're welcome much. I figured the combination of it being a reasonable deal and pretty high rated, you might as well get one that specifically says it has that feature so that you would have it just in case you could use it one day. Better to have it and not need it...

    Newegg's drop down boxes to narrow down searches can sometimes be erroneous. Not in the major specifications, but it wouldn't surprise me if ALL the 3870s have VIVO and that Newegg is just missing that information on the others, but it still wouldn't change my selection if I found out the others had VIVO too.

    Good luck with your new system. I love building new computers! :)