View Full Version : General Image Quality (2d and 3D, especially sharpness.)
Any others here with good 21" monitors?
I have HP P1110 (21", 19.8" viewable, Sony FlatTrinitron tube, Manufactured by Nokia not by Viewsonic. :) ) and I am interested how much nVidia based cards have get their IQ up?
In my own tests I found the following:
- Matrox G400: crystal clear and sharp in any mode up to 1800x1440@70hz.
- Guillemot GF2MX: 1152x864@100Hz was last readable and not so headacke causing mode. above that everything was unusable.
- ATI AIW Radeon: crystal clear and pretty much almost equal to G400 up to 1600x1200@85Hz, but in 1792x1344@85hz blurriness strikes. 15 minutes and you get headacke.
So, has anyone really compared RAMDAC IQ lately? there has been a lot of talk that GF3 and GF4 has now equal to Radeon IQ, but for me, that's simply not enough. (AIW like teases, just the best mode with this monitor is blurred.)
How are these Radeon 8500 and GF4Ti cards IQ?
I am using Compaq P110 (21" Trinitron), connected via BNC connectors.
On this monitor, I tried 3 cards (I own them)
1. MSI StarForce 822 (GeForce3)
2. ATI RADEON 8500 (OEM Grandmars)
3. ELSA GLADIAC 925VIVO (GeForce4 Ti4600)
But my desktop is usually set to 1280x960 (as the things in 1600x1200 is too small) at 100Hz refresh rate.
3 is about on par with 2, 1 is a bit not as good in sharpness but still not bad, may be I am not stressing it, I can try a bit more later and post my results.
3D games wise (which I usually play at 1600x1200), 3 is about on par with 2.
Maskrider: I would glad to see some results in higher res than 1280x960. :)
it would be nice if you could test quality in extreme resolutions (as high as monitor goes.)
in desktop, blurriness/sharpness is easy to see even in high res. Especially fonts (black text on white background) lose their focus at some point. For AIW that is 1792x1344@85 hz which makes image get soften a lot.
I have an ELSA GF3 Ti200 board (= Visiontek repacked) and an Iiyama Visionmaster Pro 454 19".
The monitor rocks, the graphics card sucks. 1152x864 is fine, 1280x960 shows slight blurring but is still ok and anything above that (like 1280x1024) that isn't really viable.
From what I have read (in c't e.g.) Nvidia cards still lag behind in 2D signal quality. Some manufactureres (Asus e.g.) tend to be a bit better and some are really crappy (like Gigabyte) but the "threshold" for most Nvidia based card seems to be 1280x960.
L233: thanks for sharing that...
well, it looks like no Radeon 8500 or GF4 Ti for me at least yet...
I'll be waiting "The Liberator" as the all the other MURCers... :)
but I hope that Matrox would give at least some sign of living and quick...
So, has anyone really compared RAMDAC IQ lately?
The RAMDAC has usually very little to do with the lack of analogue IQ. It's down to the RF filters mandated by the FCC. Whether it is skimping on the components or bad designs(3rd party or nvidia) I don't know, but it has been proven it is the filters, by removing the them.
When I get a new card I'll try the ol' scalpel on my old Creative GF1DDR. :)
Tried 1600x1200 32bit desktop at 75Hz refresh rate, the text starts to get shadows even with my double shielded filtered BNC cable.
WIll put back my R8500 and try again.
I'm running a Radeon 8500 + 22" Samsung SyncMaster 1200NF at 1600x1200x32. I'm pretty happy with the IQ. I have tested it up to 2048x1536x32, pretty happy with the IQ even there, except that I only get 75Hz.
Well, the Radeon 8500 has a 400MHz RAMDAC... dunno if that'd help much.
AFAIK ATi has always had very high-quality filters on their cards.
RAMDAC frequency actually doesn't make that much difference...
A friend of mine recently got a Kyro II (with a 300MHz RAMDAC) and is very impressed with the image quality, even in high-res. :)
I've used the following cards with my 19" Trinitron.
ATI Radeon 64 Vivo
ATI Radeon 8500
Visiontek GF4 4600
Visiontek GF4 4400 (current card)
All cards had very good 2D IQ at 1024x768 and below.
GF3 started bleeding at 1280x1024, the rest are very good.
At 1600x1200, 8500 looks slightly better than the rest, with GF4's a notch below in text clarity. Radeon 64 a bit below that, and GF3 pretty ugly.
8500 is decent at 1920x1440, but text is just too small on my monitor. GF4's are bleeding pretty bad, and the rest are totally unuseable.
Hope this helps...
As stated before, the biggest problem is usually the RFI-filters. They're simple lowpass filters with the cutoff-frequency set to some limit the FCC or whatever think is appropriate, but often the cut off is not sharp enough so some high frequency information is lost. This is a big concern to the HTPC crowd. Head over to www.avsforum.com and check out the HTPC forum. If you're really hardcore you can find instructions of how to solder away those filters. :)
Regards / ushac
Ushac: afaik, using that fix didn't made such huge improvment as I would have expected based on the comments... One of my friends did that to his Creative GF2 GTS and Of course it made much better, but still it falled behind my AIW when tested with this P1110 monitor.
It is definately RFI filters as partially, but I think there is something to do with RAMDAC and other components on output too. eventhough Matrox's output is basically over 3 years old (if I have understood right, G550, G450 and G400 have all same basic PCB design.), it is still on it's own class when we go over 1600x1200 resolution.
so it just can't be those filters only...
EDIT: if you didn't get right what I am saying, you aren't alone... I editted this post about 5 times and still isn't quite right. naaah... it is bed time for me... :)
Well, I still don't think it's the actual RAMDAC. Streaking, ghosting and blurring usually are signs that something in the anologue domain is limiting bandwidth. There's of course more stuff after the RAMDAC than just the RFI filter. Probably some kind of amplifier that pull up the signal to VGA-levels for instance.
I agree with MPI, those problems doesn't indicate DA problems but rather some analog domain thing. Question is if it's something that we can do anything about - that is if the problem lies on the chip or board itself or in components on the board. If it's impedance mismatches or something like that it might be difficult to fix it unless you plan on manufacturing a new pcb ... :-? If it's a problem with the external components in nVidias reference design, has any board manufacturer devieated from that design in order to improve on 2d iq?
I read some posts of a guy on avs that had actually soldered five BNC cables direcly to the board, bypasing as many anlog steps as he could. Sounds a little risky to me though :)
Regards / ushac
There isn't much of a difference between DVI and analog on my Gainward GF3. The main difference is that high contrast single pixel width checker boards (a rare item, really) tend to flicker a tad with analog. Sometimes it goes away if I hit the auto adjust button again. This is at 1600x1200 @ 60hz, which is the max on the LCD.
I'm actually stuck with analog for the moment because one of the more recent Nvidia drivers fubar'd my DVI output into looking like 8-bit color in some games at some resolutions. Anyway, the analog quality is definitely good enough that I'm going to wait on a reformat until my next hardware upgrade.
Put back the ATI R8500, my beautiful and vibrant DVD playback is back again.
With immediate comparison right after plugging back, the screen with ATI is better even at 1280x960x32 at 100Hz, for 1600x1200x32 75Hz, ATI do not have the very faint shadow problem of the ELSA GF4 Ti4600.
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