Video card for a living room comp?


Junior Member
Oct 28, 2002
As i just got a new comp, i'm trying to set up my old one (T-bird 750, 384MB old school PC133, that'll slowly be upgraded) for use in the living room - as a video/mp3 server, and for gaming on the TV. So, i'm looking for a decent sub-$100 video card with tv out, pretty much. I think I've got it pinned down to a RADEON 9000 Pro or a GF 3 Ti. still, though, some questions:

- does TV-out quality vary greatly with competitors? what should i look for?

- am i right in assuming that a 9000 will outperform the GF for most DX 8 games? seems that way, from what i've read...

thanks in advance for any help you can give me. -andy


Oct 27, 2002
I would suggest the 8500 LE over the 9000 series. Still a sub-100 card w/ TV out and DX8 but has superior performance for the most part to either a Ti200 or 9000. Wouldnt know that much about TV out quality since Ive never used it although I trust would trust ATI far more than nvidia for this. As far as a 9000 outperforming a Ti200 I dont know. The 9000 Pro is the direct competitor to the GF4MX series which the Ti200 also beats. Also if you do decide to go for the 9000 make damn sure its a Pro...


Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2002
;) Yes 8500LE is def the card you should go for and 128MB if you can get it, the only advantage of going Rad9000PRO is that it can be used fanless (although Rad9000 is more common) and hence will run very quietly. From slowest to fastest the Radeons break down like this:

Rad7500 = GF2GTS/TI perf and like them is DX7
Rad9000 = Rad7500 but with DX8 and slightly enhanced DVD/MPEG playback, image quality and standardised dual display
Rad9000PRO = Same as the Rad9000 but a good 20% faster
Rad8500LE = Much like the Rad9000PRO but is 15% faster, again DVD playback and image quality are slightly weaker but still VERY good
Rad8500 = Same as Rad8500LE but 10% faster

:eek: Clock speeds will vary by manu and oem/retail but only usually by about 10% tops, also non-Rad9000 cards may not have dual RAMDACs needed if dual display is important to you. So anyway on to GeForce:

GF2TI = Rad7500 (ie DX7) but with much poorer DVD playback, image quality, dual display and TVout.
GF4MX = Enhanced GF2 so still DX7 but now faster and with enhanced DVD playback, image quality, dual display and TVout, MX440 is a good deal faster than GF2TI.
GF3 = In 3D perf very comparable to Rad8500 cards (hence also DX8) so a good deal faster than Rad9000 series, GF3 are let down by image quality, dual display and TVout although they are generally improved over GF2 they do vary by manu.
GF4TI = Enhanced GF3 (so DX8) and are faster with much imporved image quality, dual display, TVout and a great ability to get the most from the top CPUs. Other than the odd turkey, manu makes VERY little diff.

;) Comparing Radeons to GF we see the Radeons have significantly better DVD playback and TVout, and for the GF2/3 cards much better image quality too.

:D So all in all, Rad8500LE-128MB will definitely perf better while the Rad9000PRO should run a bit cooler and quieter (esp if found fanless), if you'll be running a 750mhz CPU for a good while yet there will be very little perf diff between these cards. I'd dismiss the GF2/3 straight away, the GF4MX are inferior to the Rad9000 series and the GF4TI are overkill. Rad8500LE-128MB or Rad9000PRO in either 64MB or 128MB form are by far the clearest choices IMHO.