Wednesday, April 29, 2009

ATI card and Westinghouse TV

So I bought a Zotac motherboard with an integrated Geforce 7100, I thought this would be enough to play hd-dvd and blu-ray movies, since I have a 6600 quad core. I was able to connect to my 52" Westinghouse TV and it would display fine, however hd-dvd movies would stutter a bit... Bummer.

Enter the Apollo AP-HD4350 from newegg. Cheap card made especially for hd movie playback. Install it and it displays on my 1280x1024 lcd just fine, install the latest and greatest drivers (catalyst 9.4) and hook it up to the 52" Westy. Of course there are problems, nothing ever works out at first.

First there was the LCD Overscan that defaulted to an 8% reduction in screen size, no biggie, fixed in the Catalyst Control Center (CCC). But the screen flashes to Black about once every 3 seconds, it is sporadic, but about that. I tried to playback a hd-dvd and it plays back fine now w/o stutter, but with the flashing to black...

Tried going back to the driver on the disk included, same problem. Tried bringing the computer up so that the hdmi cable was much shorter, nothing doing. Tried many things. The thing that ended up working was to interface to the DVI port instead of the hdmi port. Put a DVI to HDMI adapter in the mix and that seemed to clear up the flickering.

However, then the display was jumping up and down by about 1 pixel multiple times per second. Looking through the CCC panel I found an option for vertical timing and adjusted that to be on all the time, instead of application specific and that seems to fix that problem.

In conclusion, I should be able to play hd movies on my big screen now. But is was not w/o quite a bit of bug fixing along the way, and obviously the disadvantage of not being about to use the hdmi audio component.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Great picture

New egg order on 3/36

D-Link DGS-2205 10/100/1000Mbps 5-Port Green Technology Switch - 34.99
MASSCOOL 8W553B1M3 90mm Ball CPU Cooler - 9.99
Link Depot 16 ft. HDMI TO HDMI - 9.99
LG Black LG Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM GGC-H20LK - OEM - 94.99

The reason I am bringing this up because I wanted to talk about the intel q6600 I purchased awhile before this. I am running it on a Zontac motherboard (which I think was $35...). Anyways, my processor would idle at 45-50C, which seemed quite bad, so I ordered the Masscool above. I thought I had seated the intel cooler on the CPU reasonably well, though it was quite a hassle to get on.

I received the above order and played an hddvd, when I checked the core temps they were in the 90C range, big problem. Then installed the Masscool and the idle temps dropped to the high 20C and while playing an hddvd (for a short period) the temps went up to 50C. Acceptable I figure. Of course, this is with the old thermal paste still sitting on the CPU and just the stock paste on the Masscool. But I don't have an interest in overclocking, so it should be fine. Actually I wouldn't mind underclocking it, but the Zontac motherboard is quite barebones...