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Where Can You Find Cheap DVI Video Cards? 89

Posted by Cliff
from the affordable-hardware dept.
iansmith wonders: "I have a new Gateway computer hooked to a flat screen monitor. The problem is the video out is only VGA which does not look as sharp as a DVI output. To help with this, and also to let me run dual displays, I want to add a video card to the machine. In the past I would just grab a standard VGA card for $20, plug it in and go, not needing fancy 3D graphics. I do not want to spend $300 for a gaming video card... does anybody make a video card with DVI out that is not a souped up 3D powerhouse, with a price tag to match? Even worse, all new machines seem to be PCI-Express and so that makes it even less likely I'll find something affordable. I can't even use an old 3D card from home. What would you all suggest I do?"
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Where Can You Find Cheap DVI Video Cards?

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  • by vwpau227 (462957) * on Thursday March 01, 2007 @10:22AM (#18193586) Homepage
    I like the BFG GeForce 6200 Turbo Cache cards, for example the http://www.bfgtech.com/6200TC.html [bfgtech.com] -- I bought the 64MB Model recently for a customer and it was under CND$39. The car has both DVI and VGA Output.
    • Here (Score:2, Informative)

      by wiz31337 (154231)
      Newegg. [newegg.com]
      • Re:Here (Score:5, Insightful)

        by BobPaul (710574) * on Thursday March 01, 2007 @10:57AM (#18194014) Journal
        One wonders if the OP actually started a search, or just assumed what he was looking for was a $300 gaming card and gave up immediately. Just because you're local Best Buy price gouges you doesn't mean the product doesn't exist. Local used computer shops are good, too. I got a used PCI nVidia card with DVI for $15.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by misleb (129952)
          I recently got a flat panel display and wanted DVI for my Mac (G4 AGP). I ended up using an old NVIDIA FX 5200 from a PC and flashing it with a Mac ROM. So it would seem that basically any older video card with DVI would do. I mean, it isn't like DVI is new or anything. I think the issue is the PCI-E requirement. But as the GP points out, that was really just a matter of doing some research.

          One has to wonder how these Ask Slashdots make the front page. I mean, a simple Google search for "dvi pci-e" gave me
        • Of course they didn't look. That is what AskSlashdot is for - not thinking/not doing.

          Heck, I was looking for just a similar beast for one of my computers last night and I found a bunch of sub $50 that will do just what he was looking for. It isn't that hard, why is this even a question?!?!?!

          BTW - newegg IS the way to go.

          RonB
    • I wouild have to agree, Nvidia is probably your best bet. There a number of cards cards with DVI output that are priced below $100 US.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Nos. (179609)
      Yes, but it only has a single DVI out. The submitter is looking for dual dvi. I did a quick search and came up with this: http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_attrib.php/page _id=5/popup6%5B%5D=10:594/popup2%5B%5D=1:596 [pricegrabber.com] There's a XFX GeForce for about $133, which isn't bad really, and that's not a bad card at all. I was playing CS:S with a 6800GT OC from BFG until just recently.
      • by BobPaul (710574) *
        Or he can get any of these [newegg.com] starting at $80 before rebates if PCI is ok, these [newegg.com] if AGP 4/8x is your game, or these [newegg.com] if you want PCI x16.

        Seriously... find your favorite online shop and run an advanced search. That's what they're there for.
      • by canUbeleiveIT (787307) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @11:13AM (#18194226)
        I was playing CS:S with a 6800GT OC from BFG until just recently.

        I just couldn't help but think about the blank look that would be on my mom's face if she had to translate that sentence into English.

        Of course, she thinks that I'm a total computer guru because I know how to copy and paste.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 01, 2007 @11:23AM (#18194346)
          Wait. Copy and paste?
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by daeg (828071)
            But if I copy and paste, that uses up both of my Ctrl keys. How will I open documents with Ctrl and the capital O key? Will I have to use my clicker for that again?
            • You can also paste with Shift+Insert, leaving one of those precious control keys free. This does mean that you can't use that shift key for the capital 'O', but you still have the other shift key. Or even caps lock!
      • by vrmlguy (120854)
        "The submitter is looking for dual dvi." Er, no, the submitter has a VGA card and wants a DVI so he can run dual screens. He never said anything about dual DVI.
    • Note: I -love- my GeForce 6600GT

      Tom Forsyth has posted about the lack of quality in nVidia cards this back in 2006

      Title: VGA was good enough for my grandfather

      I keep having this stupid conversation with people. It goes a little something like this:

      Them: I need to get a new card - one with dual-DVI. Any ideas?
      Me: You really need dual DVI?
      Them: Yeah, VGA's shit.
      Me: VGA's actually pretty good you know - are you running at some sort of crazy res?
      Them: Yeah - 1600x1200 - it's a blurry mess.
      Me: That's not crazy a
      • by PIBM (588930)
        I never had trouble with my ramdac in any of my nvidia card. Most of the people with blurred LCDs are using VGA cable (which require dual convertion of the signal) and their LCD aren`t synchronized correctly. I'm running a 30" lcd (2560x1600 in dvi) and a 20" CRT (2048x1536 with a vga connection) from an nvidia card (7800GTX) and both are having crystal clear results. I've had a 6600GT before and it ws perfect on both a dvi 1600x1200 LCD, and 1600x1200 20" lcd 85hz VGA.

        Plus, don't forget you can play with t
      • by XO (250276)
        I have a really blurry and dim CRT display, on my Nvidia. but I've swapped it for two other ATI cards and another Nvidia, and they all do pretty much the same thing. I then plugged it into a $200 Monster surge suppressor/power conditioner, and it improved the situation a fair amount. I'm buying a new CRT, though, because it's pretty obvious this one has seen better days .. or was fucked up from the bgeinning.
  • You can get a PCI-Express card for under $50 - an Nvidia 6200 at newegg [newegg.com]

    I have a 7300 for just over $50 and I'm quite happy with it.

  • WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 01, 2007 @10:27AM (#18193654)
    This is an Ask Slashdot?
    1. Go to www.newegg.com
    2. Click on Video Cards
    3. Click on Advanced Search
    4. Set DVI to "1"
    5. Click. [newegg.com]
    6. ???
    7. Profit!
    Your dream $20 video card is actually $25 or $30, depending on if you want AGP or PCI.
    • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ack154 (591432) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @10:30AM (#18193696)
      Ya, anyone who reads /. and can't find themselves a cheap video card should just stop reading /. for a while. Or forever. And how this even was selected as a story just boggles my mind.
      • by abradsn (542213)
        Hmm, and you clicked on it and posted in it. Though apparently, I'm just as much of a sucker. The funny part is that people are meta-moderating here too.
        Hey mods, I've always wanted a +5 Funny... and that would be fitting here, since this isn't funny at all... unless of course it really does get modded +5 funny... then... that would be funny.
  • ...to first actually check out what stores have to offer before asking? Sigh... [newegg.com]
  • A simple search on newegg should get you exactly what you want:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?Subm it=ENE&N=2010380048+1069109630&Subcategory=48 [newegg.com]

    Or try froogle:

    http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=dvi+video+card &btnG=Search+Froogle&lnk=pruser&price1=20&price2=4 0&btnP=Go [google.com]

    As for a recommended card, I wouldn't know. :)
  • If you plan to keep running Vista, then you are going to need some 3d capabilities if you want to run the fancy Aero interface.
    • only DX9 is really needed

      I know some people who got Aero running on a Mac Mini, those don't have great GFX cards in them. Apparantly, the i945/i950 and better intel graphics can handle Aero pretty well, as well as most Radeon 9xxx+ and most/all GeForce 6xxx+ series cards (maybe even the 5xxx cards, but I'm not sure)

      At least they have the capacity, depending on manufacturer screwups and driver mishaps, YMMV.

      So, just about anything bought now sould work.

      That being said, the machine probably has an integrated
  • http://www.newegg.com/ProductSort/Rangesearch.asp? SubCategory=48&CNP_DisplayType=2&GASearch=3 [newegg.com]

    Just check what bus and the number of DVI ports you need, and sort it by ascending price.
    • by PFI_Optix (936301)
      Yeah, looks like about half of us are going to get modded redundant. That's what we get for all typing "search newegg you noob" at the same time.
  • From what I can tell, you've just asked an impossible 'Ask Slashdot' question. I don't think anyone here will be able to answer it for you.

    Alternately, you can go to Google, [google.com] click the 'more' button and select Froogle, [google.com] then search for 'DVI video card'. [google.com]
  • Only PCI-E? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ant P. (974313) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @10:36AM (#18193758) Homepage
    That's a shame, I'd recommend my Radeon 9250 which was dirt cheap, fanless and even has a pretty clear VGA output, but it's AGP.
  • Last time I needed a "cheap" secondary video card, instead of spending $50 or so on a new card, I just asked around.

    If you read Slashdot, chances are you've got a few friends (yourself included) who have a box of old hardware they aren't using but won't throw away.

    I needed a PCI 2D only card for a secondary monitor and got it free after just a couple emails.
  • There's a ton of cards for $20-40 as noted by others in this thread, and there's an even cheaper option.

    Get a VGA (male) to DVI (female) adapter for $3ish.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82 E16814999901 [newegg.com]

    Moral of the story: don't look for parts at big box stores. You're paying 400% or more the suggested retail on any video card you look at.
    • You do realize that running an analog signal through a VGA->DVI converter doesn't magically improve the signal quality, right?
      • by dr00g911 (531736)
        Yep, and I also realize that the person asking the question probably doesn't have his display resolution maxed and refresh tuned on the vga output, so the "fuzziness" is probably a non-native resolution issue.
        • Good point. : )
        • by tlhIngan (30335)
          Check the analog refresh rate too - I'm running dual LCDs via VGA out and they're both sharp *and* crisp. No fuzziness I can detect. (There probably is a tiny bit, but it's something you have to put up an alternating pattern to see). A lot of monitors accept 75Hz or higher refresh rates, but I find if you crank it back down to 60Hz or so, a lot of the fuzziness goes away - I guess jitter in the sampling clocks matters a heck of a lot more at 75hz than 60hz.

          (This was vertical bands of fuzziness that no amoun
  • And today ? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ihlosi (895663) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @10:37AM (#18193778)
    In the past I would just grab a standard VGA card for $20, plug it in and go,



    What's keeping you from doing that today ? There's plenty of cheap graphics cards out there (they may all say that they're "3D" cards, but the cheap versions are way too slow in this area to be useful). You don't even need to get the latest generation of cheap-ass cards, since the ones from two generations ago may already have been available in PCIe/PEG flavors.


    ATI X300/X1300, Geforce 6200/7300GS, whatever is cheapest.

    • by julesh (229690)
      they may all say that they're "3D" cards, but the cheap versions are way too slow in this area to be useful

      Not really. Take, for instance, this incredibly cheap-ass card [dabs.com]. Undeniably cheap, but it supports full DirectX 8.1 pixel shaders and has 4 pipelines @ 266MHz, which really is enough for many applications. It probably won't be running Doom3. But it'll cope with anything less demanding.
  • 131 items in the UK, many of them crappy cards with only 32Mb memory for a few quid. This really does not warrant an Ask Slashdot.

    Next, I'm going to Ask Slashdot how to pick my own nose, and possibly follow it up asking for techniques for sucking eggs.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by UncleTogie (1004853) *

      Next, I'm going to Ask Slashdot how to pick my own nose, and possibly follow it up asking for techniques for sucking eggs.

      1. Ronco's Combination Electric Nose-Picker/Salad Shooter.
      2. Ask Granny.
  • by mewyn (663989)
    Sounds like you have a case of improper LCD calibration. The auto calibration often will not properly calibrate your display on a normal desktop screen. What you should do is bring up a full screen of alternating black and white pixels and then run the auto calibration. If you do that, you'll have a display just as sharp as DVI. I do this for my gaming machine, since I use the two inputs on my monitor as a poor-man's video switch. :)
    • by dr00g911 (531736)
      Or as I mentioned in another thread, simply go to your display panel and crank the resolution to max.

      Chances are really good that the "fuzziness" mentioned is a product of non-native resolution being pushed on the LCD, if I were to guess based on a couple clues in the question (Gateway, $300 for a "3D Card").
      • More clues: sportsmogul.com CTO

        Is it really any wonder that such a braindead question was asked here?
      • by mewyn (663989)
        I should have amended that this is granted he is running at the proper resolution. I've seen many improperly calibrated displays that were set at the right resolution that were fuzzy, had vertical or horizontal bands, or all sorts of other artifacts. But this won't work if it is not at the wrong res.
    • "If you do that, you'll have a display just as sharp as DVI."

      What in the hell are you talking about? Are you saying that there is no percievable difference between DVI and VGA? are you on drugs?

      DVI looks SOO much crisper its not even funny. Especially the higher up you scale the display. Try putting a 42inch plasma on VGA. It looks horrid. Are you actually suggesting that any amount of calibration can bring a vga connection up to the quality of a DVI one?

      • If it's DVI-A, it doesnt matter anyways.

        And if it's DVI-I, well, just make sure you're not running on the -A ports.

        Those are the analog parts of the DVI spec, which arent much better than the VGA spec. Still, a nice crisp monitor with super-clean DACs (like Matrox and those who care about 2d) is preferred to a crap setup (read nVidia) with DVI-D.

        Still, many are intent on spreading FUD on how much better the DVI specs are, along with new upcoming specs (HDMI for graphics cards). Good VGA is also guaranteed t
      • by XO (250276)
        DVI is VGA but for TVs, really.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by neves (324086)
      I always use lcdtest [brouhaha.com] in my linux box.
  • If you have an Intel chipset (915/945/965), and you have an PCIe slot, you can probably use an SDVO card (also known as ADD2+) to add a DVI port to your machine. The cards run for about $20-30. We've used a few at work, and they work pretty well.
    • You can even get a dual DVI SDO card, providing the OP with exactly what they want.

    • You are better off getting a real video card for $50 then paying $30 for a card that uses 100% of your system ram.
      • by dennism (13667)
        I know you're probably trying to be funny, or worse off, mis-informed. But, my quick back of the envelope calculation says that for a 1600x1200 display, you'll need 5.7MB of RAM for 24-bit color. I haven't owned a machine in the past 4 years that hasn't had at least 1GB. Tell me again how the card is using 100% of your system RAM -- especially considering the needs of the OP?
  • Our company uses dual monitors on DVI connections - we upgraded all our PCs to PCI Express cards with 2 DVI ports. At the time we did this, we used XFX cards with the nVidia 6600 GPU, but they no longer seem to be available, at least from our usual vendors. At the time, they ran roughly $100 each, which was a good price for what was a decent card with dual DVI out. We didn't need 3D Gaming cards for anything in the office, and these served wondefully - they had enough oompf to make everyone happy with Go
  • I've been looking for over 15 years for this soundcard: the Innovation SSI 2001. It's an ISA-based, 6581-based soundcard. Yes, I am aware of the HardSID (I've got one), but this is about the only card missing from my soundcards collection: http://www.yvan256.net/soundcards/ [yvan256.net].

    Please note, this collection is about the different technologies that came out at the beginning of the soundcards era, not the thousands of SoundBlaster clones that were available.

    So, if anyone has an Innovation SSI 2001, or know where I
    • I thought that the original Sound Blasters were just Adlib cards with joystick controllers thrown in.
      • I thought that the original Sound Blasters were just Adlib cards with joystick controllers thrown in.

        Nope, the Adlib card just had the Yamaha FM Synthesizer chip. Sound Blaster added the joystick/MIDI port, but more importantly, it added a DAC for digital audio recording/playback.
  • WTF? Looking for a cheap DVI Gfx card and wanna know where to find it?
    How about waking up from your koma and use this thing called internet. 15 seconds max. to find one.
    Then again, the guy who put your question up needs a mental reboot aswell imho.
  • I had the same issue, since I've been holding back on a full rig rebuild.

    I got a Sapphire X700 card. Runs in my AGP x4 slot, with both DVI and VGA outputs.

    Was supercheap from Newegg.
  • by Runefox (905204)
    You can find those virtually everywhere. I work at a local computer shop, and we have PCI-E cards with DVI-out for about $60.00 CAD, and those aren't even the bottom of the barrel. AGP are also fairly cheap, though not as cheap as PCI-E any more, you'll find them for much less than even $100 CAD. Where was THIS guy looking?

    Granted, if he's after PCI, he's mostly SOL.
  • Get an old NVidia GEForce MX440 of ebay for $10. It can output any of the fancy schmancy resolutions out its DVI port and has hardware MPEG scaling, so its a good little card for MythTV too.
  • If you can find a Matrox 450 or 550 with dual DVIs, you're all set. They concentrate on 2D, not 3D. You might want to look for used cards, because they're typically $100 or more new. But they work great (excellent Linux support as well as Windows, etc) and last forever.
  • A lot of Dell computers ship with DMS-59 [wikipedia.org] connectors and a dongle cable that breaks out to one or two VGA connectors, but it's actually dual DVI-I on the backplane. Probably all you need is a different dongle cable from Dell or eBay that breaks out to one or two DVI connectors.
  • froogle even
  • I get non-Mac related computer hardware from an outfit in Texas called Directron [directron.com]. I have order from them probably two dozen times over the past five years for everything from OEM copies of WinXP to cables to all the necessary hardware to build my own PC. Their customer service, and the overall shopping experience for me in fact, has always been excellent and they have a nice selection of products (especially I note when it comes to video cards [directron.com])

    Another place I buy from is Provantage [provantage.com], though I'll admit I
  • ...is an issue too.

    In my limited experience, fuzzy VGA has always been caused by cheap cables or a cheap KVM in the middle. You want the kind with a choke on the end near the monitor (that 3/4 inch cylindrical thing) and the cable itself should 1/4 diameter, any less and it doesn't have room for proper shielding. Final thing is to keep the length down. 1m if possible, never more than 2m. If you have a KVM, try connecting your monitor w/o it and if the improvement is noticeable get a better KVM.

    As others
  • Based on the domain attached to his name he probably has something to do with this "sports" stuff and is most likely a fish out of water reading and especially posting on this site.

    The slashdot editor that approved it is still laughing at the "story" and all of us reading it.
  • Quit giving the guy such a hard time. It's a reasonable question. Anybody can check NewEgg, but what's the optimal choice? What's cheap, provides the most bang for the buck, is reliable, well supported by good drivers on multiple operating systems, etc.?
  • Depending on the model, you may not even have an expansion slot for a video card. I've had coworkers get burned by this problem with big-name PCs lately...
  • I lucked out, one of the stores I asked sold me a second-hand 128MB Geforce FX5200 for AU$20 (about US$11).
  • by XO (250276)
    Let me get this straight.. you need an AGP video card with a DVI output?

    That qualifies for virtually every video card that you can actually PURCHASE NEW right about now. My GF6200 has DVI, my Radeon 9550, 9600, have DVI. All are the extreme bottom of the line right now.
  • Okay, a lot of people are coming down hard on the OP, but I sympathize a bit as I was in a similar situation. A year ago, I wanted to upgrade to dual-head DVI on a reasonable budget, but found it to be impossible. Not because 19" DVI monitors are expensive, but because there was simply no video card was available that had:

    * Dual head
    * DVI on each head
    * An nVidia-based GPU
    * AGP 4x/8x
    * A low price

    None fit this criteria. But there's really no good reason why. Inexpensive single-head DVI cards have been around
    • by aminorex (141494)
      You do realize that a little $2 dongle adapts d-sub to dvi, right?
      • by Eil (82413)
        You do realize that a little $2 dongle adapts d-sub to dvi, right?

        Sorry, but I don't see how that would help. I wanted an all-digital solution, but that's impossible without an affordable dual-head digital-output card.

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