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  #1  
09-29-2019, 04:51 PM
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jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Note: PCI express ATI capture cards have not been recommended and are not recommended, but they have the ATI Theater 200 chip on them.

There has been some discussion on these forums in recent days regarding their "Silver stab" connectors.. also sometimes called the AVIO connector or the dual row mini-shredded "wheat" biscuit connector.

I wanted to point out a few things since I have examples of each:

X600 Pro
X800 XT
X800 XL

The X600 Pro was the "first" PCI express card using the Theater 200 decoder chip.

Anyhoo...

The X600 Pro had only one version and its connector was called the ATI 6110018300 (or the '300') connector.

The X800 XT had only one version and its connector was called the ATI 6110018300 (or the '300') connector.

The X800 XL had only one version and its connector was called the ATI 6110020700G (or the '700G') connector.

Note: The X600 Pro and the X800 XT "shared" the same "Silver stab" connector (the '300'), but it was not the same as the X800 XL connector (the '700G'). The major differences are

(1) the 300 and 700G are not "swappable" that is you cannot substitute one for the other. They carry different signals on each pin.

(2) the 300 has F-type threaded RF connectors on the breakout side of the "Silver stab", the 700G does not have any F-type threaded RF connectors (none) it has two DIN connectors and it has a large chunky VGA female connector.

Other than the immediately recognizable "Silver stab" body these two different connectors share very little in common.

What confuses and throws people are:

A. That the X600 Pro "Silver stab" connectors are no longer available, this is true.. to a degree.. but a complete ATI X800 XT kit will have a compatible connector. If you get stuck with a X600 Pro without the "Silver tab" you could pick up an X800 XT to go with it or vice versa.

B. The X800 XL "Silver stab" is still somewhat available, but it will not work with an X600 Pro.. so beware, people get one of those and then find out it doesn't work.. its not a bad X600 Pro.. its trying to use an incompatible "Silver stab" with that card. The card is probably still good. Notice this also goes for the X800 XT, you can't use the '700G' connector with an X800 XT either.

My personal experience with PCI express is that it was the only tech supported by DirectX 10 or 11 so if your a Vista or 7 (or even a W10) type of person.. and want to try (or force the issue) your more likely to succeed with one of the 'X' cards. I have not succeeded satisfactorily yet!

I simply thought this a public service message to people who might be trashing X600 cards.. they have several ear marks that make me think they may be close to the quality of the 9600 cards.. just on a different bus form.. and woefully misunderstood.

one final bit of trivia.. there was an X800 XT (AGP) card.. I do not have one, they are extremely rare.. but they do exist.. I am not sure why it exists, backwards compatiblity perhaps? But its out there.

also, beware the ATI 6110018300G it is not the same as the ATI 6110018300 you have to be very careful to get precisely the correct connector. Pictures are usually best.. don't buy sight unseen if at all possible.

Last edited by jwillis84; 09-29-2019 at 05:31 PM.
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  #2  
09-29-2019, 07:22 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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There are also VIVO versions of some of the pcie cards (with Theater 100 chips). These seem to use more standard DIN-connectors, maybe a bit easier that sourcing the weird breakout cable for the AIW ones.
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  #3  
09-29-2019, 07:32 PM
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I guess I should also ('stress') the X800 XT and the X800 XL cards (both) had incompatible "Silver stab" connectors.

I was over emphasizing the difference between the X600 and the X800 cards and their connectors above.

But it should be noted that the X800 XT and X800 XL ('used') the ('same') "Silver stab" design.. but two completely different ways.

For example: you could obtain an X800 XT with the ('wrong') "Silver stab" connector meant for the X800 XL and it would fit in the connector for the "Silver stab" but it would not work. And vice versa, you could obtain an X800 XL with the ('wrong') "Silver tab" connector mean for the X800 XT but it would not work.

The point of [avoiding] these because they are confusing is well taken.. but they are a fascinating study in the transition from AGP to PCI, from XP to Vista and beyond graphics hardware and drivers.

They did bridge the gap and carry the Rage Theater 200 chip forwards into the Vista "Age" and possibly beyond.. its just not well understood at this time ('by me'). The follow chips including the 550, 600, 650 and 750 did have some support under the later versions of windows.. but seem not as popular these days.. I'm not sure of its the reported AGC problems, or something in the drivers.. or the re-design of windows.. windows just became more and more "browsery" and less and less hardware oriented.

As bizarre as it may seem.. I've become somewhat more interested in Vista these days as that platform tried very hard to support all hardware from XP drivers to W7 drivers.. by W8 they were throwing out the baby with the bath water and de-supporting perfectly good hardware for no reason at all.

Last edited by jwillis84; 09-29-2019 at 07:48 PM.
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  #4  
09-30-2019, 12:40 PM
keaton keaton is offline
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Thanks for helping to unpeel the onion on the different variants of things and what's compatible.

I was fortunate to find the rare second part of the chain (AVIO connector) needed to use a PCIExpress based ATI card. I can understand why it may not be recommended from that perspective. It is very important to spread awareness that you need the correct connector for your card. The dollars spent to acquire card and connector was also very decent, and I wouldn't think it's significantly different from AGP based solutions.

My capturing experience with an XP box started with a Tevion USB (ATI 600 equivalent, which is recommended on this forum) purchased brand new from lordsmurf, then switching to an X600Pro (because my XP machine did not have AGP and elected to go with card upgrade over building another machine).

I've never used an AGP based ATI Theatre based card, so I am not comparing. What I can compare is that the X600Pro was a great improvement for me from the ATI 600 USB device I was using. The quality of my captures was a big step up in my eyes. The size of my captures also dropped significantly. I am not seeing loss of detail. In fact, I see more detail and with less bytes consumed. This could suggest it is less noisy, but just an uneducated opinion. No plans to post examples of what was better and trying to prove my case to anyone. This is just one person's experience to suggest it is worth other's consideration, as they are very affordable, if not that available, and worth a look if you looking for non-AGP options.

Another huge plus of the card over a USB was being able to adjust the brightness and contrast levels via the capture card settings (Levels menu in Virtualdub). Where as with the USB, I had to have an external Proc Amp to prevent clipping of input levels due to no levels control on the USB device.

With all of that said, It certainly seems to me that what's most important is the chipset used. I am not seeing logic from a chipset based perspective that concludes not to recommend these cards as an alternative for those that do not have AGP XP machine. For what it's worth, the quality is excellent, in my view. I am very pleased with the results, and will ultimately be recapturing everything I did originally with the ATI 600 USB. Although I have not seen an AGP card's results, I am quite pleased with what I have now, and don't see a need to look elsewhere.

Just my
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  #5  
10-01-2019, 01:57 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keaton View Post
Just my
Yep, your observation pegs. AIW is better than 600 USB.

The only thing about AIW PCIe is shift/offset, I try to avoid it when possible (AGP doesn't do it), and the fact that MMC is essentially crippled, no dropped frames counter, making it semi-useless for MPEG capturing. It works fine, it's AIW/Theatre, but doesn't do what I need or want.

I've not seen some of the cards in this thread, mostly just the x600, x1800 and x1900. The cards got worse.

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  #6  
10-01-2019, 10:27 AM
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.. the x600, x800 XT and x800 XL are not to be confused with their Huger, Larger Hungrier x1300, x1800 and x1900 cousins.. the smaller half-length cards are very different.

The transition period was very weird, the ATI 2006 edition came in two variants, AGP (based on the 9600) and PCI express (based on the x1300) strange choices. First why not trade on the 9600 name recognition? Second why use an x1300?

ATI began internalizing much of the bridge chip functions for the bus connector into the chips they made (probably as a cost saving measure) later in the game. Until their PCI express was simply a part of the decoder chip as well.. by the 550 chip it had become 'both' a PCI 32 bit and PCI express 64 bit bridge chip as well as an encoder. Each later decoder chip included both functions as well.

.. what's that saying... "jack of all trades, master of none?"

While integrating all those functions on one chip saved them a lot of money.. I have trouble thinking they could optimize for every bus architecture and still optimize for decoding without any interference on those tiny chip dies and be the best at cooperating with every motherboard implementation of PCI and PCI express.. all with the same chips.

Plus we do know the x1300, x1800, x1900 were heat monsters.. and included the largest GPUs ever bound together with a decoder into an All In Wonder.. ever.. prices for basic capture devices were falling well below 200 usd a pop by that time. its all circumstantial.. but I think the x600 and x800 XT and x800 XL were the last of the best.

That also brings up another point.

There are three kinds of motherboards:

1. Desktop
2. Workstation
3. Server

Most people went for the economy version or 'Desktop' version with rather weak power supplies and VRMs that don't age well.

The higher end Workstation boards had two of most everything and higher quality chips and VRMs to support all of that, even today they don't run cheap.. but usually less than 100 usd

Server boards are so custom and weird they are probably best consigned to the trash bin.

My point is variability in the implementation of PCI and PCI express on motherboards varied from manufacturer to manufacturer.. from board to board, from Intel to VIA chipsets.

And then there were tweakers and overclockers. I think the ability to tweak developed out of the 'need' to tweak things at the factory since they didn't know how their latest motherboards would function until after they were made and already in the hands of customers.. so that BIOS updates could 'fix' things in the field.

Workstation motherboards had far less leeway.. and had to be more stable when they arrived.

All of this would effect the stability and performance of a PCI or PCI-X or PCI express connection.

There was only ever really ('one') PCI 32 bit All in Wonder before the jump to AGP. But there were many AGP and a few PCI express.. mostly due to the bandwidth required for the GPU.. the Theater 200 decoder was merely a passenger along for the ride.

My argument here is for the 'discrete'-ness of a separate decoder chip from all the other chips, much for the same reason a separate VCR and capture DVR or capture PC is a good idea. It gives you the option to fix unintentional problems and conflicts after the initial design.. to revise upwards.. rather than to have to 'live with' it until the next major chip redesign. (And) for the sometimes awkward breakout cable design.. with well isolated and insulated signals paths.. as opposed to the tight 'choker' collar cables where tiny wires can pickup cross-talk.. much like the small traces on a motherboard with integrated audio sound chips can't avoid the limitations of physics.

Last edited by jwillis84; 10-01-2019 at 10:54 AM.
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  #7  
10-01-2019, 02:18 PM
keaton keaton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
the fact that MMC is essentially crippled, no dropped frames counter, making it semi-useless for MPEG capturing.
Fair point. I should have mentioned my experience is limited to lossless capture. I haven't done MPEG capturing, and don't have plans to. Although the full install disc for the X600Pro has been posted by another member on this forum in a thread I created when first learning about which secondary connector I needed. I don't know if having the full SW install for that card resolves the MMC issues you mentioned.
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  #8  
06-18-2020, 02:34 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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jwillis84 and all:

I would like to find a pin-out for the X600 I/O "stab connector." That is to say, which pin numbers correspond to the analog inputs. There is a pin-out posted in another thread for what is probably the X800 XL with a PAL breakout. As noted above it is very different from the X800 XT/X600. (For starters the ground pins are very different.) I have attached a pin-out showing what I measured as the I/O grounds on the x600 PC board (sorry for using red to indicate the grounds).

My plan is to improvise an analog input connector that fits into the I/O jack and carries the composite, s-video, and audio input lines (5 signals - I figure no need for the outputs or RF lines) to a BOB. I intend to do this using some thin (0.020" thick) PC board.


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File Type: jpg x600_IO.JPG (33.3 KB, 14 downloads)
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  #9  
06-19-2020, 10:05 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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The PCIe X800XT and X1800XT use the "silver stab" connector for VGA output and the domino input and output DIN connections (The output DIN is replaced with a SCART plug on European models). The X800XT (AGP?) and the X600 use it for the input and output DIN and the TV and Radio RF inputs. This uses less pins, so naturally there are likely more grounds. Whats annoying is the pins for the input and output DINs don't appear to be the same between the two connectors!

Finding composite, S-Video, and audio inputs should be easy using the preview window and a live source probing the pins. The PCIe cards can capture audio as well as video eliminating any clock drift issues using a separate sound card may present. The bigger issues is even if you know the pinout, its impossible to build a breakout cable because getting the actual connector is impossible. It was likely a custom part made for ATI.
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  #10  
06-20-2020, 06:36 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Quote:
... its impossible to build a breakout cable because getting the actual connector is impossible.

Read more: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-capture/10046-ati-x600pro-x800xt.html#ixzz6Pu2AZPb5
I wouldn't say impossible, just requires some innovative use of off the shelf materials and fine work. It will be be ugly but should work. What amounts to some thin, double sided PC boards etched to provide the needed contacts to pig tails with S-VIDEO and RCA connectors, and sufficient "chewing gum and gaffers tape" to hold it together. Back-to-back single sided 0.020" PC board appears to be a workable thickness. Only need a total of 5 input leads plus grounds for capture.

Having the pin-out solves the most difficult part of the problem because ringing out the tiny pins on a live board without the connector, presents a challenge. There are 19 non-ground leads. A/V output and "antenna" would account for 7 of them. Are the others selected VGA and/or DVI? or variations of the SCART??

Also, anyone know what the eight-pin and 10-pin headers on the board do?
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  #11  
06-20-2020, 11:52 AM
BW37 BW37 is offline
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I'm pretty sure there are no VGA or DVI out connections on the X600 connector.

Here's a copy of the manual: AIWx600_Manual.pdf
It has a few pages showing the connections used.

Also, here's an image of the X600 connector.

I only have the other cable type that includes 2x VGA outs with no RF inputs. Maybe someone who has an X600 or X800XL can help more.

BW


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  #12  
06-20-2020, 06:24 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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That is what I am seeking - a pin out for the X600 silver stab.

Were I able to beg or borrow a complete one (with the break outs( one I would ring it out and post the pin-out mapping.
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  #13  
06-22-2020, 06:03 AM
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jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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will map the pins later this week

closest connector is mini DVI

i do not know if it will fit

DVI to mini DVI adapter
Mini DVI to DVI Adapter

DVI breakout board
DVI-DM-BO-V1A


Last edited by jwillis84; 06-22-2020 at 06:13 AM.
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  #14  
06-22-2020, 07:41 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Thanks. That will be a big help

I've looked at the mini-DVI pin out, but have not examined an actual connector to verify the physical size and shape either. (I'm not a Mac guy so it is not in my old cables bin.) It does contain a polarizing barrier at one end that would have to be cut out in any case. The other question is whether or not all the needed leads extend in the cable from the plug. If the grounds are connected in the plug it couid present a problem as well.
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  #15  
06-22-2020, 12:31 PM
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x600_IO.jpg pin numbers

20 - Luma
22 - Chroma
24 - CVBS
17 - Audio Left
19 - Audio Right

the pin numbering is the same on both diagrams

pin 20 on the x600_IO diagram

is the same as

pin 20 on the mini_dvi diagram

note: the mini_dvi diagram is of the socket, not the silver stab plug


Attached Images
File Type: jpg x600_IO.JPG (33.3 KB, 11 downloads)
File Type: jpg mini_dvi.jpg (170.5 KB, 6 downloads)

Last edited by jwillis84; 06-22-2020 at 12:45 PM.
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  #16  
06-22-2020, 12:45 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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If one wants to modify an Apple adapter (Assuming it physically fits otherwise), the key needs to be cut out of the plug.
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  #17  
06-22-2020, 12:59 PM
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jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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the ATI socket has rounded corners, which appear similar to the style of the Apple socket

the 2007 Apple mini-DVI connector looks highly derivative of the 2004 ATI connector
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  #18  
06-22-2020, 01:03 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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The mini-DVI connector dates to late 2003. It first appeared on the 12in Powerbook G4.
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06-22-2020, 01:16 PM
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i use a Mac, I have nothing against Mac's
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06-22-2020, 05:07 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Thanks! That is a big help.

I suspect there is a significant size difference between the AYI A/V port and the Mini-DVI.

I measure the width of the ATI X600 IO port at about 0.37"

Scaling from photos (using the USB size for comparison) the MAC port appears to be more like 0.47", 30% larger. But I don't have a MAC at hand to verify measure. The attached graphic shows it. Does that make sense to any MAC owners reading this?.


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File Type: jpg Mini-DVI.JPG (21.0 KB, 7 downloads)
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