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  #1  
10-19-2021, 12:34 PM
zippydan zippydan is offline
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I'm planning to build a Windows 7 or Windows XP box to capture some old VHS (and perhaps Hi8 tapes).

1. Cards vs. USB. If I can find the right ATI Radeon AIW AGP card (I'm looking at a 9800 Pro AIW now), is it strictly better than the ATI 600 USB?

I found some threads stating that the cards are better, slightly, because they allow more fine control over input values than the USB device. However, most people seem to recommend going with the USB device simply because it is easier to find and easier to interface with the computer. Is that a correct understanding?

2. Finding the correct AIW dongle. I know getting a AIW card to be useful relies on finding the correct dongle. Among the many very helpful FAQs and guides I found while searching this site, I was surprised that I couldn't find a useful guide on matching the correct AIW dongle to the correct AIW card (apparently there are a lot of card-specific dongles). Does any such guide exist?

I found an ATI dongle with part number 6140004600: does anyone know which AIW cards this is compatible with?

3. CPU and system spec recommendations. If I'm going to "build" a capture box with an ATI AGP card, I'm probably not going to actually build a new-old PC from scratch. I'll probably just find an already-built used PC and throw in the Radeon. It's been a long time since I was alive in the AGP era, though. Can someone refresh my memory as to what would be good system specs for a PC from that era?

I don't need the very best CPU, but since any PCs from that era should be dirt cheap, I think I might as well aim for the top 10% of AGP-era CPUs since the price difference is probably $10 or less. What AMD or Intel CPUs should I be aiming for? Similarly, my memory tells me that 8GB of RAM was "high-end" for that era, but I'd probably be OK with a minimum of 4GB. Any thoughts?
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  #2  
10-19-2021, 04:59 PM
ffmpeguserss ffmpeguserss is offline
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For the AGP card option, the CPU looks to be P4 with HyperThreading. I read some using Core 2 Duo but I don't have any experience with Core Duo or Core 2 with AGP. Also I use 2GB at the moment, had 4GB originally but it would bluescreen XP for some reason, removing half the memory seemed to fix it; runs fine for capture. IDE and SATA ports with separate drives for OS and capture. Gigabit ethernet if you can. Sounds like a good approach you're taking. Happy hunting!
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10-19-2021, 05:15 PM
zippydan zippydan is offline
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Blue screens with 4GB sound like a board problem or a memory problem (or a mismatch between the two).

I know some boards were very finicky in those days especially when running "fully loaded" memory slots. Sometimes you had to use exactly the right stick of memory (either in terms of speed, timing, or chip density, etc.). Sometimes a BIOS update would fix the issue.

Another possibility is failing caps on your old motherboard causing instability issues. I had an old board with 4 memory slots that ran fine for years, but suddenly started crashing randomly. Removing a stick of memory fixed all the instability problems. Turns out some of the capacitors on the board were going bad.
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  #4  
10-21-2021, 07:21 AM
ffmpeguserss ffmpeguserss is offline
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Thanks for the tip, haven't seen bad caps with a visual inspect; but so far the PC's working.

Also might be a good idea to check with lordsmurf if he has any AIW bundles or the USB version; down the line you're gonna need a really good VCR unless you have one already.
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10-21-2021, 07:53 AM
zippydan zippydan is offline
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Caps don't always fail with visible signs. Especially in this case where things are working unless the slots are maxed out. That means that caps are still performing well enough, but are degrading and failing in a way that only shows when they are stressed. But it could be something else. You'd have to test to see if the problem happens with ANY combination of DIMMs, but it might not be worth it if everything is working well enough for such a specialized, limited-use machine.

I'm looking at getting JVC HM-DH40000U and Sony GV-D200 for playback.
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