Some of the problems I have had with my computer have become Dooyoo legend. My most recent and significant problem came about due to what was thought to be a graphics card problem. As a result of this a friend of mine recommended an ATI RagePro graphics card. At this very moment in time my considered thought is that has been one of the worst purchases of my life. After an initial period when we actually found out that the processor chip was the problem we put the graphics card into place (easy enough), and then went to install the CD. Problem number 1 - there was no installation CD in the box, only a couple of CDs to demonstrate the DVD capabilities of the card. Struggling around we found a driver on their website, along with the need to have at worst version seven of Direct X installed on your computer. That would be fine, but all we could find on the internet at the time was a very early edition of Direct X eight, which was by no means perfect and could cause lots of problems. Still, we had just about enough (by downloading only an old driver) to get it to work at an okay level on the computer. Unfortunately the multimedia centre could not be downloaded from anywhere, and that was one of the reasons why I bought the card in the first place. I filled in the customer service form on their site, and was greeted by the encouraging message that they would not reply to me if I did fill every field on the form in correctly. I made sure all the details were correct meticulously, right down to the place where I bought it, bar code numbers, everything. After a few weeks of not hearing anything I took a look around the web, and found their European website. I found out that their European operation is based in Dublin, and that they recommend that you try and phone them! Given that I had not heard from them via e-mail I suspected I would be kept on hold for a very long time if I called the number, so I did not risk the cost of an expensive
phone call and filled in another form. It was only six weeks later that I got a reply, and in fairness it was a very nice reply, promising that an installation CD would soon be landing on my doormat. Sure enough it was, and off I went to complete the installation. As they did not send any further instructions I just popped in the CD and let the installation program run. It ran, finished, and asked for me to restart the computer. I did so, only to find when Windows 95 loaded back up that a required .DLL file was missing. It was only thanks to the help of some friends that I found this .DLL file. I used my initiative to find another, and am now greeted by Explorer performing an illegal operation every time I start Windows 95. I do not see any of the items on my Desktop, I cannot run anything from my start menu, and I cannot even run the Windows 95 setup program again because apparently I need to reset my display options in Control Panel. Small problem (you have probably guessed it), I cannot access that either. So now this graphics card has caused me more problems than you can possibly imagine. I do not plan to go back to ATI, as I would not expect to receive an answer. I have a computer, full of wedding plans and other important documents on it that I cannot access. ATI say that their product is compatible with Windows 95b (which I run) - I beg to differ. If an ATI employee is reading this and would like to respond please feel free to do so. Register and put your reply in the comments box. I would be interested to hear your "reasons" for why your product has caused me such significant problems, and just why I should not tell my friends to avoid your products like the plague.
I bought this card because it was one of the best available at the time. It was reviewed as being a little slow by some of the computer magazines but it made up for this with the features it has. The card has DVD capabilities, ports to connect your PC to your TV, video, camcorder to your PC etc for editing and viewing(includes a lead and scart adapter). It comes with 32mb of ram onboard and this gives it some power to handle these memory guzzling 3d games like Quake and Unreal. I wouldnt buy this card now if I was looking for a video card, but it is a competent offering from ATI. It handles 3d games well and offers so much in a card with TV out and DVD. Perhaps I shouldnt praise it too much for offering the TV out and DVD as Im sure lots of other cards will have these capabilities.
This graphics card is the first 3D card that I have bought and its performance is astounding. It plays DVD's well and the video in function allows you to watch tv and record from a video camera/video like a web cam except in better quality. The tv out is good as the resolutions go up to 800*600 with functions that allow you to adjust the placement on the television screen. I have also played Quake III and I was impressed by the quality of the product. Brilliant product, I will certainly buy ATI again.
If you want a card that does everything this is the card for you. It has an on board dvd decoder that is very good, it supports all the best games although its direct 3d support is not good. Quake III looks and plays very well on it. I Play it at 1280 x 1024 x 32 with all the setting turned up and it plays perfectly. It has a video in that allows you to plug in a video or camcorder which allows you to edit video etc.