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This review is from: ENCORE ENM232-8VIA 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Surround Sound Card
Pros: Sounded okay with respect to price for the brief moments I had it installed.
Cons: It always whacked other devices on the PCI bus by disabling at least one of them. Couldn't find a slot swap algorithm that would allow all other PCI devices to work. Something was always disabled. This Encore sound card reminds me of the cheap video capture cards I'd tried in the past that laid the same kinds of IRQ booby traps. Didn't waste more than an hour. It's never going to work.
Other Thoughts: This card's tab is about 3 pins short of filling the PCI slot. I've been building computers for about 15 years and I've never seen this before. At least one other person has posted in this review thread about it being too short. I wonder if they are all like that? Maybe I got a bad one? Not worth trying to exchange. I wll only wind up minimizing my loss by returning this defective thing for a refund but I'm going to return it just the same to make an issue of it. Considering all of the other PCI devices I've installed and configured in the past, I think I'm qualified to say this card was destined to fail installation in many computers from the moment it left the factory. I see many other posts of similar problems for this card.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Receives all of the unscrambled QAM cable stations that are also detected by the digital tv's in my house. It doesn't miss a single station. I've tried many of these TV devices for the computer that claimed to do that. This one really does deliver. Hauppauge WinTV 7 software in Windows 7 Professional is stable and functional. No problems. Windows MediaCenter in Windows 7 is likewise fully functional. I haven't tried over the air reception with this 950Q--only Insight Communications cable signals.
Cons: Can't think of any cons really. I wish digital devices could switch and lock onto stations faster. This HVR-950Q switches channels about as fast as my televisions.
Other Thoughts: My rig is an old P4 3.2GHz HT with a Radeon 4650 graphics card. It's the only graphics card for this old platform that will render hi-def video. (NVidia doesn't offer hi-def support for AGP slots.) Even with this 7 year old computer, using this Hauppauge 950Q, I can watch and record a hi-def 1920x1080 signal without dropping a frame. Windows MediaCenter will only use about 50% CPU doing that. Hauppauge WinTV7 will use about 97% CPU doing that. A standard def signal will only use about 35% CPU in both software packages. So, if I use the built-in Windows MediaCenter, I can easily watch a hi-def station, record it at the same time, and still do eMail, web surfing and other light duty tasks at the same time. I'm sure the Hauppauge software will be much less of a strain on newer multi-core CPU's. I prefer the Hauppauge software because it lays down a more generic *.ts (mpeg2 transport stream) that is more easily converted to other things.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Had a NewEgg XFX NV 6200 card on the shelf for two years with a "double lifetime warranty." I finally dragged it out and installed it just a couple of months ago. It wouldn't sleep correctly. Sent it to XFX under warranty and they sent me this Radeon instead of another NV. At first I was ticked but I realize now they did me a gigantic favor. Lots of 6200 NV's have sleep problems. Also, it seems NV has abandoned the AGP interface since those 6200's in 2006 and they just don't keep up with today's needs. But, thanks to ATI Radeon, AGP computers have a fighting chance in Windows 7. It supports hi-def video. It supports DirectX 10. It has drivers for WinXP and later. Once I found the Catalyst "hot fix" version of the driver, all is seamless and perfect. I am a Radeon convert.
Cons: I suspect I got into Radeon at the right time. I had driver problems in Windows 7 until I came across the "hotfix" version of the 10.9 Catalyst Control Center driver set. It looks like people really had driver troubles during the first part of 2010--especially with Windows 7. I think it's better now. I ran the installer for the complete Catalyst Control Center but unless I chose the "hotfix" version, the installer only put the "installer manager" on my system. Only the "hotfix" version of the installer would actually put the driver and the control center in this Win7 configuration.
Other Thoughts: This card has two DVI-D Dual-Link monitor connectors. (Try to get dual link capable connectors in order to enjoy full hi-res output.) I have one monitor connected using the all digital connections. Strange, but, if I choose certain resolutions, my screen will only be partially filled. It wasn't until I played around a bit that I discovered that if a resolution choice only partially filled the screen, I could make it fill the screen by trying to change from 32bit color to 16 bit color. Then, the screen would flash, my chosen resolution would now fill the entire screen, and it would revert back to 32bit color anyway. I also discovered that if Windows alerted that a chosen resolution would make some things move off the screen and be unavailable, it would a good idea to just ignore the warning and try it anyway because there were no problems. Even 800 x 600 works on my native 1680x1050 22 inch monitor using the digital connection and the 10.9 hotfix catalyst drivers.READ FULL REVIEW