1080p is the epitome of television quality. Both 1080i and 1080p have six times the quality (and pixels) of a normal dvd, but 1080p will have smooth motion, versus the wonkiness of 1080i, or anything ending in i (interlaced). (Normal “SDTV” is 480i.) SO DO IT ALREADY, DAMNIT.

Seriously. I had it on 1080p. The TV says which mode it’s on. I played 1080p. It was fine. It filled the screen perfectly.
It was pixel-by-pixel perfect (“dot by dot”, as the TV setting calls it). A single pixel on the computer was a single pixel on the HDTV. I had a new God.

But now he’s The God That Failed, because 1080p wont fill the damn screen anymore! It fills maybe…. 85% of it. It’s NOT dot by dot. The pixels do not match, and the letters look all wonky and gross. Not accepable unless you were in a situation where motion was all that mattered, and quality wasn’t. And I demand both.

Argh.

Yesterday I fought with ATI’s Catalyst proprietary video card control panel for quite some time, trying to force it into 60Hz (1080p) instead of 30Hz (1080i). It would switch, but it would never fill the screen properly, or be “dot by dot”. Nor would the HDTV’s “stretch ” mode magically fix the problem and stretch it back to dot by dot…

At one point, I had given up, was about to leave, and changed the 30Hz -> 60Hz in a different place, and it took. I got to play some 1080p video, and the mode on the HDTV did indeed indicate 1080p. It worked. Carolyn & I were both there. We saw it. It filled the screen. It was the second coming.

But now it’s gone and gotten crucified. It wont come back. I need the rapture to come or something.

So anyway… We look at the box and it doesn’t specifically indicate this card is 1080p. It says “supports 720p, 1080i, and custom resolutions[*]” with a little footnote (on the webpage and on the box) saying “custom resolutions require user configuration”.

Yeah, that might be an understatement. Or maybe it’s just me.

I then take a second look at ATI’s HD line of cards, which I opted against. These cards were over $300, and could only play Quake4 at half the framerate of my $210 ATI Radeon x1950 PRO card. Why would I do that?

But if that’s what I need for 1080p, I might bight the bullet and buy the card.

But then I’d be screwing up my Quake4 game, which was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen come out of a computer.

This sucks.

Too bad you can’t use the Crossfire technology on this cards to link two different cards together. I would totally splurge now if I knew I could get the ATI Radeon HD 2600XT card, have it control the 1080p output, and use the current ATI Radeon x1950PRO card to meet the needs of games like Quake4, giving me the best of both worlds acting as a single card. But Crossfire technology may not ever be like that. Computers should be borgs, damnit. You just add more stuff and it all get pooled together.

This sucks. I don’t yet know what to do.

http://ati.amd.com/products/home-office.html

^ These are the products I’m choosing from. I went for the top-of-the-line 1900 series (now $130+), because the top-of-the-line HD series (ATI Radeon HD 2900) is $285+. Of course, the next one down is only $90+. I want Quake 4 to have high framerates, though!!!!

DAMNIT

UPDATE 30 MINUTES LATER:

You know… I’m not sure how I managed to conclude that the Quake4 framerate was lower on the HD line. What the link above didn’t explain, however, is that the 3 HD-line cards were all released simultaneously: a hi-end, a mid-range, and a low-end card. I probably didn’t look at the hi-end because I thought it was just a newer model, and cost more simply because it was the newest model, not because it was “hi-end”. I don’t know. But now when I go back and look at more sources about Quake 4 framerates… It seems… I came to the wrong conclusion.

I definitely should have gotten the $400 video card, as sick as that sounds. Pop that together with a $200 HD-DVD drive (I actually prefer blu-ray, but it costs more), and you have a $600 HDDVD/bluray player with an added bonus of being a high-end gaming card for your computer, playing all your videos, and doing amazing things I’ve never seen on a computer before.

I think I’m going to have to bite the bullet and get it.

What to do with the $200-ish ATI Radeon x1950 PRO card? Not sure. Carolyn’s going to see how well her computer works with Quake 4. If it doesn’t work that well, she can have this card. It will bring her computer up to Quake 4 speed (I think cpu is mattering less and less, with gpu mattering more in this situation), and also she can have the 2nd HDMI input to the 52-inch LCD, thus connecting two computers to the new screen.

BTW, I am sitting about 3 feet from the screen, and it takes up 90% of the width between the silhouettes of my nose (i.e. my stereo vision range).  Fullscreen windows are impossiby large.. I’m resizing windows alot.  It’s like having an array of monitors. It’s sick! :)