Add graphics card to my PC (non-gamer)?

fatryan

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Dahua gear is generally pretty reliable, but I really don't like their cameras, they suck. I've done several side by side comparisons over the years of Dahua vs. Hikvision, Speco and a few other brands and Dahua is always worse in picture quality in lower light levels, especially at night when using IR.



1) You are indeed correct the UI on these lower tier units is trash, it's a constant headache. Hikvision had a big UI update a couple of years ago which completely scrambled everything in an attempt to modernize the look, which had function as an afterthought. I still think they offer the best value though, which is why I put up with them.

If you're looking for a good user experience and support, Axis is probably the best out there, but you pay for it. Axis cameras are very expensive, but the UI is amazing and they have really good support. I've only ever installed a few of them, but they were a breeze to configure compared to any other vendor, and the video quality is really good.

2) This is true if you get the low end consumer trash they sell at retail stores, but not with better quality units generally only available to installers. I have used Hikvision TurboHD DVRs with different brand cameras, because they're compatible with CVBS, CVI, HDI and AHD. Likewise with Hikvision NVRs because it supports any camera that has ONVIF support. The reason why you hear that different brand cameras don't work on consumer gear is because the consumer space is flooded with shitty fly by night vendors who spec equipment from one of the big camera vendors like Hikvision, Dahua, Speco and a couple of others. They'll get cut-down equipment made for them with their label that usually has a locked FW on the DVR/NVR and sometimes cameras so that you can only use their gear.

One such example was Lorex, which used Hikvision gear for a long time and then switched everything over to Dahua. Nothing was compatible between them because they had a locked firmware on their NVRs. There was a way to hack the older NVRs to take an official Hikvision firmware and enable ONVIF support, but it was a long and complicated process.

I never advise my customers to buy the trash available at retail stores because of issues like that, and there's a high chance the company won't be around for more than a year. The companies that sell that crap cycle around all the time and you're basically guaranteed to not have support in the future. Unfortunately, they're never going to go away because they're so cheap and people are going to keep getting burned.

3) Yeah, that's how my customers got into the PC DVR mess. They make it sound like its cheaper and easier, but it really isn't.



Milestone does have a decent learning curve. I would honestly get an 8 channel Hikvision, Speco or even DW NVR and call it a day. You can probably see I'm partial to Hikvision, but Speco and DW are also pretty good.
I would never buy the US consumer junk that's out there. I have only ever purchased my equipment from a Dahua dealer, who drop ships everything 2-day air from Hong Kong. If you've heard the name before on IPCamTalk or elsewhere, I sourced my equipment through Andy at EmpireTech. The equipment I bought cannot be purchased in the US under Dahua or any other Brand name, though with that said Andy actually has a handful of items listed on Amazon lol. So the only reason I haven't tried out any Hik equipment is because I do not have a Hik rep to buy the equipment from. Buying from some random dealer online or from Alibaba is like playing Russian roulette with 6 in the barrel. I'd sooner light my cash on fire so I can at least say I did something baller with it.

From my understanding, virtually all IP cams are made by either Dahua or Hikvision, including Axis cams. I don't know what you consider expensive, but my cams ran between $150-180/cam, depending on model. The starlight cams are known for being very very good in low-light settings, which is why I bought them. The ones at the rental property are excellent in low-light (Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-Z). The newer version of the same cam I got for my house now doesn't perform as well in low light (Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-ZE). This is color low light FYI, no IR on at all. My older Starlights make it look like it's daytime out when it's the dead of night...it's the craziest thing ever. This is much preferred to using IR IMO.

The NVR I'm running at the rental was $330 if I remember correctly. It's 4k PoE on all 16 channels (Dahua NVR5216-16P-4KS2). It's got all kinds of crazy features that I'll never use. I know some of the newer NVRs offer dual IP/BNC connections, which is a cool feature if you have old analog cams.

I got into the PC-NVR game knowing I was going to spend more money than if I'd gone with an NVR. It wasn't about the money for me; it was about the ease of use and flexibility. I didn't need to drop well over $2k on a PC-NVR rig, but I purchase a new computer maybe once a decade, so I didn't see it as that big of deal. PLus, now it's serving multiple purposes, including being a Plex server and my current Covid-Workstation lol.
 

fatryan

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Here's a video from my older Starlight cams of some drunk hitting my neighbors mirror. Note, this is 10:30PM in the beginning of January, so it's about as dark as it gets. There's one single street light, but it's not nearly as bright as this video would have you believe. You're gonna need to download and play with VLC or other player capable of decoding h265.

Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-Z
 

GiGaBiTe

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I would never buy the US consumer junk that's out there. I have only ever purchased my equipment from a Dahua dealer, who drop ships everything 2-day air from Hong Kong. If you've heard the name before on IPCamTalk or elsewhere, I sourced my equipment through Andy at EmpireTech. The equipment I bought cannot be purchased in the US under Dahua or any other Brand name, though with that said Andy actually has a handful of items listed on Amazon lol. So the only reason I haven't tried out any Hik equipment is because I do not have a Hik rep to buy the equipment from. Buying from some random dealer online or from Alibaba is like playing Russian roulette with 6 in the barrel. I'd sooner light my cash on fire so I can at least say I did something baller with it.
I've heard of IPCamTalk, but never been there. I buy equipment from local parts houses which don't sell to the public, and sometimes from the local Hikvision rep if he's having a fire sale.

From my understanding, virtually all IP cams are made by either Dahua or Hikvision, including Axis cams. I don't know what you consider expensive, but my cams ran between $150-180/cam, depending on model.
Axis makes their own software and hardware for almost their entire product line, they don't use EMS from any Chinese companies except for products sold in China due to trade regulations there (as of 2017.) While Dahua and Hikvision do make a considerable number of products for 3rd party CCTV resellers, they aren't the only companies that make IP cameras.

A cheap Axis camera starts in the mid to upper $200 range, with most of the average stuff being in the $400-600 range per camera, but can go up in the thousands. I would not buy any of these from anywhere online, because they suffer the same issue other camera vendors have where importers buy the cheaper Chinese variants and market them as the international/regional specific versions.

The starlight cams are known for being very very good in low-light settings, which is why I bought them. The ones at the rental property are excellent in low-light (Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-Z). The newer version of the same cam I got for my house now doesn't perform as well in low light (Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-ZE). This is color low light FYI, no IR on at all. My older Starlights make it look like it's daytime out when it's the dead of night...it's the craziest thing ever. This is much preferred to using IR IMO.
I've started seeing night color cameras, and some of them are pretty nice. Though, I haven't seen any without IR yet.

The NVR I'm running at the rental was $330 if I remember correctly. It's 4k PoE on all 16 channels (Dahua NVR5216-16P-4KS2). It's got all kinds of crazy features that I'll never use. I know some of the newer NVRs offer dual IP/BNC connections, which is a cool feature if you have old analog cams.
The NVRs I usually sell are in the $500-1000 range. "Tribrid" NVRs which can do analog, Turbo HD and IP are nice, but I generally avoid using them because you need an external POE switch for IP cameras, which drives up cost. They really only have a purpose on existing installs that have old siamese wire for analog cameras.
 

GiGaBiTe

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Here's a video from my older Starlight cams of some drunk hitting my neighbors mirror. Note, this is 10:30PM in the beginning of January, so it's about as dark as it gets. There's one single street light, but it's not nearly as bright as this video would have you believe. You're gonna need to download and play with VLC or other player capable of decoding h265.

Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-Z
Yep, this showcases why I don't like Dahua cameras. The video has a lot of block compression junk artifacts, which is really bad in darker areas of the image, like the shadows under the cars. You can also see it around the flag where blocks of video around it are disturbed with junk artifacts, even after the flag has moved out of the way. I know it's the camera and not the NVR because the last couple of Dahua cameras I played with had the junk video coming directly out of the camera, no matter the quality setting.

5mp cameras are starting to become the new sweet spot, and they look a whole lot nicer than even good 2mp cameras were.
 

fatryan

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I've heard of IPCamTalk, but never been there. I buy equipment from local parts houses which don't sell to the public, and sometimes from the local Hikvision rep if he's having a fire sale.



Axis makes their own software and hardware for almost their entire product line, they don't use EMS from any Chinese companies except for products sold in China due to trade regulations there (as of 2017.) While Dahua and Hikvision do make a considerable number of products for 3rd party CCTV resellers, they aren't the only companies that make IP cameras.

A cheap Axis camera starts in the mid to upper $200 range, with most of the average stuff being in the $400-600 range per camera, but can go up in the thousands. I would not buy any of these from anywhere online, because they suffer the same issue other camera vendors have where importers buy the cheaper Chinese variants and market them as the international/regional specific versions.



I've started seeing night color cameras, and some of them are pretty nice. Though, I haven't seen any without IR yet.



The NVRs I usually sell are in the $500-1000 range. "Tribrid" NVRs which can do analog, Turbo HD and IP are nice, but I generally avoid using them because you need an external POE switch for IP cameras, which drives up cost. They really only have a purpose on existing installs that have old siamese wire for analog cameras.
I wouldn't recommend going to IPCamTalk. It's basically one big circle jerk over there. The site Admin, Fenderman, gets butthurt over the littlest things and bans everyone. I have a regular ban and an IP ban on that board, all because I asked the wrong questions or some stupid shit. That devolved into a back and forth with him via email in which he bragged about being a lawyer and threatened to dox me. So I threatened to report him to the state bar association, and then he blocked my email ha ha. I know far more people that have been banned from that board than are current active members in "good standing". Anyway, the entire board is also basically one huge advertisement for Blue Iris. If you don't LOVE Blue Iris over there, you'll probably get banned. Though I did get the hookup with Andy form them, so I can't complain too much. I just IPVM wasn't like a million dollars a month, or I'd just join that site.

I kind of suspect that even the equipment you are familiar with is a bit behind the times in terms of features and functionality. Dahua's international product line is...HUGE. Like they have thousands of different models of IP cameras, whose funuctions and purpose run the gamut. The ones I purchased are actually near the bottom of their line. They have several lines of commercial-grade equipment – everything from full infra-red heat cameras, to cameras designed for speed cameras and other transportation uses, to full-automation AI cameras. I don't know what they all go for, but I know they at least have cameras that are tens of thousands of dollars a piece. The low-lux "Starlight" cams are kind of old tech over in China. Many of Dahua's line have this feature nowadays. These cams do still have IR by the way (at least the ones Ive seen), but you just don't need or want to use it. Color is always better than B/W, unless the cameras sole purpose is say LPR, then it likely doesn't matter. If I'm not mistaken, the newer Dahua NVRs which do digital+analog have the option for built-in PoE. My fully digital NVR had the option, and I opted to have it built-in...def cheaper as you say. I think the difference in price was only like $30.
 

fatryan

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Yep, this showcases why I don't like Dahua cameras. The video has a lot of block compression junk artifacts, which is really bad in darker areas of the image, like the shadows under the cars. You can also see it around the flag where blocks of video around it are disturbed with junk artifacts, even after the flag has moved out of the way. I know it's the camera and not the NVR because the last couple of Dahua cameras I played with had the junk video coming directly out of the camera, no matter the quality setting.

5mp cameras are starting to become the new sweet spot, and they look a whole lot nicer than even good 2mp cameras were.
Well you gotta consider the fact that this is a very low light setting. The lower the light, the more artifacting. Its hard to really show just how dark it was without side-by-side video from a non-Starlight cam.
 

fatryan

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Well you gotta consider the fact that this is a very low light setting. The lower the light, the more artifacting. Its hard to really show just how dark it was without side-by-side video from a non-Starlight cam.
In contrast, here's a picture from the newer Starlight cam that I have installed out back of my house. I just grabbed this screenshot now. Looks like complete shit at night. The old ones were much much better.

1589937287745.png


And here's what it actually looks like out there (had to take a video cause Google kept lightening the photo)

https://photos.app.goo.gl/E6FoFZwJZJiPiA1Y8
 
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GiGaBiTe

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I wouldn't recommend going to IPCamTalk. It's basically one big circle jerk over there. The site Admin, Fenderman, gets butthurt over the littlest things and bans everyone. I have a regular ban and an IP ban on that board, all because I asked the wrong questions or some stupid shit. That devolved into a back and forth with him via email in which he bragged about being a lawyer and threatened to dox me. So I threatened to report him to the state bar association, and then he blocked my email ha ha. I know far more people that have been banned from that board than are current active members in "good standing". Anyway, the entire board is also basically one huge advertisement for Blue Iris. If you don't LOVE Blue Iris over there, you'll probably get banned. Though I did get the hookup with Andy form them, so I can't complain too much. I just IPVM wasn't like a million dollars a month, or I'd just join that site.
Good to know to stay away from there, sounds like a different board I used to be a member of. If they're so touchy about BI, they probably get kickbacks or something from them.

I kind of suspect that even the equipment you are familiar with is a bit behind the times in terms of features and functionality. Dahua's international product line is...HUGE. Like they have thousands of different models of IP cameras, whose funuctions and purpose run the gamut. The ones I purchased are actually near the bottom of their line. They have several lines of commercial-grade equipment – everything from full infra-red heat cameras, to cameras designed for speed cameras and other transportation uses, to full-automation AI cameras. I don't know what they all go for, but I know they at least have cameras that are tens of thousands of dollars a piece. The low-lux "Starlight" cams are kind of old tech over in China. Many of Dahua's line have this feature nowadays. These cams do still have IR by the way (at least the ones Ive seen), but you just don't need or want to use it. Color is always better than B/W, unless the cameras sole purpose is say LPR, then it likely doesn't matter. If I'm not mistaken, the newer Dahua NVRs which do digital+analog have the option for built-in PoE. My fully digital NVR had the option, and I opted to have it built-in...def cheaper as you say. I think the difference in price was only like $30.
I'm not really "behind the times" so much as I choose to use older, proven technology. I generally wait a couple of years on new camera tech so the manufacturers have time to iron out the bugs and problems so I don't have to deal with them. I'm aware of Dahua's product ranges, and some of their expensive higher end cameras suffer the same issues, which I suspect is from a compression issue on the camera itself. The last camera of theirs I worked with was in the $350 range (my cost) and it had the problem I described. My parts houses offer the full range of Dahua cameras, and several other manufacturers.

In contrast, here's a picture from the newer Starlight cam that I have installed out back of my house. I just grabbed this screenshot now. Looks like complete shit at night. The old ones were much much better.

View attachment 246721

And here's what it actually looks like out there (had to take a video cause Google kept lightening the photo)

https://photos.app.goo.gl/E6FoFZwJZJiPiA1Y8
Yeah, that camera uses a crappy CCD, something common on cheap cameras. The current camera scam is "4k/8k resolution" where they use really garbage CCDs that can technically do 4 or 8k resolution, but the CCD is of such garbage quality that most of the picture is just noise, or what I like to call "ant crawling". Since the consumer stuff is so garbage, most people are oblivious as to how bad their cameras actually are.
 

fatryan

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Good to know to stay away from there, sounds like a different board I used to be a member of. If they're so touchy about BI, they probably get kickbacks or something from them.



I'm not really "behind the times" so much as I choose to use older, proven technology. I generally wait a couple of years on new camera tech so the manufacturers have time to iron out the bugs and problems so I don't have to deal with them. I'm aware of Dahua's product ranges, and some of their expensive higher end cameras suffer the same issues, which I suspect is from a compression issue on the camera itself. The last camera of theirs I worked with was in the $350 range (my cost) and it had the problem I described. My parts houses offer the full range of Dahua cameras, and several other manufacturers.



Yeah, that camera uses a crappy CCD, something common on cheap cameras. The current camera scam is "4k/8k resolution" where they use really garbage CCDs that can technically do 4 or 8k resolution, but the CCD is of such garbage quality that most of the picture is just noise, or what I like to call "ant crawling". Since the consumer stuff is so garbage, most people are oblivious as to how bad their cameras actually are.
I didn't mean to say that you were behind the times, just the tech. But perhaps I'm mistaken anyway. Do you know of a comparable hik or axis cam to the models I'm using? Are you still in the business? Do you sell equipment?
 

GiGaBiTe

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I didn't mean to say that you were behind the times, just the tech. But perhaps I'm mistaken anyway. Do you know of a comparable hik or axis cam to the models I'm using? Are you still in the business? Do you sell equipment?
The camera models you listed look like turret/eyeball types. I prefer those or dome cameras myself since they're more vandal resistant, the only downside is you need to install a hood over them if they're mounted on the side of a building to protect against the sun, but the hoods aren't that expensive, I think something like $20-$25.

For Hikvision, their new ColorVu cameras have really good night vision. Their older Darkfighter (not powered by Darkfighter, but actual Darkfighter) cameras are decent, and their standard EXIR is good when IR is used. I found this video which shows the picture quality between the three, but I'd take it with a grain of salt:
They picked the absolute worst positioning for the cameras looking at multiple high intensity light sources, most cameras are going to have a hard time with that setup.

I don't have a current catalog for Hikvision gear, but the two I'm familiar with are DS-2CD2345FWD-I (4mp EXIR Turret) and the DS-2CD2365G1-I (6mp Darkfighter Turret), which look pretty good to me at night, when setup properly. The EXIR camera looks good when IR is used.

I'll try and get a more up to date catalog, but the corona virus nonsense is making it difficult to do anything these days. I do sell cameras and related gear, but I'm not going to match Amazon prices or some other online retailer because I'll lose my shirt.
 

fatryan

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The camera models you listed look like turret/eyeball types. I prefer those or dome cameras myself since they're more vandal resistant, the only downside is you need to install a hood over them if they're mounted on the side of a building to protect against the sun, but the hoods aren't that expensive, I think something like $20-$25.

For Hikvision, their new ColorVu cameras have really good night vision. Their older Darkfighter (not powered by Darkfighter, but actual Darkfighter) cameras are decent, and their standard EXIR is good when IR is used. I found this video which shows the picture quality between the three, but I'd take it with a grain of salt:
They picked the absolute worst positioning for the cameras looking at multiple high intensity light sources, most cameras are going to have a hard time with that setup.

I don't have a current catalog for Hikvision gear, but the two I'm familiar with are DS-2CD2345FWD-I (4mp EXIR Turret) and the DS-2CD2365G1-I (6mp Darkfighter Turret), which look pretty good to me at night, when setup properly. The EXIR camera looks good when IR is used.

I'll try and get a more up to date catalog, but the corona virus nonsense is making it difficult to do anything these days. I do sell cameras and related gear, but I'm not going to match Amazon prices or some other online retailer because I'll lose my shirt.
Yeah, all my cams are turrets. I only have 1 that's positioned towards a light source, and that's just cause its mounted next to the back door of the rental, so a street light shines into it. And the light does cause weird artifacts, but the alternative would be loosing importants parts of the scene by reangling. I thought about just blocking out the light by maybe...putting a sticker on the lens cover lol. Never tried it out though to see if it'll even help with the artifacts.

The specs on that Darkfighter are pretty comparable to my cams, some a little better some a little worse. I'd be interested to see how it really performs in comparison to mine. B&H sells that one for just over $300; do you sell them around that price or more? Even $300 is a bit hard to swallow when you consider my comparable Dahua's were like half that price. The Hik would really need to outperform the Dahua to justify that much extra.
 

GiGaBiTe

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Yeah, all my cams are turrets. I only have 1 that's positioned towards a light source, and that's just cause its mounted next to the back door of the rental, so a street light shines into it. And the light does cause weird artifacts, but the alternative would be loosing importants parts of the scene by reangling. I thought about just blocking out the light by maybe...putting a sticker on the lens cover lol. Never tried it out though to see if it'll even help with the artifacts.

The specs on that Darkfighter are pretty comparable to my cams, some a little better some a little worse. I'd be interested to see how it really performs in comparison to mine. B&H sells that one for just over $300; do you sell them around that price or more? Even $300 is a bit hard to swallow when you consider my comparable Dahua's were like half that price. The Hik would really need to outperform the Dahua to justify that much extra.
I'll see about getting some prices from my parts house for both Darkfighter and ColorVu cameras.
 

fatryan

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Cool. Thanks.

As an update: 2060 KO is installed. I also threw in 2 more 8GB Corsair sticks, bringing me to 32GB now. My resource usage is much lower now. Obviously memory usage has dropped, but I'm at 5% CPU and 3% GPU now with the same surveillance configured and running, which is a huge improvement. I have surveillance set to use iGPU and everything else on the 2060 KO.
 
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