|Looking for a new graphics card|
Im after a new graphics card. However, i have no idea what to get. I have pcie slots on my computer, but thats all i know. Oh, and it shouldn't cost an arm, a leg and several other parts of my anatomy to buy..in terms of graphic intensive work that i'll be doing - mainly photoshop/image processing, occasional dvd's and very rarely some pc games (demos though).
any tips and stuff on what to get?
I'm not uptodate on this stuff since I work with laptops only these days, however...
- Only games are demanding, any card will handle the other stuff fine (but check Vista capabilities of the card).
- You probably have an AGP port on your motherboard, this will result in faster performance than PCI (but you may not notice the difference unless playing games).
- Assuming you have a digital input on your monitor, aim for a compatible digital output on the graphics card. Unfortunately, different standards exist that use the same connectors (and may fall back to analog if incompatible) so this is worth checking carefully. If you don't have a digital input on your monitor, you must ensure that the card has an analog (i.e. vga) output.
Google DVI for more information
|# Only games are demanding, any card will handle the other stuff fine (but check Vista capabilities of the card). |
That's not quite so true any more. Modern UIs (Vista, OSX, Linux with Compiz) can tax them as well, at least with all the eye candy turned on. In some cases, the OS will not apply all the bells and whistles unless you have an appropriate graphics card.
Vista will need the VERY latest cards. Linux is more forgiving, as it isn't dependent on DirectX support.
|# You probably have an AGP port on your motherboard, this will result in faster performance than PCI (but you may not notice the difference unless playing games). |
AGP is obsolete. You will have PCI-E unless you have an older mother board.
|# Assuming you have a digital input on your monitor, aim for a compatible digital output on the graphics card |
If you plan on using two graphics cards, pay attention to the digital outputs. There are quite a few dual-output cards that only do DVI on one of the two connectors.
If you do need analog output is normally done via an adapter block that plugs into the DVI socket. It would unusual to find a card with a DVI output that doesn't also support analog.
I use Nvidia (PNY) 6800 cards on both my Linux (PCI-e) and Windows XP (AGP) systems. I think the 6800 are the most recent Nvidia cards available for AGP. Runs Compiz Fusion just fine. Definitely can't do that on plain-jane cards - had to turn Compiz off on my old IBM notebook.
For Vista, I'd go with an 8800-series card.
The OP has PCI-E slots so the latest nVidia 8600GT or 8800GT cards will work. The 8600GT is satisfactory for PS/image processing. Many of todays games are demanding but the 8600GT should do well enough, as well as face up to Vista etc. An EVGA GeForce 8600 GT 256-P2-N751-TR Video Card is currently selling at a major online computer store in the U.S. for $84 less a $30 rebate that brings it in for $54. What a deal. ;)
If you go for the 8800GT you might have to upgrade your power supply. The 8600GT runs fine on a standard run of the mill power supply (it does on my wife's computer). A limiting factor will be what kind of PCI-E you have, like PCI-E x16 or less, or the newest PCI-E 2.0. PCI-E x16 (which is standard on PCs for the last year or two) is probably what you have, and is more than adequate for your purposes.
2 x PCI, 1 x 1X PCIE, 1 x 16X PCIE is what i have according to the specs.
Although the computer is new, i uninstalled vista and stuck xp on it.
I found a MSI 8600GT Silent edition 256MB DVI HDTV PCI-E Graphics Card for around £55, which sounds like the one that should easily handle all my needs
I've Nvdia 8600GT for primary desktop and ATI 1550e 64 bit with 256SDRAM for secondary desktop system. Both card works fine with Vista and Ubuntu.