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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?
# 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AGP is obsolete.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.
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.