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Old May-03-2012, 07:18 AM
#1
jziegler is online now jziegler OP
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Cheap video card upgrade for photo editing
I've got a computer system that I use for photo editing (as well as other general tasks). Right now, the video card is the slowest part of the system (according the the Windows 7 experience rating system). I have a nice i5-2400 system with 8 Gb of RAM, but I'm still using the intel HD integrated graphics. This is driving an NEC 2090 monitor, so I'm good with that.

So, if I want to gain a little more performance, are there any ~$50-75 graphics cards that would give me a bit of a performance boost? I'm figuring that the biggest difference would be in not needing to share the system memory with the graphics.

Thanks,
James
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Old May-03-2012, 08:56 AM
#2
basflt is offline basflt
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you are correct
its better to heve a card rather then on-board graphic
any card in your price-range will do ( i allways use nVidia )

what U must do is find out what type you need ;
your motherboard may have either PCI-slot or PCIx ( pci-express )
once you know what type of slot you have , you can buy a card

http://www.ehow.com/about_5420574_ty...ard-slots.html
Old May-03-2012, 09:39 AM
#3
cmason is online now cmason
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It isn't necessarily better, it really depends on what performance you are seeking. No one will argue that a card is better at graphics than an on-board chip, but at the end of the day, you may see no benefit from the change:

-If you want to get your Windows 7 score up, yes it will do that.
-If you want web browsers to be faster, no, it won't help that.
-If you want Lightroom to be faster, no it won't do that.
-If you want Photoshop to be faster, it might do that, for some functions.
-If you want games to be faster, yes it will do that.

Oddly there are not that many applications that actually use the GPU. There are some things that can, like Google Maps, if you turn it on and have a compatible card. But it doesn't make it faster, it just shows you more features. Video cards only help those things that use it, and mostly that is games. Lightroom is not GPU dependent, and only a few things, such as renders or filters in Photoshop leverage GPU. This is why onboard GPU actually works and doesn't impact that many people.
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Old May-03-2012, 09:45 AM
#4
ziggy53 is offline ziggy53
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Understand that the graphics programs need to support the video card's technology in order for you to see an improvement.

For instance, Adobe Photoshop CS5 has specific cards that they support:

http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/...oshop-cs5.html

I think that CS4 was the first to offer GPU multi-core acceleration support.

nVidea GeForce cards are my first choice. From the list of supported cards, both the video RAM and number of GPU cores are significant, as well as the video bus, as user "basflt" mentioned.

Corel, etc., will have their own set of supported cards.
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Old May-03-2012, 10:36 AM
#5
Overfocused is offline Overfocused
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Well, basically buying a card would give you more RAM, multiple monitor support, the ability to play games and watch HD movies very fluidly if you wanted to, and if you get an Nvidia card matched with software that can use it, it can render videos much more quickly than a normal CPU.

A $10 video card would be an improvement over the integrated graphics
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...084&CatId=3668

But I wouldn't buy it over this option: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...617&CatId=3585

For $20 it is 2x as powerful, uses 1/2 the power, and has 4x the RAM. It is a Radeon and it won't support Nvidia's CUDA video rendering though.
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Last edited by Overfocused; May-03-2012 at 10:51 AM.
Old May-03-2012, 12:05 PM
#6
jziegler is online now jziegler OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basflt View Post
you are correct
its better to heve a card rather then on-board graphic
any card in your price-range will do ( i allways use nVidia )

what U must do is find out what type you need ;
your motherboard may have either PCI-slot or PCIx ( pci-express )
once you know what type of slot you have , you can buy a card

http://www.ehow.com/about_5420574_ty...ard-slots.html
Actually, PCI Express should be abbreviated as PCIe, not PCI-x, which was an older varient of PCI used mostly in high performance servers (I design custom PCIe adapters as a large part of my day job). I have PCIe in my system.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy53 View Post
Understand that the graphics programs need to support the video card's technology in order for you to see an improvement.

For instance, Adobe Photoshop CS5 has specific cards that they support:

http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/...oshop-cs5.html

I think that CS4 was the first to offer GPU multi-core acceleration support.

nVidea GeForce cards are my first choice. From the list of supported cards, both the video RAM and number of GPU cores are significant, as well as the video bus, as user "basflt" mentioned.

Corel, etc., will have their own set of supported cards.
The main applications that I use right now that can run slowly are Phase One Capture One and Media Pro. I found a (long) list on their site of supported cards for Capture One. I suspect that Media Pro will see some improvement from this as well, since it is using Capture One libraries for rendering, but I'm not sure on that one. It can be slow in updating at times.

I also use Corel Paint Shop Pro, but still have an older version that may not support any acceleration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overfocused View Post
Well, basically buying a card would give you more RAM, multiple monitor support, the ability to play games and watch HD movies very fluidly if you wanted to, and if you get an Nvidia card matched with software that can use it, it can render videos much more quickly than a normal CPU.

A $10 video card would be an improvement over the integrated graphics
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...084&CatId=3668

But I wouldn't buy it over this option: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...617&CatId=3585

For $20 it is 2x as powerful, uses 1/2 the power, and has 4x the RAM. It is a Radeon and it won't support Nvidia's CUDA video rendering though.
Well, that is cheap, but how much of an improvement would I really see from that? From what I can see doing a quick search, it may be too old to support Open CL, which is what I need for Capture One. I'm not sure I'll even upgrade (although at those prices, it would be easy to do so), but if I do, I want a significant improvement.

Thanks,
James
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Old May-03-2012, 03:12 PM
#7
ziggy53 is offline ziggy53
Still learnin'still lovin
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I see that NewEgg has the EVGA 01G-P3-N958-RX GeForce 9500 GT 1GB 128-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 card, which has 32 CUDA cores, in a refurbished condition for $55USD. This is basically what I run and it gives a very nice boost to Photoshop CS4, Corel VideoStudio X3 and X4, Xilisoft HD video converter utility, plus a couple of other software pieces that I have that can use nVidea CUDA technology.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-pla-_-NA-_-NA

That's not a bad price for that card and you can get a 1 or 2 year warranty for a little more.

Note: From this page:

http://www.nvidia.com/object/winxp-2...ql-driver.html

... it also looks like the card supports OpenCL 1.0.
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Old May-03-2012, 03:54 PM
#8
jziegler is online now jziegler OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy53 View Post
I see that NewEgg has the EVGA 01G-P3-N958-RX GeForce 9500 GT 1GB 128-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 card, which has 32 CUDA cores, in a refurbished condition for $55USD. This is basically what I run and it gives a very nice boost to Photoshop CS4, Corel VideoStudio X3 and X4, Xilisoft HD video converter utility, plus a couple of other software pieces that I have that can use nVidea CUDA technology.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-pla-_-NA-_-NA

That's not a bad price for that card and you can get a 1 or 2 year warranty for a little more.

Note: From this page:

http://www.nvidia.com/object/winxp-2...ql-driver.html

... it also looks like the card supports OpenCL 1.0.
Thanks, that looks like a good deal, and I always like ordering from Newegg. Unfortunately, it does not appear on the Phase One list:

http://www.phaseone.com/Search/Artic...0&LanguageID=1

I think that I'm probably looking for a Geforce GT 430 or 440 for the best price/performance compromise in supported cards.
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Old May-03-2012, 04:14 PM
#9
Overfocused is offline Overfocused
Photo Nut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jziegler View Post

Well, that is cheap, but how much of an improvement would I really see from that? From what I can see doing a quick search, it may be too old to support Open CL, which is what I need for Capture One. I'm not sure I'll even upgrade (although at those prices, it would be easy to do so), but if I do, I want a significant improvement.

Thanks,
James

http://www.amd.com/us/products/deskt...-overview.aspx

It supports Open CL. But yeah, checking comparisons, it seems the card pretty much ties the newer Intel HD graphics. But for $20 it adds more monitors and RAM if that's all you're after.


Otherwise, for a monumental upgrade, spend around $120 on something like a GeForce 550ti (unless you can find a deal) and then it'll be massively better. I bought a GeForce 550ti for $75 on black friday and it runs most current games near maxed out @ 1920x1200 resolution. Really damn good for a budget gaming card.
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Last edited by Overfocused; May-03-2012 at 04:44 PM.
Old May-04-2012, 04:47 PM
#10
angevin1 is offline angevin1
Performs as designed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jziegler View Post
I've got a computer system that I use for photo editing (as well as other general tasks). Right now, the video card is the slowest part of the system (according the the Windows 7 experience rating system). I have a nice i5-2400 system with 8 Gb of RAM, but I'm still using the intel HD integrated graphics. This is driving an NEC 2090 monitor, so I'm good with that.

So, if I want to gain a little more performance, are there any ~$50-75 graphics cards that would give me a bit of a performance boost? I'm figuring that the biggest difference would be in not needing to share the system memory with the graphics.

Thanks,
James
Best thing is just go over to Newegg and see whats cooking~
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