Cheap video card upgrade for photo editing

jzieglerjziegler Major grinsPosts: 420Registered Users Major grins
edited May 4, 2012 in Digital Darkroom
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

Comments

  • basfltbasflt Major grins Posts: 1,882Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 3, 2012
    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_types-graphic-card-slots.html
  • cmasoncmason Old dog, new tricks Raleigh, NCPosts: 2,505Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 3, 2012
    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.
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 18,883Super Moderators moderator
    edited May 3, 2012
    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/tested-video-cards-photoshop-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.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • OverfocusedOverfocused Photo Nut Posts: 1,067Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 3, 2012
    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 rolleyes1.gif
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1416084&CatId=3668

    But I wouldn't buy it over this option: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=149617&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.
  • jzieglerjziegler Major grins Posts: 420Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 3, 2012
    basflt wrote: »
    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_types-graphic-card-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.

    ziggy53 wrote: »
    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/tested-video-cards-photoshop-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.
    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 rolleyes1.gif
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1416084&CatId=3668

    But I wouldn't buy it over this option: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=149617&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
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 18,883Super Moderators moderator
    edited May 3, 2012
    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/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130777&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleAdwords&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleAdwords-_-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-260.99-whql-driver.html

    ... it also looks like the card supports OpenCL 1.0.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • jzieglerjziegler Major grins Posts: 420Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 3, 2012
    ziggy53 wrote: »
    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/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130777&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleAdwords&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleAdwords-_-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-260.99-whql-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/Article.aspx?articleid=1720&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.
  • OverfocusedOverfocused Photo Nut Posts: 1,067Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 3, 2012
    jziegler wrote: »

    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/desktop/graphics/ati-radeon-hd-5000/hd-5450-overview/pages/hd-5450-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.
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Posts: 3,403Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 4, 2012
    jziegler wrote: »
    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~
    tom wise
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