Best video card < $150 for hi-res Photoshop work & video playback?

Hi guys,

First time caller, long time listener. =)

3 or 4 years ago, when I purchased my Intel Core i7 920 / Windows 7 (64) based system, I went with a NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 card, because this isn't a gaming rig and I don't require any 3D performance whatsoever. So of course, the card got the lowest grade in my Windows performance evaluation test, but I didn't care. By all accounts, it was good enough for my Photoshop and video playback needs.

That is, until NVIDIA's silly "1 driver for all cards" environment killed the GT 240 in my rig. The recent 335.23 drivers were just too much for the card. I'm now lucky when I can go 10 minutes without a GPU-related system crash. Rolling back the drivers surprisingly doesn't help. The fan won't even turn anymore, this thing is fried.

As you might imagine, I was very reluctant to remain with NVIDIA, but the other manufacturers aren't exactly setting the world on fire with their products right now, either. My budget is $150, just to help carry the rig for another couple of years before a full system upgrade is due again.

At this price range, it appears the GeForce GTX 650 might be a good card. However, it's available in TI, DIRECTCU and E versions that I'm not sure I'm knowledgeable enough to tell apart. The TI version requires an additional 6-pin power source, so I'm assuming it's the powerhouse version of this card... but after overheating my last NVIDIA card through no fault of my own (automatic driver update) I'm understandably standoffish about anything labeled "extra power", especially if I might not need it.

Again, I have ZERO games on my rig. It's solely a graphic editing and video playback machine. I need a card that will help cut down on Photoshop effect rendering times (like giving me a higher frame rate using the Liquify filter, for instance). NVIDIA certainly *claims* higher performance in this environment when you visit http://www.nvidia.ca/object/photoshop-cs6.html, but is this just hot air from NVIDIA to counter the fact that Adobe doesn't use CUDA?

I'm *this close* to purchasing the GeForce GTX 650 (DIRECTCU) for $145 CND at the shop right across the street to replace my driver-damaged GT 240, and wanted to check here before pulling that trigger.
11 answers Last reply
More about video card 150 res photoshop work video playback
  1. Get the GTX 750. Just came out, sub $150 (usually $120), no extra power pin required, low power consumption, and is new enough (and newer than the 650) that it won't be out of date anytime soon.
  2. If you can get the ASUS GTX 650Ti http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00A16SDA2 that would be your best option around your price range.
  3. CraigN said:
    Get the GTX 750. Just came out, sub $150 (usually $120), no extra power pin required, low power consumption, and is new enough (and newer than the 650) that it won't be out of date anytime soon.


    Unfortunately, Canada prices are a lot higher than the US.
  4. He won't benefit much from the Ti variation since he's not doing any gaming. Granted, you can get a 750 Ti for the exact same price as well and it outperforms the 650 Ti, figured the non-Ti 750 would be adequate for his needs, especially with its low power requirements.

    Quick Edit:

    http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/part/zotac-video-card-zt7070110m

    Not that much higher.
  5. Since you said it was enough before the new drivers, you might be able to find older drivers for your GT 240 online. http://driverscollection.com/?H=GeForce%20GT%20240&By=NVidia <- there you can find older drivers all the way back to 2010. I don't know if that will help at all but maybe you should try.
  6. As mentioned in the OP, rolling back the drivers didn't help. The card is damaged.

    The cheapest GTX 750 I could find in Canada is this one ($172 total after basic shipping + taxes) : http://products.ncix.com/detail/asus-geforce-gtx-750-oc-e8-94415.htm

    Is this the card you guys are recommending?
  7. PNY, Zotac... I must admit, I've never heard of these companies. I thought ASUS simply because I'm running on an ASUS P6T. I like keeping the brands together whenever possible.
  8. jyeager11 said:
    PNY, Zotac... I must admit, I've never heard of these companies. I thought ASUS simply because I'm running on an ASUS P6T. I like keeping the brands together whenever possible.


    PNY and Zotac aren't bad manufacturers but generally I stick with Gigabyte, ASUS, EVGA, or MSI.
  9. I do too. But for a workstation card that isn't going to be revving its engine up very hard the PNY or Zotac will perform as designed with no fussing and no extra bells or whistles.
  10. "But for a workstation card that isn't going to be revving its engine up very hard the PNY or Zotac will perform as designed with no fussing and no extra bells or whistles."

    Well, you're also dealing with a guy whose Asus GT240 fried because NVIDIA's 1-driver-for-all-cards pushed it beyond its capacities. So in this context, I may be hesitant to go with something that will depend on my not pushing it too much.

    Given a choice between :

    A) ASUS GTX 650 (DIRECTCU) 1GB @ $160 (tx incl.)
    http://www.microbytes.com/product_info.php?cPath=1_24_25&products_id=41759

    B) ASUS GTX 750 (OC) 1GB @ $172 (ship+tx incl.)
    http://products.ncix.com/detail/asus-geforce-gtx-750-oc-e8-94415-1230.htm

    Despite the fact that "A" is a local shop across the street, and "B" is an online store, I'm assuming "B" still has the clear advantage... Or is it not that cut and dry?

    PS: I have to admit, my original plan of "staying near the $100 mark" is quickly veering off-course, and I'm not sure why, since the GTX 650 & 750 are clearly gaming cards, and this isn't a gaming rig. It's for extremely high resolution Photoshop work and video playback.
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