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Best video card NOT for gaming?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 5, 2014 8:28:12 PM

In 2008 I built a system with an Asus P6T Deluxe, an EVGA GTX 295 and 16Gb of RAM for a HTPC.

I needed something powerful but NOT FOR GAMES. I don't play games. It was a workstation and HTPC. First thing I did when building the system - shut off 3d features and all other gaming enhancements.

I recently converted it to a stock market trading workstation with 4 monitors (3 on the card and one via USB - it's been working quite well). The computer is still plenty powerful for what I use it for - there's no need to upgrade the system.

Tonight, the video card died. When checking it, I almost burned my hand!

I need to replace it and I'm hoping to get:

A. 4 port support. Any combo of DVI, HDMI and Displayport is fine.

B. Something for under $200.

C. Lots of memory.

Three things to keep in mind:

1. I don't even own a single game. Haven't played a game on a PC EVER!

2. The MoBo supports only PCIe 2.

3. Stock trading requires the video card to draw very sharp, very fine lines, and draw as fast as possible.

I'm guessing the more memory I can get, the better, but you tell me.

I'll probably buy a used card from C List or FleaBay to get the most bang for my $200.00

So what would be a fantastic card for this, either a current model or a year or two old?

TIA.

Mike.

PS: I looked all over Tom's site and couldn't find any articles on non-gaming cards, although I did find one on workstation cards, but those prices are for professionals. I'm not. WHERE on Tom's can you point me to an article on cards for non-gamers?

More about : video card gaming

May 5, 2014 8:41:16 PM

Look into the 750TI out work out all the monitor you have and low power consumption too

Best luck
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May 5, 2014 9:17:51 PM

mrbiker said:
3. Stock trading requires the video card to draw very sharp, very fine lines, and draw as fast as possible.


What programs do you use for this? Do you know if they use any particular technologies that let them leverage the power of your GPU, like OpenCL or DirectCompute? If not, I suspect their performance has a lot more to do with your processor, RAM and just having the proper video card driver installed for ordinary 2D acceleration. Your expectations don't sound like a very high bar to set for modern PC hardware.

Memory probably doesn't matter. Video memory is usually used for things like storage of huge textures and complex geometry. And most cards until you get to $500+ will have the same 2 GB anyway.

PCIe 3.0 rarely even matters for gamers, let alone for you. PCIe is fully backwards-compatible, so for practical purposes you can ignore its existence.

Wait for advice from someone with more experience than me with using so many monitors, but if you were happy with a GTX 295, you'd be happy with an R7 265 for about $150 (Tom's says they're about equal in performance). That said, I suspect you'd do fine with nearly anything with four display outputs, if you don't mind taking a meaningless "downgrade" from the 295.
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a b U Graphics card
May 5, 2014 9:40:57 PM

Your stock graphs and games have quite a lot in common. Both need a somewhat powerful gpu to run multiple monitors, both need clarity of lines etc. Back in the day, when you originaly got that 295, you were actually getting a damn good gaming card. You just retasked it to your own priorities. I can really appreciate that, and totally understand. What I would suggest is http://pcpartpicker.com/part/sapphire-video-card-112170...

A 270x will handle anything you can throw at it. Also, AMD's Eyefinity software was designed for multiple monitors. It has twice the memory of the older 295, and running the aftermarket fans will be both cooler and quieter
The only downside to any decently powerful gpu over the afore mentioned 750ti is the possible need for a psu upgrade depending on what the original purchase was.

Edit. A gtx 295 req. 50A and a 700w PSU. If that's what you really have, you are more than good, a 270x req 24A and a 500w PSU. You will be much cooler and quieter all round.
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May 5, 2014 9:42:11 PM

Hello Mike!

Hopefully I can help you out.

Been reading online and doing some research, seems like you need multiple monitors huh?

I found some good workstation graphics cards that can support up to 4 monitors with pristine video quality. The Matrox M9140 supports up to 1920x1200. The Quadro NVS 420 can support up to 2560x1600 which is also really good. Make sure you check them out!

http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_quadro_nvs_420_us....

http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/products/graphics_car...
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May 6, 2014 10:59:05 AM

Great answers gentlemen,

I have a Corsair HX1000w which delivers 500 watts on each of two rails so the video card will get it's own 500 watts.

I'm using this for eSignal and ThinkorSwim which show stock charts on multiple screens. If you're interested in checking them out, add .com to each name.

Karadjgne: Indeed I did re-task it. I shut off all gaming features including 3D, DirectX, OpenGL and any others.

Oxiide: It's looking like anything I get for over $150 will outperform the $500 (when new) GTX 295, which was top of the line in 2008. Your advice is solid.

I'm weighing every card you guys suggested. The Quadro NVS 420 is very intriguing for this application. There's a new version of it but it will cost double what a used NVS 420 will set me back. They've upgraded the memory from 512Mb to 2Gb

Anybody got any other ideas before I pull the trigger?

TIA.

Mr. Biker
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a c 158 U Graphics card
May 6, 2014 12:51:12 PM

I setup computers in hospitals that do basically what you are looking at, except a bit more critical. Live brain wave and electrical signals and radiology systems.

Some of the setups used nothing more than the onboard video off a dual-core system. What made it work smoothly was not anti-virus scanning of the files and program directory of the program used. When anti-virus was scanning everything, there were delays in the live data.

The best solution is a pro card like a Quadro or FireGL, those cards and drivers are optimized for accuracy vs raw speed. In a game, it does not matter if a few lines or pixels are not fully lined up. When you are looking at an XRAY or an airplane CAD image, a few lines that are off means someone dies or the plane falls apart. That is why those things are more expensive for almost the same hardware.

Matrox makes some nice multi monitor systems also, hey are pricy though for what they do, but specific to business multi monitor use.
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a b U Graphics card
May 6, 2014 4:38:57 PM

Some of what you may think of as 'gaming' may not actually 'be' gaming, but graphics. Take DirectX. That software has parts to it that recognise graphics stuff and shunt it directly to the gpu, bypassing the CPU. While its true that this is a major bonus for games, your charts are graphical in nature too, so maybe you've been slowing your pc down by making the CPU accept more data, that would be better sent right to the gpu for processing. Just a thought.
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Best solution

a b U Graphics card
May 6, 2014 4:48:36 PM

Fleabay, NVS 510 2Gb, 4 monitor low profile, brand new, $185, 4 available as of this post.
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May 6, 2014 5:00:29 PM

Karadjgne said:
Fleabay, NVS 510 2Gb, 4 monitor low profile, brand new, $185, 4 available as of this post.


BAM! Just bought it. Didn't see that earlier. Great find. Thanks for ALL your help Karadjgne!

I'll post my results when I get the card and test it.

It's in NY and I'm in L.A. so it's going to be at least a week.

Thanks again.
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a b U Graphics card
May 6, 2014 6:42:59 PM

very welcome
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