What graphic card to buy?

Hi, I just purchased a ABIT AX8 motherboard that has PCI express video slot. I also purchased an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core processor. My question is which graphic card to buy. I am a photographer (still and video). I don't play games and I don't intend to overclock the motherboard. I have heard that I don't need a card that supports SLI (what ever that is). I want a card that has at least 256mb of on card memory. The card must be reliable. I spend a lot of time in Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro working with very large files. I am looking for the best card for the money.

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  1. Get an ATi (or their partners) X1300, it'll be a best fit IMO.

    Otherwise get a matrox P650 PCIe card (but it's 128MB).

    I'd say go with a passively cooled X1300 (NOT pro or xt, just plain 1300), best bet and no worries about the fan dieing.

    Sapphire 256MB;
    HIS 512MB;

    I don't know why you NEED 256MB, but if it's a serious need, etc, maybe the HIS is good too.

    If you absolutely NEED dual large panel DVI support (1900x1200 or above) then move to an X1600 (for the 2 dual-link TMDSs), otherwise the X1300 will cover most things.
  2. TGGA is the man around here so his advice is solid.

    SLI is a term used for nVidia cards when you hook up 2 at a time. ATI has a similar setup called "Crossfire". In either case you must buy a mainboard with 2 graphics card slots and 2 video cards. The only reason to go "SLI" (or "Crossfire") is if you demand more performance than any single card can handle. Your non-gaming needs will not stress a single card so any dual card setup would be a huge waste.
  3. Why do you need 256mb of memory?

    I work with graphics tools 8 hours a day and I can tell you that videocard memory is not used with photoshop. You wouldn't see a difference between a 64 meg card and a 512 meg card in Photoshop.

    SLI and Xfire are also useless in Photoshop.

    An X300 would do you fine as Grape said.

    If you want something a little nicer... if you ever plan to do any gaming at all, or would like some extra video encoding functionality, it'd be worth it to get an X1300 PRO.
  4. Thanks to everyone who responded. You were a help and I ordered the 1300 card.
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