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.
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.
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.
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.
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.