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AGP card? Strong digital image rendering need ... no video or gaming.

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December 6, 2007 8:03:53 PM

New Gateway FPD2485W 24-inch HD Monitor. P4 (2.4GHz) with AGP I/F used mainly for Nikon and Fuji med_lg (5-8 MByte) digital image editing and processing with Photoshop and Picture Window Pro software. Coming from CRT monitor and concerned about rendering these image files properly. No need for any gaming or high speed stuff. PLease help me sort out the key features required and those not needed for this work. I have briefly used ATI Radeon 2600 (512Meg) with this monitor but have no comparison point. :pt1cable: 

Regards
Tom B

December 6, 2007 8:28:25 PM

Rendering?

Video cards don't help with rendering. They help with viewport refreshes.

But rendering of image files or videos... that's all CPU/memory.
December 6, 2007 9:47:47 PM

Many thanks! Just could not get any local (small town) comment which had any believable content. Was going to add up to 2Gb main memory and that sounds like a way to go for all needs.

Regards (especially at the late hour for you).
Tom B


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December 6, 2007 11:34:19 PM

Not trying to be a PITA ..... but does the monitor itself influence this graphic card choice? ie. does the 24" HD Monitor place more demand on the graphic card than a similar HD 22"? OR a different (non-HD) 24" or 22" lcd ? If the 'higher-end' monitor places no extra pressure on the graphic card than I feel more comfortable selecting from the available AGP choices at local outlets.

Tom B
December 7, 2007 2:16:53 AM

As long as you're getting a new videocard, the size of monitor shouldn't matter one iota.

Any new card - like a lowly 2400 PRO or 8400 GS - will easily handle 1920x1200 no sweat.
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2007 2:57:20 AM

Yeah liek Cleeve said, it won't matter much, at least not as much as good host power. The only thing I'd ever concern myself with is get the most VRAM you can for things like After Effects or the 3D component built into CS3.
More VRAM helps with texture caching / large textures and when previewing work in the window. It can whitewash or go macroblocking if you run out, and it seems more common in CS3 than before (where IMO it just locked up, which will also occur in CS3 due to lack of VRAM too).
But if you're getting into that serious a body of work, then really you're likely better off with a little more 3D power at heart too, and I would suggest bumping up to a HD2600/GF8600 or even HD3850 then.

But for the most part for primarily 2D, I would say either the HD2400 or GF8400 would be fine.
December 7, 2007 3:24:57 AM

Thank-you for additional detail. Since this is a new and decent monitor, I will look carefully at the better cards you listed and check available stocks.

Regards,
Tom B
December 7, 2007 5:50:11 AM

If you still have AGP, maybe it would just be better to get a better motherboard and processor, which would also require new ram. But the video card will not affect much with picture editing. It may produce a crisper image, but if you get a mobo with a geforce 7 series it would not be needed.
This my opinion.
December 7, 2007 1:41:36 PM

Yes ... quite correct ... BUT ... new Vista quad was pricey and will still require more software investment to update my library of image processing tools. I have all I need on the older PC (running XP) and am hoping to extend its usefulness a bit longer without major additional cost. The monitor and video card can likely move on to new PC later. This is precisely why I am in need of knowledgeable advice from you who have the experience and can help with this somewhat 'narrow' application issue.

Thanks,
Tom B
December 7, 2007 2:46:18 PM

How would the equation change if the image processing needs remain the same, but the monitor becomes a 46"-47" 1080p HD LCD TV with HDMI input.? I will drive it (obviously) from the DVI graphic card output with a DVI_HDMI cable. Does this alter the graphic card requirements compared to the present Gateway FPD2485W HD LCD Monitor?
Would you Photoshop/PictureWindowPro users prefer 'strongly' not to use such a display for your editing work? ... even if properly calibrated?

Tom B
December 7, 2007 3:00:29 PM

The graphic card doesn't really care about the SIZE of the monitor. It's the resolution that matters to it, anything else is transparent to the hardware.
December 7, 2007 3:10:06 PM

Again, many thanks! This seemed more complex for me than it is since the 'entertainment-content' issues with HDMI input are unclear. I am pleased and comfortable now to move forward.

Regards,
Tom B
December 7, 2007 3:31:53 PM

As far as photoshop thoguh... correct colors and whatnot, you might have to look into that display. I'd be a little wary of that.
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2007 5:54:48 PM

Yeah really, osrry I may have given the wrong impression, if there's money then boost the CPU & Memory, effects/filters/transitions fly much faster so do undos and layer changes.
My recommendations for cards is sorta after you have the best CPU/Memory in place.

I also forgot the note about AGP, so considering the price premium, if you have the option of HD2400P+ new CPU/RAM or adding an HD2600/3870-GF8600 go for the RAM and CPU with the lower end card.

I find the colour depth of most small LCD TVs is very weak outside of the very small and very large LED lit LCDs (most LEDlit LCDs are either 17" and below or 65" and above [$7K in the larg ones]).

The edges are slightly more defined than Plasma, but I find plasma has better colour.

I would recommend a solid 24/27/30" monitor over a larger TV. Most importantly IMO you usually have more control over the settings.
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2007 6:01:56 PM

F34R1355 said:
If you still have AGP, maybe it would just be better to get a better motherboard and processor, which would also require new ram. But the video card will not affect much with picture editing. It may produce a crisper image, but if you get a mobo with a geforce 7 series it would not be needed.
This my opinion.


Actually the speed and fluidity of what you're looking at is affected, like we said CPU/RAM is king, but if you already have those then just as much as HDD speed, a better card is icing on the cake.
And personally I wouldn't do onboard as it would barely meet the minimum CS3 requirements from dedicated memory, and you don't want to share any memory with the system, a cheap 128MB Radeon 9000 would be better, especially since thing like after effects use about 100 MB of VRAM to start with.
December 7, 2007 6:36:27 PM

Today, local Best Buy has ATI Radeon 2600 Pro for $99. I would need to go online for 7600 and need to choose either 256 or 512. Both have mail-in rebates and PNY 512 is then ~$108. incl shipping. I wish I could just grab the local, but I trust your inputs and I guess I should order the 7600 and wait until ~Tuesday to get it. CPU RAM will be going from 1GByte to 3 DDR3200. OK combo? I can avoid PNY card and get another mfg's if that is important.

?????
Tom B
December 7, 2007 6:55:20 PM

Sounds like you have a good plan. Is this an OEM copy of windows? If it is retail, you can upgrade anyways, without losing things.
@TheGreatGrapeApe: I only said that because if he spend $100 + on and agp today, he will still need a PCI-Ex down the line. Does CS3 really use that much? I have only dealt with CS2, so I am not sure on that. The only reason that I said upgrade to an geforce 7 series mobo is because $350 gets a 3800X2 with 2GB of ram, on a Biostar motherboard. Not the greatest out there, but it would be a step up. The onboard video would still be quite capable of handling this well he saves for a PCI-Ex. Well even a 256 MB 8400 would hold him off, which would only bring the total to ~$460. So he goes an pay ~1/5 of a new system on a card that he will probably dump a few months down the road when he upgrades.
December 7, 2007 7:00:08 PM

I'm sure a 256mb 2600 PRO would be fine for your needs, hell probably even a little overkill.

I don't think we indicated a 512mb 7600 would be better, unless I'm missing something...

It'll also have an HDMI output if you ever want to hook it up to an HDTV, if that matters to you.
December 7, 2007 7:43:47 PM

Well. I have several HDMI cables, so that is handy .,, no adapters needed. The same source has the 256MB, also with rebate and enough less cost to make it attractive.
You gentlemen are terrific and have not only steered me to the 'ideal' solution but made me very comfortable with the choice. I sure hope I can help some else with a topic in my sphere of capability.

Best regards,
Tom B
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2007 7:49:09 PM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
Yeah really, osrry I may have given the wrong impression, if there's money then boost the CPU & Memory, effects/filters/transitions fly much faster so do undos and layer changes.
My recommendations for cards is sorta after you have the best CPU/Memory in place.

I also forgot the note about AGP, so considering the price premium, if you have the option of HD2400P+ new CPU/RAM or adding an HD2600/3870-GF8600 go for the RAM and CPU with the lower end card.

I find the colour depth of most small LCD TVs is very weak outside of the very small and very large LED lit LCDs (most LEDlit LCDs are either 17" and below or 65" and above [$7K in the larg ones]).

The edges are slightly more defined than Plasma, but I find plasma has better colour.

I would recommend a solid 24/27/30" monitor over a larger TV. Most importantly IMO you usually have more control over the settings.


Agreed
December 7, 2007 8:13:46 PM

Staying with Gateway FPD2485W HD (24-inch) Monitor. With rebates and shipping, 2Gb DDR PC 3200 Memory and EVGA 7600GS (256MB) is $192. after mail-in rebate. Seems like a very nice deal and good delivery. Unless I hear a loud objection and strong alternative, this is my current choice ... going, going .....
December 7, 2007 8:19:29 PM

..... sorry, I misread/misunderstood cleeve's last post. The local 2600Pro is actually 512MB and $99. I have the extra pwr supp plugs already in place so unless the 7600GS 256MB is preferred, I can pick up the ATI Radeon today. I think most of the choices offered here will do my applications very well and with Best Buy I have until January 31, to return if any problems arise.

Tom B
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2007 9:33:30 PM

F34R1355 said:

@TheGreatGrapeApe: I only said that because if he spend $100 + on and agp today, he will still need a PCI-Ex down the line.


True and that is a consideration, like I said the AGP thing keeps slipping my mind. :o 

The big issue to me is the quality of the TMDS on the onboard, especially since we're talking about higher resolutions that can require dual link DVI depending on the monitor/TV. I would be worried about strafield artifacts on any significant length of cable (IMO DVI->HDMI->TV would suffer the most on anything over 6ft. If using analogue out then the noise of the board itself also becomes a consideration for both cable length and resolution.
When light gaming or surfing I wouldn't care as much, when doing precise work like this I'd be worried about shifting and artifacts.

Quote:
Does CS3 really use that much? I have only dealt with CS2, so I am not sure on that.


Yeah, but it is dependant on the situation and what part of the app, like I mention for things like 3D, After Effects, texture applications, multi-layer transitions it can even exceed a 256 card and cause chugging (I can never tell if it's my VPU or CPU/RAM that runs out on my laptop, but I've gotten used to it).

Quote:
The only reason that I said upgrade to an geforce 7 series mobo is because $350 gets a 3800X2 with 2GB of ram, on a Biostar motherboard. Not the greatest out there, but it would be a step up.


True, but I'd say forget the C2D on a PCIe/AGP mobo like the ASRock would be a better transition point IMO, but it's all in the eye of the beer holder. I liked AMD CPUs but right now I prefer the flexability of the intel platform, especially if considering a quad-octo future.

I understand your reasoning, but I really wouldn't trust onboard for this type of work, I'd prefer something I knew has the quality and the overhead. The AGP does suck, but there are solutions for that and I think if he gets an HD2400P he can likely resell it for about the same he bought it for in 6-12 months should he upgrade the mobo, and at least by a replacement HD2400P PCIe if not HD2600P with that money.

Different strokes I guess...
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2007 9:43:33 PM

tfbailey said:
..... sorry, I misread/misunderstood cleeve's last post. The local 2600Pro is actually 512MB and $99. I have the extra pwr supp plugs already in place so unless the 7600GS 256MB is preferred, I can pick up the ATI Radeon today. I think most of the choices offered here will do my applications very well and with Best Buy I have until January 31, to return if any problems arise.


Actually one thing I forgot, you want to get either the GF8 or a Radeon for the Adobe RGB support, you can get full 10bit per channel on the Radeons (since the old Radeon 8500) and on the new Geforce 8 series; but since there is not GF8 AGP yet, you're kinda limited to ATi cards with the HD2K series being a great series.

IMO if you're buying for photo editing and looking at a high bit depth supported monitor go with the HD2K, if you go with the TV based monitor, it probably won't matter unless it's an LEDlit one.

For most people it doesn't matter, however if you'r a photoshop guy buying for now and into the future and a pixel whore like me you want the future support for the full 10bit per channel in your monitor. Any LEDLit and high gamut LCD/CRT will give you that support. It's one of the main reasons I proof any serious work on a CRT before finishing, because you want to make sure everything is accurate and has the full gradients.

Some people can't tell the difference, but if you have the options, go for the one that supports all the features at your disposal, otherwise you're going to be kicking yourself later (either that or you'll be blissfully oblivious).

In short of the options you have get the HD2600, it should fit your needs perfectly IMO.
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2007 9:51:27 PM

PS, of course it depends on how you work too, if all you're doing is editing JPEGs then it won't matter, but if you capture in 12 or 16 bit RAW (probably won't matter for 8 bit RAW [which is similar to JPEG]) or M$ HDphoto format or do lots of post processing then you're going to notice.

Anywhoo, I think that HD2600P would be fine, and likely in a year's time you could sell it for at least $50+ by which time you could probably buy a PCIe HD2600 for that price should you update the rest of your rig.
December 7, 2007 10:33:18 PM

I appreciate your patience (and others') because it is important to me to know I have the 'essentials' to continue with image editing and produce solid results. There's a large amount of lost time and effort at stake (as you say) if the end result is poor by commercial/professional standards .. even though I am an amateur.

Yes, I do a fair amount of work with D70 NEF _ RAW and Fuji RAF image files. some of these convert to TIF and the resulting files are as high as 70+ MB. The ATI Radeon 2600 Pro (512) is so affordable, and available, I am pleased to hear the support for it here. This is a 'done deal' now as far as I'm concerned. So is the extra 2Gb of DDR ram for the CPU.

This is a neat scenario for me since my 'comfortable' older system lets me continue without a hiccup and actually run faster and with a much better monitor. All my extra attention can then go to the new Gateway GT5628 Quad, Vista nuances, and new versions of app. software as they evolve.

Thanks to all for hanging with me until your message(s) were understood.

Tom B
!