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NON GAMING Video Card Suggestions Please!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 10, 2008 10:59:42 PM

Hi all -

I'm seeking your suggestions for a video card for non gaming.
Will be used with E8400, Gbyte DS3P, XP ...
Will be used for 'all normal use' + enthusiast home video editing.
Budget up to $170 AUD if required.

I just get so confused with all the different options ..
(for example "8800GT in Brand X, Brand Y and Brand Z!!"
If the 8800GT is the same then why so many brands?!!!)

Your input would be appreciated.
Cheers!
February 10, 2008 11:35:53 PM

Different brands come with different warranties, and manufacturers can use a "non-reference" design which might or might not be better.

As for a graphics card, basically anything will do. Don't spend more than $50ish, which is basically the same in either currency.

If you want an idea if a card is worthwhile at a given price point, newegg.com might make a good site to compare prices at (they don't ship internationally).
February 10, 2008 11:42:42 PM

A Radeon HD3650 shall serve you well, consume little power and on top of everything give you the UVD via AVIVO.

Or, if you're really concerned about price/noise, than a HD3450 might do, given that you really don't care about games. 3650 will give you bare acceptable performance in medium settings for most... considering it's about on par with 2600XT in this.

*EDIT: HD3450 shall give you the exact same thing in everything except for gaming performance, so go for it by all means.
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February 10, 2008 11:54:30 PM

Thanks for your input thus far -

Just to give you an idea, I'm coming from integrated G965 on an Asus P5B-V and that's served me well for my needs - hence the added uncertainty of what card to get.
I just want to ensure that I at least get 'the right' card - regardless of where it sits within my budget. I can't justify blowing 300 AUD+ on something that I'm not going to get the benefit from.

Also, Is any manufacturer any 'better'?
February 11, 2008 12:05:46 AM

On the ATi/AMD side Sapphire/HIS are both pretty reputable... If you have to go NVIDIA, get an EVGA.
February 11, 2008 12:05:48 AM

This is a direct quote taken from this site : http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/02/04/best_cards_febru...


"Don't worry too much about which brand you choose, because all of the cards out there stick pretty close to the reference designs by Nvidia and ATI. Just pay attention to price, warranty and the manufacturer's reputation for honoring that warranty if something goes wrong."


It is from the summary of the THG for the best video cards for the price. IF you go with Nvidia, the big ones right off the top of my head would be EVGA, BFG, XFX, I"m sure there are more as well. As for Ati, Even though I have used Ati more often than not I have only had expereince with ATi's own cards like the x1900 AIW, and Sapphire card's. I am sure alot of other ppl have their own experiences and will say off limited use like myself or others and say that, no that brand sucks I had it once :non:  , or even that brand rocks I o/c it to xxx :kaola:  , or w/e. But I think THG said it best with that quote IMHO.

:hello: 

February 11, 2008 12:21:04 AM

Is there any problem running an ATI/AMD card on a MB with Intel chipset?
February 11, 2008 12:47:23 AM

@brinkerz, nope.

There isnt much difference in cards unless it says somthing different, a deviation from the reference will most likely be advertised, such as overclocked, or HIS's "IceQ", the poruduct discription will help you there. If you are unsure about a feature these forums, or even faster, google often will help.
February 11, 2008 12:59:25 AM

FrozenGpu said:
This is a direct quote taken from this site : http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/02/04/best_cards_febru...


"Don't worry too much about which brand you choose, because all of the cards out there stick pretty close to the reference designs by Nvidia and ATI. Just pay attention to price, warranty and the manufacturer's reputation for honoring that warranty if something goes wrong."


It is from the summary of the THG for the best video cards for the price. IF you go with Nvidia, the big ones right off the top of my head would be EVGA, BFG, XFX, I"m sure there are more as well. As for Ati, Even though I have used Ati more often than not I have only had expereince with ATi's own cards like the x1900 AIW, and Sapphire card's. I am sure alot of other ppl have their own experiences and will say off limited use like myself or others and say that, no that brand sucks I had it once :non:  , or even that brand rocks I o/c it to xxx :kaola:  , or w/e. But I think THG said it best with that quote IMHO.

:hello: 


I've been saying this for ages and I can't agree more. Why buy a leadtek? MSI? or any other Nvidia based card? There really is NO point..for the same price or just a tad bit more you can get a lifetime warranty from BFG/XFX/EVGA. I'm a XFX fan myself, I honestly think their program is MUCH better than EVGA's. The double lifetime warranty is a really great way to go compared to the step up. If you nab a EVGA card, 3 months set in stone, great if you know a new card is coming out and you are planning to upgrade...But XFX gives you so much flexibility, whoever you sell it to gets the lifetime warranty, makes it GREAT for selling via Ebay. This is what I plan to do with high end cards. Next rig, I nab a high end right at the release, use it, then when the next architecture is about to be released, I pop it up on ebay for around 50-150 less than the current MSRP, advertise the lifetime warranty, should sell it in a heartbeat. Then, take that cash I got out of it, slap on a bill or two, and buy the next new high end...Pretty much an infinite loop of high end cards for only around 100-200 each 12-18 months. But the downside is you don't get to keep the old card, but considering what you get for the price, it easily hands down beats the Step up program in every way.

XFX for life... :D 

Although, for ATI, their partners really need to jump on the bandwagon with these lifetime warranties. That's the one reason that I'm planning to stay away from ATI cards, and that's hard for me to do considering I enjoy their products more than Nvidia in terms of video quality. We all remember the days back when the Radeon 8500 and Ti 4600 were out in the open, the Radeon card DEMOLISHED nvidia's offers on quality like there was no tomorrow. Now-a-days, nvidia has caught up, but ATI still offers better visual quality for media and games IMO...Not by much, but they still have the lead.

Now, for the OP, go the a ATI 36xx series or 34xx series. You won't be disappointed. It's sad to think they don't have lifetime warranties life EVGA/XFX/BFG...But since you're going video editing, you'll want a really nice card for a quality image.
February 11, 2008 1:26:27 AM

"these forums, or even faster, google often will help."

Sorry! Newbie doesn't know how to insert quote ... ANYWAY .... this is exactly why I came here! Just about any and every card enquiry I made resulted in comparisions with all the latest games. NOT what I wanted.
Appreciate what FrozenGpu has contributed and what you're supporting Kamrooz but obviously what you're wanting to do is a wee bit out of scope for me :) 
February 11, 2008 1:55:42 AM

brinkerz said:
"these forums, or even faster, google often will help."

Sorry! Newbie doesn't know how to insert quote ... ANYWAY .... this is exactly why I came here! Just about any and every card enquiry I made resulted in comparisions with all the latest games. NOT what I wanted.
Appreciate what FrozenGpu has contributed and what you're supporting Kamrooz but obviously what you're wanting to do is a wee bit out of scope for me :) 


:lol: , Indeed ^_^. Considering your budget, a 34xx or 36xx will do you fine ^_^. If you want a lifetime warranty, look at the 8500 or 8600 GT, but remember, EVGA, XFX, or BFG preferred =P. But since you're going for the a lower price ranged card, an ATI solution that offers the best visual quality would be the way to go =P.
February 11, 2008 3:13:33 AM

Here's a selection of what I can get within arms reach so to speak ...
SAPPHIRE HD3450 256meg DDR2 1GB HyperMemory CrossFire Ready PCI-E
SAPPHIRE HD3650 256meg DDR3 Dual DVI TV-Out CrossFire Ready PCI-E
SAPPHIRE HD3650 512meg DDR2 Dual DVI TV-Out CrossFire Ready PCI-E
SAPPHIRE HD3650 512meg DDR3 Dual DVI TV-Out CrossFire Ready PCI-E
HIS HD2600XT ZALMAN HSF 512meg DDR3 Full HD 1080p HDTV HDCP Ready PCI-E

Am i on the right track??

February 11, 2008 3:14:58 AM

XFX 8500-GT 500Mhz Core 256meg DDR2 PCI-E Model : PV-T86J-UAH3 ??
$125 AUD
February 11, 2008 3:16:37 AM

XFX GeForce 8600GT 256M DDR3 Dual DVI TV Out 540Mhz(PV-T84J-UDF3) @ $129 AUD is probably better I guess ...
February 11, 2008 3:20:48 AM

You are indeed on the right track. Any of those cards would do. Literally any of them, since you are not gaming at all, even the low end 3450 would do. Choose whichever you like, The rig I'm on right now is built for a family friend. A music production rig with a q6600 OC'ed to 3 ghz, 4 gigs of ram, and a 8600 GT. I could of got him a weaker card, but considering he has a kid around 11 years of age, I thought it'd be best to at least put in something that can game a little. =P...

Choice is yours ^_^..All fine choices may I add, I personally would nab a 3650 or 8600 GT...But that's because I despise (and afraid of) getting the lowest end cards (although it's a worry that shouldn't exist =P).
February 11, 2008 3:26:55 AM

I see the XFX 8600GT has a good clock rate .... do I need to get too carried away with memory size and speed? i.e. 512 over 256 ... or is this 256 DDR2 @ 540mhz going to romp in what I want?

Not milking the post ether by the way - just coming back to wanting to get 'the right card'.
February 11, 2008 3:28:57 AM

It will make literally no difference if you aren't in a 3d environment. Don't even bother. Grab the best one that suits your budget ^_^. If you plan to eventually game a little, have a kid or something? Than you might want to look into a HD 3850....Their performance is leaps and bounds above the 8600 GTS. But that's only if you ever decide to game down the road. But if not, that 8600GT would do, or even a 3450 or 8500 Gt. When no gaming is involved, anything will do fine.

Ohh....How big is your monitor BTW?
February 11, 2008 3:45:32 AM

Go for something passively cooled. No reason to add to the noise level with another fan.
February 11, 2008 3:56:17 AM

No passive cooling. I mean seriously no passive cooling I got a Gigabyte 8600GT with P cooling and it broke within 2 months and it added 14C to my case verse my friends actively cooled 8600GT if your going to get a card now try a ATI 3850 you can get them for about 200 now try wwwstaticice.com.au its good for finding what you want
February 11, 2008 4:01:42 AM

random1283 said:
No passive cooling. I mean seriously no passive cooling I got a Gigabyte 8600GT with P cooling and it broke within 2 months and it added 14C to my case verse my friends actively cooled 8600GT if your going to get a card now try a ATI 3850 you can get them for about 200 now try wwwstaticice.com.au its good for finding what you want


I'm against passive cooling as well, UNLESS you have adequate airflow, than there's no reason not too if you want silence. Keep in mind though, this rig is not a gaming rig, so no point on the 3850, if he does plan to eventually game or know a family member who wants to use it form time to time to do so, than yea the 3850 offers leaps and bounds better performance than anything below it for a fantastic price. around 150-200 depending on which 3850 you nab (512mb preferred).
February 11, 2008 4:17:25 AM

"Go for something passively cooled. No reason to add to the noise level with another fan."
********
"No passive cooling. I mean seriously no passive cooling ..."
********
Tis all cool (boom-tish) ... I gotta 2 & 4 year old - It'd be bliss if all I had to worry about was the noise from a graphic fan! :)  ..... I'll be going the fan option - my case doesn't have a built in harrier jump jet to keep it happy.

I'll leave the 3850 @ 200 also thanks ... gotta draw a line in the budget sand somewhere.
February 11, 2008 4:18:43 AM

This has been quite helpful too ... thanks to everyone who has contributed thus far.
February 11, 2008 4:27:16 AM

Any time ^_^, if you have any problems or questions/concerns, just drop another post, or pm me, I'd be glad to help ^_^.
February 11, 2008 5:37:14 AM

I'm going to go with everyone else and say that the 3xxx lower end series is the way to go. Native HDMI, UVD via AVIVO, better image quality, and much better drivers for a home theater setup.
February 11, 2008 5:47:53 AM

IndigoMoss said:
I'm going to go with everyone else and say that the 3xxx lower end series is the way to go. Native HDMI, UVD via AVIVO, better image quality, and much better drivers for a home theater setup.


Indeed, does anyone remember the days of the Radeon 8500 and Ti 4600 days? God, the Radeon demolished the Nvidia ti on image quality like there was no other. I remember running a video I edited via Mpeg on my rig, macro blocking like visuals all about the video. Went over to a friends house who had a radeon 8500..The damn thing was crisp clean..I was :ouch: 'ed.
February 11, 2008 6:23:10 AM

I don't know who you guys are jerking around on suggesting that
a passively cooled card is a bad idea for someone who won't be playing video games.

I'm sure that your 8600GT that was passivly cooled failed as well, and I'm sure it was getting rather hot after you spent a fair amount of time playing a game.


I only spent 50$ on a passively cooled 7000 series card that is used in a machine dedicated to image editing. Recommending anythings else seems unnecessary.
February 11, 2008 8:24:09 AM

"Ohh....How big is your monitor BTW?"
Forgot to answer this earlier ... tis a 19" HP1940.

With everything that's been tossed around here so far, are any of these suggestions changed by the choice of OS? Currently using XPpro but tossing up the move to Vista perhaps - so does this change anyones outlook?
February 11, 2008 8:57:15 AM

If you are going to go with the 3xxx series cards, the drivers for both Vista and XP are pretty complete and full featured.
October 23, 2008 4:29:02 PM

My IT person just bought us a Sapphire ATI Radeon HD3650 video card. We use it for business office purposes for dual monitor use. We have one program open (ex: excel) and on other screen may have word or outlook or a 2nd excel spreadsheet. In the past, we have purchased the GEForce 7600GT series. On the GEForce their is a nvidia tool bar on each screen. On that toolbar, you just had to click a button and it would instantly switch the window to the other screen. With the ATI you have to minimize the screen and physically drag it to the other screen with the mouse. Which takes a few extra seconds. Might not seem like a be a big deal but when working with this all day those extra steps add up. Does anyone know of a way to get a toolbar to work on the ATI similiar to the GEForce nvidia toolbar one click system? Not sure if there is a 3rd party tool bar out there or what?

If I can not find an solution I may return this ATI video card and get the GEForce instead.

Appreciate any advice anyone has.
!