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A video editing rig - Card choices?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 16, 2008 9:53:31 PM

Hello everyone, I hope you can help me pick a good 2D video card for the PC I plan to build!

Some background...

I got this Dell Dimension 2400 in early 2004. Since then, I've become increasingly interested and adept in graphic art and video editing. My computer, as you can probably tell, is getting old and can't meet my stern artistic demands on its dated hardware, making projects frustrating and not fun like they should be. Where I live I have sort of a "name" for the projects I do in my community; but I don't tell them how old my system is. :)  I want to be able to flex my e-peen a bit when people ask about my setup.

My main focus is HD video and a good framerate so I can sequence clips accurately. But I also like to game a little bit, on less demanding 3D games like World of Warcraft, which I realize has a dated graphics engine in the first place.

Onto business...

If I plan to use an Intel quad core, does it matter whether I pick ATI or nVidia? I have assumed the latter, and I've been looking at the Geforce 9800 GX2 cards from EVGA, as well as the shiny new Geforce 280 GTX series. Problem is I see the newer card performing worse on some of the benchmark tests I've been watching, so I'm confused as hell. Can someone please break down the stats of these cards and tell me what this stuff means in my situation?

Thanks much.
June 16, 2008 10:13:40 PM

everyones saying that the 280 and 260 cars are a huge dissapointment. 280 the absolute worse. i would wait a couple of weeks to find out what ati will have. how well does the 4850 and 4870 perform and at what prices. best you can do is hold out a lad longer.

also what resolution is your monitor?
June 16, 2008 10:29:04 PM

My monitor runs at 1680x1050 over VGA. My video card can't support anything higher than 1600x1200 on DVI, which is why I can't use the DVI connector provided to me on the monitor.
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a c 143 U Graphics card
June 16, 2008 11:27:23 PM

I strongly recommend you get a Q9450 CPU. Normally I recommend Q6600 or Q6700 instead, because they give better bang for the buck when overclocked. However, Q9450 has SSE4 instructions, and with the right software you could get 100% more speed in video work from the Q9450 than from a Q6600 or Q6700 at the same clock.

I'd avoid the 9800GX2. The video editing software will only use half of it at most because it doesn't support SLI, and the 9800GX2 is basically a sandwich made of two 8800GTS cards connected internally via SLI. World of Warcraft doesn't need the power of a 9800GX2. Wait for the ATI 4870, or get yourself a 8800GTS 512MB.

Your choice of CPU and your choice of video card are totally independent. The Q9450 will work nice with 8800GTS G92, HD 4870, 9800GX2, etc.

If you do buy a 9800GX2, make sure you get a serious PSU certified for it. Something like the 750W Silencer or the 750TX would be great, for example.

a c 143 U Graphics card
June 16, 2008 11:30:12 PM

godless said:
everyones saying that the 280 and 260 cars are a huge dissapointment. 280 the absolute worse. i would wait a couple of weeks to find out what ati will have. how well does the 4850 and 4870 perform and at what prices. best you can do is hold out a lad longer.

also what resolution is your monitor?


AFAIK the 4850 will cost $200 to $230, and the 4870 about $300. Performance is supposed to be above the 8800GTS G92/9800GTX for both. Take this with a grain of salt, no guarantees it's correct yet.
a c 355 U Graphics card
June 16, 2008 11:44:55 PM

Since you like to play less demanding games I would probably recommend the following (from least powerful to most powerful):

9600GT 512MB
8800GT 512MB
8800GTS (G92) 512MB

My recommendation is the 8800GTS (G92), it costs a little more than the others, but performs the best. It offers more performance than what you need for the moment with WOW.

On the flip side, the card should last you a few years if you are not looking to play the latest and greatest with the highest possible frame rate.

June 17, 2008 1:15:32 AM

Thanks for the help! I think I am just going to wait a few weeks for the 200 series to settle in, or until ATI releases the mentioned cards before making a definite choice.
June 17, 2008 1:43:28 AM

jaguarskx said:
Since you like to play less demanding games I would probably recommend the following (from least powerful to most powerful):

9600GT 512MB
8800GT 512MB
8800GTS (G92) 512MB.

Wait... how does an 8 series outperform a 9 series?
June 17, 2008 2:19:10 AM

those are the same cards. just rebranded.
a b U Graphics card
June 17, 2008 1:45:25 PM

@OP: Unless you plan to do gaming, you won't need a 8800GTX or the likes of that. Even a 8600GT can handle video editing (not that I recommend the 8600GT, a 8800GS would be a better choice than a 8600GT; there are 8800GS for $90 see:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ).
CPU is more important than a GPU when it comes to video editing. Heck I have run a 8400GS (later upgraded to 8800GS to play games) with a Q6600 @3.2 and they worked fine. (I use Vagas Studio Platinum 6.0/8.0 btw)
a c 143 U Graphics card
June 17, 2008 3:23:11 PM

Destructerator said:
Wait... how does an 8 series outperform a 9 series?


8800 beats 9600. The first 8 in 8800 is the series, or generation. The second 8 is the rank, or quality. For example read 8800 as "series 8 quality max" and 9600 as "series 9 quality medium". It's like comparing last year's Ferrari with this year's Toyota - the Ferrari is still nicer even if it's older.
a b U Graphics card
June 17, 2008 3:57:43 PM

^ Nice comparison.
!