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best graphics card for a non-gamer?

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  • Graphics
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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 26, 2008 7:41:10 PM

Been mulling over parts for 1st build for a couple weeks & am rethinking graphics card choices.

I do a lot of spread sheet, charting, video editing, multi-tasking, browsing & general computer stuff but very little gaming.

I started out with a radeon 4850, then dropped to a 3870, then 3850 but in reading reviews I still see a lot of comments about heat, noisy fans, fitting problems, etc which I don't feel I should have to deal with.

So what is currently the best card out there for a non-gamer?

I should mention I'm currently using a 6 year old Gateway with a Nvidia GeForce2 MX 400 so I'm sure anything would be an improvement but I want the best available for the purpose. Any suggestions?

ps-my propsed mobo is gigabyte ep45-ds3r with q9450 cpu & 8 gb ddr2 800 ram. still mulling over case also.

More about : graphics card gamer

July 26, 2008 7:57:09 PM

Ati 3650 should do or a nvidia 9500gt.
July 26, 2008 8:14:41 PM

Do you really need a rig that powerful? A q6600, DDR2 800, and a dirt cheap motherboard should do you just fine. As for a graphics card, I would suggest something with a high cache for buffering. A workstation card might be better suited for you.
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a c 283 U Graphics card
July 26, 2008 8:24:28 PM

For non-gaming, you want a card that can support two reasonably large monitors which are great for multitasking. That means up to 2560x1600 support for two dvi monitors.
You also might get a fanless one for quietness.
Here is an interesting one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 26, 2008 8:27:24 PM

I've been out of the loop for some time ("6 year old gateway").

What would be an example of a good "workstation card"?
July 26, 2008 8:32:33 PM

A good "workstation" card will run you $1000+.

But, I know what you mean, the card geofelt linked is an example of something you need to be looking at. Since you arent playing games basically all that matters on the card is it can output a damn image. The amount of ram, the bus size, and the clock speeds are all irrelevant really. Basically you shouldnt be spending over $50-$60 on a card.
July 26, 2008 8:42:18 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... This is an excellent card for your purposes, the performance is just what you need and it runs cool and quiet, unless you are stressing the card in graphics intensive work the fan doesn't even run, and when it does, it is very quiet, you will never hear it. I put one in my wife's machine, an excellent performer for her purposes.
a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2008 8:44:20 PM

Ref Geofelt
Right Idea, But it has a terrible rating on newegg, 42% poor to very poor.
July 26, 2008 11:12:28 PM

Dual monitors, lightning fast video editing, ect... ect... Unless this is REALLY important to you, or you need this computer for your job or to make money, this is all just unnecessary goodies and eye candy. A quad core will be nice if you do any video editing, but you better make sure you are going to get your use out of it. Otherwise an entry level core2duo like the allendale will serve your needs more then adequately 90% of the time. I blue-ray burner could be something you might consider investing in for data storage and more media options, but that better be something you plan on using a lot as well. Right now this card should be fine for the "mainstream" non-gamer related geek computer (no offense).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It will game pretty well too. If you have kids and you are comfortable letting them use your computer they will appreciate it.

A 4850 is another good buy, and while it is an amazing gaming card, it does really well with media as well. Much better then the gtx 200 series. Another thing to consider.
July 26, 2008 11:14:37 PM

EDIT: the low rating on this card can be attributed to ATI bashing which was very popular at this time. Get an aftermarket heatsink for it to reduce the noise and get better cooling
July 26, 2008 11:34:33 PM

I heard the Earth's Air series cards were good. Odorless, colorless, tasteless, and most importantly, takes up no room in your case and requires no power. Comprised mostly of oxygen, the Air series is a must for the non-discriminating non-gamer who has everything and needs nothing.
July 26, 2008 11:45:31 PM

go with 8600gt best price performance
July 26, 2008 11:53:38 PM

if he's not gonna game then onboard video is fine !
a c 283 U Graphics card
July 26, 2008 11:59:30 PM

I have to agree with RetiredChief. The card I gave as an example earlier had a higher failure rate than I would be comfortable with.

A card which I can vouch for personally is the XFX 7600GS. It is fanless,seems to run cool, and has two dvi ports, and supports 2560x1600. It should sell for <$100. No link to newegg vecause they do not seem to carry it. XFX is a good vga vendor, and they offer a lifetime warranty. It is in my backup pc.
July 27, 2008 12:24:51 AM

This guy is coming from a GeForce2 MX 400, and wants to upgrade to a non-gaming desktop work only video subsystem.

If you said anything other than integrated video, fail.
July 27, 2008 12:29:11 AM

Actually....you fail. If you bothered to read hes getting a P45 motherboard. P45 dosent have onboard video. Think.
July 27, 2008 12:52:07 AM

spathotan said:
Actually....you fail. If you bothered to read hes getting a P45 motherboard. P45 dosent have onboard video. Think.


Word :o 
July 27, 2008 12:58:13 AM

geofelt said:
I have to agree with RetiredChief. The card I gave as an example earlier had a higher failure rate than I would be comfortable with.

A card which I can vouch for personally is the XFX 7600GS. It is fanless,seems to run cool, and has two dvi ports, and supports 2560x1600. It should sell for <$100. No link to newegg vecause they do not seem to carry it. XFX is a good vga vendor, and they offer a lifetime warranty. It is in my backup pc.


I agree. I had one too, but mine was by ASUS. 3 years running strong :D  It's currently running in my dads rig.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

a b U Graphics card
July 27, 2008 5:49:20 AM

There's really no reason to get something more powerful than a 3450, or at most a 3650. Most people overestimate how important graphics are to most people's computer experience.
July 27, 2008 6:00:16 AM

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=31765 - 225$

All in Wonder 3650 - its a new card based on an older concept/architecture

Its mostly for people who do video input/capturing

I do a lot of spread sheet, charting, video editing, multi-tasking, browsing & general computer stuff but very little gaming. said:
I do a lot of spread sheet, charting, video editing, multi-tasking, browsing & general computer stuff but very little gaming.


I thought it might be of interest to you OP - based on your video editing.
July 27, 2008 6:52:39 AM

AIW FTW. Thats a badass looking card to boot. I like the seperate TV out bracket.
July 27, 2008 10:16:38 AM

For the non-gamer id always reccomend a passivly cooled card just for the quiet :) 


Without a fan on the GPU its very easy to reduce your computers noise.
July 27, 2008 10:22:13 AM

Nvidia fx4600?
July 27, 2008 9:13:44 PM

spathotan said:
Actually....you fail. If you bothered to read hes getting a P45 motherboard. P45 dosent have onboard video. Think.


The OP has yet to make a mobo decision, let alone buy it, let alone install it. He said "proposed". What part of that don't you understand.

I say he gets integrated video if he's looking to save money, Most Intel boards have GeForce 7 class onboard video options.

Don't blame me for your mistake, failboy.
July 27, 2008 9:31:52 PM

bf2gameplaya said:
The OP has yet to make a mobo decision, let alone buy it, let alone install it. He said "proposed". What part of that don't you understand.

I say he gets integrated video if he's looking to save money, Most Intel boards have GeForce 7 class onboard video options.

Don't blame me for your mistake, failboy.


Hes asking for a video card. Not a new motherboard. You helped with nothing. Not to mention a new motherboard will cost more than the type of card he needs. And a Intel motherboard with intergrated graphics will be either a buggy nvidia chipset and/or a MicroATX board. Basically your susgestion wasnt a susgestion at all, it was a burden.
July 29, 2008 8:38:36 PM

Lol, isn't it nice having people fight over what they think you should buy dblacke?
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