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Will upgrading to a dedicated card help a non-gamer?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 21, 2008 3:34:28 AM

I have an Inspiron 530 slim tower running vista with 2GB RAM and an Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 processor (2.53 GHz), and was thinking of upgrading the graphics card from integrated to dedicated. Im not really a gamer, but I do work in photoshop a lot, and I have heard vista uses the gpu some (dont know how much). Would getting a dedicated card (even a low end one) benefit me any?

Aditionally, if I were to buy a dedicated card, it would need to be both low profile and low power (under 250w), as well as under $100 (I'm on a budget). So far I havent had any luck finding such a card because the wattage needed is almost never listed.
November 21, 2008 5:50:47 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

any of those cards are in your price range and they are all decent.
In addition, all low profile card only require power from pci-e which is a maximum of 75 watts. Assuming that you computer is an average computer 150watts (1hd, 1cdrom,etc) which it should because it is a slim tower, then your computer would only draw the total of 225.
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November 21, 2008 6:44:29 AM

magicbullet said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

any of those cards are in your price range and they are all decent.
In addition, all low profile card only require power from pci-e which is a maximum of 75 watts. Assuming that you computer is an average computer 150watts (1hd, 1cdrom,etc) which it should because it is a slim tower, then your computer would only draw the total of 225.


I notce these are all Radeon. Would nvidia also work?

I am confused. If pci-e has a max of 75 watts, why is there so much concern over the wattage needs of low prof. cards? There is a review post on newegg for a low-prof. card saying the card required 450 watts
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
How can a pci-e card require 450 watts if a pci-e bay can only put of 75?
a b U Graphics card
November 21, 2008 6:53:24 AM

The reason it shows a higher wattage, is because it needs another power connection (ie 6-pin, or Molex). However just look for one that does not require added power. The one I linked does not need an added power connection. However a 350W power supply is needed (which your PC has). The ATI cards are stomping nVidia in the low power/low profile/low price points categories, so you will see better performance from them (as well as much cheaper).
November 21, 2008 6:55:14 AM

Well, because that 450W requirement is not only for the video card, but something along the whole systems total power consumption.

If the video card needs more power, you will need a 4 pin molex to 6 pin video card adapter. Sometimes, high power video cards have it in their packaging.

And decent high powered PSUs should also have it natively as well.

Some people mention at least 450W because some unscrupolous PSU makers just intentionally jack up their "ratings" so that it would impress customers never knowing it's more than just total wattage power.

As for improvement in Photoshop, yes it will have improve response times especially on huge picture sizes. Unless it's a 780G/HD3200.
November 21, 2008 6:58:28 AM

I don't buy things on the basis of rebate.
A card in the slot will be better most often.
a b U Graphics card
November 21, 2008 7:37:40 AM

And I say again MORE RAM is better than a new GFX card (usually is the first thing I upgrade is the RAM). So I would worry first about buying more RAM, and then the new Vid card.
November 21, 2008 5:53:49 PM

IH8U said:
The reason it shows a higher wattage, is because it needs another power connection (ie 6-pin, or Molex). However just look for one that does not require added power. The one I linked does not need an added power connection. However a 350W power supply is needed (which your PC has).


Acording to my computer specs it only has a 250w power supply, not 350.

Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but how do I tell from looking at a gpu's spec sheet if it will need added power?


I have read just about everywhere that 2GB is plenty for Vista, and not to get more unless the computer is using up the 2GB it has. I haven't done a lot of testing on the 530s yet, but on my vista lappy (with 2GB ram) its the cpu that maxes out long before the ram is even close. The cpu on the lappy is an AMD TL-58 (1.9 MHz). I dont know how that cpu compares to the e7200.
a c 179 U Graphics card
November 21, 2008 6:08:58 PM

If you`re doing a fair bit of work with Photoshop under Vista you`ll get more use of of more RAM than a dedicated graphics card, Vista will only use graphics for the Aero interface although I`m not sure if your version of Photoshop can use Nvidias streaming tech for extra speed. Any Photoshop users out there want to comment?
And the spec sheet will state if the card will usuelly state if it uses extra connectors (another hint is the box contents).
November 22, 2008 3:56:07 AM

2GBs is more than enough for your system even under photoshop. the difference between 2 to 4 is about 10% which to me = useless.

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

^nvidia card that will work on your system. However, I would recommend Radeon for now.
as far as your computer goes, you dont need new ram nor new PSU.
as i said earlier, average computer require no more than 150watts under full load and plus 75 watts for the PCI-e, therefore, average computer with videocard only require 225. your computer has 250 watts PSU, so your computer only need 90% of total of your PSU which is ok.

PS: I define average computer as follow: 1 HD, 1 CD-rom, 20/ 24 pins mother board, 1CPU, etc.

I love AMD; however, TL58 are nothing compare to e7200. In addition, the TL will cut down to 1Ghz if you lappy are not connect to a power outlet in order to conserve power.
November 22, 2008 9:03:16 AM

Thank you everyone for your replies. I guess I will just save my money for now if a new GPU wont be doing anything spectacular to photoshop or vista in general.

magicbullet, I am curious why you prefer AMD over Intel? Its not something I have ever researched, so I would love to hear your opinions on the subject. I chose intel mainly because I was shopping outlet and the intel CPUs were much more availale.
November 22, 2008 1:01:34 PM

Photoshop will eat 2gb for a snack, get 4gb
!