Do I even need a graphics card for this?

Hi folks,
I have nearly settled on my build. I don't game, I will mainly be using it for work, i.e. engineering programs such as Matlab, MatchCad. I will be using Visual Studio and also a lot of report writing. I would like to be able to watch movies in high quality. Do I need to add a card? The proposed build is

Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 LGA775 'Wolfdale' 2.80GHz (1066FSB)
Asus P5Q Pro Intel P45 (Socket 775)
Kingston HyperX 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 PC2-6400C5 800MHz
Western Digital Caviar Green 640GB SATA-II 16MB Cache
Samsung SH-S223F/BEBE 22x DVD±RW SATA Dual Layer ReWriter
Corsair VX 450W ATX Power Supply
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-Bit
Antec 300 Three Hundred Ultimate Gaming Case

I currently use my fathers PC which is a HP and consists of

Core 2 Duo E6550 2.33GHz 1333MHz FSB
2GB RAM PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM
Windows Vista Home Premium 32-Bit
ASUS Mobo IPIBL-LA
GeForce 8400GS 256 MB DDR memory
16X DVD(+/-)R/RW 12X RAM (+/-)R DL LightScribe SATA drive
320 GB SATA 3G (3.0 Gb/sec) 7200 rpm

How do you think the performance of my build will differ from the above? Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the great help offered so readily here. :D
16 answers Last reply
More about graphics card this
  1. You do need a gfx card since youe motherboard doesnt have any onboard gfx chipset.

    But you do not need an expensive 3d gfx card .

    Something very basic will do the job
  2. Anything really but if you want something that doesn't suck worse than onboard video a 4670 for $60 will be more than sufficent.
  3. This $28 HD 3450 card should do the trick. It even has HD support.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121302
  4. MykC said:
    Anything really but if you want something that doesn't suck worse than onboard video a 4670 for $60 will be more than sufficent.


    @OP:
    That $60 card is 8 times faster than my $28 card, so I guess it's better bang for the buck, if you do play games from time to time. It also has two DVI outputs - may be useful if you want a dual-monitor setup. I find that having two monitors increases my productivity a lot, btw.
  5. The performance of your build would pretty much match the HP a6177c , but you will need to use a graphic card unless you change your motherboard to a different model. You could go with a G41/43/45 or get a budget graphic card.
  6. aevm said:
    @OP:
    That $60 card is 8 times faster than my $28 card, so I guess it's better bang for the buck, if you do play games from time to time. It also has two DVI outputs - may be useful if you want a dual-monitor setup. I find that having two monitors increases my productivity a lot, btw.



    not relevant ... but i found having two monitors halved my productivity . I spent 4 hours a day wondering which one to look at
  7. LOL, sorry to hear that... In my case it works well - compiler on one monitor and compiled application on the other. I suppose it works better for some jobs than others.
  8. You could go with an AMD Phenom II X4 and 790GX board for $260 - $10MIR. It has onboard ATI Radeon HD 3300. Those engineering programs might benefit from the extra cores.
  9. bmuell said:
    You could go with an AMD Phenom II X4 and 790GX board for $260 - $10MIR. It has onboard ATI Radeon HD 3300. Those engineering programs might benefit from the extra cores.


    I've used matlab quite a bit, and if it's even possible to write multi-threaded code in matlab, I've never met another engineer who has done it. Depending the particular way you are abusing matlab, I would look for either clock speed or system memory to speed it up. I haven't used mathcad much, but I would assume the same for it.
  10. Ah well I'm not an expert on the subject. It's still a good deal, though.
  11. Thanks for the input guys. I will be buying from overclockers.co.uk so unfortunately newegg is out for me. Do you think my build would only match the HP I mentioned? I was hoping for some sort of jump in performance. :(
  12. The E7400 will outperform the E6550, but not by a huge margin. A E8400 would be worth the extra money. If budget is a factor then you might go with the G45 series of motherboards.
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/search_results.php?sortby=&groupid=701&search=G45
  13. what is the difference between a P45 and say a, P43 motherboard. Asus P5Q Pro P45 and Asus P5QL Pro P43?
  14. not much

    the difference is not really about performance but about things like how many pci-e x 16 slot there are, and how many USB ports
  15. As someone has previously mentioned, I would go for a HD 4670. This is a very solid entry level card which will offer huge performance increase over any IGP and it's not too expensive. Even if it's not you first concern, you can even do some gaming with this card.
  16. Thanks guys. I will robably get a card after all. I would like to play EA Rugby, it's old so shouldn't be a strain. Can you think of any ways to reduce the cost of the system without much of a performance drop?I'm in Ireland so can't go with Newegg. Will be overclockers.co.uk :)
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