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Best Video Card for GIS

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Last response: in Graphics Cards
May 1, 2009 9:48:44 PM

I am the GIS Technician for a small town. I'm building a new system, and was wondering if the nVidia 9500 GT (1Gb) would be a suitable card. If not, what would you suggest for GIS/CAD use?

More about : video card gis

May 1, 2009 10:21:34 PM

that's an example of the output of the Sonoma County GIS crew.

in their case they were stitching together aerial photographs & coordinating it with county parcel numbers to come up with a big integrated visual database that was also linked into topological maps.

i think the 9500 would be adequate for that unless you are doing stuff like loading DEM's from the USGS. those can result in HUGE polygon meshes that you need graphics horsepower to do any work with.

i work with similar size meshes & do all right with an ATI 3870. in my case i needed compatibility with Max & Maya, and that was for a system i bought in October 2008.

my rule of thumb is, a graphics card should be out for a year before you consider it for a professional use, because it takes time to sort out driver bugs & your time is worth $$$.

at this point, the ATI 4850 & 4870 have been out for about a year, plenty of time to make the drivers stable.

On the Nvidia side,

9800 GT with 1 GB RAM, $150.

for GIS/CAD use I would suggest a card with any one of those GPU's (4850, 4870, 9800) from EVGA or Asus, if it has mostly good reviews on Newegg.

that is, 256 bit, with at least 512 MB RAM.