Running two Samsung 23" LCDs at 2048x1152. Windows XP for now but soon to be either 64-bit Vista, Win7, some derivative of linux, or all three.
I'm not a gamer. I get in the mood once or twice a year and load some ancient game (ancient by the standards of the day) on the machine, play it for a week, and then delete it.
I want the fastest 2D speeds money can buy. Instant screen paints, etc. I want nothing occuring on my displays to be slowed down by the graphics card. I do a lot of work with Google Earth and USGS maps, GPS, etc. And the usual office stuff.
Partially because of its price after rebate, but also because it will handle 3D, if I decide to use it, for the next few years.
But I'm worried about heat. I don't want an oven inside my case.
So what's the fastest 2D card that can drive two displays at 2048x1152, that is cool (quiet, passive heatsink if possible), and yet still has meager 3D performance for a game or two every now and then?
In the realm of 2d, all cards are nearly identical.
Even the lowest of the low end cards will give you the same 2d performance as a top end card.
Take a look at This Passively Cooled 4650 for $57.
It will give you all the 3d performance you need for Google Earth and old games while costing quite a bit less than a GTX 260 and consuming very little power.
If you would like a little higher performance and do not mind some fan noise, take a look at This 4670 for $55 after a $20 MIR or This 4850 for $80 after a $30 MIR.
All of the above cards, and any other card that has two DVI ports, will have no issues running both of your displays.