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Recommendation For a Graphics Card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 2, 2009 5:12:28 PM

As I am not as knowledgeable on graphics cards I would like to ask the community there recommendation on a graphics card for my computer

Bit of Back ground:
I have a great computer with but it did not come with a graphics card nor does one exist on the motherboard, I installed an aging card for a temporary solution.

Question:
I am now hunting for a graphics card for my computer. Here is a list that I will be using the card for or what would be important to me.

1. Will not be using it for gaming (non-gaming). I am a software developer (so text editing would the most demanding for the card and maybe watching a movie here and there).
2. Need to run the latest graphics (Areo, Xorg, compiz, Kwin this is fine for me).
3. Support for all OS (Microsoft, Linux, Solaris….).
4. Support for a longer period of time than most graphics cards in the industry today (Drivers from the manufacture)
5. Stability in the card (Very important).
6. Low power consumption.
7. Low temperature.

I have narrowed the list to one card and I would like to know are there other alternatives. The card I have picked is Quadro NVS 295

Thank You
Avi
August 2, 2009 7:30:34 PM

call me crazy but if you aren't using CAD or other software that will take advantage of the workstation class graphics cards (i.e. the quadro series) save your money. It's really not an issue of GPU performance, it's about the drivers that enable hardware based openGL acceleration (at least thats what I understand).

I'll think you'll do fine with just a consumer level GPU for what you have specked out. You'll be able to turn on eyecandy and have GPU based video decoding. Nvidia is a must if you are gonna be running linux. Solaris is outside of me however, they do list solaris ia32/x64 drivers on nvidia's download page

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Standard card for HTPC users, low power draw, passive heatsink.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Probally the most base line gamer card, little more horsepower if you want to go crazy with compiz, though more power required and fan based cooling.

If nvidia is still supporting the FX5200 i wouldn't worry about then cutting support for anything in the 9XXX category anytime soon.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
August 2, 2009 8:45:58 PM

Why get a Quadro? Sounds like a purposeful waste of money. Almost any card should work for you. The 9400gt rosenberg suggested is a good choice. The 9600gt definitely isn't, it's a gaming card and massive overkill. The highest you should be looking at is something like an HD4650;

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 3, 2009 3:20:56 AM

Thanks,

The HD 4650 was one card that I thought of along side the NVS 295.

The reason why I decided on the NVS 295 was because of the support for other OS's. It's considered 2d card and you can pick up a new card for for about $100 on ebay. I am not sure it is considered a card for CAD and 3d applications all though it's considered in the family of Quadro. It's also a passive cooled card.

I would also like to thank rosenberg1979 I will look into the card that you suggested. (XFX PVT94GYHH2 GeForce 9400 GT)

Thanks,
Avipan
a c 376 U Graphics card
August 3, 2009 5:05:21 AM

All the Quadro cards are "workstation" cards which means they are intended for CAD. It also means they are massively overpriced. They are actually exactly the same as lower end regular cards but use different drivers and often cost several times more. If you aren't going to use CAD they shouldn't even be considered.
If you definitely want a passively cooled card most low end cards usually have a version that is so it's not something that should be a deciding factor. All of these are passively cooled;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
August 3, 2009 5:28:52 AM

Great!!

I think I will re-evaluate the choice that I have made and consider a low end passive card rather than the choice that I currently have made.

Well back to the drawing board again, but with different parameters.

Thanks,
Avipan
a c 106 U Graphics card
August 3, 2009 4:56:25 PM

A 9500GT would probably be best. It's more than enough to run all the pretty compiz graphic effects and what not. NVIDIA cards are a little bit better off in Linux as far as their drivers. Even though ATI has open sourced drivers those seem to have issues and their closed source drivers are good, but not as stable or easy to work with as the nvidia drivers.
August 3, 2009 5:34:06 PM

For Linux and longevity, AMD (ATI) is the way to go. They have open source drivers so support for graphics cards cannot be just stopped by the manufacturer not wanting to support it any more, as is the case with nVidia's closed source policy. However, if you buy a new card it should be supported for a while anyway, although ATI's closed source driver dropped support for my 2 year old mobility radeon x1600 this spring :(  . Thank God for the open source ones.

EDIT: the closed source drivers are usually better, as megaman said, but for text editing you could even use TTY + vim + screen and you are all set with a _very_ basic video card. Also make sure the video card will support the resolution you want, as well as support for multiscreens (if you have them, well even if you don't, cause it is an almost essential upgrade for a programmer, especially using VMs).
a b U Graphics card
August 4, 2009 1:02:58 PM

You should definitely consider the 4670 for a low power, low heat solution. It is low profile as well if that is a necessity. The 9500GT isn't a bad choice either.
August 5, 2009 1:41:23 AM

Some of the cards mentioned in the thread are cards I have looked at before and I ended up opting for the NVS 295 (so I am glad I am on the right track), I really think I need to take a look at these cards again.

The one mention in the last post (HD 4670) is one that I was seriously looking at along with the HD 4650.

Thanks,
Avipan
!