Okay, I have read some stuff about workstation graphics cards vs gaming graphics cards. The sense I get is that the workstation graphics cards are only necessary if you plan on doing some serious 3D graphics or AutoCad stuff (stuff I have no interest in doing). What I really want to do is graphic design using programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
The only potential problem (by my interpretation of feedback) I think I could have with using a gaming card for my desired applications (noted above) is that the image clarity and detail may not be as sharp, clear, etc. I have read that workstation cards work to provide sharp, quality images while gaming cards work to provide many FPS and sacrifice image quality in the process.
My questions then are the following:
1. Is there any validity to this concern (regarding poor image quality produced by gaming cards)?
2. If there is a difference in the image quality, how much am I actually going to be able to notice it?
1. Yes, but the video card is not all that is important, just as important is your monitor selection.
2. You will notice it, my god will you notice it.
Gamers tend to buy less expensive monitors, sort of like the best of the cheapest.
Gaming cards indeed are optimized for speed more so than clarity.
It is really a combination of the card, and the monitor, that make a gaming setup not so desirable for workstation applications, even if they are not 3D.
For graphic design work, you need to put the bulk of your money into a high end monitor, and I suggest a less expensive, low to mid-range workstation card that will support the res of the monitor you choose.
In my experience, it is mostly about the monitor with the programs you have listed.
We have 24 inch $400 monitors, and we have a couple of 26 inch $1200 monitors in our office. And let me tell you, there is a HUGE difference in picture crispness and clarity. Huge difference.
Okay, currently I have a Dell 24" UltraSharp, which, from everything I have heard, is fantastic. I also have a GeForce 9800 GTX+. My budget is $200 and under for the graphics card.
So, I want to be able to use this monitor in HD by itself. I also want to have the option of running dual monitors (primary: 24" UltraSharp; secondary: Dell 19" flat panel). My Dell 19" does not have displayport.
Is there a workstation card, within my budget, I can get that will be able to do this.
I have looked at Quadro FX 580 and ATI Firepro v3750. Will either of these have a noticeable enough quality improvement (for running CS4 Design Premium) that I should return my GeForce 9800 and get one of these instead? Will they be able to do HD? Will they support two monitors?
Some things I forgot to add to the last post. Like I said, I have a 24" UltraSharp. Will this produce enough of a quality image that I do not need to worry about switching my GeForce 9800? In your answer to the second question, you said that I would be able to tell the difference. Was that referring to the graphics card or the monitor? Essentially, should I look for another graphics card if I have a good monitor?