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Which card should I buy for photo and video?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 25, 2010 11:23:54 PM

I will do a lot of photo enhancement and video editing work. I do not play game. Which is the best card for me to buy?
I found those high-end card mainly for gaming. If I only do photo and video editing, can I get any advantage from HD4870, 4890, 5850 or 5870 cards? Thanks!

More about : card buy photo video

January 25, 2010 11:43:38 PM

No...
Since u are not gaming at all then just pick a cheap HD 4670, no need additional power from PSU. It will be great for just photo and video.
Photo enhancement and video editing are CPU's job, make sure u have faster cpu. :) 
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January 25, 2010 11:46:18 PM

An HD4670 is still a gaming card and pointlessly overpowered/expensive(unless you do actually want to do some occasional gaming.)
Look for an HD4350. It should be great for your purposes.
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January 25, 2010 11:59:58 PM

jyjjy said:
An HD4670 is still a gaming card and pointlessly overpowered/expensive(unless you do actually want to do some occasional gaming.)
Look for an HD4350. It should be great for your purposes.


^+1
yes, u are right, jyjjy, i suggest him 4670 just in case if someday he want to play... :D 
If he can buy 4870/5850/5870 then 4670 wouldn't hurt him... :) 
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January 26, 2010 12:24:52 AM

Even though I do not do gaming at all, but I want to maximize the performance of photo and video editing.
I plan to buy i7-920, 6 or 12G tri-channel DDR3 memory, 2 SSD with RAID0.
And with this graphic card (4670 or 4350), how much power do I need?
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January 26, 2010 12:27:42 AM

A 300-400W power supply would suffice. E.g. Corsair CX400, Antec EA380
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January 26, 2010 12:28:38 AM

well a more powerful card could be a good thing if he/she wants to do some video editing.

plus a card that can handle HD video is needed for video editing.
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January 26, 2010 12:32:06 AM

Those cards (4670, 4350) could handle HD video just fine. No need for extra graphics muscle if it isn't for gaming.
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January 26, 2010 12:37:42 AM

An HD4350 use VERY little power and should run on any PSU.
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January 26, 2010 1:16:48 AM

george2005 said:
Even though I do not do gaming at all, but I want to maximize the performance of photo and video editing.


What applications are you using?

Anyone who didn't ask that question first shouldn't be taken seriously in regards to this question.

Many NLE programs use OpenGL to accelerate both previews and effects application, as well as some use the GPu to assist with format transform.

Main thing is to find out what the app you use requires for certain effects and what it can take advantage of.

CS4 requires certain features (like VRAM size) to enable some effects, Vegas enables some GPU-accelerated features.

And then the last, but far from least issue, is the quality of the output, where having 10bit DisplayPort and 12bit HDMI 1.3 support is worth considering if you want colour accuracy.

Most important things;

- What apps are you using?
- What monitors will you be connecting to?

For some people it won't matter, but that's like for some people it doesn't matter if they shoot in JPEG or RAW, because they aren't about to truly tweak after the fact and are fine with presets.
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January 26, 2010 2:19:30 AM

For the photo, I mainly use Nikon Capture NX2 and photoshop CS. Most of the time I handle nikon raw images NEF files.

For the video editing, I did not pick a major software yet. Right now, I just use virtualdub, total video converter etc.. I will do a lot of transcoding (decoding and encoding).

Regarding monitor, I have a samsung syncmaster 213T with resultion 1900x1200.
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January 26, 2010 2:21:02 AM

I will handle 1080i videos, and maybe 1080p also.
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January 26, 2010 9:00:30 AM

Well if you're going to be using CS4 then you want a good OpenGL card, and if you're doing a lot transcoding then it's worth getting a card with some horsepower to speed that along in the longrun. For ATi then it's worth getting an HD5670 or HD5750/5770 which is powerful enough for the tasks has alot of features including better multi-monitor output, but use low power; for nVidia it's worth getting at least a GT240 or GTS250, but not really worth going much above that for the power trade-off for now.

For decoding both are fine and it's never been an issue, for encoding though currently nVidia's solution is better than ATi's but also costs you money (although the AMD/ATi one is often said to 'not be worth the time it takes to download), and neither is as good as 3rd part solutions if you're looking for quality and speed, and more of those 3rd party solutions are beginning to take advantage of the processing power of these cards under direct compute and OpenCL. AMD has added a some functionality to their HD5K with the addition of SAD to the ALUs which has the potential to help encoding for motion compensation and to reduce macro-blocking errors. It's not fully exposed yet, but should be is to be intergrated into DiVX where it's currently in software via CPU.

When CS5 comes out it's worth taking another look as Adobe has limited support for some features to even higher end cards like the GTX285, however I wouldn't focus on that until you know the requirements and the full benefits (right now looks more preview oriented) and how the two solutions come down, and by then it might be worth looking at a Fermi solution instead, saving money now to re-invest then.

If you plan on using After Effects, then you will want at least 512MB, and 1GB would be a good idea, especially since you'll be running 64 bit OS, since it can make use of the space.

I would say the HD57xx series gives you a good balance of power and performance, while only using a bit more power than an HD5670 and is not significantly more expensive right now, and saves you money compared to the higher end, which you can then re-invest into something new like in the future when feature changes come about.
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Anonymous
January 26, 2010 9:36:43 AM

Hi Dear
i suggest Geforce 9800 GT that have 1GB Dedicated memory and cau share up to 2 GB .this graphic card also in god for gaming.

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January 26, 2010 12:45:41 PM

My 2 cents:
TheGreatGrapeApe is pretty right on here, he knows what he is talking about, though I think that he does lean a little towards a more powerful card than most really need, his advice is good and you will not be disappointed. Most people will never use the more advanced features that some of these programs are beginning to offer, but it is nice to know you have the hardware that can support them. If your budget is not too restricted, might as well cover the bases.
The 9800GT as posted right above is also a decent solution if you are inclined to go nVidia.
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January 26, 2010 1:10:56 PM

The GF9800GT is nice, but it's a little more power hungry, and I would prefer the GTS250 or even the slightly less powerful GT240, especially since you don't get feature improvements from the 9800GT, you need to more into the GTX260 do get a substantially feature boost, and then the GTX280 to get a support boost.

The 9800GT is capable, but I'd go with a refresh card with lower power consumption for an editing rig.
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January 26, 2010 2:11:50 PM

There are low power 9800GTs. Most sold these days don't even have a power connector.
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January 26, 2010 5:02:26 PM

Oh yeah that's the slightly crippled one (around GF9600GT performance). Yeah it's not bad, but I'd still go with the GT240 simply for the added compute 4.1 support (vs 4.0 on the G92b), but they're about even and either would be ok, however I'd still take and HD5670 or HD5750/5770 over them since they're similarly priced, but it depends on if the OP has a preference. I think long term it's still best to see what's going to happen with regards to app support, but near term those are pretty solid solutions and gives him everything CS4, DiVX and even Win7 have to offer, with none of the limitation of a slightly lower solution.

It's a question of preference, if I'm willing to spend ~$500+ on software I'd want to spend the extra $50 to get the most out of it.
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January 26, 2010 5:36:53 PM

Maybe you should wait until Part 2 of Tom's review of 2D video performance. I am in the market for a new system and need to pick out a card. I do not do gaming. This article is great timing for me. The updated part 1 came out today (Jan 26th) and I am anxiously awaiting Part 2.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/2d-windows-gdi,2539...
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January 26, 2010 7:23:18 PM

Not really worth the wait, so if you want to read part 2, it's already on the Germans site and has been for about a week;

http://www.tomshardware.com/de/wddm-2d-performance,test...

Unfortunately no S3 or Matrox cards to compare to , just the intel GMA series.

Interesting look at these cards all over the map and the XP performance difference.
8800GTS-512 is doing better than the GTX285, but so is the integrated ones often too.
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January 28, 2010 5:45:46 AM

Are you talking about GT240 or GTS240. They are so different.

I checked the video card benchmarks (http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html), seems HDxxxx overall is better than geforce under the same cost. Is it true?

HD5770 128-bit 1GB, HD4870 256-bit 1GB, GTX 260 896M 448-bit are around the same cost. Which one is better in my case?

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January 28, 2010 5:52:56 AM

And one more question, GTS250 512M 256-bit vs HD5750 1GB 128-bit, which one is better in my case.
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January 28, 2010 6:01:04 AM

If you look at what I wrote, I never mentioned the GTS240, because it's a crippled card.

The options that make sense on the nV side are the GTS250 or higher for power or the GT240 for features, the GTS240 has neither.

For the task at hand the HD5770 is a better fit than the GTX260 or HD4870.

And HD5750 > GTS250, but you do need to familiarize yourself with the plug-ins and what works how in which application.

Main thing is if you know a specific reason to get one IHV or the other the you got that route.
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January 28, 2010 6:01:48 AM

^ Those cards you mentioned are for gaming. If you would use them just for photo and video work then you might want to settle with HD 5670 or GT 240 (if you prefer Nvidia) to save resources. Just my opinion though.
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January 28, 2010 6:07:14 AM

Main reason for more power is encoding/transcoding, otherwise as previously mentioned the GT240 and HD5670 are fine.
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January 28, 2010 6:52:45 AM

I want to make a final confirmation before I pull the trigger on 5770.

Other review shows 4870 and 260 beats 5770 in games. But based on what you are saying, 5770 is better in encoding/transcoding. Is that true?

I do like one advantage that 5770 consumes less power than 4870 & 260.
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January 29, 2010 2:50:30 AM

Finally I placed an order of HD 5770. Right now tigerdirect has 15% BCB.
So the final price is 164.99 - 24.75 = 140.24 which is a good price for me!

I will keep working on my MOBO, RAM, PSU, ......

Thanks so much for everyone's help!
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January 29, 2010 3:10:17 AM

Is 600W PSU enough for this video card or even lower?
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January 29, 2010 8:59:06 AM

That is a good price. 600w can easily power an HD5770. It's very power efficient and even a quality 400w PSU should handle it fine.
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January 29, 2010 10:11:25 AM

Yes, it's a very low power consumption card, the PSU should be more than fine.

For what you want to do the 5770>4870, the SPU power is higher and it also has additional support for SAD which is helpful to encoding/transcoding, plus you have improved monitor output. The only think it lacks in comparison is DP math and it's far less important in video than SAD.
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January 29, 2010 4:04:43 PM

Many of nVidia's video cards support nVidia 3D vision. Does ATI's card has similar technology and support 3D display with shutter glasses?
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January 30, 2010 6:35:36 PM

Yes, new and old. They showed multiple models @ CES.
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