My wife is a portrait artist who uses photos to assist with the paintings. Last year we bought a Dell Studio 540 (Q8200 @ 2.3Ghz, 4 GB RAM, Vista 64) with an ATI 3450 (256 MB) and used a 42" LCD monitor to show the images in Photoshop Elements 7. This worked ok for the images, but the text was not good enought to show text. This year we bought a Dell 30" ultrasharp (last year's model) to help with that. We went with Dell to (hopefully) reduce any compatibility issues and resultant finger pointing. We run the thing at max res of 2560 x 1600. It looks great, but occassionaly will it will go pixellated with moderately large pixels. Some times we get a message that the graphics driver died and restarted at which point all is ok, sometimes we have to do a hard reboot. Talking with Dell support they say the monitor is compatible, but we are running at the ragged edge of its capability (and yes, the drivers are up to date). Sounds reasonable to me. However, a Dell software person says that Photoshop elements will not support 2560 x 1600. Sounds bogus to me. So
1. Does anyone have any experience in this area? Is is hardware or application software?
2. Any advice on an upgrade to the graphics card - note that this is a more or less static display, but may be several images on a screen at max resolution. This is not a gaming computer. The card must fit the slim line case (low profile) and I would like to keep it under $200.
The best low-profile card around is the low profile version of the Radeon HD 5770. Since your on PS however I would recommend this as your current card is a little on the underwhelming side, if your going for even more budget go for a low-profile 5450.