Hello, I currently have the geForce 8400 GS, but I really need to upgrade and want a nice graphic card that is well reviewed, supports a dual monitor setup and is compatible with my motherboard and system. I use my two monitors for programming and web design and also I just like to have two different things going a the same time one each monitor to better multi-task. I don't play hardly any video games on my computer and if I do they don't require any special graphic capabilities. My card is currently running pretty hot and seems to be going bad, I won't even recognize the second monitor anymore. My main concern is compatibility, I don't know much about computers from the hardware side of things I'm much more into web design and internet marketing/SEO. I want to make sure I get a quality card within y budget range of $100-125. Here are my computer specs so you can be sure the card you think would be best for me will work fine with my setup.
CPU: (Quad-Core)Intel® Core™ 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.4GHz 1066FSB 8MB L2 Cache 64-bit
MOTHERBOARD: (Quad-Core FSB1333) Asus P5N-E nForce 650i SLI Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard
HDD: Single Hard Drive (160GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 8MB Cache 7200RPM HDD.
HDD2: 400GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM Hard Drive
MEMORY:2GB DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory Corsair XMS2 Xtreme Memory w/ Heat Spreader
POWERSUPPLY: 600 Watts Power Supplies (CoolerMaster Unit 600 Watts eXtreme Power - SLI Support
VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS 256MB 16X PCI Express
OS: Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium (64-bit Edition
My questions and concerns are really about my motherboard and the SLI feature. I have no interest in it. I just want 1 graphic card with 2 DVI outputs or one DVI and one of the standard monitor output. I dont need HD or a HDMI output. I have looked around and read some reviews of some cards that are in my price range and got good reviews but I don't know which ones are compatible and would work best with my chipset. I looked at the radeon 4850 and heard good things but I'm not sure if my computer supports just PCI Exress or if it supports PCI Express 2.0 cards? Also wondered if the SLI and the crossfire would create some sort of conflicts. I like the 4850 (512mb maybe the 1gb if the price is under $130) I also looked at the 8800 gt and 9400 GT, 9800 GT and a bunch of others, just getting more frustrated and confused. Anyone out there with a good handle on this situation give me a recommendation on whats a few good choices for me? My card now is running really hot and I think its causing problems, I want to get it out of there and get a new one in. I just want one that runs at a pretty cool temp, handles dual monitors well and wont have any conflicts with my motherboard or whatever other aspects it could conflict with. I'm so tired I can't think straight anymore, its now 5:30 in the morning and I have to get up in about 4 1/2 hours. Any advice or specific video card recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for being so long winded, just wanted to make sure I got all the info out there so all the people in this forum much smarter could point me to the write graphics card.
To be dead honest, any graphics card that has the outputs you need to hook up both monitors. The programs you list would even run with no problems on integrated graphics. I know this for my IT guy at work does Visual Basic all day on dual 24" monitors hooked up to a Toshiba laptop running an Intel GPU. All you need to spend is no more than $50 to run dual monitors.