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Best Video Card for non-gamer

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November 9, 2010 7:17:10 PM

I am building a new system and want to include the best video card for HD video and HD audio, as well as GPU acceleration for video encoding and other programs that can utilize gpu acceleration.

I've considered:
nVidia GTS 450
nVidia GTX 460
ATI 5770

Price isn't really an issue, I'm happy to spend $100 to $200 for a good card, but I have no idea what the real benefit i'll derive from any of these or another. I suppose there's an off chance I'll start playing Starcraft 2 and FIFA 2011 if my brother convinces me to start gaming again, but I primarily enjoy watching HD content and encoding my blurays for my portable devices.

If not any of these three, which one?

Audio out of HDMI is kind of a must.

**And if one of these cards is preferred, how much does speed and memory size matter (i know, i know, it always matters, I'm just saying, for my purposes...)

More about : video card gamer

a c 199 U Graphics card
November 9, 2010 7:32:31 PM

Since you want GPU acceleration, the GTX460 is probably your best bet today. Depending on what software you use, it is always possible that an OpenCL version will be released that will let ATi cards offer acceleration too, but for now nVidia remains the way to go for CUDA.
Memory size depends on your resolution. Up to 1920x1080 shouldn't matter much, although the 1GB version of the GTX460 has a wider memory path too.
Check benchmarks. It's easy to recommend the top performer, but it may be overkill. The difference between taking a breath or two and getting up for a glass of soda may seem huge, but would it really matter to you? And, if you do decide to play games, does every setting have to be maxed, or will lowering some detail or not using AA actually spoil your enjoyment? By all means get whatever you can afford that you think you'll like, but think before you spend, especially in this economy.
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November 9, 2010 7:33:19 PM

Quote:
All of them are total overkill for watching hd videos.Encoding speed depends upon your cpu speed.I would suggest 5770 or 5750.Ati has avio video convertor which uses Ati stream technology to speed up video encoding.If you are not gaming v-ram size doesn't matter.



remember that he will go back on games.. so i still recommend 5830
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a c 199 U Graphics card
November 9, 2010 7:35:53 PM

If your encoding app(s) can use ATi Stream (few can, that I know of), then you may find a HD5570 enough. It will probably only let you dabble in games at lower settings, but if that isn't important, its HD performance is certainly sufficient (AMD IGPs can handle 1080p video).

Edit: He "may" play games. It isn't a foregone conclusion, and the thread title says "non-gamer." The HD5830 wastes too much power (and may be too loud) even at idle for video use. If gaming become more important, a cheap HD5570 isn't too regrettable to have to replace.
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November 9, 2010 7:37:21 PM

It's wrong of me to say i'll never game, i've got alot of friends who do, I just happen to do alot of more work. Rendering in Photoshop, and encoding video will be what this computer does 90% of the time. Size, power consumption and heat are all BIG issues. Why buy a card that will just suck power and heat everything up? IS there a card that maybe takes a hit on performance but is a consensus winner for efficiency, heat, and still offers performance for incidental gaming?

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November 9, 2010 7:40:39 PM

mattchid said:
It's wrong of me to say i'll never game, i've got alot of friends who do, I just happen to do alot of more work. Rendering in Photoshop, and encoding video will be what this computer does 90% of the time. Size, power consumption and heat are all BIG issues. Why buy a card that will just suck power and heat everything up? IS there a card that maybe takes a hit on performance but is a consensus winner for efficiency, heat, and still offers performance for incidental gaming?




like i said for heat and power only ati.. and 5830 can handle games pretty good..
gtx 2XX or 4XX will warm your room up if you want to and than you need power plant next to it
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a c 199 U Graphics card
November 9, 2010 7:44:54 PM

The HD5830 has TWO power connectors, one of them an 8-pin. _Orbital_, your assertion that this card is efficient and runs cool is sufficiently insane that I am certain you are thinking of another card, perhaps the HD5670 (which would be another great choice, as it doesn't even need a power connector).
Since size, power consumption, and heat are big issues, take a look at that HD5670. There are passively cooled versions of it.
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November 9, 2010 7:54:55 PM

So the tenor of these comments is ditch the more expensive cards and consider smaller for efficency. I also see ATI getting the most suggestions here.

The two cards that seem like logical replacements for the three I started with are:
EVGA GeForce 9500 GT 01G-P3-N959-TR
XFX HD-567X-ZNF3 Radeon HD 5670 1GB 128-bit DDR5

At the end of the day performance is the name of the game, I want to eek out as much performance from this machine as I can for day to day work.
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a c 199 U Graphics card
November 9, 2010 8:01:19 PM

If your programs can use ATi Stream, the HD5670 will be better. When it comes to games, the 9500GT is marginal at best. If your apps use CUDA, the weakest you'd want to consider is a GT240, although there are low-power versions of the 9600GT and 9800GT available.
For cool and power-efficient though, it's hard to beat a HD5670. If I did not already have a stronger card for my games, I'd buy one just to mess around with it (I still might :) ).
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a c 365 U Graphics card
November 9, 2010 9:03:15 PM

_orbital_ said:
5830 it has everything what you want.. great speed gread card low power, low heating..
i would go for 5830.. like this for example..-> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

you won't go wrong with that card


Dude, that card is not exactly "low power". It uses more power than higher the performing HD 5850 due to increased clockspeeds and maybe a little more voltage.



Source: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/xfx-rade...

Of course, if you think anything using less than 150w of power is considered low power...
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a c 199 U Graphics card
November 9, 2010 9:30:13 PM

There's a a couple of passively cooled HD5750s too, in fact one has slightly reduced clocks and does not need a power connector.
Personally I would not get that one. I wouldn't want to be that close to the power limit of the PCIE buss, especially if I was even tempted to overclock it.
Passively cooled does not mean no airflow though; there does have to be flow through your case. Often that can be provided by relatively quiet 120mm (or larger) fans.
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November 9, 2010 11:53:22 PM

5770 it is.. ;]
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November 9, 2010 11:55:45 PM

yea orbital you are wrong in saying that the 5830 is highly cool and efficient, its actually the worst 5000 series card in comes to efficiency/performance. It's also huge. Not a good buy AT ALL.

go with a 5750 op you won't regret it.
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November 20, 2010 2:43:31 AM

Best answer selected by mattchid.
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a c 273 U Graphics card
November 20, 2010 3:44:57 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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