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Help Select Video Card for new 2500k build....

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January 18, 2011 1:55:16 PM

Hello,
I'm finishing up selecting parts and I'm having a hard time with the GPU/Video Card. I DO NOT play games, mainly light word processing, and a lot of photoshop, +/- starting to do video editing. I'll run two, 22" monitors, but otherwise no other output (no HDMI, no TV out, no SLI). I've read threads and searches for the last two days, but they almost always discuss gaming in relation to GPU/Video Card and not specifically if one doesn't game at all.

Budget around $100-150. and minimum is better.

The low end 450's are going for ~$99, or the 460's are around $170-$200. I'm not sure if the money is worth the upgrade as I don't need the high end gaming stuff.

Any thoughts on a video card? It's all greatly appreciated as I don't know enough to say, "this is the basic and will do just fine :-)"....or for that matter anything else to include in the build?

The rest of my build is:
Motherboard: ASUS p8p67 Pro ATX
Processor: i5-2500k (I'm going to OC slightly)
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
DVD: ASUS Black 24X DVD+R
SSD: OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD3-2VTX120G 3.5" MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
HDD: 2 x Samsung F3 HD103SJ: 1 TB, 7200 RPM HDD (RAID 1)
Case: old
Power: old (CORSAIR|CMPSU-400CX 400W RT)
Heat Sink COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 ? if I need a heat sink
Compound Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
January 18, 2011 2:16:10 PM

Nope, the surprisingly tiny i5 2500k package does come with a cpu cooler. It's 32nm so it uses less power than 45nm/65nm. The cooler can be smaller. However, since you're overclocking, I'd suggest you get a 3rd-party cooler like that 212. I don't know how slightly you mean, but the 2500k has Turbo that does 3.7ghz auto. Personally for a workstation build, I would not overclock at all and turn on Turbo if available, which helps greatly Photoshop & video editing. Stability is #1 concern here.

If you do still want to o/c, swap that AS5 out for ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 which is non-conductive. You can apply it anywhere including the southbridge chip & mosfet heatsinks, which can help o/c a bit.

You don't need RAID IMO. I'd use the 2nd 1TB drive as an external eSATA drive which is as fast as the internal one. Just get a eSATA enclosure or dock if dust is not a concern. You can bring the bare drive to work or storage. If money is no object, I'd build a home server for backup & media streaming & file sharing. Why? Cuz I no longer have to buy DVD/BD ever again. All my stuff is on the server. That's beyond this thread.

Now to your question. Photoshop CS4/5 & 3d effects in video editing do make use of a gaming card. One of my buddies use 9600GT for CS5. It's a breeze to zoom in/out of a photo & move it around. There are also workstation cards designed for this task. Both nVidia & ATi make 'em, but they cost an arm and a leg. Get a HTPC gpu with passive cooling (no fans = no sound).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE Ultimate 100289UL Radeon HD 5670
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a b U Graphics card
January 18, 2011 2:21:51 PM

There are cheaper GTX 460s. Check out the 768 MB models. They're usually around $125-$130. That would be what I'd get. I'd really like to suggest one of nVidia's Quadro cards (their workstation/non-gaming line), but they're a lot more expensive.

On the rest of the build, why are you spending that much on the board? The benfit of the Pro board is that you get extra PCie 2.0 slots, which are only used for additional GPUs. Since you're not gaming, they don't matter. Pick a cheaper board with a single PCIe 2.0 slot, like the Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD3.

Also, the SSD is a good choice, but I don't see the value in SSDs right now. Yes, they make the machine seem like it's running faster, but they're so expensive. I'd leave it out and upgrade the CPU to an i7-2600K. The i7 has hyperthreading, which will greatly increase your performance in Photoshop and the like.

Finally, if you're overclocking, you should get an aftermarket heatsink. The Hyper 212 is a good choice, as is the Scythe Mugen 2 Rev. B. You don't need thermal paste unless you're going for a massive overclock.

EDIT: @sandybridge: ATI/AMD cards are a horrible recommendation for Photoshop. While it's true that discrete GPUs (there is really no such thing as a "gaming" video card, they're all just GPUs. Some just tend to be marketed towards gamers) speed up processing in Photoshop (and other graphics intense programs), ATI/AMD's cards are horrible at being used this way. Using one gives you basically nothing over just using the CPU and onboard video. Get a nVidia card or nothing. The 460 would be amazing, but really, any cheap nVidia card would get by. An ATI/AMD card wouldn't do anything.
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January 18, 2011 3:12:34 PM

....Thank you both! I went with the ASUS MoBo because after reading the review of the p67 boards on Toms Hardware, it was the one that came out ahead. But I agree, I don't need the extra slots, so I'll swap it out with a different model.

Make the second 1tb drive external for portability

I'll still stay with the SSD, as I'm not going to rebuild for some time, and Im going to install the OS from scratch, so I'd rather start off with it, then try to add it on in 8 months.

I'll upgrade to the 2600k with HT

and go with the 460...

Does this sound about right? Any benefit to OC'ing a 2500k instead of buying the 2600k? From what I gathered very few programs use the Hyperthreading?


Thanks again, although I can't help with computers, I'll pay the advice back on two other forums that I use (Medical and Automotive).
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a b U Graphics card
January 18, 2011 3:25:17 PM

Photoshop will make use of hyperthreading. A lot of programs can use hyperthreading. The lack of support for it is really in gaming, which you're not doing.

Don't forget you can also overclock the i7 as well. The i7 is going to be all around more powerful.

I strongly advise against the SSD. To keep a computer running at it's best, you should occasionally completely wipe the OS drive and start from the ground up, from either nothing or a very early backup. I try to do this once a year, but it doesn't always happen that frequently. That's probably a bit much as well. It's a good practice to see what you actually need and it clears out any possible problems you might have missed with regular virus/malware scans and such. It'd be easy to time your first clean out with buying a new SSD to install the OS and programs too.
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January 19, 2011 8:38:10 PM

Thank you both for the great help! I went with the following....

MB ASUS P8P67
HD 1T|SAMSUNG HD103SJ
DVD BRN ASUS | DRW-24B
THERMAL COMPOUND AC|MX-2 R
SSD 120G| OCZ OCZSSD3-2VTX120G
CPU COOLER CM| RR-B10-212P-G1
CPU INTEL|CORE I7 2600K 3.4G 8M
MEM 4Gx2|GSKILL F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
VGA MSI|N 460GTX HAWK GTX 460 R
and a ACER x223x monitor to match the one I have.

You guys are great and I really appreciate your time and thoughts.

I still am going to add on an external HD, but I want to get an enclosure that can read off old HD's as I need to get data off of 4 older ones that are a mix of types.

I'll post again once it is up and running :-)

Thanks again!
Tyson
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January 20, 2011 1:51:10 PM

No problem. Your specs look great. Have fun with your build.
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