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Best dual dvi card for non-gamer under $200

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 6, 2011 5:43:57 AM

Greetings and thanks to all who so generously and massively share their wisdom.

I'm doing my second build. Here's the hardware list so far:

GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..." target="_blank">

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..." target="_blank">

PSU: reusing existing Corsair 520W

RAM: probably G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..." target="_blank">

OR

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..." target="_blank">

My strategy was to save $ by using existing case (single fan), PSU and dvd/cd drive (sony dvd rw dru 830a) and use the savings to buy higher end motherboard/cpu to run Win 7 / 64 bit.

Primary use for graphic card:
Dual monitors for MS Office, some light audio and video editing. But 90% of work is business related and web surfing.

No gaming for me!

Goal for graphics card:
1) Under $200
2) Low power consumption
3) Very cool running in 2D
4) Very quiet
5) Dual dvi for 2 Viewsonic LCD flat screens

Have spent dozens of hours (and incurred extensive spousal wrath) staying up late reading the various posts on this and other forums. I am now totally confused because I don't want to waste money on a card with capabilities I'll never use.

Please, please put me out of my misery and restore peace/harmony to my marriage by telling me what to buy. :) 

Thanks so much to any and all who respond!

Best wishes,

The Beanster
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a b U Graphics card
January 6, 2011 3:01:09 PM

You might want to review the non-gaming video card section at this website for a more complete guide and list of suggestions:

http://www.upgradevideocards.com/nongaming.html

At the bottom end, for only $25 after rebate you can get a card that will support all you business needs but will be light on video editing performance and no real gaming and will require and adapter from the HDMI port to run second DVI monitor. But it is excellent brand XFX with double lifetime warranty and that great price:

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

For a little better performance on video editing and the opportunity to do a little light gaming, and a little faster all around performance, I recommend moving up to this ASUS card at $60 after rebate - it also has faster graphics memory and 1 GB instead of the 512 MB in the one above - but still requires an adapter for the second DVI port:

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

Finally my recommendation is that you could consider a still faster card with GDDR5 memory and other improvements that is well under your $200 constraint - at $70 after rebate:

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

Here is a review on the last card:

http://www.guru3d.com/article/his-radeon-hd-5670-iceq-r...

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January 6, 2011 5:59:45 PM

Thanks for all the very helpful replies -- esp. rockyjohns link to non-gaming cards article!!!

One point of clarification regarding dual monitor capability...My understanding is that dual dvi ports are required to achieve this functionality. I had thought about a Matrox card, but for my budget the prices are way too high.

I did look at the cards suggested above and almost all only have 1 DVI port.

Can you run two lcd flat screens off a single dvi port?

Or do I buy 2 of the cheaper single dvi port cards and run one monitor for each?

A second question for me concerns passive (fanless) vs active cooling.

I've read in several posts that for non-gaming cards, passive cooling is best. Is this true?

For example, what is your opinion of this gigabyte fanless card?

GeForce 9600GT 512MB (GV-NX96T512HP)
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a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2011 11:25:11 PM

I strongly recommend the HD 5670 I linked above as a much better card than the 9600 GT you choose.

The HD 5670 has the latest technology supporting video features, including DX11 and others. The 9600 GT is two generation ago technology.

The HD 5670 is a faster card. And the one I selected is designed to be quiet even though it has a fan, as was noted in the review I also linked.
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a b U Graphics card
January 10, 2011 3:14:23 AM

ferretmania said:
Thanks for all the very helpful replies -- esp. rockyjohns link to non-gaming cards article!!!

One point of clarification regarding dual monitor capability...My understanding is that dual dvi ports are required to achieve this functionality. I had thought about a Matrox card, but for my budget the prices are way too high.

I did look at the cards suggested above and almost all only have 1 DVI port.

Can you run two lcd flat screens off a single dvi port?

Or do I buy 2 of the cheaper single dvi port cards and run one monitor for each?

A second question for me concerns passive (fanless) vs active cooling.

I've read in several posts that for non-gaming cards, passive cooling is best. Is this true?

For example, what is your opinion of this gigabyte fanless card?

GeForce 9600GT 512MB (GV-NX96T512HP)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812119274&cm_re=hdmi_to_dvi-_-12-119-274-_-Product" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">

You could run 2 DVI monitors off a video card with no DVI ports, all you need is adapters. No multiple cards needed. I've got a pile of old DVI-VGA adapters because they came with video cards I've purchased, newer cards of late have come with an HDMI-DVI adapter.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812119274&cm_re=hdmi_to_dvi-_-12-119-274-_-Product
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January 16, 2011 3:09:47 AM

Best answer selected by ferretmania.
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October 3, 2012 8:40:25 PM

I am in about the exact same boat as the OP.

Are these recommendations still relevant?

I know that 18 months is an eternity in the GPU world.
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November 1, 2012 4:44:38 AM


Does anyone have any current recommendations for this?

Seems like those cards are now outdated.

Thanks!
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January 12, 2013 10:59:33 AM

seamus517 said:
Does anyone have any current recommendations for this?

Seems like those cards are now outdated.

Thanks!


The EVGA GeForce GT610 is a great value (around $50) and comes with dual-link DVI ports. I run dual widescreen monitors (2 - 23" LEDs) for business, home office, and networking use in a 5-year-old PC and have had no problems.
http://www.evga.com/Products/Product.aspx?pn=02G-P3-261...

The best part is that you can even find it at a local store (Best Buy and Fry's both carry it) for about the same price.

Honestly, this card is overkill for that application, but if you've got $50 to spend on it, and a PCI-e x16 slot to spare, go for it. It's a 2Gb card at a great price for non-gamers.

One last thing, the EVGA card comes in 4 different connector configurations at the same price, so make sure you get the model with 2-DVI connectors, if that is the set-up you are looking to build.
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