I'm considering this card for my new build. I'm not much of a PC gamer (more of an xbox guy) but I do get on Steam occasionally. You'll never see me playing Call of Duty on this machine but I might get into something like Civ V. What I do use my graphics card for is Photoshop/Illustrator, some video editing and not much more.
My new build looks like this
2500k i5 Sandybridge (incoming)
motherboard pending reviews
8GB RAM (2x4)
650 watt Corsair power supply (52A on 12V))
Rosewill challenger case
The rest seems irrelevant I suppose. I would guess that not having a motherboard picked out could be a problem but I'm going to take a shot in the dark and say I won't have any trouble getting this in there
Thoughts? If anything else is recommended, keep it under $150 since this really isn't where I want to be plugging a lot of my money.
yeah that gpu would be decent for that build if you are not a big gamer but I would personally do you system a little more justice and at least get a gtx 460 768mb, and if you can stretch to 150, you can probably get a 6850, its just that your cpu is going to be darn nice so it would kind of be a shame to put anything less than a 6850/gtx 460 in it imo... Civ V is more cpu dependent but you never know if you might take on some other games with the incredible graphical power the 2500k and a good gpu can produce... my 2 cents
I think you're better off staying with an Nvidia card. Civ5 runs better on those then the AMD cards. You also mentioned running PS and doing video editing, so there is a chance that your programs can make use of CUDA. What I don't know is if the CUDA abilities of the 550 are worth the ~$50 over the 450. For gaming it is, but as you said this isn't a gaming machine. Take a look around and see if you can find some CUDA PS reviews between the GTS450 and 550Ti.
i agree with the gtx460, will be much better particularly for 1080p resolution (not sure what monitor you plan to use). You could also go a lower watt, but better quality PSU. Rosewll are pretty average in quality, you only really need a 500w antec or seasonic, they will have all the power you need for your setup and are of better quality.