Advice on non-gaming graphics

I am a mathematician/computer programmer working at an engineering firm and I recently built a computer for work and media with the parts listed below. I've been using the onboard graphics which are fine but I do want to get a discrete graphics card - I've only put off the purchase to this point because I've been unable to pick one. I'm looking for input as to which card I should get and how much quality/performance I can reasonably expect to get out of a discrete graphics card based on my computer usage.

Also, I've already purchased and assembled the computer detailed below, so while comments are welcome I cannot change any of the components.

BUDGET RANGE: Preferably around $100 but up to $200
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Programming (java, matlab, visual basic C++, LaTeX, etc), FEA/CAD, video editing, general media, and of course general office tasks like word processing and web browsing.

Intel Core i5 2500K
G.Skill Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 1600
OCZ Agility 3 60GB SSD
2 * Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB HDD (RAID1)
Corsair Professional Series 650W Modular PSU
Zalman Z9 Mid Tower Case
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit/Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I use a Vizio 22" LCDFHDTV (model VA22L) with 1920x1080 resolution
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I don't care at all about gaming.
6 answers Last reply
More about advice gaming graphics
  1. Then you should get a workstation graphic card? I saw you in a previous thread I was in haha. Seeing how your budget is $100-200, your only decent choices are Quadro 580/600. I would go for the 600 because it has Directx11 and 3D;

    PNY nVidia Quadro PCI-Express Video Card VCQ600-PB $165

    I do suggest getting a discrete "gaming" graphic card isntead. Don't think there's much performance from the workstation graphic card until you reach the higher end which translate to $$$$. I would probably just get the GTX 460 for $125 after MIR or 560 ti for $200-225 after MIR.
  2. wintermint said:
    Then you should get a workstation graphic card?

    I guess I need to do my research a little better...not familiar with 'workstation' cards.

    I've been seeing you around in a few threads recently, too. Thanks for the input.
  3. I think that you will be kind of disappointed with the results of a discrete graphics card.

    The THG regular monthly feature "Best Graphics Cards for the Money":,2964.html
    Down at the bottom of the first page says:
    "Some Notes About Our Recommendations

    A few simple guidelines to keep in mind when reading this list:

    This list is for gamers who want to get the most for their money. If you don’t play games, then the cards on this list are more expensive than what you really need. We've added a reference page at the end of the column covering integrated graphics processors, which is likely more apropos."

    The one thing that might be useful is to use an inexpensive video card to accelerate Win7 special effects.
  4. jsc said:
    The one thing that might be useful is to use an inexpensive video card to accelerate Win7 special effects.

    How inexpensive? Any suggestions?
  5. I suggest the cheapest Eyefinity capable AMD video card. Likely a 5570. It should say something about eyefinity and it will have a display port. (DP) If you get one of these, then you can run 3 monitors off of a single card. Why would you want to do this? You can have your original pic, or the requirements list on one monitor, your work on another, with your tools on the third along with your email client, etc. Or if you are coding you can have your code on one, while you look at example code on a second, with misc stuff on the third. Once you use 3 screens, you'll never want to go back. Should be less then $75.
  6. Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I found a good deal on a 5670 and just couldn't pass up the idea of a three monitors in the future. I love my dual monitor setup at work but with three I could die happy.
Ask a new question

Read More

Graphics Cards Computer Graphics