Mid-range Graphics Card

Hi everyone,

I'm working on a new build and now looking at graphics cards. I'm looking for some suggestions for a good mid-range graphics card. I'm not going to be doing any heavy gaming on it, mostly programming and video editing. Don't want to spend a lot of money, but don't want a cheap one either. Here are the specs of my build so far.

- ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 Motherboard
- Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz LGA 1155 Quad-Core
- CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600
- Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive
- WD Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

What are the advantages of the different PCI interfaces and how it will perform? What's the better chip manufacture? Any recommendations would be great. Thinking around the $200 range but let me know if I'm off base.
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  1. Hi

    The PCI standard nowadays is PCI-E as it provides the most bandwidth, any modern motherboard and graphics card will be PCI-E (PCi -E 3.0 is the newest version, though its not really needed with today's graphics cards)

    For your budget you could opt for a GTX560Ti, it supports CUDA so if the programs you use also support CUDA your graphics card could help with computational work, Though it really is overkill if you don't intend on gaming.

    EDIT: you didn't mention your power supply, so if you do decide to go for a GTX560Ti make sure you have a quality 500W or greater power supply.
  2. The motherboard I'm looking at has 2 PCI-E 3.0 slots so I should be good to go for any graphics cards so that's good to know I have options.

    I haven't selected a power supply yet. I figure the type of video card I get would help determine what PSU I need so I figure that's the last to select.

    I'll take a look at the GTX560Ti. When I do a search for it, I get a ton of options from manufactures. What manufacture would you recommend I look at (EVGA, MSI, ASUS)?
  3. rancineb said:
    The motherboard I'm looking at has 2 PCI-E 3.0 slots so I should be good to go for any graphics cards so that's good to know I have options.

    I haven't selected a power supply yet. I figure the type of video card I get would help determine what PSU I need so I figure that's the last to select.

    I'll take a look at the GTX560Ti. When I do a search for it, I get a ton of options from manufactures. What manufacture would you recommend I look at (EVGA, MSI, ASUS)?

    The differences in manufactures (or AIB's) include:

    Warranty length, T&C's
    Cooler (Heatsink and fan) design
    Included accessories
    Factory overclocks/stock
    Price
    Custom PCB (rare)

    I may have missed one or two things but as you can see there are quite a few things that you may need to consider. What I would do is decide what is important to me to narrow down the list of possible choices, then read reviews on the graphics cards left.
  4. Thanks for the info. I'll do some research and see what I can find. I was wondering if there was an overall opinion that one manufacture was better then another. I'm looking for reliability and performance. Don't plan on doing any overclocking. I'll look around, but let me know if you have any opinions on 1 manufacture to another.
  5. rancineb said:
    Thanks for the info. I'll do some research and see what I can find. I was wondering if there was an overall opinion that one manufacture was better then another. I'm looking for reliability and performance. Don't plan on doing any overclocking. I'll look around, but let me know if you have any opinions on 1 manufacture to another.


    To be honest most manufactures don't actually manufacture anything, most just get the graphics cards from AMD/nVidia and put a shiny sticker on the graphics card, though there are some occasions where AIB's will change the PCB, but like I said that's rare.

    Most people will have a preferred and/or avoided brand(s), I would say that just because someone else has a positive or negative experience with a particular brand doesn't mean you'll have the same experience so I wouldn't worry about the brand name too much, I would instead base my purchase on the things I listed before and reviews.
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