Where is the "sweet spot" (performance / price) for graphics cards now? Also, which brands seem to be the most dependable? And, lastly, does anyone have the link to a report that I saw online comparing the sound level of various cards? Thanks.
fastreaction said:Actually I don't think that there is a card that is and cheap and quiet and has excellent performance. The quality of the performance depends on the user. What do you plan to do with it. Playing games on ultra 1920x1080 or just surfing the web and checking emails.
No games ... NOT looking for a high-end, multi-card, gamers card ... my use is mostly Photoshop, Vegas Pro ... video rendering, web surfing ... etc. Primarily I'm looking for quiet and dependable. Price not important ... but want to get as much performance (for above uses) as possible for $$$ spent.
An nvidia 7750 is a nice quiet card, low power, good performance for the price.
If you want to go towards higher-end workstation performance made for the programs you are using, you'd want a Quadro or a FireGL card which have drivers specially made for running 3D rendering in a non-game program. A Quadro 600 card may do well for you http://www.nvidia.com/object/product-quadro-600-us.html
The GTX 570 seems reasonable to me. I cannot justify spending $400 on a GPU, but 200-250 seems to be a decent enough price. This is all personal preference though, the 'sweet spot' is more like how much money can I spend.
Edit: If price is no object then I would definately recommend the GTX 670.
darkoutlaw, he's not gaming if he's going to spend that much money it would be on a quadro card.
TechPowerUp has good charts featuring noise levels. In general, you will see the card that is being reviewed alongside other reference model cards. To see noise levels for particular cards with custom cooling, you have to seek out that actual model, or one close to it in the 'Reviews' section.
Here is their most recent review with the noise levels for various cards: