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$100 Graphics Card for Photo Editing

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 8, 2012 10:16:25 PM

Hey all: any thoughts on a good graphics card for heavy photo editing?
My workflow is:
-Lightroom 4.1
-Adobe Bridge CS5.1
-Photshop CS5.1

It takes far too long to render Photoshop actions and filters and Lightroom takes too long to load pictures in loupe view. The only way I can really upgrade my workstation right now is to add a graphics card.

I am looking for <$100 with low power requirements (preferably something that uses the mobo power, so I don't have to bring in my own power supply too).

Dell Vostro 460 (was at the company before I got here), i5 3.1ghz, integrated graphics (1760 mb memory), Windows 7, 4gb RAM, 23" Samsung LED monitor 1920x1080
a b U Graphics card
August 8, 2012 10:38:14 PM

Under 100$, hmm...

I would go with the gt 640 for 106$

Kepler cards (nvidia 600 series) are very efficent with power.
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a b U Graphics card
August 8, 2012 10:40:25 PM

For $100, I would go for a radeon 6670, and bump yourself up to 8gb RAM.
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August 8, 2012 11:27:59 PM

For Adobe I'd be tempted to steer towards an Nvidia card as they offer some Cuda acceleration (if you dig around I think most cards can be enabled, don't know what performance a lower end card will offer but every little helps).
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August 8, 2012 11:33:51 PM

For photo editing, the most important thing is the Monitor, not the video card. Displaying an image is not a hard task so any $100 card should be about the same. The deal breaker is the Monitor... that is why some screens, like the DELL UltraSharp 2410 with over 1 Billion colors exists.

EDIT: The "slowness" of Photoshop is caused by your Processor, not the video card.
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August 9, 2012 12:20:30 AM

A new gpu will only accelerate select functions in Bridge & Photshop; Lightroom does not support gpu acceleration.

Most guides for optimizing performance usually point the top items as fast CPU and maximizing RAM. GPU is great only when you use functions that actually take advantage of the acceleration.
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a b U Graphics card
August 9, 2012 12:32:50 AM

Seriously - for serious video editing you need more than a $100 video card. Time is money - get a better computer with a proper video card and save yourself a whole lot of time/money.
-Bruce
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August 15, 2012 4:39:01 PM

Best answer selected by slavenpatrick.
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August 15, 2012 4:55:47 PM

Thanks for all the input! I rummaged around my old cards and found a 1gb 6570 that was a throw-in from Fry's. It improved my rendering time in Lightroom by almost a second per picture (from a little more than 4 seconds to 3). I didn't have my Photoshop processed timed, but it is definitely quicker. When I'm processing thousands of pictures per day, this is a huge bump in effeciency. I'll just hold out now until I can convince my office manager to buy me lots of RAM and a better card!

A Note: Adobe has great information on what a video card can actually do to improve performance on their website. Check there to see if a card will help.
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August 15, 2012 4:57:46 PM

dish_moose said:
Seriously - for serious video editing you need more than a $100 video card. Time is money - get a better computer with a proper video card and save yourself a whole lot of time/money.
-Bruce

Photo editing, not video. Save yourself a whole lot of time/effort by reading the topic ;) 
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a c 273 U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 8:49:37 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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