Hey all: any thoughts on a good graphics card for heavy photo editing?
My workflow is:
-Adobe Bridge 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
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).
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.
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.