Budget Nvidia CUDA Card - Will it Help?


I need people's advice on getting a very cheap graphics card vs sticking with the inbuilt graphics on my motherboard.

I'm mainly interested in Nvidia Graphics Card as I remember them being very good at writing good drivers for their cards - but if people think ATI / AMD will be better then let me know.

I've not bought a graphics card in 5 or 6 years. For the last so many years I've been using an Intel MacMini in Windows 7 and been happy enough with that, but it didn't have support for Dual Screens, so I've switched to Desktop PC which I had laying around and not made much use of.

This desktop has an SSD in it for Windows 7, 1GB 5400 RPM Drive for bulk Data, 4GB of RAM and runs quite fast. It's also fairly quiet - a quiet PC is really important to me and one of the reasons I stuck with the MacMini for so long.

I don't play computer games apart from the occasional game of Trackmania Nations and that plays perfectly well on my current PC.

However I use my PC for a lot of online research and have a Dual Monitor Setup, sometimes I use just one monitor and sometimes I use both monitors. Often I'll have TV running in one window - this TV signal comes from either a PCTV USB Card or sometimes from streaming websites such as TV Catchup. Both monitors run in full 1080p

I used to use my MacMini in Mac OSX sometimes for making some movies using iMovies and iDVD and found it worked pretty well.

But by far the thing I do the most is have many webpages opened at once - I can easily have 40 to 60 webpages opened at once. And often multiple browsers - mainly Chrome and FireFox.

I need to have so many webpages opened because I'm cross referencing information on many websites and need to constantly switch back and forth.

My main uses for the PC are

Web browsing (40 to 60 Pages)
Watching MP4 Videos
Photo & Video Conversations / Encoding
Video Editing (Hoping to find a Windows replacement for iMovies)

I've seen some software I use such as DVDSoft makes use of CUDA to do video conversions

I also might start making use of Virtual Machines more with VirtualBox

What I want to know is will a cheap Nvidia Card make much of a difference for my non gaming needs?

I'm looking at the low end of the scale both because of price and also because I see some of the lower end Nvidia Cards are fanless and quiet is important to me.

I see £20 to £35 could buy me some fanless models with 1GB of RAM and CUDA Support such as below:

ASUS GeForce 210 Silent 512MB (1GB TC) DDR3
589MHz Core, 1402MHz Shader, 16 CUDA Cores, DVI, HDMI, VGA, PCIe


ASUS GeForce GT 610 Silent 1GB GDDR3
810MHz Core, 1620MHz Shader, 48 CUDA Cores, DVI, HDMI, VGA, PCIe 2.0,


EVGA GeForce GT 610 1GB GDDR3
810MHz Core, 1620MHz Shader, 48 CUDA Cores, DVI, HDMI, VGA, PCIe 2.0

Would anything like this help in my everyday uses of the PC?
Would webpages display more smoothly, faster? Would it free up resources for the rest of my PC?

Do the number of Cores really matter for my needs?

Desktop Spec Below

Windows 7 Home Premium (x64) Service Pack 1

Board: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. EG41MFT-US2H
Bus Clock: 266 megahertz
BIOS: Award Software International, Inc. F7 11/04/2010

4062 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory

Intel(R) G41 Express Chipset [Display adapter] (2x)
LG M227WDP [Monitor] (21.7"vis, January 2009)

3.20 gigahertz Intel Pentium Dual-Core
64 kilobyte primary memory cache
2048 kilobyte secondary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (2 total)
Not hyper-threaded

INTEL SSDSA2MH160G1GN [Hard drive] (160.04 GB)

WDC WD10EARS-00Y5B1 [Hard drive] (1000.20 GB)
2 answers Last reply
More about budget nvidia cuda card help
  1. It would help, but you might also want to look at cards like the 620.
  2. Sure I see the 620 has more CUDE Cores, how will this help in everyday usage?

    I don't think I've seen any fanless 620 Cards.
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