I'm building a new computer and I'm wondering which video card to buy. The CPU is an Athlon 2800 XP+ and the board supports AGP 2.0 and 3.0.
I don't do any 3D gaming -- my graphics uses are 2D graphic arts (web, digital photo editing, some large scans) and possibly some video editing. I also want smooth, crisp DVD playback.
I run Linux (for graphics, mainly FC2) and primarily use the GIMP.
Budget is an important factor. So far I have narrowed it down to a 2x/4x AGP card, but I am wondering whether I will feel any difference between 16MB and 32MB (64MB?) of memory for my uses. Is it primarily for 3D gaming refresh rates or will more memory significantly affect performance when working with large jpgs?
As a reference, my current production machine is a PIII-550 with an AGP 1x card (ATI Mach 64 Rage II Pro) with 4MB of memory. I recently tried working with a couple of 8.5x11 1200 dpi scans open simultaneously in the GIMP and it was like the system was stuck in quicksand.
I have been considering a Matrox card as they seem to have a good rep for 2D performance and support under Linux.
What about the G400 as opposed to the G450/550s? They seem pretty similar by comparison. The 450/550s have slightly better refresh rates at high resolutions (and somewhat higher resolutions overall). Any other significant diffs?
The 400 was made in non-retail versions with 16MBs rather than 32MBs. If there is unlikely to be improved performance with 64MB vs 32MB what about 32MB vs 16MB? The price difference seems to be about 25%-33%.