Compatible graphics card for non gamer

Can anyone recommend a graphics card for a builder who wants compatability above all else? I use my PC mostly for office applications and (relatively) high-end Photoshop use; I often edit image files close to 1/2 gig in size, and need excellent color fidelity. I'm not a gamer.

It's been a couple of years since I built my own PC. I'm leaning toward a Socket 478 system and an Intel mboard, because I want everything to run right away with few or no installation hitches, and for Win XP to install with no complaints. But I'm clueless about what kind of graphics board this non-gamer needs.

A couple of years ago, I heard that Matrox boards are good for a user like me. Other suggestions?

The motherboard I'm thinking of getting supports AGP 4 and 8. Would the difference between 4 and 8 be more important for a gaming application?
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  1. well, 1st thing - All systems can be built on the fly now. Weather its an Intel 478 or 775 or AMD. Its the software industry that has to worry about the compatibility issues, not the harwdare industry. So you can go for the latest intel 775 or AMD systems. There will be no installation glitches provided that you assemble the computer right. WinXP will not complain about anything. Also if you get the latest, your system will last longer w.r.t tech aging.

    As for the graphics card, matrox has been out of the race for long. You will have to choose between Nvidia or Ati. It all depends on how much you are willing to spend. For both, you should go through the graphic card buyer guide. Narrow down your choices by searching for price online and then post your last few options here. We can then help. Difference between 4x and 8x is not that much practically, but then again most cards today are 8x, so no point talking of 4x unless you wanto go in for some old card to save money.

    <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/priyajeet/Finger.jpg" target="_new"> :tongue: <i><font color=red>Very funny, Scotty.</font color=red><font color=blue> Now beam down my clothes.</font color=blue></i> :tongue: </A>
  2. Thanks for writing. I spent some time digging around on the nvidia and ati web sites. I'm now using a quadro2 ex that came with the system, and am happy with it. Maybe a Quadro 4 380 will work for me.

    Trying to figure out the difference between the different radeon and nvidia products is pretty confusing, even after visiting their web sites. There's Quadro, geForce, Quadro ... it goes on and on!
  3. Dont get a quadro for what you do!!!
    I'd suggest something in the line of a radeon 9550 or a ti-4200.
    Color fidelity depend more on the screen than the graphic card.

    Click <font color=blue><A HREF="http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/you.html" target="_new">HERE</A></font color=blue> if you real<b>l</b>y are an <font color=red>idiot</font color=red>.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by coylter on 10/03/04 10:35 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  4. you know who uses quadro ?
    AutoCad designers, pixar, 3d studio designers, movies makers.

    Y do u need that expensive piece of $hit for office work ? You dont even plan to do gaming.

    :tongue: <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/priyajeet/Finger.jpg" target="_new"><i><font color=red>Very funny, Scotty.</font color=red><font color=blue> Now beam down my clothes.</font color=blue></i></A> :tongue:
  5. If your happy with your current card, and don't play games, why upgrade?

    Anyways for lower end stuff, my personal favorites are the TI series from Nvidia, TI- 4200, 4400, 4600, all are very good cards, and cheap, and are even very capable in most games even.

    In all the tests I have run, the system is always faster with a fast video card in it, vs. just a cheap one. However this is mostly a difference that is measureably, more than noticeable.

    Really if you aren't gaming, just about any card will work. I would choose one of those TI cards I mentioned above, instead of anything below, a 9600XT. (In otherwords, those are good choices, but still probably overkill for you.)

    You could realistically use a $25 GeForce2 64 MB AGP, from a local computer store for office tasks. But this goes back to my original question : "If your happy with your current card, and don't play games, why upgrade?"

    My Desktop: <A HREF="http://Mr5oh.tripod.com/pc.html" target="_new">http://Mr5oh.tripod.com/pc.html</A>
  6. Thanks to everyone who wrote.

    I'm going to leave the current system alone as a back-up. I'll need a new graphics card for the new system.

    Yeah, I just do office stuff ... except for the Photoshop work, and what I do there is pretty high end. The PNY web site says that the Quadro intents include Photoshop:

    http://www.pny.com/support/faqs/readfaq.asp?mainid=299&row=6&urlRef=/support/faqs/readtopic.asp?modelID=17

    But I admit, I'm a newbie here, that's why I'm asking. I've logged what all of you wrote and will keep on looking at what's available. Any other tips, I'll be interested. Thx.
  7. I forgot to ask: priyajeet and coylter, what don't you like about the Quadro? Do you think it's just overkill for what I need to do, or that it's junk for other reasons. I understand it wouldn't be good for gaming.
  8. surprised to not see grape in here giving an educated opinion

    man who fart in church, sit in his own pew
  9. Well the fact that they cost 1000$+ And are the same thing as 1/10 price gaming card with different bios.

    Click <font color=blue><A HREF="http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/you.html" target="_new">HERE</A></font color=blue> if you real<b>l</b>y are an <font color=red>idiot</font color=red>.
  10. if you plan to do 3d modelling, 2d/3d animation, 2d modeling, like using mechanical desktop, autocad, etc. then quadros are fine. Normal day to day use they are just too much.

    :tongue: <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/priyajeet/Finger.jpg" target="_new"><i><font color=red>Very funny, Scotty.</font color=red><font color=blue> Now beam down my clothes.</font color=blue></i></A> :tongue:
  11. As georgebee guessed, eventually I'd come and give my two frames worth on this, as it is a hobby.

    First, a Quadro would be overkill as they are a premium workstation card and built mainly for proffesional 3D work. They are good solid cards, and if it's free sure take it.

    However if you are buying, then you must refine your options to price/performance.

    First for 2D office apps and Photoshop, well the Matrox P650 would likely be a perfect fit, and should cost sonsiderably less than the Quadro and actually be considerably beter for what you want to do. Of course a P750 or Parhelia would be better still, but unless you need triple monitor support immediately or don't mind paying a little more for just a little more power then th P650 should be a perfect fit. Nothing can match Matrox for 2D quality at the moment in my and many other's opinions, and that's because that is their focus, and they build with that in mind, with better chip design and filter processes to ensure 2D quality. They too have <A HREF="http://www.matrox.com/mga/products/mill_pseries/soft_bundle.cfm" target="_new">Photoshop specific plug-ins</A>

    That being sai let's address the other two card makers mentioned. First, ATI, they make good quality 2D cards, and everything above the Radeon 7500 series should offer you solid 2D. Likely anything above the R9550 mentioned before will give you limited boost in performance, and your money would be far better spend on a faster CPU or faster/more RAM.

    As for nVidia, their 2D quality before was mediocre, but has improved greatly, and they are close to if not equal to ATI. You should avoid the Geforce4 series because it had slower RAMDACs, which are a very important factor in the limits to what the card can do in 2D. Most FX series cards have 400mhz RAMDACs, but I have recently discovered that some of the FX5200s ship with 325-350mhz RAMDACs, so keep an eye out for them and avoid them if you do decide to go that route.

    The other thing is to avoid cheap board makers, they sometimes build shody boards with DVI issues and such. Check the buyer's guide for an idea of quality builders.


    In the end Matrox really is the best for your needs if you looking for the best, and while some people are a little hesitant because they are a slight premium over an R9200 or FX5600SE, compared to the Quadro their are far more suited to the task, and far cheaper. Even the OLD G4xx and 5xx cards would be comparable in quality to ATI and nV's current offerings, and those are really outdated cards now compared to their replacements.

    I would recommend the Matrox P650 or P750 depending on your needs, and if money is no object then the Parhelia. <A HREF="http://www.matrox.com/mga/products/comp_chart/gseries_pseries_parhelia.cfm" target="_new">Here's their Product list.</A> Otherwsie any modern card from ATI or nVidia will give you equal 2D to that Quadro you were looking at, and likely for much cheaper.

    Of course that my two frames worth, but I'm sure if you check around among people who work with still and video 2D images you'd get similar recommendations.


    - You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil:
  12. A Quadro will give you *NO ADVANTAGE* in Photoshop.

    If you want a combination of compatibility and good image quality, go for any Radeon above 7500.

    ________________
    <b>Radeon <font color=red>9700 PRO</b></font color=red> <i>(o/c 332/345)</i>
    <b>AthlonXP <font color=red>3200+</b></font color=red> <i>(Barton 2500+ o/c 400 FSB)</i>
    <b>3dMark03: <font color=red>5,354</b>
  13. GreatGrapeApe, thank you. I'd leaned toward Matrox initially, and now your post has guided me back into that corner. Think I'll get a 650 or 750. I have more to figure out before I put this computer together, so I'm going to keep posting in other forums here, but for the video card I think I'm picking Matrox. 2D is what I need. Thanks again for writing.
  14. Oh man, i must say, you like writing analytical essays. How abt doing a few for my classes :wink:

    :tongue: <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/priyajeet/Finger.jpg" target="_new"><i><font color=red>Very funny, Scotty.</font color=red><font color=blue> Now beam down my clothes.</font color=blue></i></A> :tongue:
  15. I simply prefer giving people choices and facts. I really hate just saying "go with product X from brand A", I prefer people come to their own conclusions; and I make sure, especially here, that I defend what I'm saying.

    I'm just used to making sure people can make their OWN decisions and feel comfortable with them.

    BTW, I think the Catalyst Comparo needs cleaning up it's F'in long editing that each time!


    - You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil:
  16. get rid of something thats useless now, like who is gonna install anything before say, 4.5. Or shift them to a differnet section in your thread. In fact i shld say, now that we have a new gen of games out/coming, comparison of 4.8, 4.9, 4.10 (ATI-OMEGA) shld be the one that shld go thru testing. Also, like 2 games - D3 and HL2, put their tests up along with 3dmark 05. Forget 3dmark 03. Ask Fredi to grant you another sticky - make that the latest comparison. Rename the old one to be like ARCHIVE.

    :tongue: <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/priyajeet/Finger.jpg" target="_new"><i><font color=red>Very funny, Scotty.</font color=red><font color=blue> Now beam down my clothes.</font color=blue></i></A> :tongue: <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by priyajeet on 10/04/04 02:33 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  17. Well there are alot of people here who stil use 4.3 for performance reasons, but ulling up to about 4.7 is probably doable once the official 4.10/4.11 come out. I would simply shift them further into the post like I did alot of the 3.X series, and then link to them.

    I don't want to reduce the number of tests (except finally clear CodeCreatures. The point isn't to give 3 benchies, since every review does that. it's to see the impact on MANY fronts.

    As for 3Dmk03 it's far FAR more revealing than the 3 tests and Bungholioo score from 3Dmk05. If anything I'd get rid of 3Dmk01, but still it provides alot of info too.

    I think I will also drop Gunmetal, but I do want to see with the new Official CATS if there are issues. It's not really DX9, it just had DX9 features added to a DX8 title.

    X2 is a vertex heavy game/demo, rthdribl does heavy duty High Dynamic Range testing. Really it's a question of what offers insight. Considering that 3Dmk03 still shows PS2.90 results, it, like rthdribl shows the biggest impact of most of the recent updates in the 4.X series.

    I wouldn't want another sticky (I think there are enough already, if not one too many ). However if we could put them in the archive that would be good. But I think the first stick for the archive should be "This isn't the main section, don't try to post here!" as before Fredi locked it, people were asking all their questions there. I'd go in every once in a while and point people in the right direction, but that sticky would've helped, and when I asked Fredi about making a sticky there he realised, 'ooops' didn't look the forum.
    Anywhoo, it would be nice, but moving it into the thread itself and linking to it works just as well really.


    - You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil:
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