9 Replies Latest reply on Oct 11, 2012 11:50 PM by C_Cezrix

    Need help choosing a Graphics card...

    C_Cezrix Level 1



      My graphics card packed up - it was a Geforce 9800GTX - and I'm looking to buy a new one. Usage is as follows:


      1. Photoshop, Illustrator

      2. A bit of 3D - Maya

      3. A bit of video editing - Premiere Pro and After Effects

      4. Dual Monitor

      5. No gaming


      I've shortlisted two:


      1. The Nvidia GTX 550TI

      2. The Nvidia GTX 560TI


      Yes, I do realise that the second is more superior. However, I have a few questions in this regard:


      1. Do I really need the GTX 560TI or will a GTX 560 be good enough?

      2. Will the GTX 550TI be good enough for my needs rather than a GTX 560 or GTX 560TI?

      3. Is there a Radeon card that would be better in performance/price ratios?


      Grateful for suggestions...

        • 1. Re: Need help choosing a Graphics card...
          PECourtejoie Adobe Community Professional

          Given the current state of affairs, I'm wondering if there are not more Cuda optimisations in the video applications than Open CL ones (even if openCL is "cross platform", cuda is chosen if you run an nVidia card)

          So If I had to configure a Pc now for Video and Photoshop, I would rather go for a nVidia than a Radeon.


          I don't think that there is a "faster" or "more stable" brand for Photoshop, I've heard issues with both brands driver, and most of them are now fixed.


          There are also Benchmarks for AE and PR: http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/2/1019643 ; http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/2/1019120 and http://ppbm5.com/ or http://ppbm6.com/

          For Maya, you'd better ask in a 3D forum.

          • 2. Re: Need help choosing a Graphics card...
            Curt Y Level 7

            Photoshop does not use Cuda, but in video editing with Premier Pro some features use Cuda.  Recommend at least 1 gig VRAM.


            A mid range card is fine with PS.  THe key is having manufactuor keep with with drivers that work.  Some feel ATI has the edge now, but there are arguments both ways.

            • 3. Re: Need help choosing a Graphics card...
              Noel Carboni Level 8

              Save for the video editing and obvious advantages to using the GPU acceleration there, I still prefer the driver quality of ATI over nVidia.


              That's not to say ATI drivers are perfect - they're far from it, especially their installers.  But they seem to get more things right slightly more often than nVidia.  A year ago the difference was more marked between the brands, but nVidia has stepped up their quality of late, and ATI actually seems to have slipped some.


              For GPU power comparisons, I recommend looking at the charts here:  http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/


              For Photoshop, anything above a performance level of about 1000 on the G3D test doesn't buy you much of a noticeable improvement, with the possible exception of 3D editing (not rendering).  Even then, I recently moved up from a card that rated about 1200 to one that rates 3200 and while maybe the screen previews are quicker I didn't see much improvement in getting real 3D tasks done.  The simple fact is that the ray tracing rendering in Photoshop is CPU-bound, so a fast CPU is more helpful.  Other operations, such as running the various new GPU-accelerated filters in Photoshop are incrementally faster with a hyper-fast GPU, but not hugely so.



              • 4. Re: Need help choosing a Graphics card...
                C_Cezrix Level 1

                PE, Curt, Noel...


                Many thanks for your replies...  and, especially, the links. But guess I'm still a bit confused as to whether to spring for the extra US$ 150 or so (equivalent) for the 560TI or just go for the 550TI.


                Noel, the benchmark of 1000 plus on the G3D is a useful argument on not splurging unnecessarily!


                Also came across this link which is useful:




                But guess what I'm really looking for is for someone to say... just go for the 550TI and you won't regret it... Or go for thr 560TI - even though it costs an arm more - it's worth it!





                • 5. Re: Need help choosing a Graphics card...
                  Noel Carboni Level 8

                  For what it's worth, I went through that exact decision process recently when I built a new workstation.  In my case the decision was to keep my existing ATI 5670 card or pay $200 for an ATI 7850.  I opted for the latter, after having run the former in the workstation for a while.


                  Honestly, I didn't need the 7850.  The higher benchmark score gives me bragging rights, but it really doesn't run Photoshop any better.


                  In your case, the 550 you're considering is about 1.5x as powerful as my 5670 was, so I will go out on a limb and say that if you're not gaming you don't need the 560.


                  Which card would be more future-proof?  Hard to say.  By 2 years from now sub-$100 cards will deliver the performance we have to pay a premium for today, so maybe it doesn't matter that much.



                  • 6. Re: Need help choosing a Graphics card...
                    C_Cezrix Level 1

                    Ah Noel....


                    Thanks for that! I'm not gaming... so i guess I'll go with the 550TI! Also, while I am doing a bit of 3D, my old Geforce 9800 was fine for my purpose... so, I guess the 550 will be a leg up in any event!!


                    Thanks again for helping me to think with the head, or should I say 'wallet', rather than with the heart - '...but I want!'





                    • 7. Re: Need help choosing a Graphics card...
                      C_Cezrix Level 1



                      BTW the Radeon 7850 (2GB RAM) is selling here for the equivalent of US$ 400

                      • 8. Re: Need help choosing a Graphics card...
                        Noel Carboni Level 8

                        Wow, I only paid US $200!  And yes, I got 2 GB RAM, which (so far) also doesn't seem to make much of any difference.  I've got a GPU RAM monitoring program, and while I've upped Photoshop's RAM limit to 1.5 GB (leaving at least something for other apps), actually trying to run other apps that use GPU functions simultaneously with Photoshop seems to occasionally do bad things to the ATI driver anyway.  I have hopes for the next version of Catalyst to fix that.



                        • 9. Re: Need help choosing a Graphics card...
                          C_Cezrix Level 1

                          OK... so i took the plunge and plumped for the 550TI... JFYI.


                          Thanks again to you PE, Curt and Noel for your input.