11 Replies Latest reply on Nov 13, 2009 9:45 AM by llaferte

    Advice on a Video Card Upgrade

    llaferte Level 1

      I need a new one, time to up-grade.  Any advice would be very helpful.

       

      I use the Adobe CS4 applications with PPro at the center.  I am on Windows XP Pro.  My old card was an NVIDIA card and it was great until it fried.  Temporarily the IT support folks have installed any old video card they had lying around - it's working, but not well.  I work in a unit where I am the only person doing any video/graphics work, so no one here can advise me on this.  IT support basically says "tell us what to order..."

       

      I am looking at the NVIDIA Quadro graphics cards - but they seem pricey.  But I see prices ranging from $49 to $3000.  I want a good fast card but I have to be within reason.

       

      I am not knowledgeable about these cards but want something that first of all will work with my system and projects.  Currently I am primarily working with standard DV files, published as streaming media or DVD.  Most of the work is for the University of Michigan - doing research within elementary classrooms.  I suspect that someday we will move to HD and BluRay so I'd like to think forward a bit when making my decision.

       

      In an average week I will have 4 to 6 new projects come in plus the projects that are currently be reviewed and edited.  Rendering time is a big consideration.  Until I started looking into a new card I didn't even know the video card impacted rendering speeds.

        • 1. Re: Advice on a Video Card Upgrade
          Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

          Unless you are doing h.264 encoding, the Quadro cards are a total waste of money. As it stands today, the video card has very little impact on rendering and general video production workflow speed. Nvidia and Adobe are working to change that. Some time perhaps 6 months down the road, a cost effective video card solution may be available. In my opinion it's best to wait. Nvidia has yet to answer ATI's fantastic 5870 by either introducing a faster card or reducing pricing on their existing high end cards. For now I would just get a cheap GeForce 9500 GT. It will serve your current purposes just fine

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Advice on a Video Card Upgrade
            llaferte Level 1

            Thanks.  I was just looking at the XFX ATI Radeon HD 5870 (HD-587A-ZNF9) 1024MB PCIe x16 Gen 2.0, the price is looking better.  Do your comments about h.264 and the Quadro cards pertain to the ATI card as well?

             

            Obviously, I can't wait several months so I'll go with the "best" available for my current work.  Maybe a new machine in several months - perhaps build my own, as you were discussing in another post.

            • 3. Re: Advice on a Video Card Upgrade
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              There are some 'between the lines' remarks that with CS5 nVidia/Cuda support may improve, but, as the Blind said, I've gotta see it to believe it.

               

              For the time being, the HD 58x0 still seems to deliver the best bang-for-the-buck.

              • 4. Re: Advice on a Video Card Upgrade
                Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                "Do your comments about h.264 and the Quadro cards pertain to the ATI card as well?"

                 

                Nvidia currently has a solution that accelerates h.264 encoding. It requires one of their high end Quadro cards.

                On the other hand ATI has a beta solution for accelerating certain types of encoding, but it requires a system based on AMD technology.  Top end AMD processors can't compete with Intel's high end processors.

                 

                See the Nvidia Cuda video here:

                 

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGLKYzBgp3c

                • 5. Re: Advice on a Video Card Upgrade
                  Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                  "For the time being, the HD 58x0 still seems to deliver the best bang-for-the-buck."

                   

                  When I get the parts for the new computers, (hopefully today), I would like to benchmark (using Bill's) various configurations. Perhaps I can get a hold of one of the new 5870's. One of the advantages of the 5870 is, it supports 3 monitors... and the price is right.

                  • 6. Re: Advice on a Video Card Upgrade
                    llaferte Level 1

                    Thank you both for the help.  I'm swimming in video card info now.  But I think it's narrowed down to one of these, GTX 2Gig 285, ATI Radeon HD 5800 series, ATI Radeon 5700 series.

                     

                    Could you please comment on these choices? 

                    • 7. Re: Advice on a Video Card Upgrade
                      Harm Millaard Level 7

                      2 G may be overdone for video editing. 1 G would suffice. If the rumored enhancements for CS5 bear to be true (I've got to see it, to believe it; they claimed it before and failed) then the nVidia may be the best choice, but with the current state of affairs, my bet would be on the 58xx. The 57xx is more main stream level.

                      • 8. Re: Advice on a Video Card Upgrade
                        Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                        Those currently are all good cards. It's kind of a tough call because we don't know how long it will be until a cost effective CUDA product will be available that will accelerate most of the common formats we editors deal with daily. It's difficult to estimate at this time how much faster a Quadra would be than the 285. 6 months from know (educated guess) how much cheaper will the 285 be? If you purchase the ATI 5870, you won't be able to use it with the CUDA solution. If you like the idea of 3 monitors, get the 5870. The 5870 will most likely not make your editing workflow any faster than a low end Nvidia 9500 GT.

                         

                        Personally, we are keeping our old cards until the CUDA product is worth spending the money on.

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Advice on a Video Card Upgrade
                          ambisinistrous

                          Unless you plan on gaming and want to squeeze out some extra frame rates, I'd recommend the 5770. You get the latest hardware, future proofing, and some extra features like DirectX11 support for $160. I don't see any reason for a media machine to need anything better (and "better" only refers to these cards' rank in a gaming performance hierarchy).

                           

                          Or get something even cheaper. Outside of the nebulous possibility of the future enhancements already mentioned here,  I'm not sure there are any benefits to a pricer video card.

                           

                          Tom's monthly GPU roundup: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,2464.html

                          1 person found this helpful
                          • 10. Re: Advice on a Video Card Upgrade
                            Jim_Simon Level 9

                            I have to agree with the previous post.  All the cards mentioned are really overkill at this point.  You can easily get away with a $50 card with little or no difference in performance over cards costing much more.  If things change down the road, you can always upgrade.

                             

                            For now, go cheap.

                            • 11. Re: Advice on a Video Card Upgrade
                              llaferte Level 1

                              Thanks everyone.  I will go the econo route now and up-grade everyhting in the future.  I saw some DIY plans at videoguys.com, are these pretty good systems?  I have never seen/used videoguys.com before.