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Old 02-02-2013, 04:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New video card shopping - need some advice.

Hello Everyone,

I currently have an nVidia Quadro FX3500 card in my computer. It works well, but has only 256MB of ram. I've been happy with it for the most part but the low video ram is nagging me a bit. I recently got a 23" monitor to replace my 17" monitor but now I'm interested in running a dual monitor setup, with the large one @ 1920x1080 and the other one @ 1280x1024.

My purpose would mostly be for photography/photo editing and possibly video editing. I do only light gaming but I want the capability to run modern games if I suddenly feel like buying one on a whim I looked on ebay for a card like the Quadro FX3700 or 3800 but those are going for upwards of 150 dollars.

Here's my dilemma: my computer only has a PCIeX16 slot.

I've done some research and found nVidia 600 series cards that seem decent. Of course, today's cards are all PCIe2.0 (and 3.0) so they will obviously be limited by my X16 slot. I have a 400W power supply, BTW.

So, that being said, would it really matter if I bought a GT620 or a GTX670? If it's going to be bandwidth limited by my X16 slot, then I'm guessing that doling out the extra cash would be pointless.

So let's say that I'm going to settle on a GT 630 like this one Newegg.com - EVGA 02G-P3-2639-KR GeForce GT 630 2GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card (or maybe something less expensive)

Would it even be worth swapping out my Quadro FX3500? Would the 2GB of ram make any difference? Would it be better for processing lots of RAW files?

Looking for some guidance on this one.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New video card shopping - need some advice.

They will still run pretty decent on the 1.0 16x slot. The problem is the power requirements. You'll need to update your PSU before you can run a 660 or 660ti.

ANother thing I should ask is, what is your CPU setup like?

I can attest to the fact that a gaming card runs Photoshop good. My 580 tears through anything I throw at it in PS. Granted you have the budget and CPU setup, a 660 or 660ti would be great.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New video card shopping - need some advice.

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Originally Posted by PP Mguire View Post
They will still run pretty decent on the 1.0 16x slot. The problem is the power requirements. You'll need to update your PSU before you can run a 660 or 660ti.
Well, I'm really not interested spending the money to upgrade my PSU. I'm just gonna stick with what I have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PP Mguire View Post
ANother thing I should ask is, what is your CPU setup like?
I have an Intel E6850 @ 3.00Ghz with 8gb ram.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PP Mguire View Post
I can attest to the fact that a gaming card runs Photoshop good. My 580 tears through anything I throw at it in PS. Granted you have the budget and CPU setup, a 660 or 660ti would be great.
You think the nVidia GT630 would be good? Or possibly a GT520? I'm more curious to know if it would even be considered an "upgrade" since the Quadro FX3500 is considered a pro level card.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New video card shopping - need some advice.

No because those cards are pretty bottom of the totem pole. Lowest I would look at is the 650.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New video card shopping - need some advice.

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Originally Posted by vikenk View Post
Well, I'm really not interested spending the money to upgrade my PSU. I'm just gonna stick with what I have.
Not sure if you misunderstood. He's saying if you want a proper upgrade, chances are you will need to replace your PSU with something more powerful because you would -need- to. Not really a choice, a mid to high-end card won't work on a (low quality) 400w.

Also, I agree with him. Seems to be an investment worth putting more into since you game and render so I would have to say 650 or at the very least a 550.

Do you have a budget?
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: New video card shopping - need some advice.

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Not sure if you misunderstood. He's saying if you want a proper upgrade, chances are you will need to replace your PSU with something more powerful because you would -need- to. Not really a choice, a mid to high-end card won't work on a (low quality) 400w.
I understood what he was saying My point was more about trying to find a card that would fit in with what I currently have. Upgrades have a funny way of cascading into other upgrades, which is what I'm trying to avoid.

I spent the money on a new monitor. I was hoping that spending ~$60 on a modern card would effectively be an upgrade to my "old" Quadro3500. You know how technology works: newer stuff is usually "faster, better, cheaper" that stuff that's even a couple of years old

My computer is an HP DC7800P. It came with a 300(?) watt PSU. Of course, it's a custom sized case and it took me forever to find a 400w psu to begin with (and I overpaid, of course).


Quote:
Also, I agree with him. Seems to be an investment worth putting more into since you game and render so I would have to say 650 or at the very least a 550.

Do you have a budget?
I would normally agree as well. However, for now it seems like sticking with my Quadro would be better since I probably won't be finding a better replacement for the budget I was planning, which was less than around 75-80 dollars.

I was keying in on a GT630 w/2GB ram or possibly a GT520. They both seem to sell at similar prices on Newegg.

Thanks for the advice
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: New video card shopping - need some advice.

Wait. Do you have this PC:


Or this one?



If you have the first one you can fit any PSU in that case as it should be standard ATX. If you have the second one none of the cards we have talked about so far will fit. Reason being, you need a low profile card. If that's the case, this is the best bet for a graphics card you can get.

Newegg.com - JATON Video-PX430GT-LX GeForce GT 430 (Fermi) 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Video Card
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: New video card shopping - need some advice.

PP Mguire, I have the tower PC. Although it looks like a standard ATX case, it's not. I have tried two PSU's in there, an Antec and a Rosewill, and neither of them fit. Not only did they not physically fit, the hole patterns didn't line up. That's why I had to find a PSU with a custom bezel and mount.

If you google "DC7800P Replacement Power supply" you'll see what I mean...
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