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Author Topic: New 'Puter Graphics Card Question  (Read 2426 times)
DanPatrick
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« on: January 21, 2006, 12:43:23 AM »
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My son, an IT guy at a prominent special effects house, just built a new system for my photographic work.  It has an overclocked 2 gigahertz dual core AMD processor, two gigabytes of ram, an ABIT AN8 SLI motherboard and a 400 gigabyte hard drive.  However, though the motherboard is set up for SLI, the graphics card installed is a non-SLI Radeon X700.  Someone told me that because of that, the non-SLI graphics card, that the OVERALL performance of the system, not just the GRAPHICS performance, would be adversly affected.  Is that true?  If so, any suggestions for a reasonably priced graphics card that would give maximum performance - graphics and overall - for 2D Photoshop use?

Thanks, Dan
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2006, 02:13:42 AM »
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That's not even remotely true.

The only thing performance-wise that will be effected by the video card is video games. SLI is simply NVidias technology for linking two of their SLI video cards together for the sake of playing video games at high frame rates. It has no other function and will not hamper the performance of your system.

Heck, you could install a 5+ year old Voodoo 3 card in a PCI slot in place of the radeon you have and your system performance will not be effected.
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jliechty
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2006, 08:21:51 AM »
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Just to confirm what Daniel has said already, what you've been told is absolute nonsense. While my experience has been that if you go back far enough (really far, that is) in video card technology, 2D performance does start to become aversely affected, the ATI card you're using is not going to be any slower than anything else out there today in 2D performance (the drawing of the things on the screen during not-gaming usage).

You've got a great system (mine is very similar, with an Athlon X2 as well), so keep shooting and enjoy the speed with which you can do your RAW conversions and post processing.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2006, 08:46:29 AM »
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There are some encoding features that newer cards have that older ones do not.  That is fairly recent.  But nothing that should concern photoshop.

When the next version of windows comes out all bets are off.
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DanPatrick
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2006, 02:35:04 PM »
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Thanks for your input.  My son said that claim was rubbish, as well, but I sought confirmation from those who do what I do.  That said, I know there's more access to memory in the 64-bit system, but what difference will the next Windows make in PhotoShop graphics performance?  

  Again, thanks, Dan
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jliechty
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2006, 03:22:21 PM »
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The graphical interface of the next version of Windows (called "Vista") will work similarly to the current interface on older graphics cards. However, given a more recent graphics card, it will render the two dimensional interface using the 3D processing components of the graphics card's processor (graphics processing unit, or GPU).

While this won't necessarily have a specific effect on Photoshop individually, it will transfer the burden of drawing the interface from mostly the CPU to mostly the GPU, which might leave a tiny bit more CPU power available for other things... who knows?

Regardless, given that Windows will drawing the interface using the part of a graphics card that varies in performance from one model to another, there will be some stratification in interface performance among the mid- to high-end cards that are capable of using the new rendering method.
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2006, 03:59:44 PM »
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In summary, the next version of Windows will feel more snappy and have fancy special effects that are not as well done rip-offs of what's already available on the Mac. Photoshop performance is dependent on ram and CPU and so it will not be effected.
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