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Old Sep 15, 2002, 11:51 PM   #1
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Default help in choosing video card

I'm in the process of buying a Dell desktop
and am trying to decide between 2 video cards that would be best for displaying digital photos on the monitor.The choices are: 128mb DDR ATI Radeon 9700 Pro,
or 128mb DDR NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4600. I realize that a dedicated workstation would provide a better video card for this application, however, that is out of my price range for now. Any help would be appreciated
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Old Sep 16, 2002, 12:51 AM   #2
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neither one of these will do any better than the other in image applications such as photoshop or any sort of display program. where they will excel is in playing quake 3 or return to castle wolfenstein. a video card with 8 meg of ram will display a 24 bit image on a 17 inc screen at 800x600 perfectly well. the 128 meg of ram on these cards are used primarily for frame buffer and texture mapping used in 3d computer games as metioned above and a host of others. these are open GL and DirectX based products that access the cards capabilities. working with images you'll never use even 1/4 the power because the programs are not written to access these capabilities beyond basic frame buffering.
also if you are getting the LCD option you will find the colors will not calibrate nearly as well as a CRT. LCDs havent the color range of a CRT yet nor the refresh rate.

my video card is a visiontek geforce 4 mx 440 with 64meg ddr ram. the refresh rate is set at 85hz 32bit color depth. no flicker whatsoever at 1280x960 screen. cost $90. displaying and working a 65-125 meg image is no problem. and also i do play Quake 3.

in photoshop it don't do diddly except for the enhanced minor speed from the onboard processor and ram increase on the card. if you have a 19 or 21 in screen that is still enough. now if you do want a gaming machine or not i prefer nvidia based cards because their drivers tend to be more stable. don't get me wrong ATI is a good product. they're just a little slow at video driver developement and deployment.
the term worstation means one designed for a specific task/function. if your getting it to use as a digital darkroom its your workstation. don't let simantics get in the way. marketing people sell these concepts.
in short if your buying one of these mondo ram crammed supercharged video cards to speed up your photo image display/image processing only, you will be wasting money and be a little disappointed that a $90 card will be just about the same for the prescribed purpose.

memory on the machine should be a min of 512MB. xp eats up an easy 100-125 running itself and its required satellite processes. then PS when running is another 50-80MB. then your images will require 2x the original size to quicken processing. if the original is 14 meg a total of 28 is needed to work it quickly. you want to avoid using the page file or your machine will slow down. adds up fast don't it.



[Edited on 9-16-2002 by sjms]
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Old Sep 16, 2002, 4:09 AM   #3
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Default HELP

I was impressed with sjms answers and am now buyi8ng a new PC largley for photoshop.

Some of waht you said raised questions...

I agree that the 3d etc is uselss, but is it really true that the video ram is not useful? I am palnning on using two monitors and one sales guy told me I would need more video ram (I was planning on 64).

Also, I am planning in 1 gig DDR 2100 on machine with the 533 buss. I would have like to go to 2 gigs, but the most I can find on an affordeable mboard is three slots and the price of 1gig chips is crazy so I am limitted to the 512s.

Finally .. any thoughts on Intel vs AMD????????????????????
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Old Sep 16, 2002, 4:45 AM   #4
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Steve,
The only thing wrong with the GeForce4 MX 440 that sjms suggested is that it can be had for about $70 now. With the sun setting on AGP4X and rising with AGP8X to buy a 3-400 $ gamers card is not good timming. Caution when buying computer by name recognition, warrenties tend to be a hardware thing. To bad that is only a very small percent of computer problems, software (programs, drivers ect ) being the #1, BIOS updates and windows updates not being done, Virus, power surge and lightning strike and the most feared "bored kids" "the program quit working" = the mouse ate it "if I click on this wonder what will happen and lets not forget downloads, updates and installs with virus protection on. Dell or all the way down to a Ma & Pa shop have 1 major thing in common, they buy all components and just assemble the computer, warrenty? all covered by the component manufacter.
Gary
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Old Sep 16, 2002, 5:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steves

Finally .. any thoughts on Intel vs AMD????????????????????
Stephen,
AMD allows you to get a corvette for the same money that INTEL would put you in a mustang. AN AMD XP CPU, ASUS MB, WD U/100 w/8 meg buffer HD and the MX 440 video card. Remember when the 128 meg cards hit the street they benchmarked lower than the 64 meg, programs have to be designed to use the extra. Video card 64 Meg with 2 vga ports and matching monitors would make more sence, once the video card processes the info cannot see what xtra memory would do to send info out 1 or two ports.
Gary


http://www.asus.com.tw/mb/socketa/a7v333/overview.htm#

http://www6.tomshardware.com/storage...305/index.html






[Edited on 9-16-2002 by Gary Senkus]

[Edited on 9-16-2002 by Gary Senkus]
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Old Sep 16, 2002, 11:05 AM   #6
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Gary,

I am a fairly astute puterphile so I know most of what you are posting.

I still have the questions I posted:

INTEL vs AMD ...for photoshop, doesn't the faster Intel buss help?

videoboards ... you are focusing on the aprt of the cards, the processor, that AFIK has no function in Pshop. Does the board even matter?
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Old Sep 16, 2002, 12:06 PM   #7
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Steves,
If I take it right you are talking about an INTEL board with a 533 FSB, that would mean RDRAM PC1066 or going cheap PC800. The DDR PC2100 is for a 266 FSB.

On photo shop are your requirements extensive rendering? If so you would bennifit with a dual CPU MB.

On does the board even matter, ever worked on a system with a PCCHIPS MB from H--L

On the CPU besides MHZ even more important is how many simple and complex tasks that can be done in a cycle.

aprt????
AFIK???
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Old Sep 16, 2002, 1:57 PM   #8
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I am guessing that ps 7.0 is the version. cut and paste from c/net review of 7.0

Adobe Photoshop 7.0






CNET Rating: 8 out of 10
User Opinions: 79% 21% out of 228 votes






By Lori Grunin
(04/16/02)
Every new version of Photoshop has delivered significant, noteworthy improvements. Witness: Photoshop 4.0 unveiled Layers and Actions; Photoshop 5.0 brought us the History Palette and Layer Styles; Photoshop 6.0 introduced Shapes. Hence, Photoshop 7.0's perfunctory, should-have-been-there-earlier enhancements, such as the new file browser and updated paint engine, are a bit of a letdown. For the first time, we're not convinced that every Photoshop devotee and graphics professional must upgrade. But, as far as graphics apps go, Photoshop is still the best, most sophisticated image-editing software available. If you don't own an earlier version and want the best image editor on the market--or need it to run on OS X--version 7.0 is the best of the bunch.
More of the same
Photoshop 7.0's standard Adobe look and feel, complete with drop-down palettes and menu options, remain relatively unchanged. But Adobe has introduced a few cool improvements, including the handy Tool Presets option, which lets you change and save custom parameters for any tool to a quick-access palette. (With Tool Presets you can, for instance, define a 4-by-6-inch, 300dpi crop box and save it as a preset.)

Along the same lines, you can now save custom tool-palette layouts as Workspaces so that you no longer have to recustomize palettes every time you open a project. A Windows Explorer-like file browser, similar to the Photoshop Elements file-management system, provides a welcome, if somewhat overdue, way to sort and locate your projects: the new browser lets you organize projects by name, date, resolution, and a number of additional parameters.

Brushes with greatness
You'll appreciate the aforementioned Workspaces, especially once you try Photoshop's slightly updated paint engine with its full-on brushes palette. Like Corel's realistic painting implements in Procreate Painter, Photoshop's improved tools now let you vary hue, opacity, and flow for brushes such as pastels, oils, and charcoal. The result is a more real-world painting experience than before. Better still, the Brushes palette now lets you set many more dynamic brush parameters, including jitter, color, and shape.

With all these improvements, Photoshop's brushes are still no match for Painter's. With Photoshop, your paint doesn't have any viscosity, so the results look fairly flat. And, despite the Brushes palette's newfound flexibility, it could use a few more improvements. For example, although Photoshop supports the Wacom Intuos2 tablet (with which we tested the software), the program could use a summary view of which tools and effects you've customized to respond to stylus pressure or tilt. Surprisingly, Photoshop also lacks a velocity control option that would allow brush size and similar parameters to work with your painting speed.

On autopilot
Even so, Adobe hasn't lost sight of Photoshop's primary purpose: image editing. To that end, version 7.0 adds two interesting tools to its image-editing arsenal. The Healing Brush makes quick and seemingly magical work of erasing wrinkles, minor skin defects, and other small flaws. For instance, though we couldn't quite restore the bloom to an old photo of a rose, we easily took a few days off its age. The Auto Color adjustment tool, for its part, essentially removes color casts from your photos, such as the green hue caused by fluorescent lights, and fixes the tonal range.

Thankfully, the new features don't require much more system overhead. In our casual tests on a dual-processor Athlon XP 1900+ system, application load time increased by about only 25 percent--roughly six-tenths of a second. When we ran Photoshop's Web-page-builder macro (which creates an HTML document from a directory of images and saves it locally) on a directory of 77 files, we saw a 35 percent jump--a mere 30-second difference.
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Old Sep 16, 2002, 5:12 PM   #9
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Default Photoshop 7.0 upgrade from Photoshop SE

Thanks for the heads up on video cards and the rest. I really didn't want to spend the extra $ on a fancy gaming card since I don't really get into the 3D games much.

Another ?. I'm also planning to get a Canon Canoscan FS4000 US film scanner which comes bundled with Photoshop SE.
If I buy the Photoshop 7.0 upgrade will this give me the full blown Photoshop or do I have to upgrade to 6 first ?
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Old Sep 16, 2002, 6:09 PM   #10
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steve,
the bundled version is normally 5,0SE about $80 retail, not upgradeable to 6 or 7.
Gary
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