Graphic Card upgrade from nVidia 285+

Started Mar 31, 2013 | Discussions
Mark K
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Graphic Card upgrade from nVidia 285+
Mar 31, 2013

I have got myself a newer system as the old X58 MB burnt out with i7 3770K, Z77 MB, 32GB ram and a primary 512GB SSD connecting Dell 27", 24" mointors via an old nVidia 285+ card with 2Gb video memory.

I am using LR for all my photo editing.

Will it be any benefit from replacing the old graphic card with a newer one like nVidia 680/AMD 7970?

Thanks

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Mark K
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Re: Graphic Card upgrade from nVidia 285+
In reply to Mark K, Mar 31, 2013

I have been goggling for a while. I got a few points

1. Lightroom does not support GPU acceleration

2. AMD was support by Photoshop for GPU acceleration--

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Mark K
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Re: Graphic Card upgrade from nVidia 285+
In reply to Mark K, Mar 31, 2013
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AShimon
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Re: Graphic Card upgrade from nVidia 285+
In reply to Mark K, Mar 31, 2013

Mark K wrote:

I have been goggling for a while. I got a few points

1. Lightroom does not support GPU acceleration

2. AMD was support by Photoshop for GPU acceleration--

Mark K

1. Correct.

2. Not sure what you mean by this, but Photoshop itself does not support GPU acceleration. There are a few plugins that can take advantage of GPU acceleration.

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Leon Obers
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Re: Graphic Card upgrade from nVidia 285+
In reply to AShimon, Mar 31, 2013

AShimon wrote:

2. Not sure what you mean by this, but Photoshop itself does not support GPU acceleration.

Still 3 hours difference with previous poster, so at least you could read that message.
http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Adobe-Photoshop-CS6-GPU-Acceleration-161/

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Mark K
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Re: Graphic Card upgrade from nVidia 285+
In reply to Leon Obers, Mar 31, 2013

Thanks for all the replies...

I was initially struggled between an AMD and a nVidia card, 7970 and 680 to be specific. The AMD has an advantage of having more video RAM because I am hooking the card with two monitors.

Since the primary function of my PC is for photo editing, I am comparing these cards for boosting photo editing. My anecdotal knowledge about GPU acceleratiion is that nVidia has a CUDA engine and Photoshop supports this.

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Jim Cockfield
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Only Premiere Pro...
In reply to Mark K, Mar 31, 2013

Mark K wrote:

Thanks for all the replies...

I was initially struggled between an AMD and a nVidia card, 7970 and 680 to be specific. The AMD has an advantage of having more video RAM because I am hooking the card with two monitors.

A GTX 680 is a huge overkill.

For memory amount, I would lean towards a card with 1.5GB or 2GB for some future proofing.  But, you're probably going to see very little (if any) performance gain moving to anything over 1GB for most purposes.

I'd stick with something like a GTX 650Ti or GTX 660 (and only go to the GTX 660 if you're into gaming).

Since the primary function of my PC is for photo editing, I am comparing these cards for boosting photo editing. My anecdotal knowledge about GPU acceleratiion is that nVidia has a CUDA engine and Photoshop supports this.

For still image processing using Photoshop CS6, CUDA is not used for anything.

If you want to edit video using CS6 Premiere Pro (Adobe's video editing application, then it makes sense to go with Nvidia, since all of the GPU accelerated features in Premiere Pro require CUDA (proprietary to Nvidia).

But, the regular Photoshop CS6 (versus Premiere Pro) doesn't use CUDA at all.   So, it makes very little difference if you use an ATI card or Nvidia card.

Now, personally, I do prefer Nvidia cards.  But, I sure wouldn't move to a GTX 680.   With apps like CS6, you're going to see diminishing returns with a faster card.  IOW, you may buy a card that's twice as fast and only see a 1% improvement in GPU accelerated features once you get to a certain speed card.   IOW, a GTX 650Ti or GTX 660 would be a good bet (and I wouldn't even bother to spend the extra money on the GTX 660 unless you want to use it for gaming).

As for Lightroom, it does not use GPU acceleration.  So, if that's all you're using now, you'd be wasting your money buying a new video card (as you will see zero performance gain in Lightroom with a new card).

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malch
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Re: Graphic Card upgrade from nVidia 285+
In reply to Mark K, Mar 31, 2013

Mark K wrote:

Will it be any benefit from replacing the old graphic card with a newer one like nVidia 680/AMD 7970?

No. That's a high end gaming card and it won't do anything significant for LR performance. It will just consume a lot of power for which you'll need an upgraded power supply and cooling.

Use you existing GPU or a buy a much cheaper replacement -- nVidia 640 to 660 range and that's probably overkill.

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Leon Obers
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Re: Graphic Card upgrade from nVidia 285+
In reply to Mark K, Mar 31, 2013

Mark K wrote:

Thanks for all the replies...

I was initially struggled between an AMD and a nVidia card, 7970 and 680 to be specific. The AMD has an advantage of having more video RAM because I am hooking the card with two monitors.

Since the primary function of my PC is for photo editing, I am comparing these cards for boosting photo editing. My anecdotal knowledge about GPU acceleratiion is that nVidia has a CUDA engine and Photoshop supports this.

I recently build a new system and went by AMD graphics (HD 7770). But by still not 100% good working drivers I would suggest to be better of by NVIDIA if you don't want to spend time as a much consuming time "Beta tester".
But it is not for CUDA (not used in Photoshop CS6), but for reliability.
See problems using drivers 1 (+ solution)
See problems using drivers 2

But as the URL of a test of Photoshop CS6 suggest , and also stated by the previous poster Jim Cockfield, it is not necessary to get a pricey graphics card. GTX 650 is strong enough.

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malch
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Re: Graphic Card upgrade from nVidia 285+
In reply to Leon Obers, Mar 31, 2013

Leon Obers wrote:

I recently build a new system and went by AMD graphics (HD 7770). But by still not 100% good working drivers I would suggest to be better of by NVIDIA if you don't want to spend time as a much consuming time "Beta tester".

I'm inclined to agree. I suffered years of video driver misery. But in recent times I've been very happy with the nVidia drivers. My current system came with an AMD card and it suffered from constant vid-related blue screens. I ditched the AMD in favor of a nVidia card and that same system became rock solid for the next 4 years.

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Mark K
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Re: Graphic Card upgrade from nVidia 285+
In reply to malch, Apr 1, 2013

Thank you every one for the input.

1. Performance boost from high end gaming card:

I understand the little/insignificant gain by having a newer and faster consumer grade gaming card for photo editing especially I am currently using LR only. I am still outside the door of video editing but as all my cameras are having video shooting capability I need to use Premiere at some time.

I have been very happy with my nVidia 285+ until I started playing games (Simcity and Deadspace on the 27 incher, pushing all details to maximum)

2. AMD vs nVidia

I have been using AMD for years and years.....it was only this specific nVidia 285+ made me understand the difference between the two. For unknown reason there are always problems with my AMD 4870 card....hiccup and I need to upgrade drivers so frequently.

The driving force to going back AMD is the price and amount of video ram. For 2/3 the price of a nVidia 680 card, I can get one 3Gb 7970 (together with two free games). I can easily hook another 30" Monitor.

Thank you very much.

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AShimon
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Re: Graphic Card upgrade from nVidia 285+
In reply to Leon Obers, Apr 1, 2013

Leon Obers wrote:

AShimon wrote:

2. Not sure what you mean by this, but Photoshop itself does not support GPU acceleration.

Still 3 hours difference with previous poster, so at least you could read that message.
http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Adobe-Photoshop-CS6-GPU-Acceleration-161/

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Leon Obers

I did read the link. What I stated still applies. Thanks for fighting the good fight.

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GideonW
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Re: Graphic Card upgrade from nVidia 285+
In reply to Mark K, Apr 1, 2013

The amount of video RAM is one of the least important numbers unless you play high-end games on several monitors at the same time.

For multi-monitor desktop work (LR, PS, etc...) or single-monitor gaming (with other monitors showing a desktop), you shouldn't care about how much RAM is on the card.

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AShimon
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Re: Graphic Card upgrade from nVidia 285+
In reply to GideonW, Apr 1, 2013

GideonW wrote:

The amount of video RAM is one of the least important numbers unless you play high-end games on several monitors at the same time.

For multi-monitor desktop work (LR, PS, etc...) or single-monitor gaming (with other monitors showing a desktop), you shouldn't care about how much RAM is on the card.

In some cases. It really depends on the game, the bus width on the particular card, memory speed, and monitor resolution. While what you stated is partially correct, benefits of additional VRAM can still be realized even on a single monitor.

Desktop work ........ That covers a LOT of ground, and some of it can really benefit from additional VRAM. PS7 will see further implementation of GPU-specific processing, and LR5 will start GPU implementation. I disagree with your statement.

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Leon Obers
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Re: Graphic Card upgrade from nVidia 285+
In reply to AShimon, Apr 1, 2013

AShimon wrote:

Desktop work ........ That covers a LOT of ground, and some of it can really benefit from additional VRAM. PS7 will see further implementation of GPU-specific processing, and LR5 will start GPU implementation. I disagree with your statement.

As a test done using Photoshop CS6 to see the benefits of graphic cards within processing, at least the amount of VRAM doesn't say anything for speed. Typically a GPU with the most VRAM + high processor power did very bad. (AMD Radeon 7970 3Gb).

http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Adobe-Photoshop-CS6-GPU-Acceleration-161/

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AShimon
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Re: Graphic Card upgrade from nVidia 285+
In reply to Leon Obers, Apr 2, 2013

Leon Obers wrote:

AShimon wrote:

Desktop work ........ That covers a LOT of ground, and some of it can really benefit from additional VRAM. PS7 will see further implementation of GPU-specific processing, and LR5 will start GPU implementation. I disagree with your statement.

As a test done using Photoshop CS6 to see the benefits of graphic cards within processing, at least the amount of VRAM doesn't say anything for speed. Typically a GPU with the most VRAM + high processor power did very bad. (AMD Radeon 7970 3Gb).

http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Adobe-Photoshop-CS6-GPU-Acceleration-161/

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Leon Obers

The point of my post was to counter the argument that VRAM is unimportant for anything but gaming. As more software embraces GPU offloading, the more important VRAM will become.

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Jim Cockfield
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Gaming, huh? ;-)
In reply to Mark K, Apr 2, 2013

Mark K wrote:

Thank you every one for the input.

1. Performance boost from high end gaming card:

OK.. That's a different story.

It sounds like you were just looking for an excuse to update your card for image editing purposes. 

Sorry, but you'd see zero performance increase with Lightroom  (since it doesn't use GPU Acceleration, period), and frankly, I suspect you'd see virtually no performance increase with CS6 either (even though it supports GPU Acceleration for some features), as your GTX 285 is already fast enough that you'd probably only see a couple of percent increase in speed with GPU accelerated features in CS6 by upgrading your card, even if you went to a GT 680 (or faster AMD card).

IOW, your existing card is roughly the same speed as a GT 640 now (and you're going to see virtually no speed increase with CS6 going to anything faster). Basically, once you get to a card as fast as your existing card, you're really wasting your money with anything faster for editing using something like CS6, as you're going to see diminishing returns with anything faster.

As for gaming, I'd probably look at something like a GTX 660 (or 670 if you're a hard core gamer), as even the GTX 660 is fine for playing virtually any game you'd want to play at higher quality settings with acceptable frame rates.

But, if budget permits, by all means go with a GTX 670 instead.  Personally, I wouldn't go to a card as fast as GTX 680.  But, it's your money.

As for ATI versus Nvidia... it's been my experience that Nvidia is better for driver support.  You'll see lots of posts about that from CS6 users.  Nvidia has also been working hard to improve gaming speed with their latest drivers.   But, if you look at AMD, they're laying off a lot of driver developers.

OW, I think Nvidia is the way to go for better drivers (for both still image editing and gaming; not to mention that more and more apps are using Nvidia CUDA (especially video editing apps like Premiere Pro).

As for Video RAM, you're going to see a negligible difference in speed with anything more than 1GB.   For image editing purposes, even 512MB is plenty for extremely larger canvas sizes for the way software uses the video memory.

After that, the extra memory is only used for frame buffer purposes, and with the bus speeds available now, that makes very little difference in overall performance.   Now, I would go with a 1.5GB to 2GB card for future proofing.  But, anything over 2GB is likely to be a waste of money for years to come.

Again, it's your money.  But, even for gaming using games at their highest quality settings at higher resolutions,  I'd think hard about going any faster than a GTX 660 (or GTX 670 at the most).

Keep in mind that even a GTX 660 is several times as fast as your existing GTX 285:

GTX 660 Passmark Score of 4073:

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=GeForce+GTX+660

GTX 285 Passmark Score of 1253:

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=GeForce+GTX+285&id=1444

If you look at reviews of the GTX 660, it's a very capable card for playing virtually any game you'd want to play using it's highest quality settings at higher resolutions.

So, I wouldn't personally spend the extra money for a GTX 670 or GTX 680 instead, as even for hard core gaming at higher resolutions, a GTX 660 is a very capable card; and I hate wasting money that could be better spent on other system upgrades.

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Mark K
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Re: Gaming, huh? ;-)
In reply to Jim Cockfield, Apr 9, 2013

Dear Jim

Thank you for your reply. I have been busy looking into reasons to choose between an AMD 7970 and a 4Gb gtx680 card because all I get is a false impression that my current monitors (one 24" and one 30") require a video card with much more memory. I am currently very happy with my gtx 285 except in newer games where I pushed details to very high.

Thanks again.

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Jim Cockfield
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Re: Gaming, huh? ;-)
In reply to Mark K, Apr 11, 2013

Mark K wrote:

Dear Jim

Thank you for your reply. I have been busy looking into reasons to choose between an AMD 7970 and a 4Gb gtx680 card because all I get is a false impression that my current monitors (one 24" and one 30") require a video card with much more memory. I am currently very happy with my gtx 285 except in newer games where I pushed details to very high.

Thanks again.

If it were my money, I'd just buy one of these for $189.99 delivered if I wanted a fast card for gaming:

http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-GeForce-SUPERCLOCKED-Graphics-02G-P4-2662-KR/dp/B00966IREK

It's factory OCd for the best stability/speed combo for that chipset, and It's probably around 4 times as fast as your existing card and able to take anything you're throw at it using higher resolutions and quality settings with any games you're using.

If you have a MB supporting SLI, you could add a second card that would let you run circles around a GTX 680, and still spend less money (you could buy two OCd GTX 660 cards for less than a single GTX 680).

Benchmarks for GTX 285 with a G3D score of 1251:

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=GeForce+GTX+285&id=1444

Bechmarks for GTX 660 (based on mostly benchmarks from standard versus overclocked models) with a G3D core of 4077:

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=GeForce+GTX+660

Benchmarks for GTX 680 with G3D score of 5626:

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=GeForce+GTX+680

IOW, yes, the GTX 680 is a faster card.  But, you're paying a *lot* more for that increase.

Look at the "bang for the buck" you get with a GTX 660 instead.  The pages I linked to above include a value section as the bottom of the pages, so you can look at price/perfomance; and the GTX 660 offers a  lot more for it's price.    If your motherboard supports it, you could buy two GTX 660 cards for the price of one GTX 680, and have a lot better performance using two cards with SLI.

So, personally, I'd just grab an Overclocked GTX 660 (see the link I posted above), as it is dramatically faster compared to your GTX 285; and is going to work well for virtually anything you'd want to throw at it; with the best price/performance ratio around when comparing cards in it's price range.

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Mark K
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Re: Gaming, huh? ;-)
In reply to Jim Cockfield, Apr 12, 2013

Thanks Jim

I did think about SLI 660 but has been worried about the heat generated or power consumption. I was told that a very large price cut will here by two weeks for all nVidia cards because of AMD dominates local game graphic card market for their price.

I can wait for two weeks.

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