Graphic Card upgrade from nVidia 285+

Started Mar 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jim Cockfield Forum Pro • Posts: 16,338
Only Premiere Pro...

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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