Graphic Card upgrade from nVidia 285+

Started Mar 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jim Cockfield Forum Pro • Posts: 16,333
Gaming, huh? ;-)

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:

GTX 285 Passmark Score of 1253:

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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