I was wondering is it necessary to have a powerful, top of the line graphics card for a photo and video editing PC, or is a mid range good enough? I plan on building a new PC for my friend in the near future (his laptop kicked the bucket) and he's willing to pay around $800 and I want to be able to give him the best possible bang for his buck
Until cuda becomes mainstream across all photo/video editing programs, there is really no need for any GPU. But if you want to "future-proof" it; get an nVidia 8+ series card(for cuda). I know adobe premiere uses cuda.
Okay, to address this a little better, you need a GPU that can do bitmap draw acceleration for photo editing, and direct write acceleration for video.
EVERYTHING ON THE MARKET works on these principles, and a cheap on-board SiS GPU vs the top-of-the-line from Ati or nVidia will see negligible performance increases.
Now, working into video rendering (or final video cut or how ever many other terms there are out for finishing a video project there are) there are variances in what a GPU can do, and it is all based on software. I am currently using Sony Vegas 10 Pro, and it latches on to my Ati HD 4670Pro as an extra CPU. From Vegas 9 to Vegas 10, I see as much as a 40-45% decrease in rendering speed, and I've also noticed that my CPU tends to sit in the mid 90% range where before it ran solidly at 100% on both cores and made the system unusable for anything else during render. Now I can be on 3dGameMan.com while I wait!
Look at the software you will be using for video rendering, and see if direct GPU rendering is possible, and if so find a GPU that matches the software spec. I'm using a mid-range GPU, from two generations back, and am seeing a big improvement, so it is worth investigating.
ok, so here is what I built. Runs like a charm and he is extremely happy with it...
case: Xigmatek ASGARD II B/B CPC-T45UC-U01
board: ASRock H67M (B3)
PSU: COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus RS-500-PCAR-A3-US 500W
CPU: Intel Core i5-2300 Sandy Bridge 2.8GHz
memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"
DVD drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner
OS: Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
all this for just under $700 USD.
I am assuming you are using the onboard Intel HD graphics system?
Good starting rig for video editing!
Is the Intel chipset usable as a coprocessor in your video editing software?
You would have to ask my friend. The PC was for him. He is currently using Photoshop CS2, so I'm assuming it's more than enough, and yes, it is using the onboard HD
Photoshop CS2 is pretty memory-happy. That means the more memory, the better. Also a strong CPU is needed for transforms and such. What you have listed there will do just fine in that scenario.
Keep in mind this is a general purpose system and will not handle high speed 3D graphics (a requirement for most modern gaming) very well. But for photo editing, web surfing, office work and even some light video trans-coding it is just fine.
which is ok cause he's a console gamer
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