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Which video card for a graphic design system?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm hopefully going to build a system for a buddy of mine. He is a graphic design student. I'm not really sure what he primarily works on, he just told me he will be doing graphic design. I'm going to build him a system with a budget of about $1000-1200, so one of those "workstation cards" will not work here. I was thinking just a 9600GT?
post #2 of 14
I might recommend a mid-range SLI solution, money permitting. Throw in two 9600s, and a decent quad core. One thing to remember for digital media creation is the preservation of data. Try going for 4x500 GB in RAID 0+1 or 1+0 for 1TB of mirrored backup goodness.

A while ago I made a content creation workstation wishlist on newegg. If you want it, PM me and I will forward you a copy.
    
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post #3 of 14
When you say graphic design, are we talking solely 2D work i.e. Photoshop, Illustrator? Or is 3D work going to enter the equation.

For 2D work only a very basic card is needed, in fact integrated graphics will even work fine.

For 3D something like a 8800GT would do the trick for apps that are happy to run under DirectX (3DS Max, Z Brush....)
Some apps like Maya don't play that well under DirectX (it will work but with lots of work around's and tweaks) and really need the OpenGL support offered by workstation level cards such as the Quadro and FireGL lines.

SLI will not bring anything to the table for DCC work.

I would also stick to XP, I've head headaches trying to get smooth FPS in 3DS Max using a 8800GT with Vista, that's with average models.
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post #4 of 14
Yup, "graphic design" is way to broad of a description to suggest the proper video card.
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Once again...
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post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbrescher View Post
I might recommend a mid-range SLI solution, money permitting. Throw in two 9600s, and a decent quad core. One thing to remember for digital media creation is the preservation of data. Try going for 4x500 GB in RAID 0+1 or 1+0 for 1TB of mirrored backup goodness.

A while ago I made a content creation workstation wishlist on newegg. If you want it, PM me and I will forward you a copy.

The first post said he's lookin for a $1000-$1200 setup and I doubt you're gonna find 4 500gb HDD's, 2 9600's, and a Quad(even just a q6600), and still have enough left in this budget for a mobo, ram, case and cooling. Thats assuming no OS needed.

Anyway I would say get a q6600 and probably an 8800gt for the graphics. You could grab a cheap case, 4 gb of RAM (maybe more if 64 bit), and a decent mobo. 4x500gb hard drives are probably unneccesary you could grab 2 seagates and still stay in the budget though. You say he's just a graphic design student anyway right and not actually a graphic designer so I imagine a student wouldn't need as nice of a rig as a professional I think you'd be fine with something like this in that budget.
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post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puscifer View Post
The first post said he's lookin for a $1000-$1200 setup and I doubt you're gonna find 4 500gb HDD's, 2 9600's, and a Quad(even just a q6600), and still have enough left in this budget for a mobo, ram, case and cooling. Thats assuming no OS needed.

Anyway I would say get a q6600 and probably an 8800gt for the graphics. You could grab a cheap case, 4 gb of RAM (maybe more if 64 bit), and a decent mobo. 4x500gb hard drives are probably unneccesary you could grab 2 seagates and still stay in the budget though. You say he's just a graphic design student anyway right and not actually a graphic designer so I imagine a student wouldn't need as nice of a rig as a professional I think you'd be fine with something like this in that budget.
You're probably right on the expenses...
4x500 GB drive = 380$
2x9600GT VGA = 360$
Q6600 = $240

Which brings us to a subtotal here of $980 for just these components. A single 8800GT would knock it down from 360 to 205, shaving it down to $835, which leaves plenty of room for a mobo, case, PSU, and RAM
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 @ 3.5 GHz EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 780i 2 EVGA 8800 GT SLI @ 730/1836/1026 4 GB Patriot DDR2 1200 MHz 
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150GB Raptors x2, 500 GB Hitachi Vista Home Premium 64-bit KDS 24" + Rosewill R912E 19" Thermaltake 700W Modular Supply 
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Cooler Master Centurion 5 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 @ 3.5 GHz EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 780i 2 EVGA 8800 GT SLI @ 730/1836/1026 4 GB Patriot DDR2 1200 MHz 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
150GB Raptors x2, 500 GB Hitachi Vista Home Premium 64-bit KDS 24" + Rosewill R912E 19" Thermaltake 700W Modular Supply 
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Cooler Master Centurion 5 
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post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm waiting for him to get back to me on his definition of "graphic design." I believe it is just 2D stuff using Photoshop and other picture graphics type things, he is also doing some programming stuff. I'm sure he will want to do some games as well but nothing too demanding. I know he plays WOW but with a better computer he would probably get into some other games.
post #8 of 14
If it's just 2D, heck, even a 10 year old PCI card will do the trick easily.

But yea, a nice mid-range card will be good, so he can do some gaming
    
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post #9 of 14
And if you have a Frys Electronics near you, you can knock another 40-50$ off by grabbing a Q6600 from there for 189.99$.
    
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post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ok he said he uses Photoshop, Cinema 4D, and maybe some other programs similar to that.

As for processor, it depends on the prices when I am ready to build. I'm thinking Q6600 or E8400 if they ever get in stock.
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