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Thread: Graphics card advice

  1. #1
    Nothing runs like a Deere cotswoldcs's Avatar
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    Graphics card advice

    A friend of mine is a keen amateur photographer and has recently added a new 27" Dell monitor (U2711 @ 2560 x 1440) to his Dell Vostro Desktop PC (Quad core Q9400, 4Gb RAM, 128 ATI Radeon HD 2400 Pro).

    He's experiencing problems with the PC running very slowly (takes several seconds to move from one image to another in Lightroom 3). I haven't seen the PC yet but wonder if his graphics card isn't powerful enough?

    Can anyone tell me if an ATI Radeon HD 2400 Pro is good enough to run 2D only at 2560 x 1440? He won't be playing any games but does need Lightroom 3 to run smoothly.


    I've found out the following on an AnandTech review:

    "First, you need to have a graphics card with the ability to output 30-bit color, which typically means you need a workstation class GPU. You also need some sort of "special sauce" - specifically, you need an application that knows about deep color support. We connected the U2711 to a Dell Precision M6500 notebook (Quadro FX 3800M GPU) via DisplayPort. NVIDIA tells us that the GPU is aware of the deep color capability of the display at that point, but it requires an appropriate application before 30-bit color output would start. "


    Help! If we should upgrade the graphics card which one?

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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Graphics card advice

    Up until 30bit colour, no problems, 2d output requires almost nothing.
    until the motherboard on my girl friends pc went phut she was still happly using my old fx5200 128mb card to do photoshop work on her 1600x1200 monitor

    I don't know enough about 30bit colour output but I suspect that without a bit of software and workstation class card you'll probably just not be using it.
    You'll need to do some looking into that.

    2560x1440x32bit (24bit colour + 8bit transparency) will require 128mb of video ram minimum
    If he's using a 2nd monitor then that could well be the problem.

  3. #3
    Nothing runs like a Deere cotswoldcs's Avatar
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    Re: Graphics card advice

    No second monitor. Do you therefore think it's unlikely that any slowness of the PC can be attributed to the graphics card?

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    Re: Graphics card advice

    It's unlikely to be the graphics card. Up until recently almost all image editing applications did all computation on the CPU, then they just throw the image at the graphics subsystem to display it. As Pob255 says the load on the graphics card is minimal.

    The latest version of Photoshop use the GPU to accelerate some advanced graphics filters, but that's not your problem here. It's a powerful PC, so there has to be something fairly fundamental wrong to cause this behaviour.

    You could try to borrow a graphics card with more RAM just to prove the point, but be wary of swapping between NVidia and ATI/AMD cards, the drivers don't always uninstall cleanly and can leave you with a mess to clean up.

    Depending on how long this machine has been running with the curent version of the operating system, and how much software he has installed/deinstalled, you might be looking at needing a fresh OS install. Obviously back up all your data first, this is not a small task.

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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Graphics card advice

    Ok then, as Colin has also pointed out, it sound more like a software issue than a hardware issue.

    It still could be hardware, eg the cpu cooler clogged up with dust causing it to drop the multiplier to stop it from overheating.
    Or an issue with hard drive, memory or even motherboard.
    But I'd put software/OS/virus or even anti-virus issue at the top of the list.

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