I'm beginning to take this photography lark seriously.


Link Posted 27/02/2012 - 17:17

Better equipment enhances my ability to display my shortcomings.


Link Posted 27/02/2012 - 18:19
Graphics cards are only used by 3d applications and the very expensive Photoshop CS5. No other image editing requires any type of graphic card other than the bog standard ones with a monitor in interface. They card would be a waste of money unless you do CAD or PC gaming

I do/have done a lot of CAD work, admittedly 2D CAD and never felt the need for anything other than the card which came with the PC.

I would temper that by adding that none of my drawings have been more than 20 layers or anything like as complex as a "motor car", so I may have got away with it



Link Posted 27/02/2012 - 19:37
With respect to graphics cards, it is worth remembering that they have significant computing power in their own right.

While AMD’s ATI subsidiary leads the market in price performance for traditional graphics/gaming, Nvidia have done a lot of work establishing standards around their CUDA parallel processing architecture.

You can access this computing power in various ways using bespoke programming, but commercial software is increasingly able to take advantage of CUDA capabilities in everything from VST virtual instruments and effects to video editing, and there is no reason why Photoshop shouldn’t use it selectively in future.

If you’re not a gamer but are looking for a graphics card I would certainly be buying one of the entry level CUDA enabled Nvidia cards, even something with just 16 or 32 cores to have your hat in the ring.


Link Posted 27/02/2012 - 21:12
We're getting into this sort of thing with graphics these days,
Now I'm talking Macs here but you get the idea...

A discrete or dedicated Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) has its own RAM that's independent of the computer's RAM. For instance, the NVIDIA 8600M GT in a MacBook Pro has 512 MB of video RAM that's totally separate from its 4 GB of normal RAM. That 512 MB of RAM on the GPU is used only for graphics processing. Having its own dedicated RAM makes the GPU process graphics much faster, leading to increased performance.

One downside of dedicated GPUs is that they generate a great deal of heat. The GPU is often the hottest-running component in your Mac, especially if your Mac is portable. Another downside, which is more important in terms of performance, is that dedicated GPUs are very power-hungry, and they can drain a portable Mac's battery very quickly. Finally, dedicated GPUs also cost more than integrated GPUs, which drives up the cost of the entire computer; this is one reason why the MacBook has always had an integrated GPU rather than a discrete one.

Integrated GPUs don't have their own RAM. Instead, they utilize some of the system's RAM. The original MacBook's Intel GMA 950, for example, would use a minimum 80 MB of system RAM for graphics processing. The current MacBook's NVIDIA GeForce 9400M uses a minimum of 256 MB of system RAM. The upshots of integrated GPUs are that they're cheaper (meaning a less expensive computer), they put out much less heat (making them ideal for smaller Macs like the MacBook or MacBook Air), and they use far less power than a discrete unit.

For everyday graphics processing, video, Flash, and even 2D gaming, these integrated GPUs usually work well enough to get the job done. Where integrated GPUs fall flat is in 3D gaming. Because they don't have their own dedicated RAM, and because their processing units are generally much less powerful than those in dedicated GPUs, integrated graphics are usually considered suboptimal for 3D games.

All of this doesn't mean that you can't play 3D games on a Mac with an integrated GPU, but you probably wouldn't want to. Reports from Steam's forums indicate that users have been able to get Portal, a graphically-intensive 3D game, to run on an older MacBook's Intel GMA 950. However, the frame rate was generally only 9 to 15 frames per second (FPS). Ideally, you want a 3D game to be running at 30 FPS or more; if it runs at anything much less than 30 FPS, you're going to notice a great deal of stuttering and slowdown in the graphics. A frame rate of less than 15 FPS renders a 3D game pretty much unplayable.

More modern Macs' integrated GPUs, like the NVIDIA 9400M and NVIDIA GeForce 320M, will handle 3D gaming better than the MacBook's original Intel integrated graphics. However, you'll still most likely have to turn the games' graphics to lower settings in order to get a smooth frame rate.
Same idea goes for most graphics GPU's these days it's just handy to know you've got an extra resource to hand...
Cheers Jules...

Back in the room!
“The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.”...Ansel Adams
Last Edited by jules on 27/02/2012 - 21:13


Link Posted 28/02/2012 - 06:54
FWIW re Ivy Bridge:

It's official: Ivy Bridge release pushed back
by Cyril Kowaliski — 6:00 AM on February 27, 2012

And just like that, Intel has confirmed last week's rumors—well, partially so. Intel China Executive VP Sean Maloney gave the Financial Times the scoop over the weekend, revealing that Ivy Bridge is now due to hit stores "eight to 10 weeks later than initially planned." He cited a tentative June time frame, although judging by his choice of words, things aren't set in stone quite yet:

In his first interview to discuss Intel’s business in China, Mr Maloney told the Financial Times that the start of sales of machines equipped with Ivy Bridge – the 22nm processor set to succeed Sandy Bridge in notebooks this year – had been pushed back from April. “I think maybe it’s June now,” he said.

Now, the rumor mill may have been wrong on one count. While last week's reports pinned the delay on oversupply of current-gen Sandy Bridge processors, Maloney attributes the "adjustment" to "the new manufacturing process needed to make the smaller chips." In other words, Intel's 22-nm process may not be ready for prime time.

Source: Tech Report


Link Posted 29/02/2012 - 12:45
have you tried utopia computers on glencairn st, i have used them several times and found them ok
Nobody is perfect, but being Scottish is a start


Link Posted 01/03/2012 - 13:34
T140 wrote:
have you tried utopia computers on glencairn st, i have used them several times and found them ok

"The Shop" in my original post was Utopia. I dont like being being sold something I dont need.

I've since sourced a couple of on-line retailers, one in Glasgow, who are doing pretty good deals on new PCs. I'll report on my "shopping experience" (dont you hate that expression) in due course.
"He's not the Messiah, ..."
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