Optimal graphics card and graphics RAM for photoshop and Lightroom??

Posted By
Aug 9, 2007
I am about to set up a new computer, and wounder how much I should spend on a graphics card. Adobe advises more than 128 MB RAM, but how much more is useful? Should I go for as much as I can afford ie 750 MB?

How much does the prosessor speed on the graphics card affect the efficiency of these programs?

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Aug 9, 2007
Hi end video gaming cards are not necessary to run Photoshop. A top end Nvidia 8800 costs more than some computers that are capable of running photoshop.
If you are lucky enough to still have a good CRT monitor almost any PCIe card with 128mbs of ram will fully support the CRT, unless the CRT is massive.
The key point, presuming you are using an LCD monitor, is whether your video card can support the LCD panel at its native resolution. This becomes a real issue with wide panels larger than 19 inches and resolutions greater than 1440×900. Most recent PCIe cards should support this resolution but you need to make sure. The info should be available on the manufacturer;s web site.
Larger panels, generally starting at 24 inches, may require dual DVI inputs to run at full resolution. Not all videocards can do that. I believe the single DVI spec actually maxes out at data rates a few steps above 1440×900 resolution (I don’t recall the exact figure) which is why the dual set up is necessary.
There is a pending new specification for a single connector high resolution, the name of which escapes me also, but it will be a while before large monitors and video cards support it.
Klaas Visser
Aug 9, 2007
The memory on board graphics card is used to hold textures and stuff, and is more useful for 3D work. Any 128MB card from a reputable brand should do fine.

I use a Matrox Parhelia 128MB card myself, and it works admirably in Photoshop.
Aug 10, 2007
Ok, Thanks!


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