Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Novice needs help choosing Video Card

  1. #1

    Novice needs help choosing Video Card

    I'd like to upgrade my Video Card but know nothing about them. The reason is probably because I'm not a gamer. I have a homebuilt using a Gigabyte 880GM-USB3 motherboard and I'm currently using the onboard video which I believe is ATI Radeon 4250. I'm running W8.1 with AMD FX4100 Quad Core using 8 Gigs of memory. My monitor is an HP w2207h. The only gaming I do is occasionally playing a game of Solitare, LOL. I do, however, use Photoshop CS5 to retouch and enhance pictures and Office 2013. Can you suggest a decent Video Card, preferably less than $100, that would be good for my usage?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1

    I'm not a gamer.
    So, before making any recommendations, I would ask "what are you looking to improve?" Now, based on your description, it appears that Photoshop CS5 might present the strongest case for wanting to upgrade; however, if that is responsive and running OK, why upgrade?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Why upgrade? That's a good question. I guess the main reason is that my Windows Experience Index was only
    a 4 in the video department, while everything else was in the mid 7's. I just recently upgraded my HDD to an SSD and after seeing the huge difference that made I figured that the Video card was the last thing I needed to make my rig the best that it could be. Who knows, maybe I'll try a few games.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1

    I guess the main reason is that my Windows Experience Index was only a 4 in the video department,
    OK, at least we now know the reason. Anyway, I (personally) would not use the WEI as a barometer for a need to upgrade. I would be more inclined to research the Passmark graphics card database and compare those results with your card after a Passmark run.

    Now, you have two ways to do this. The first way is to click this link and compare the scores as I have already included you graphics card in the results:

    PassMark Software - Video Card Benchmarks - Video Card Look Up

    Note that any card above your score is better and you could do price checks as you go.

    Now, an even more accurate way to do this is to download the Passmark Benchmarking Software and take advantage of their free 30 day full trial. This gives you the extra capability of doing a full database search by inputting your motherboard, cpu, ram and then searching for results by best graphic scores.

    PassMark Performance Test download page

    For the record, I use onboard graphics and my 3d graphics WEI score on 8.0 was a fairly solid 6.2; however, when I reran Winsat formal after upgrading (WEI substitute on 8.1), my graphics' score dropped to a measly 4.9 but everything still works fine for me because I am not a gamer as well. Good luck with your exploration of this issue and I hope you can make use of the information I have provided.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    As I stated, I'm a total Video novice. I didn't even know there was a Passmark Benchmark software available. I'll DL it and make my decision from the results. Thank you!!!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1

    Ok, good luck. Also, here is an alternative database for the low-mid range that I pointed you to originally. The reason I added this link is because I think you could actually go beyond the low-mid range ans still get a nice card for under 100 bucks in the mid-high range. Also, thank you for the acknowledgement as well.

    Note: There is also a Best Value Chart that compares the price points to performace that looks interesting.

    PassMark Software - Video Card Benchmark Charts
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Novice needs help choosing Video Card
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