For pure imaging work you don’t need to spend a fortune for a video card, even one that works with OpenGL and is compatible with Adobes latest version of CS5 Photoshop.  This will be a quick review to let you know such a card exists, it costs under baht 2000, and it works very well.

 

For pure imaging work you don’t need to spend a fortune for a video card, even one that works with OpenGL and is compatible with Adobes latest version of CS5 Photoshop.  This will be a quick review to let you know such a card exists, it costs under baht 2000, and it works very well.

 

With ATI’s new “EyeFinity” you can run three monitors from any 4000 and 5000 series ATI card, and there are a lot of them in this model range.  The caveat is the third monitor MUST be a Displayport.  Why ATI did this I can’t tell you exactly, but it’s for technical reasons and it’s a limitation we have to live with.  I need to run both my NEC image monitors AND my 1080p HDTV.  With the new 5970 card running my imaging monitors via DVII needed an inexpensive, single slot, native HDMI, passively cooled (didn’t want fan noise) video card with 7.1 Digital Dolby.  HIS has more than a few of these available, from the 4300 series, to the 4400 series to the 4500 series.  After that they require fans as the power increases and along with more power comes more cooling needs.

 

I recently upgraded my main video card to a very powerful ATI 5970 card and it runs both my NEC LCD2690uxi2 Spectraview II monitors.  A fast video card does render images faster, and can make dramatic differences when rendering video.

With ATI’s new “EyeFinity” you can run three monitors from any 4000 and 5000 series ATI card, and there are a lot of them in this model range.  The caveat is the third monitor MUST be a Displayport.  Why ATI did this I can’t tell you exactly, but it’s for technical reasons and it’s a limitation we have to live with.  I need to run both my NEC image monitors AND my 1080p HDTV.  With the new 5970 card running my imaging monitors via DVII needed an inexpensive, single slot, native HDMI, passively cooled (didn’t want fan noise) video card with 7.1 Digital Dolby.  HIS has more than a few of these available, from the 4300 series, to the 4400 series to the 4500 series.  After that they require fans as the power increases and along with more power comes more cooling needs.

 

Originally I purchased the 1200 baht 4350 card and everything seemed to work UNTIL I brought up Adobe CS5.  CS5 crashed.  If I removed the 4350 card my imaging monitors worked fine with CS5 using my 5970 card.  Calling Adobe I was given the good news that “both video cards ‘should’ be the same.”  Well damn, I’m not spending another 24,000 baht just to run a single HDTV.  It just doesn’t make sense.

 

Originally I purchased the 1200 baht 4350 card and everything seemed to work UNTIL I brought up Adobe CS5.  CS5 crashed.  If I removed the 4350 card my imaging monitors worked fine with CS5 using my 5970 card.  Calling Adobe I was given the good news that “both video cards ‘should’ be the same.”  Well damn, I’m not spending another 24,000 baht just to run a single HDTV.  It just doesn’t make sense.

So, I sat down and carefully studied the specifications of both CS5 Photoshop and the ATI cards and determined the type of memory (in this case DDR3), OpenGL 2.1 matching versions, and the same PCI Express 2.1 compatibility were the determining factors.  The 5450 card was the only one meeting the specs for CS5, and my requirements for a single slot, passively cooled, native HDMI with 7.1 sound card.  I called  my local computer store at Pantip and they sent one out via Motorsai driver to exchange for the 4350 and collect a few more baht.

 

So, I sat down and carefully studied the specifications of both CS5 Photoshop and the ATI cards and determined the type of memory (in this case DDR3), OpenGL 2.1 matching versions, and the same PCI Express 2.1 compatibility were the determining factors.  The 5450 card was the only one meeting the specs for CS5, and my requirements for a single slot, passively cooled, native HDMI with 7.1 sound card.  I called  my local computer store at Pantip and they sent one out via Motorsai driver to exchange for the 4350 and collect a few more baht.

 

I wanted the single slot design so I could use the furthest PCIe slot on my mother board so ample air could flow around my much more powerful ATI 5970 video card.  I wanted it passively cooled (no fan) so I wouldn’t have to listen to a cheap fan buzz away.  And I wanted a native HDMI that would power my new 50” HDTV at its native 1080p resolution and decode the latest 7.1 Digital Dolby and DTS and other sound codecs for the latest movies.  The 5450 card fit the bill exactly!

 

As you can see it has a DVI port and native HDMI port.  I tried it, you can run a DVI imaging monitor and HDMI monitor from this inexpensive card.  If you don’t play games or render video, it actually makes sense to use an inexpensive card such as this.  It also comes with a VGA to Displayport adapter.

 

As you can see it has a DVI port and native HDMI port.  I tried it, you can run a DVI imaging monitor and HDMI monitor from this inexpensive card.  If you don’t play games or render video, it actually makes sense to use an inexpensive card such as this.  It also comes with a VGA to Displayport adapter.

 

The most important thing for my system is that it can co-exist fine with my more powerful ATI 5970 card and Photoshop CS5 and it meets all my requirements.  The video on the HDTV is perfectly rendered and the audio is superb.  This is a great card and would be ideal for a HTPC (home theater personal computer) system.  For under baht 2000 this is a very smart buy for any system where you don’t need the power to run games or render video.

 

The most important thing for my system is that it can co-exist fine with my more powerful ATI 5970 card and Photoshop CS5 and it meets all my requirements.  The video on the HDTV is perfectly rendered and the audio is superb.  This is a great card and would be ideal for a HTPC (home theater personal computer) system.  For under baht 2000 this is a very smart buy for any system where you don’t need the power to run games or render video.

In the near future I’ll also review the ATI 5970 cards and go over the reasons for replacing my (2) ATI 5770 cards (fine cards, but created heat issues because they were both double slot cards placed very close together).  The heat caused the failure of one of my 5770 cards and diagnosing what was going on took me several days and a huge amount of frustration.  Things aren’t always what they seem.  But once I determined the card was the issue, I wasn’t going to put a replacement back in the same high heat situation, especially when my local dealer willingly allowed me to apply my broken card to an upgrade.

The 5450 card is a great card, perfect for imaging, but not powerful enough for rendering video (in a reasonable amount of time) or playing games.  It’s highly recommended for imaging.