Need advice on computer video cards.

I just got a new 20-inch LCD monitor for my main office computer. The graphic card in the computer right now is a GeForce MX 4000. The combination looks fine, although I just installed it and haven’t run through all the apps I normally use yet.

But I happen to have an ATI Radeon 9250 w/256 MB lying around that I could stick in there. This would allow me to connect the monitor with a DVI cable (although I’d have to get a longer cable than the one that came with the monitor).

All I do on this machine is use ordinary office apps: Word, Excel, Access, Web browsing, e-mail, etc. Probably the most graphically demanding work I do is laying out my newsletter with MS Publisher and the occasional bit of photo editing with Photoshop Elements and some other graphics editing programs. The OS is XP Pro.

But I don’t do any gaming or watch DVDs or anything like that.

So should I bother to install the newer ATI card and connect the monitor via DVI? Would it provide any noticeable improvement over the GeForce with the analog connection? What about using the ATI with an analog cable instead of DVI?


My understanding is that DVI can make a difference if you’re doing a lot of image-heavy work, e.g. photo processing, due to DVI being more precise in how it colors the pixels of an LCD screen. (This could be wrong/incomplete, in which case hopefully someone more knowledgeable will correct me.)

I’ve used LCDs both with VGA and DVI connections, and I can’t say I notice the difference. Since you’re just doing basic office tasks, I wouldn’t bother swapping in the ATI card.

Do you watch clips from YouTube etc? If so, you’ll benefit from the switch.

If the current monitor image looks fine to you it’s probably not worth the hassle. DVI can provide a clearer image with less interference, but the difference is usually slight.