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I am looking to buy a new PC and the question is, weather a dedicated graphics card is useful or if the build-in will be enough.

What I use is mostly Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop and Illustrator. Also MS Office and obviously Windows and a Browser (Firefox). Most of my other Applications are related to programming and are not able to use the GPU. I also run Linux VMs with VirtualBox. Except for the linux window manager, the applications within the VM do not use the GPU.

So the question is, how big is the impact of a dedicated graphics card for such applications?

Are there other uses for the GPU (which I did not think of)?

My budget for the graphics card would be in the 250 € / 300 USD range.

I want to connect 2 monitors with an 2560 x 1440 resolution. I think any build-in GPU should be able to handle this.

Another thing is, that I want the PC to be very silent. How are current graphic cards when it comes to noise?

The rest of the PC will be a 6-8 Core-CPU, combined with 16-32 GB RAM and an M2 PCIe SSD. I have not decided yet on the exact CPU, especially since there are some without a graphics card.

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  • No iGPU -> Ryzen or HEDT? Also 3rd gen Ryzens will be launched in a month or two and promise a massive boost in performance for non-HEDT systems according to rumors – Jan Dorniak May 9 '19 at 23:43
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TL;DR only developing RAW photos would really benefit from a good dGPU.

Is your usage of Adobe products professional or hobbyist? If you are not using them professionally you would IMHO be better off spending that money on a better CPU.

For hard data look at a benchmark by Puget Systems - the integrated GPU in 9900k is not that much worse off than a high-end GPU in PS. I expect Illustrator to behave similarly.

One question I was not able to find a satisfactory answer for is whether Lightroom benefits from GPU compute. And looking at your setup and other mentioned tasks developing a large amount of RAWs is your most computationally intensive task in terms of both graphics and things which can be GPU accelerated. And I know that both darktable and Capture One do use GPU acceleration. And it can (anecdotally) lead to speedups of one or two orders of magnitude.

The UHD 630 should easily handle two 2k screens. If I'm wrong or just throw in an RX 550 if it fails to do so. nVidia has issues on Linux.

Edit: RX 460 is more expensive but available with passive cooling.

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