August 21, 2014, 06:09:48 PM

Author Topic: Need a little help with monitor calibration tools and graphic cards  (Read 3400 times)

RC

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Hope this is not too much of a departure from photog topics

The short question is I’m looking for some advice on monitor calibration tools and graphics cards.  I do not want to skimp on these items and of course I don’t want to buy something I don’t need or is an overkill.

Monitor Calibration tools:
Trying to decide between X-Rite and Spyder tools.  I was leaning towards the X-Rite devices but I’m reading about too many software weaknesses.  Now I’m leaning towards Spyder.  Looking for suggestions from those who have experience with these or any other tools. 

Options I’m currently considering:
1.   Datacolor Spyder4Pro S4P100 - $169 (can upgrade software to Elite version below if I need to for $99)
2.   Datacolor Spyder4Elite S4EL100 - $249
3.   X-Rite i1Display 2 - $145
4.   Xrite EODIS3 i1Display Pro - $249

Graphics Card:
Just finished  building a new PC (do this every few years).  Moved from XP 32 bit to Windows 7 64bit.  I have done a fair amount of searching over time for what would be an optimal video card for photo editing and viewing.  There is a lot of video card information out there for gamers but not so much for photo editing.   I’m not a gamer and never will be one (God bless them however since they do push the hardware market).  So what is a good card and what should I be looking for?  Bus, memory, speed, etc.?

Currently I have a GeForce 430 with 1 gig of memory.  (maybe this card is just fine)

My current system is:
- Intel i processor
- Northbridge Z68 Chipset
- 16 gig memory
- Ample SATA storage
- PCIe  x 16 slot for video
- PCI Express power connector available
- Dell Ultrasharp display
- Editors:  Lightroom 4 & DPP

I also run a second display for general computer use so I need dual monitor support, but nothing special on the second port.  One thing that torqued me when I went to Win 7 is I lost the ability to use the nView software which is part of the XP NVIDA driver.  (For those not familiar with nView, this software provided all kinds of functionality and configuration for your graphics card such as hot keys to switch between monitors and to change orientations.)  Evidentially this is not available for the GeForce series with Win7.  I understand it is part of the NVIDA’s Quadro cards so I’m certainly open to that series.

Thanks much in advance!!

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candyman

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Re: Need a little help with monitor calibration tools and graphic cards
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2012, 02:20:29 AM »
Can't give you advice but like you looking for advice on the by you listed calibration tools
Since this subject was posted back in April, maybe you made your choice.

What was your choice and why do you like it?

I am working with a Notebook with an AMD 1GB graphical card running Windows 7 - 64-bit.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 09:38:05 AM by candyman »
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yablonsky

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Re: Need a little help with monitor calibration tools and graphic cards
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2012, 04:24:49 AM »
Hi,

I use datacolor Spyder3 Elite. It is very easy to use. It creates a monitor profile that calibrates the colors.
Next time you start the PC, the profile is loaded automatically into the LUT of the graphics card. This will tweak
the colors of the monitor. I purchased the Spyder because I always received prints from the lab which were totally unsatifying. They use standard sRGB in the labs and I setup my monitor accordingly. Now the prints and photo books look the same as in Photoshop and ACDSeePro.

I can recommend Spyder Elite!
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pato

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Re: Need a little help with monitor calibration tools and graphic cards
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2012, 06:51:02 AM »
Regarding graphic card (GPU) go for a new Nvidia 6xx series. Simply because of Direct X 11 and also many more years of driver support. You can take one of the low end series, but I wouldn't take the lowest, like a GT-640.

What you also could consider is directly jumping to Windows 8. It has greatly a accelerated Desktop speed, which might also improve picture editing speed. For the details read: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/07/23/hardware-accelerating-everything-windows-8-graphics.aspx?Redirected=true

Ow and just read that this was an old thread, so my answers are a bit late :(

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Re: Need a little help with monitor calibration tools and graphic cards
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2012, 09:06:22 AM »

get the
Datacolor Spyder4

I have the spyder3Elite and im very satisfied with it!

easy to create a profile within minutes. it does everything for you nearly automatically ;)
wait, adjust little stuff, wait, adjust, wait, DONE!  :D

money worth it!

candyman

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Re: Need a little help with monitor calibration tools and graphic cards
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2012, 09:35:48 AM »
Hi,

I use datacolor Spyder3 Elite. It is very easy to use. It creates a monitor profile that calibrates the colors.
Next time you start the PC, the profile is loaded automatically into the LUT of the graphics card. This will tweak
the colors of the monitor. I purchased the Spyder because I always received prints from the lab which were totally unsatifying. They use standard sRGB in the labs and I setup my monitor accordingly. Now the prints and photo books look the same as in Photoshop and ACDSeePro.

I can recommend Spyder Elite!


Sounds easy with a good result. I was considering the DataColor Spyder Elite as favourite. Thanks for sharing your experience

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candyman

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Re: Need a little help with monitor calibration tools and graphic cards
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2012, 09:37:49 AM »
Regarding graphic card (GPU) go for a new Nvidia 6xx series. Simply because of Direct X 11 and also many more years of driver support. You can take one of the low end series, but I wouldn't take the lowest, like a GT-640.

What you also could consider is directly jumping to Windows 8. It has greatly a accelerated Desktop speed, which might also improve picture editing speed. For the details read: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/07/23/hardware-accelerating-everything-windows-8-graphics.aspx?Redirected=true



I will consider this. Thanks for putting the link

Ow and just read that this was an old thread, so my answers are a bit late :(


Don't worry, I re-started it. No need to put multiple threads fro the same subject.
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Re: Need a little help with monitor calibration tools and graphic cards
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2012, 09:37:49 AM »

candyman

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Re: Need a little help with monitor calibration tools and graphic cards
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2012, 09:39:21 AM »

get the
Datacolor Spyder4

I have the spyder3Elite and im very satisfied with it!

easy to create a profile within minutes. it does everything for you nearly automatically ;)
wait, adjust little stuff, wait, adjust, wait, DONE!  :D

money worth it!


Great. Another vote for the DataColor Spyder.
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papa-razzi

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Re: Need a little help with monitor calibration tools and graphic cards
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2012, 10:48:55 AM »
I did a lot of research a couple of months ago on color management.  You can spend a lot of time in this area as it gets much more complicated than it would seem on the surface if you really want to understand it deeply.

A big consideration is what devices you want to color manage.  If you only want to color manage the monitor(s) the less expensive devices will work.  If you want to manage your printer as well - then you need a spectrophotometer, which is more expensive.

Here is a good blog post to read on this from Ron Martinsen http://www.ronmartblog.com/search?q=colormunki  He recommends the ColorMunki.

Re: Graphics cards - everything I have read says that Photoshop and lightroom are CPU intensive, not GPU intensive.  I built a PC this summer with the latest desktop i7 processor and just used the on-chip GPU  and my system is very snappy.  I have a SSD as the main drive and 16G of memory.  I don't even have a dedicated graphics card.  I have 7D size raw files and a fairly large number of pictures (10,000+) and it does fine.

Re: Dual monitors.  I have two Dell monitors and the setup works great.  Make sure your system board and/or graphics card(s) support the proper connections for your monitors (VGA, Displayport, DVI, etc.).  In my case I have one monitor connected to VGA and the other to DVI - not optimal but I wanted to use the monitors I had and avoid buying a graphics card.  (Note the max resolution differs between an analog connection and a digital connection on the same monitor).  The color gammut of my two monitors is not the same, so the colors don't exactly match. (I suggest getting identical monitors if you can)  Also, most consumer (low cost) monitors are designed for landscape viewing, and if you turn the monitor to portrait orientation, the angle of view is very narrow.  I have to be looking straight at the monitor to avoid distortion - looking at even a 30 degree angle isn't good.

I use the second monitor in portrait mode in lightroom when previewing portrait shots - it works great.  Lightroom does a very good job with it's dual monitor support.
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MichaelG

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Re: Need a little help with monitor calibration tools and graphic cards
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2012, 11:30:33 AM »
For almost 3 years I used the Spyder 3 until I noticed that the calibration always creates some degree of pink (oon two different monitors). After some research it turned out that the Spyder 3 has a general problem: the build in color filters change their color over time. The problem is well known to DataColor. That's why they introduced the Spyder 4.

Right before the introduction of the Spyder 4 I switched to the i1Display. I find both software ok, both have pros and cons. I like the X-Rite a bit more, it gives me a bit more control over the measurement (e.g. how many colors to test). When measuring and setting the RGB values of the monitor X-Rite makes my life easier compared to DataColor. X-Rite continuesly measures the values (very fast) while I need to press the Measure button in the DataColor software for each measurement (which takes a while).

Michael

RC

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Re: Need a little help with monitor calibration tools and graphic cards
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2012, 10:43:53 PM »
 :o  I was surprise to see that this old thread (from last April) got resurrected.  I figuring it got voided by the admin since it was more computer related.   The timing is very good.  I have not upgraded my video card or purchased a calibration tool yet because my money went to a new body and speedlite but now they are at the top of the list.

Thanks everyone for the information and links.  I'm leaning towards the Spyder4 but still need to research more for a video card.   May as well wait until next week to see if by chance I can get a Black Friday deal on a cal tool.  As far as Windows 8 goes, I don't plan to upgrade anytime soon unless there is something beneficial for graphics.





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Re: Need a little help with monitor calibration tools and graphic cards
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2012, 03:41:24 PM »
Ip osted this in another thread.  I am too am using Windows 7 64 Bit.  There's already calibration software built in that may be sufficient for you.  I try and align everything to sRGB (or if you prefer Adobe RGB).

Here's a copy and paste from the previous thread:

One other point I wish to add is making sure your monitor shares the same profile.  After buying a new Samsung 27" monitor yesterday I proceeded to install the drivers and was looking for calibration software of which this monitor did not come with.  In windows 7 however one can make various changes to match what they are shooting in their photos.  For Windows 7 users (and perhaps Win 8 and Vista) try this:  right click on the screen of your Win 7 PC and choose "screen resolution". There you should see the profile of your monitor listed (mine was a T27B350) in the display box. If not you may need to seek out your monitor's driver on the manufacturer web site or CD that came with the monitor, install then choose your model. Next Click Advanced Settings, Choose the Color Management Tab, make sure under the Device Tab your monitor is listed and highlighted. Now the fun begins, choose the Advanced Tab. Under Device Profile you can choose your monitor or you might choose sRGB or Adobe RGB. I left my camera to shoot in sRGB so I chose this vs. Adobe RGB. If your screen matches what your camera shot then the photos should be spot on. Under the ICC rendering these are personal choices but I set mine primarily to photography and Absolute Color Metric. Lastly, click the calibration button to completely fine tune your contrast, GAMMA, brightness etc. As final step you will see the Microsoft Clear Light wizard. When you are done your monitor should be spot on.
If I have left out anything or someone else wishes to comment please do so.
Thanks
Rev
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Alrik89

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Re: Need a little help with monitor calibration tools and graphic cards
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2012, 05:12:49 PM »
Graphic card doesn't matter for photo editing. I'm working fine with a crappy onboard card in my notebook.

Regarding graphic card (GPU) go for a new Nvidia 6xx series. Simply because of Direct X 11 and also many more years of driver support. You can take one of the low end series, but I wouldn't take the lowest, like a GT-640.

What a bull****. Every new driver, either NVidia or AMD/ATI supports old cards.
And DirectX11 is no argument for a newer graphic card, too. DirectX11 matters only for games!

Every stupid graphic card, even onboard chips like the HD4000 (on intel-cpus) oder Intel GMA (on Intel mainboards) can handle all your photos.

Spare the money and invest in RAM and a SSD.
Get a Samsung 830 series SSD for 100 bucks and 16 Gigabyte of RAM for 50 bucks. That helps a lot more than a graphic card.

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Re: Need a little help with monitor calibration tools and graphic cards
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2012, 05:12:49 PM »

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Re: Need a little help with monitor calibration tools and graphic cards
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2012, 05:50:20 PM »
All great info.

I have an iMac however, and these solutions alone don't work because the monitors are too bright.  Other software (3rd party) has to be purchased and installed separately.
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Re: Need a little help with monitor calibration tools and graphic cards
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2012, 05:50:20 PM »