* For still digital editing you need two things:
1. True color fidelity video card that support 32-bit color pallette at the highest horizontal refresh rate comparable with your monitor. 16-bit color pallette is acceptable.
2. 17" or larger monitor that support 32-bit color at the color pallette size you want (32-bit); the screen resolution you want (1024x768) or larger; the smallest dot pitch that you can afford to buy; and the highest supported horizontal refresh rate at the screen resolution and color pallette size you want.
Video card works in tandem with your monitor. Don't waste your money buying a high-end video card when your monitor can only support low-end resolution.
Check the specification of your monitor before buying video card.
Horizontal refresh rate of 75 HZ or higher is strongly recommended if you were to spend alot of time editing pictures. Higher rate may be required for some people who're more sensitive to "flickering screen". Higher refresh rate (horizontal) helps reduce eye straint/fatigue.
First, find out the size of your monitor (14", 15" 17", 18", 19", 21", etc.).
Next, find out the horizontal refresh rate of your monitor at the 16-bit color pallette and screen resolution of 1024x768 and at 1280x1024 resolution.
Repeat the above step with 32-bit color pallette, if applicable.
You should see a table similar to this:
Monitor Screen Color Horz
Size Resolution Pallette Refresh
17" 800x600 16-bit 120 Hz
17" 1024x768 16-bit 90 Hz
17" 1280x1024 16-bit 75 Hz
17" 800x600 32-bit 85 Hz
17" 1024x768 32-bit 72 Hz
17" 1280x1024 32-bit 60 Hz
17" 1600x1280 32-bit 55 Hz
Next, for your monitor size, select the highest color pallett bit, the highest screen resolution you want to use (I strongly recommend the minimum of 1024 x768 for 17" or larger monitor, and the maximum of 1280x1024) and the highest horizontal refresh rate. Write this info down.
Now you're ready to buy a video card that is best suite your monitor from budget perspective and technical perspective.
It's often easier to find video card driver for various OS platforms from major video card manufacturer than from lesser known and "cheaper" video cards. So depends on which OS you run, weight this factor accordingly in your buying decision.
Microsoft's newer OSes include supports for major video card vendors, thus saving you time to look for the driver each time you install Windows or update your system.
PS: The headings for the columns in the table was messed up in this posting system. They are (from left to right):
1. Monitor size
2. Screen resulution
3. Color pallette
4. Horizontal Refresh Rate