Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:34 AM
All video cards run monitors. It is what your are running on the computer that will determine the level of card you need. Games, streaming video, graphics, design or plain old web/office things require different cards to perform at their best. If all you are looking to do is run web/office stuff then any card will work since for many years the 2D performance of videos cards has been equal across the board. The only real difference in the cards in todays market is in the speed of and how they deal with 3D graphics.
So for basic 2D web/office stuff get a fanless card. I really doesn't matter if it is AMD or Nvidia based or who makes it. Just read the reviews to pick one that is reliable and "trouble free".
For watching streaming video and basic graphics work make sure to pick a card that handles the decoding internally to keep from stressing the processor. Look for the H.264 support that should handle anything you throw at it as well as providing good visual clarity. Fanless can be fine here too if your case has decent airflow.
For design work (i.e CAD or the like) you really should have a workstation class card that supports the extra 3D rendering functions to take load off the processor. Cards like the FireGL or the Quadro work well for this type of work
Games always do best with the latest and greatest. For that I say go with the best you can afford.
As a side note if you do decide to pick one of the higher end cards make sure your power supply has enough power and the proper connections to supply enough power for the card to work properly.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.