I want to get a different video card for my build...here is what I do:
-NO GAMES EVER
-TV tuner a lot
-DVD's a decent amount
-Photo/video editing a decent amount
-3D rendering is about 70% of what I'll be doing...it's nothing crazy but still
-Office / internet application
I want something ATi because i'm getting the TV wonder 650 and I know ati loves working with ati.
CPU = E6600
HD's = 2x 74gig raptors + 1x 320gb sata
I haven't heard of that company, but I have Saphires version of the X1600Pro 512. I use it for making family video's on DVD, and watching movies besides the general purpose home stuff and moderate gaming. I don't do 3D rendering, but at this price level you just wait longer I suppose. Just check some reviews on that card. If they are just using ATI's reference board (likely) then you should be fine if you get a good feeling about their wty and customer service.
I would point you towards the PowerColor X1600. Because it is, to me, a better known brand over the other 1600. Also because the newer technology of the Radeon X1xxx series has very good video, and is an improvment I am guessing over the X8 series cards. The 850 is faster (at least in gaming) than the X1600 but I can't tell you if it would be any faster in your primary use of 3D rendering as they have different internal architectures.
You might try asking about the 3D rendering task on the ATI website (customer service, pre sales, etc.) since you are comparing ATI to ATI.
Based on what I read here.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_computer_graphics
.....concerning 3D rendering, it depends if you need real time or if you are rendering to achieve a static high quality image. The 850 will give you a bit more frames per second but it won't be like double the X1600 performance. 10fps better maybe? I still suggest the newer gen X1600 due to the higher video quality. And it's newegg, so if it feels sluggish to you just return it and try the 850.
But I think for you to notice a big difference (over the X1600) you would have to jump up to a X1800 or higher, or even use a workstation class card ($$$). You might also consider a Matrox card. They are usually very good at this sort of thing but not very good at gaming.