I was just looking at the new 2007 VGA comparison chart. There's plenty of statistics available for gaming plus a few 3DMark06 results. However, no 3D rendering programs were tested.
In the system I'm getting ready to build, the purpose of my graphics card will not be gaming, but will instead be accelerating 3D animation rendering, particularly in OpenGL based applications. I'm wondering how well the gaming and 3DMark06 results translate to accelerating 3D / OpenGL rendering. If a given card performs better than another card in the gaming / 3DMark06 tests, can the same performance improvement be expected in 3D rendering with OpenGL applications ?
That used to be the simple rule of thumb, but the GF8800/HD2900 has negated that rule. Anything X1K or GF7 and below that's still a good rule, but for the new breed there's no longer the DX v OGL divide as much. That was one of the first things I noticed about the new cards.
Anywhoo, for wokstation apps there's no relationship between 3Dmarks and professional apps in general. Even amongst the pro apps, there's differences between Maya, 3DSmax, Rhino, Solidworks, etc.
Different apps perform better based on core or memory speed, and others prefer having a large buffer so memroy size matters more.
If we knew which programs, then people could offer suggestions as to which cards to consider.
For OpenGL apps you use nvidia Quadro, ati FireGL or 3DLabs Wildcat series of graphic cards.
Many programs benefit greatly from these but you have to tell us which you would be using.
There are some cheap alternatives like the Geforce 6800GT which I have one and have turned it into Quadro FX3400. These cards cost a fortune. In 3ds max the viewpoert speed isn't much better cos max now uses Direct3D. But programs like Vue 6 Infinite now FLY.
So tell us what exactly you will be using on your PC so we can recommend some hardware.