Opinions needed for best graphics card for 3d animation/rendering work

Hey guys,

Its been roughly two years since i built our current home desktop pc, which was built partly for gaming purposes and also for me to able to do decent 3d work on it.

I'm now off to uni, and i'm looking to build a new rig for me to take and use on my Computer visualisation and animation course at bournemouth which is gonna involve 3d animation work,rendering and probably editing video etc..
I've been trying to clue myself up on recent components around as i've let myself go since buliding the last rig and haven't really kept up to date with the current market.

The last graphics card i brough was a xfx nvidia 6800 which has served fairly well but that was two years ago and now i'm confused as to what currently is seen as the best card in my budget, for the type of work i'm gonna be doing at uni. I've been looking mainly at the nvidia 8800 cards,mainly because they're better updates of my current card. But i want to see whether they'res any alternatives, maybe with ati cards which may serve me better, and are reasonably priced. My limit for a card is probably just under £250 if that helps, but may be able to push it if its worth it.

Thanks for any views you've got to give

7 answers Last reply
More about opinions needed graphics card animation rendering work
  1. an 8800 gts seems great for you, (I have no concept of what is good for workstation graphics and am simply advising as i would for a gaming comp)
  2. are you going to be gaming? If not consider a FireGL or Quadro card. Very expensive though
  3. Someone else has also recommended either of those two types of cards for me, and i know what you mean about them being expensive.

    I might do a bit of gaming but not excessively and not at huge resolutions and settings etc.. Buying one of these cards wouldn't affect this much would it?

  4. Another quick question after i've been doing a bit of research.

    What would be the best card out of the nvidia quadro fx1500 and 8800 gts for use on programs like Maya and 3ds max?

  5. Several of the "Professional graphics" or "workstation" video cards" are the same as the ones you might be more familiar with. The difference is in the BIOS and the drivers. For animation and design, the 8800 GTS would be plenty for you. It's optimized for open gl as well as all the other stuff. I was quite shocked when I read reviews for some of the professional graphics cards. Repackaged, with a new name, BIOS, and drivers and supposedly you have a totally different card, for a much higher price I will add. It's different if a card is optimized for certain apps, or for certain functions. Take a look at the specs between the GTS and the "professional graphics" card you want. The GTS accelerates everything well.
  6. The pro cards and gaming cards might have the same hardware, but the drivers are vastly different. When you pay extra for a Quadro or FireGL, you're paying for support and driver development.

    On old Geforces and Radeons there were ways to use the Quadro/FireGL drivers but I don't believe they've had success with that on the new cards, although I haven't looked into it for a while.
  7. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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