Looking through these forums for guidance, I've managed to put together a list of the components that I think will give me a good performance. However I feel like I'm probably spending too much, so need your opinion on my decisions and alternatives that will bring the price down. Ideally, without sacrificing too much performance. Most of the work I do is either compositing with After Effects or 3D animation & rendering in Maya/ Cinema 4D. Some of the things I'll be making will be for professional use, but mostly for personal work. Its currently adding up to about £1500 ($2266.52). I was only planning to spend £800 ($1208.81) max, so its a bit too much. If I do go with this configuration I will probably buy the graphics card separately when I have chance to save a little more. As the one I have selected doubles the price!
Here is my list. I mainly use ebuyer.com, but am buying from whoever is cheapest:
SSD will work with any mobo with SATA ports (ie any made in last 5 years). It's no different than a SATA hard drive.
GTX 470's fermi architecture is actually gpgpu oriented. No one's done benchmarks that I know of, but in terms of pure GFLOPS, the fermi's will easily outclass the cheap quadros.
The main difference btwn quadro's and GTX's is the drivers. You're paying a huge price premium for them. In terms of actual GPU power, fermi's got the quadro's beat. This'll more than make up for the difference vs a fx1800, vs a fx3800? No idea. Would really depend on program.
Brilliant - that's really helpful thank you. Its the first time I've looked at components in any detail - so I'm finding all the specification comparison a little confusing. I'll check out the gtx 470 and see if I can find benchmarks for it.
I asked somebody about the gtx 470 and they told me that I should get the gtx 275 (prev. gen), because its very similar. I looked on ebay and it's certainly a lot cheaper. All I wonder is if I'm going to be at any major disadvantage by missing the new features?
Somebody else told me to SSI a few of them. I read that Cinema 4D doesn't support it though, so that probably won't be worth my while.
Actually, thanks to the release of the GTX 460 you've got another card to consider. If you want bit streaming, the GTX 460's offer that in addition to CUDA features. Would definitely get the 1GB version though.
The gtx 275 and gtx 460/470 also support a higher OpenGL version if it matters.
Have you checked out the ATI Firepro V4800 1gb GDDR5 OpenGL 3.2. ($175-$180)
I am facing the same dilemma. Was going to buy the GTX 460 seeing as there were no comparably priced newer workstation class cards before seeing the ATI Firepro listed. The GTX looks really nice though..if only we could get a CUDA enable fermi workstation card around the same price.