I need your help, i am am architecture student who loves games, i use Autodesk Revit by day and Starcraft by night.
I am getting a new system put together and i was going to go for an ATI HD5850 (1gb ram) But the guy building it said i would be better of getting a leadtek quadro FX580 (512K ram). He said its going to be alot better with the autodesk stuff but not as good at the games. I would need to say that Architecture comes first.
If your architecting work trumps your gaming "work" significantly, then a workstation class GPU should be your priority. It will make a difference when using Autodesk and other CAD/CAM/etc tasks. Both the NVidia Quadro and ATI FireGL/FirePro/FireStream GPUs fit the bill for these applications and they provided "certified" drivers for certain key design applications.
It is also quite true that they will not perform as well in gaming. The HD5850 is a great gaming GPU (especially for the relative cost) and it will run circles (several in fact) around just about any workstation GPU in terms of gaming performance.
As decode points out, the HD5850 will likely perform well for your purposes. It should perform in an acceptable fashion with your work apps and it will defintely out-game the Quadro by leaps and bounds.
I, too, recommend the HD5850 as long as you understand the capabilities and limitations of each. Good luck!
Thanks for that. I am going to go with the HD5850. I am thinking of getting a i7 950 to go with it as they have just been halfed in price. so this combo should give me enough grunt to get through Autodesk and a bit of Starcraft. Thanks for all your help it was much appreciated.