I've been using maya and after effects professionally now for about 2 years and i feel its time that i build my own custom 12 core PC. I wanted to know which quadro card you would recommend. Im looking at the QuadroFX 4800 and fx3800. Ive heard that some of these cards are over kill for certain applications. Thank you for your time.
Quadro cards are nothing but normal cards with specialized drivers. I can say that you can go with normal cards as well and get 90% of the performance and save a lot of cash. Currently the Quadro 6000 is the best Quadro card available. But out of the one you chose, i would say the FX4800 is better and comes in around a whopping $1500. Another one is the Quadro FX500 at $1700.
I don know how complex your model is in MAYA. To be simplified, the performance of GPU means the quantity of vertex and pixel that can be calculated and ouput. But that is not important unless you are designing one extreme complex 3D model (actually very few people do that). The reason why the QUADRO cards are called professional version is that they support the full openGL functions. The funciton is important althought it is only the business of software (driver). Gaming cards with the same hardware cannot be good for the 3D design no matter it is HD 4870 or GTX580 . There is nearly nothing to do with performance.