Need to get a new PC as I just got a camera that produces 45MB RAW files, and my 4-year old PC is making editing a really tedious task. In addition, I've been dabbling a little bit with video, and am finding editing and rendering 1080p video (Sony Vegas) really slow. I'm assuming that both of these tasks would benefit from a faster graphics card, but am wondering how high up I need to go. I was hoping to just buy a new Dell XPS8500 or HP equivalent with the new Ivy Bridge core i7 chip (as opposed to trying to assemble one myself, which I've never done), but the top end graphics cards available on those appear to be a Radeon HD 7870 or Radeon HD7950 (for a hefty $400 upcharge). How significant is the difference between those two? How much additional benefit would there be in buying a gaming rig that has an even higher-end card?
In video rendering all you need is a Powerful CPU, the I7 2600K or the equivalent IB is your way to go.
You gotta determine if you're going to use just adobe applications or you're gonna render in 3D MAX, Maya, CAD or be working on 3D Animations if you're gonna just use Adobe applications all you gonna need is a GPU supporting CUDA if you're gonna use the other heavy applications so one of the nVidia Quadro or ATI ForePro is your way to go.
The Radeon 7970 and 7950 have been suggested for use in some of those programs, just thought that I'd bring that up (I'm not sure if they're options, but another thread was up recently about someone getting a 7970 for Maya). They beat many of the much more expensive high end professional cards. Agreed on the CPU. i7-2600K, i7-2700K, and i7-3770K are excellent for LGA 1155 work such as this.