Should I get a 670/680 with 2GB or 4GB VRAM? I want to use it for gaming and after effects,premier, and 3d software like cinema 4d or 3DS max, and the new element 3D. will AE or premier use more of the ram for rendering, preview? etc.. Thanks.
Is the 7970 better for this purpose or does Nvidia win because of it's CUDA cores?
Also does it help to have 32GB 2133mhz instead of 16 16-0mhz for rendering?
The asus 680 seems to be the fastest 680 on the market with a 1201 mhz vs 1150MHz clock but they don't sell 4GB versions, I just want to know if it helps for video and 3d software.
Also should I get an SSD and render on it or use it to render on my hard drive?
I not sure about the cards, but as for your storage, maybe the new western digital velociraptor meets a good balance for storage and access speeds. A SSD will probably fill up very quickly. Im not sure of the prices though.
Video:Honestly it will help compared to other consumer cards but if you compared it to a Firepro or Quadro it would be slaughtered. For non gaming purposes the consumer cards are horrible for rendering in 3dsmax and Maya with large models. For reference in most cases a $150 Pro card > $1000 Consumer card for professional uses. On a thought it might be a neat idea to install a Pro and a Consumer card in one system (multi-monitor). Set the first monitor to be the consumer and when you are running maya or max slide the window over the the secondary monitor (Hooked to the pro card) so that your games play on the GTX670/680 and Maya renders on a Pro card (Firepro/Quadro).
Memory: Other thoughts More memory will help when and if it is needed I would at least go with 16GB. The faster memory isn't really necessary and would only likley give a 1-3% speed boost. Your memory needs will depend on the size of the project that you are working on along with how complex the scene is. (lighting, water effects etc). Another aspect is how much software you are planning on/likely to use along with your modeling application (media players, web browser, etc).
Storage: As far as Rendering and storage speeds it isn't to much of a concern the CPU will be a bigger issue than the speed of your storage about 90% of the time. Basically your system is most likely going to be unable to render the project fast enough need anything faster than a standard HDD. Although an SSD might help you load the program faster along with loading the project itself.
Due to the poor performance of Consumer cards in Professional applications by the time the 2GB is used up by such a program your performance is gonna be so bad you wouldn't even be able to do much with your project to begin with. The FPS difference between a consumer and a pro card is Massive. I know you want to consumer card but these are the facts. To give you an idea -> http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/quadro-fx-4800,2258... and http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/quadro-fx-4800,2258.... The first page shows the FPS of the GTX 280 vs the FX4800 by Nvidia if you take the scores of the 280 you can compare them to the scores of the other Pro cards and you will notice that regardless of how powerful the GTX280 is it couldn't even beat a lowend pro card or even one from many generations prior like the FireGL V7100 (released in 2005 based on the X800 XT) most of the time (I did see at least one case where it did win but not by much). The software and firmware optimizations make these pro cards much faster at what they do. You can think of a 4GB consumer card as getting yourself a 4GB GT 605 or HD7350 it might as well be integrated graphics because the difference is just that large.
This is why I recommended the Multi-card/Monitor setup as I think this would best fit the needs of someone wanting one computer for both types of usage. Windows 7/8 allow for such a setup and as long as the application's rendering windows is placed on the monitor hooked to the pro-card it will get the speed boost from that card.