Graphics cards w/ CAD?

Building a computer for college. I'm going for mechanical engineering, and my computer will probably see some CAD and other 3d rendering programs. I was looking at a socket 754 3400+ w/ 1GB of DDR400 ram. I'm looking for a video card in the 80-130 dollar range, preferablly with a TV Tuner. I was curious if anybody knew how much a good video card would help with programs like these? I won't be playing any video games, so I don't really think its necessary to spend a lot of money on a video card unless It'd help. Thanks.
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  1. If all you are going to do is modeling stuff you are going to want to get an ATI FireGL or nVidia Quadro. However, neither of those have a tv tuner. I recommend getting an ATI FireGL card and a separate ATI TVWonder PCI card for tv.
    I think a decent firegl card will run you about $150-200. A tvwonder pci will be about $50 or so. (an ati tvwonder will not work with an nVidia videocard)

    A decent ati allinwonder card (gaming videocard w/ built in tv tuner) will run you about $200. nVidia doesn't make an all in one videocard.

    Looks like you will need to scrape up a few more bucks. I advise that you don't go cheaper than that. You won't be happy with anything below about $200 and it isn't going to last very long as far as technology goes.

    <A HREF="http://www.folken.net/myrig.htm" target="_new">My precious...</A>
  2. I did a little research, and it appears you can flash some of the Radeon 9800 SE and 9800 PRO cards as FireGL cards. Would this seem like a good idea?
  3. A ATI 9800 Pro would be fine, and prolly flash to XT version as well. Do not get the SE, and the FireGL is too much, for too little.

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  4. I think I might do that. Are the All in Wonders flashable to firegls? And how much of a performance gain would I get in 3d redering applications with the flash and how much would I lose in games with the flash (never know when you'll need to play a game)?
  5. If the 9800pro flash is successfull, it is the equivelant of the XT version.
    The AIW are not so good at flashing and o/c'ng...


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  6. Well, I wasn't really looking for overclocking. If I got a AIW w/ the same clockspeed as its FireGL counterpart, would the flash work?
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