I receive a lot of mail nowadays from people who don't know which graphic accelerator card to get and I can understand that there are a lot of choices for all kind of different needs. There's a lot of hype thrown at us from all the different card and chip manufacturers on the graphic market too and you can easily face a huge disappointment if you should make the wrong choice.
The difficulty in choosing the right video accelerator card comes from the different needs we have for this piece of hardware. As usual we'd prefer getting a card that can do everything at an excellent level and this if somehow possible for a low price as well. However the miracolous cheap all-round card isn't out yet and I guess that it will possibly take forever until all our needs will be pleased. Hence we have to make our mind up what is most important to us and also how much money we are willing to spend.
The first question we have to ask ourselves is if we will use our system mainly for professional work or mainly for games. Most professional cards are not great at games and vice versa. If you've already got a video card in your system, ask yourself if you're pleased with its 2D performance at professional work and if you just want to purchase an add on card for games. In this case you still have the professional performance of your current video card and add some real good gaming performance with the add on 3D card. You will need an additional PCI slot though.