Another noob with a vid card question

Hey, everyone. I’m a brand new Blender user. I had some experience with Max years ago and did some scenes and animations, but still very much a noob. I haven’t been able to find a definitive answer to this question in the threads, but it’s probably there somewhere.

I’m running Blender on a Phenom 9150e quad core with 4gb of 800mhz DDR2 and an ATI Radeon HD2600XT with 64 bit Ubuntu Intrepid as an os. The Radeon is fine for going through the basic tutorials and learning the interface, but I was considering upgrading soon. Here is my question:

I’ve read that Blender is different from other 3d apps and does not use the GPU for rendering, but is there an advantage to using a workstation card like a Quadro or Fire GL in Blender, or am I as good or better off with a GeForce/Radeon card? Will it increase my performace when I’m moving objects with lots of polygons around in scenes? Most Blender users I’ve read about in posts seem to be running 8800 series Nvidia cards, and I’ll happily get one or a 9800 if it yields the best results.

If I’ve missed the thread where this has been discussed and answered, someone just point me to it and I’ll read up. Or if you have any tips on system config for best results, I would love to hear them. I haven’t touched 3d software since running Max on an old Athlon XP2000+ years ago, so my info is way out of date.

Many thanks

Go with a high-end GeForce, or Radeon if you want ATI (I would recommend nVidia, though). You’ll get great performance at a reasonable cost. Aside from the added expense, I don’t think that Quadros or Fire GLs would benefit Blender work much more (if at all) than the best of the consumer cards. The power of the pro cards is in the drivers, and neither manufacturer is putting any effort into customized/optimized ones for Blender, I’m sure.

That’s just what I needed to know. I thought a regular Nvidia would do just as well in Blender. Thanks so much!