Good cards for blender?

I am planning on getting a new gfx card for my iMac G5. Since there seems to be a lack of semi cheap nvidia cards for mac(if not please direct me to them) I am thinking about getting an ATI Radeon× 9600 Pro, with 256 megs of ram. I don’t know much about ATI as ive always used nvidia. Does anyone know if this card works well with blender?


I know there are people using Blender and ATi cards, having no problem.
But I can give you the advice of getting nVidia only. There are often slowdown problems and artifacts when Blender is run on ATi cards, and you may find a solution in form of some specific older driver.

One of 1001 examples to whet your appetite:

If I were to buy a new gfx card now, I’d chose a low-end nVidia (let’s say 5200) over any ATi card, just for the sake of Blender. I think the 6600 series are recommended by many users, and they come at a reasonable price.

I didn’t know you could change the video cards in the iMac…Which one do you have? My card is the nvidia FX5200 Ultra 64 MB. No need to upgrade for blender’s purposes - it only uses the graphics card for the UI anyway. Unless you have huge models. Then you (and I) should have bought a PowerMac.

Oh, well if the card only affects UI, then maybe I will forget about it. I have the same card as you, except its not an ultra.

More precisely, everything you see in Blender is displayed through OpenGL. That include the 3D viewports of course but also ALL the rest. That is why you can zoom in and out on things like buttons. If you were using most other app, only the content of the viewports would be OpenGL (or DirectX) and the rest would rely on the OS windowing system.
So, for Blender, the graphic card is even more important than for other soft. This being said, I use the 9600 myself and it is satisfying. I can’t say that on very high poly counts or detailed subsurfed models I couldn’t use 3-4 times more power for everything to run silky smooth but over all my card does very well.