radeon HD 4850 X2 video card with Avid media composer


need some experienced advice. i'm looking for a graphics card for my editing/development system and the videoguys recommended fx 1700 is beyond my budget. editing and compositing represent about 20% of my time, so it's not the absolutely most important part of my system. i'm really trying to stay around the $250 or so range.

i saw this review on the radeon 4850 x2


will this card work with avid media composer even though avid won't officially support anything other than nvidia? the videoguys system recommendations mention ati cards by brand, but no specific models.


thnx for all help!

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Cameron_SConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Well, I would say that these look like solid choices:

Workstation Cards:
Quadro FX580 512MB

Quadro FX3400 256MB

Gaming Cards:
GeForce 9800GTX

GeForce GTX 260

The main difference between a "gaming" card and a "workstation" card is how they handle the various data thrown at them. Ask your software vendor if these high-end gaming cards are supported. I noticed that they are for Macs, so I am assuming that they will for PC.

 Workstation cards are more expensive, more stable, and are designed primarily around 3D modelling, drafting, and animation (think Pixar).

Gaming cards are faster, less expensive, and are better at on-the-fly texture mapping and usually things like lightmaps, reflections, and anything that uses DirectX (mostly games). Most  gaming cards can render lots of polygons, as that is what most generated models are made of.

If you are primarily doing video playback and editing, or even just green-screening type work, you may be able to get away with a comparable high-end gaming card which will offer far more performance per buck. If you are using something like Maya or 3D Studio Max, stick with a workstation card.
I would contact the vendor directly and ask them. It is rare, but possible, that the software makes calls to the nVidia chip set.

However, in video editing, ironically, your video card has less of a bearing than in gaming or animation. This is because of how textures are rendered dynamically.

That being said, what is your monitor configuration? If you have one or two monitors, then a ~$200 card will suffice. The more memory on the card, the better. If you are really frisky, you could get a pair of 9800GTX and SLI them together - but honestly, I think that would be overkill.

Focus on processor, memory, and fast HDDs with lots of space in a RAID configuration.

If you want to compare apples to apples when it comes to video cards, check here: http://www.gpureview.com/show_cards.php
ugebAuthor Commented:

thanx for that.  i have 2 monitors.  i will be doing some compositing, so that needs lots of polygons, but it's not a big part of my work.

avid has a terrible attitude and customer service, so getting this info from them would be impossible ... always the company line "we only recommend ...." etc.

so, the question is:
what is the best nvidia card i can get for around $250?

thanx again!

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