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The 256Mb card will be fine for AE, but the 512Mb card will benefit Motion. For After Effects, CPU speed and RAM are the most important things.
Adobe (and I) recommend Nvidia cards. I've had many problems with ATI and Matrox over the years. That said, the 8800 card has a driver issue that makes the GUI of After Effects very slow on certain quad-core systems, so you may want to get a slightly cheaper GeForce card to avoid those problems right now.
The more VRAM the better, of course.
- Jonas Hummelstrand
thx for the feedback guys. i read that cause motion offers realtime playback that the 512 would be better but i want to learn ae and concentrate on that.
im gonna wait a couple months before purchasing my comp cause im waiting to see if the 8800's performance will be addressed.