b. Have a look at http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/graphics-cards,1.html
c. Forget Matrox.
You didn't give us much to go on, but graphics cards are nothing more than the 'icing-on-the-cake'. Significant performance gains can be made by a faster CPU, more memory and better disk setup. Graphics cards only marginally contribute to performance.
My personal favorite is the ATI 48xx series. If you have a look at the http://www.passmark.com/baselines/top.html system results you will see that the majority of the top performing systems use 4870's. From a price/performance view you can't go wrong with the ATI.
Also, have a look at How to get the best from a PC? Some guides...
Ok, first my specs:
.: CPU :. Q6600 (G0)
.: GPU :. Galaxy Heatpipe 8800GT
.: Mobo :. Asus Striker
.: RAM :. Patriot 2x 2GB (800)
.: Sound :. Audigy2 ZS
.: OS :. WinXP SP3 x86 // Win7 x64
And what is most important for me. You said YES for a) so.... does it mean for example ATI Radeon 4870 will be working like (well of course not as good but still) quadro cx with premiere and accelerate Premiere rendering and same time better then Nvidia 275? (forget about games/marks tests, doesn't matter for me that much).
And why forget Matrox? Oh why why why!
If you are considering spending $ 1500 for a Quadro CX, I assume that is your available budget.
Your current video card is not bad at all. Even if you spend your editing life at only encoding to h264, and spend the money on the CX, your performance gain will likely be very small. It will be negligent if you use Colorista, MagicBullet Looks and similar plug-ins. You will be hampered by the CPU, lack of memory and possibly disks. You currently have at least 4 separate physical SATAII-7200 disks installed, don't you?
With the budget you have in mind, I would look at a new mobo and a i7-920 CPU with at least 6 GB DDR3 and Vista 64 or Windows 7 RC, then - funds permitting - at another video card like an ATI 48xx or a nVidia 2xx series. That will give you a far greater performance boost than a CX.
Why not Matrox? It does not give you any 'bang-for-the-buck'. It causes a lot of problems, it will be outdated by the time CS5 arrives, it does not speed up Adobe transitions and effects in a significant way and it will keep you from editing effectively, while you are troubleshooting Matrox problems. Your money is better spent on faster CPU, more memory and better/more disks.
Graphics cards play a very minor role in system performance with PR. You can spend a tenfold of a middle-of-the-road card to get a top-notch card and only see a 1% increase in performance. IMO that is just silly, unless you have unlimited funds and don't know how to spend your money. In that case I can give you my bank accountnumber and look forward to seeing your contribution.
Yeah that's why i think Quadro CX/RTX2 isn't a good choice ... well i thought CX isn't but maybe you are right with Matrox as well.
The only thing im curious now is that i found some info that all ATI 4xxx will soon be supporting (or already are) PreCS4 in a bit like CUDA from nvidia. But i can't find any kind of tests or ATI statements.... :/
For now i think im just gona maybe put more RAM and OC my Q6600 to his limits ^_^
More RAM only makes sense when you use Vista 64 or Windows 7. XP32 can't use more than 4 GB. When you start OC-ing pay attention to the temperatures in your case. I have seen many people fry their system by NOT paying attention to cooling.
I'm using Win 7 x64 RC now, and buying tomolo very effective Zalman CNP9700 cooler for CPU, my case is CoolerMaster and its very freezeee
For now im skipping new GPU, maybe things will change when ATI makes any faqs about it etc. Or Nvidia release new line of GF 3xx.
Instead of choosing outright for Zalman, have a close look at Noctua and Thermaltake. Zalman used to be pretty good 5 years ago, but they have dropped behind in the past years, being overtaken by both Noctua and Thermaltake, and even CoolerMaster. Reread the last ink I gave you in post #1 and pay attention to the cooling advise I gave.