the company i work for models very large specialist buildings and city scapes, and very accurately (lots of curves!). some of our larger scenes push 2 million faces easy. the "smaller" ones sit around the 100k to 250k faces size. we use quadro4 900XGLs for our stuff for three reasons: 1) they are half the price of a wildcat 2) the are slightly faster than fireGL X1 cards in shaded mode (and again, cheaper) 3) driver support and stability is slightly better (subjective) it's the classic case of horse for courses. as a student, i don't think you can look past a gf4ti4200 for great price to performance ratio on your 3d apps. again, i've had some not so pleasant experiences with professional openGL stuff on ATi, but that may well have changed of late with updated drivers; i wouldn't know.