Best GPU for 3D rendering/video processing

Ok, a friend of mine just all sudden sniped a Titan Z for rending and 720p video encoding. He got it for $1,000 bucks, which he thought was a steal. He does only 3D rendering, (autocad/maya) and h.264/720p video encoding crap. Just wondering what he coulda gotten better. I tried arguing but as we both did research, there wasn't any data much on this.

Anyways what do you guys think is better for under $300? and for around $1,000?