i am an animation student looking to build a pc for 3d animation. i'll use softwares like maya, blender, mudbox and also a lot of photoshop and illustrator. i was looking at amd 6300 and maybe nvidia gtx 660 for the graphics card. i have no idea about processor technicalities but intel processors seem to have less cores for the same price of amd, would that be an issue for my work if i choose intel over amd. i have no intentions of playing too much games. although i might need to run the pc for a day or more continuously and i've heard that intel processors don't heat up as much and use less power, but i don't want to compromise on performance for that (because of the less core thing). also would buying a smaller ssd drive along with the hdd effect performance by a lot? and do i really need rams with heatsink, how effective are they? please excuse me if my questions seem silly, i have almost no idea about computers and this is the first time i'm attempting this.
You don't need ram with heatsinks as they do absolutely nothing. And no, ssd and a hdd don't do anything to compromise performance unless you try to raid them, but seeing we how you are just modeling, you won't need a ssd.
For this kind of work and on this kind of budget there are two directions to go; one- a system of the best possible performance for the price and two, a system that is serious about image quality, a workstation. Of the two, my vote is to the quality quality- anti-aliasing, precision (accurate shadows reflections, particles, color matching). AMD is better value for perforamnce, but I think of Intel as more sympathetic to the applications you mention. Both Autodesk and Adobe software is Intel and CUDA oriented.
Here are a couple of system ideas, one for each type>
This one uses the Firepro V4900- which I tried for a couple of months and worked very well in AutoCad Building Design Suite, Adobe CS, and Sketchup. The problem in the Intel system is that the $1,000 budget really rules out a good Quadro- CUDA- graphics card. With 3D modeling, animations, and film editing, I always like to have a 256-bit or greater graphics card.
By the way, I'm using an SSD for the first time in my recent HP z420 system and except for a somewhat faster startup, I don't really see it as a significant advantage.
HP z420 (2014) > Xeon E5-1620 quad core @ 3.6 / 3.8GHz > 24GB ECC 1600 RAM > Quadro 4000 (2GB)> Samsung 840 SSD 250GB /Western Digital Black WD1003FZEX 1TB> M-Audio 192 sound card > AE3000 USB WiFi > HP 2711X, 27" 1920 X 1080 > Windows 7 Ultimate 64 >[Passmark system rating = 3923, 2D= 839 / 3D=2048]