Currently looking at these 2 CPUs X2 5000+ n Core2 E6300 and need to come to a decision soon..
Which would be a better choice if basically using the platform for 3D Max7 and Autocad? Seen a couple of reviews but I believe it is based on gaming.
Also, I have been offered a package with Leadtek's Quadro FX-550. Is that suitable with the above listed processors? Or is there a even more suitable graphic card?
SInce you'll save close to $100 on the mobo, I'd say go 5000+. The cutoff point for consistently being faster than a 5000+ is a 6600. Even then AutoCAD is a close race and games won't be noticeably faster. But agn right now you can save $100 on the mobo.
When those prices get reasonable I would say then it's worth it.
3D rendering relies almost entirely on CPU performance, and cache sizes have very little impact. The end result is that our overclocked E6300 and E6400 place very near the top of the charts, and the overclocked E6400 actually manages to take the lead over the X6800 in the Cinebench multi-CPU rendering test. Clock for clock, Core 2 Duo holds about a 9-11% performance advantage in 3D rendering over the AMD X2 processors. The difference between the fastest and slowest systems tested here is roughly 60%-70%, and due to the time-consuming nature of 3D rendering even small performance increases are very welcome.
Once again we see that while the Core 2 Duo E6300 is slightly faster than the Athlon 64 X2 4200+, and once overclocked it's out of reach of even an FX-62. The E6400 is also an impressive little chip, offering performance around the X2 4600+ and X2 5000+ levels.
Stock performance is slightly less on the 6300 than the 5000 but then the two are not directly comparable - the 6600 is more around the 5000 level pricing wise, being a little more costly (and kicks it pretty much in the chops).
I have an AMD system at home, work full time on both Intel and AMD at work (in 3d) and judging by what I have read I would go Intel Conroe if buying a complete new system now. You could overclock the 6300 way past the 5000 performance level, or pay a similar amount for a higher level chip that will still give a good advantage over the AMD.
Naturally there are considerations about memory (from which it would appear you get better value from cheaper with Conroe, so can afford to load up for your needs) and motherboards. This is the one thing that would hold me back a little as there is not a huge choice for Conroe at present, but later this month more are scheduled to enter the market.
If I was buying right now and price was the only consideration (and you had no intention of overclocking the 6300) I'd think about AMD 5000, but I think that's about the only advantage AMD has and its on paper only in a sense. If the price - performance ratio was the key I'd go Conroe. If it was performance only I'd go for the 6600 and a good motherboard and I think that would be a decent setup, in my opinion only of course. Reliability and stability I would think are roughly equal, for those essential savings in time when working 3d every little extra helps.