Building new computer for gaming and 3d modeling/school

Alright, so i just graduated high school and I'm interested in getting a 3D animation/computer modeling degree in college so i'd like to build a new system that would work well with 3ds studio/maya as well as excel in gaming. This will be my 3rd computer build and i have as much as like $2,300 to spend, give or take a hundred. I've been browsing newegg lately and reading reviews/looking at different benchmarks and this is the build i've come up with so far.

Pioneer 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model DVR-115DBK - OEM

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB 10000 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

(2) EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX(G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
$269.99 each

Thermaltake Toughpower W0132RU 1000W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply - Retail

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ - Retail

XFX MB-N780-ISH9 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI Intel Motherboard - Retail

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 Yorkfield 2.66GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80569Q9450 - Retail

Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Ultimate for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM

ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail

Subtotal: $2,194.89

Alright, so the reason i want the quad core is because rendering will be way faster with 4 CPU's, i've seen in benchmarks. I'm still iffy about the motherboard/GPU's/RAM. I'm pretty positive that is the HD i want and i'd like to run it in a RAID connection in a few months when i have more money to buy another large HD, after i have the computer setup. I'm wondering if i should go a different motherboard because once i get it i'd like to overclock my cpu to 3.5-3.6 ghz. Should i wait for a different GPU to come out? I'm seeing alot of people recommend a 2xx video card in different threads, what is that? From browsing around at benchmarks two 9800 GTX's looks like it is pretty far up on the charts fps wise compared to others video cards. Any feedback would be nice! I'd like to run SLI though, but if i can get better performance from one GPU for the same price, then shoot me in the right direction please.
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  1. Don't get too excited junior. Wait for the new cards to come out, eg. 260/280GTX & HD4850/70. I don't think Raptor drives are that good (not much faster then standard for my needs) but whatever floats your boat. Get an X48 or P45 mobo, much better IMO although i've heard good things about the 790i

    My 2cents
  2. Hell if you are getting vista 64 you may as well get 8gb RAM with that budget. 8gb RAM = WIN.

    And yes, you must wait for the new graphics cards before you buy. I am going to recommend 2x 4870 in xfire, they are supposed to be about the same price as the 9800GTX only faster. So definitely get an X48 mobo for crossfire support. And for about $10 more you can get the Xigmatek S1283, its pretty much the best cooler you can get for around $40. Period.
  3. Alright, so i took a look at the 280 GTX and it looks very interesting :o , does anyone know how it compares to Ati's new card coming out? also does anyone know the price it will be listed at? Is it simliar to the GX2, which uses two cards at once, and finally, can it be ran in SLI?
  4. Do some research on "best hard drive configs for rendering". I wouldn't spend all of that money on one 300gb drive for rendering. I would rather have two or more regular sata drives that aren't much slower that have 500GB + . Don't go raid, go one drive for C, another for source, another for output.

    There are plenty of threads that talk about the best config for rendering. Also, you might research , the "best video card for 3ds studio/maya and gaming".

    I have read that the Nahelem procs coming out in Q4 are going to be rendering monsters! ( just a thought)
  5. Nehalem processors will be rendering monsters, but I think OP is not going to sit around and wait till he can afford those behemoths.
    A current quad core with a decent overclock will be good. Also, as far as 3d content creation goes I don't think he can afford "a good vide card for 3ds/maya", those are really expensive(over $1k) and they won't be very good for gaming. So I say he just gets a good gaming card, it will be fine for school.
    I think for 3d that sli setup might be overkill. Still, if he wants gaming performance he should just wait for the new Nvidia/ati cards an get which ever meets his expectation.
  6. That video card setup is a waste of money no matter how you slice it. If this is for 3d work, you need a faster processor, 8gb of ram and something like and 8800gt for a video card would be fine. The FireGL and Quadro type of OpenGL cards are great, but not worth it for the moderate change. Have your eventual boss buy you one. I model and render all the time, and am quite content with a g92 8800 gts.
  7. 2 8800gts g92 cards would be just as fast and are cheaper... stay away from SLI if your not running a million and a half resolutions.
  8. Currently, i'm on a vx922 19" monitor by ViewSonic. So should i steer clear of SLI? I want the best performance available for around 450-500 maybe give or take $50. Two 8800 GTS's sound nice since each is almost on par with a 9800 gtx and could be better with slight overclocking. Should i just go with a 9800 GX2 or wait until next week to see how the 4870 will stack up? I may just say screw it and go all out, and buy a 24 inch monitor to go with my new computer, but i would need to know how much a decent 24 inch would cost,as well as what some decent ones are, since i haven't researched monitors lately. Thanks for all the input :]
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