Well I can tell you this much, I'm no expert in anyway, that phenom was AMD's first attempt at quad core and they were buggy. Im not sure the extent of the bug or how it affects the cpu. The MB is an older chipset not sure how great it is. Im not sure of the quality of Hitachi drives but that is alot of space. The Ultra PSU is not considered quality either. If it were me I would rather get higher quality components. I bought a cheap MB once and regretted it. I had to replace it 9 months later.
The Quadzilla was a bargain, this is what I would rather get..
I am looking at a price range around $1000-$1500 dollars. I just started to build this today. It still needs a case, Vista 64bit, and a 1000W power supply for the crossfire cards and maybe some sort of cooling system or extra fans?
So far this is up to a little more than $1,200. This would be the most ideal for what I need the computer for. What do you think, any better deals for i7's out there? Would ATI cards work well with the EVGA motherboard?
Well do you need that GPU? I mean in your OP you didn't say gaming was a priority...if it isn't then you can go with a cheap 4650 or something. What size is the monitor you will use? you only need that GPU if you are using 1920x1200 res and gaming in the most intense games.
Looks like you need a workstation graphics card, not a gaming graphics card. Check out this article from the tom's home page. It says that this card, even though most specs are the same, absolutely kills the 4870, and it also shows some stats that show getting a gaming card for maya, etc is not a good shortcut:
^True that, but it depends on if OP's doing pro-level animations or just normal CAD/3D for school. For non-pro stuff a normal GPU will do. Also you can softmod some normal gaming cards to workstation cards.
I am about to get my undergraduate degree, so I am trying to prepare for either portfolio school or freelancing. I have herd the workstation cards are not really worth the price tag so far unless I am creating a lot of pro level work. I have been through a few forums suggesting a good gaming card can be just as useful for personal work. I will be doing some casual gaming also, so a decent GPU to be able to run my applications and games smoothly would be awesome. The newegg combo, Video card & CPU, looked like a good deal, but I am really not sure what SLI would gain.
I will be using two monitors, my main is a 22" Samsung 226bw, and my secondary is Sceptre 19". Both DVI compatible. My sceptre is currently VGA, but I would like to get them both running DVI together, so I don't have color and quality differences.
You can softmod a GPU to use the OpenGL drivers and function as a workstation card, I can't remember where I saw it, but there are guides that will show you how to do it. Most Workstation cards just use the same GPU that gaming cards have but their firmware makes them far more productive. I would just get a good gaming card and try softmodding it. If you can't softmod it, then just use it for gaming. I think that Nvidia cards tend to work better for this, but I'm not sure on that either. A lot of the strain will be on the CPU anyways, so the biggest performance increase will be seen if you just overclock the CPU.
Yea, I will OC the CPU a little. I just read the article about the FirePro and after checking out the price, there is no way I will be able to afford an extra grand on top of the new parts, but at least I can consider it in the future.
I have herd that you cannot play games on workstation GPU's. Why is this?
It looks like soft modding a GeForce to a Quadro does not gain a significant performance jump for Maya but it does for 3dsmax. After reading the performance scores, it looks like ATI cards work better with Maya and Nvidia cards work better with 3dsmax. I will only be using Maya, and Zbrush for my 3d work, so I think I will stay with ATI unless I find more articles stating otherwise.
Gaming cards are good at gaming and poor at productivity work, and workstation cards are good at productivity and poor at gaming. Both will be able to do the other, but the drivers they have optimize them for their intended purposes. And yes, its the drivers that make the difference, that's what I meant by firmware, not bios settings.