hello, i am building a workstation to run Maya 2009, 3Ds Max and some other graphics intensive programs on. This is my first build so i just want to make sure i am not missing anything and that this system will run smooth with the parts i picked. I wont be using this machine for gaming btw. My budget is around $2000
I don't have the time to do a detailed spec and pricing but I suggest:
Core i7 920 and overclock it to 4GHz
Hefty air cooler to match: Thermalright TRUE Revision C, Prolimatech Megahalems, Scythe Mugen 2, Titan Fenrir or Cogage True Spirit are usually the top picks for this - put 2 high-pressure fans on (9 blades instead of 7 on a 120mm fan) in push/pull where you can (the Fenrir won't, and I'm not sure about the Mugen 2).
Asus P6TD motherboard or P6T Deluxe v2 if you can't get the P6TD - Gigabyte and EVGA boards are good too
12GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM - get something robust (Patriot, OCZ or Corsair for example) at 8-8-8-24 timings and see if you can tighten them up (kits rated at 7-7-7-20 are available but cost too much more to be worth it)
150GB or 300GB Velociraptor for system drive
I would say get a Quadro or FireGL for the graphics card but decent ones are at least $1000 on their own so that's not an option for your budget, so 3D acceleration will have to come from gaming cards. If Maya and 3DS can be properly accelerated by ATI Crossfire then you could go top-end and 2x 5870 (or 5850), but the Adobe packages tend to work better with NVIDIA stuff doing the acceleration.
GPU especially will determine your power supply requirements, but for this budget you can't go wrong with the Corsair TX or HX lines - rock solid and powerful, but again there are others like Antec and PC Power & Cooling that are just as good.
Case will be determined by the temperature of components, so with that stuff above I'd go Silverstone Tejimin or Fortress, or Lian Li.
Watercooling is a serious option if you have the money, but get a proper kit not one of these pre-built things like a Corsair H50 as they can't cool a heavily-overclocked i7 9xx enough. Similarly, 24GB RAM is an option if you can stretch it.
There are crazy workstation boards out there like the Asus WS Revolution but for your budget you'd never use all the bells and whistles like 6 true x16 PCI-E slots and the SAS controllers, so it's not worth the extra cash.