3d max architectural render station

I am an architect building a new system and needed some help on what processor setup I should do to get as fast render times as possible. My firm has an account with a distributor that allows me to get nearly all intel products at around 40 to 50% off.

Is it worthwhile to use a i7 975 extreme or wait for the i9s? (I can currently get the 975 for under $500)

I am not too familiar with dual xeon setups but have heard that they render quite quickly, but if I was to use this would it support crossfire setup? (we also have an extra antec 1200, would this fit into that case if we were to go this route?)

Our budget for the processor/mobo portion of the system is roughly 1000-1500, assuming I can get the processors at 40% off. We would prefer not to overclock this system as we need it to be as stable as possible to minimize any artifacts in the renders, though we may test it with minimal overclocking as long as it doesn't affect the quality. We would also like to keep the system non watercooled if possible.

We already have planned to use workstation graphics cards, but would it make sense to see how 2 ati 5970 in crossfire would work compared to a single v8750 since the two cards cost less and would allow 4gig of mem vs 2?

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More about architectural render station
  1. Two I7 Xeons are known to be absolutely epic in anything CPU intensive but as you say it might be a good idea to wait for the I9s to come out just so long as you know your rendering software can thread to all six cores.
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