APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: January 22 preferably.
BUDGET RANGE: $3000us before Rebates
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 3d rendering (Mental Ray/Renderman), Adobe CS4, Gaming.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Windows 7 pro 64bit
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: tigerdirect.com -- has some pretty awesome prices, but I'll order from any reliable/cheap source.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA, Los Angeles
PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel
OVERCLOCKING: Yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I've been doing digital animation for about 10 years now. My mode of thought was always to purchase a computer for high-end gaming (since I love games) and use it for work as well. This worked well until I started getting interested in heavy Lighting & Rendering (Mental Ray and Renderman for example).
I'd like to build a system that will be able to speed up renders and also play modern games at high resolutions. My main dilemma has been the video card, since I know the Quadro and the Geforces are both great, but meant for different things.
Also, a friend of mine just bought an awesome 8core system for rendering for a little under $3000. I'm not sure how it will run games, but I will post his specs below as a starting point.
^ The above config is good but you just cant get the good of both the worlds from just one card...
You could ask your friend how that PC plays games and am sure you will get the answer as "Not so good"...the workstation graphic cards are not meant for gaming...
If you want to go into PRO 3D rendering and stuff, then you would have to stick with workstation cards...
So I would suggest you either look for a gaming PC or a Worstation PC...
Check the specific recommendations for your application (didn't see it posted) to se if they recommend Quadro cards or not. Even if they do, I would check a message board spcific to your application (such as the Autodesk boards for 3DS Max) to see what users have to say. Many applications have moved away from the Quadro/FireGL cards (mostly due to the fact Microsoft at one point said it would remove OpenGL support from Vista, forcing translation of the instructions through DirectX), and many apps work fine (using the Autodesk line-up as my reference point) on a high end consumer card if you change the settings from OpenGL to DirectX.
As stated gaming performance is poor on Quadro/FireGL cards.