I7 or Xeon with 24 GB ram for rendering/gaming

I want to build a pc for both rendering (maya, etc.) and gaming purpose. I can't decide between Xeon (maybe dual?) and i7.

I know that Xeon is less-power drawn and much more stable but have slower performance on single thread app and probably game as well, whereas i7 is more high-end but I am not sure if it can endure hardcore 24/7 fullload rendering and does as effective multitask as Xeon (virtual machines etc.)... I plan to go with 24 GB ram, though I know that LGA1366 socket mobo support up to 24 GB, but will 24GB unbuffered have noticeable, deteriorated performances compared to 24GB registered?

From what I read, unbuffered ram will have high load of electricity compare to registered ones, Thus combos with i7 high power drawn, it'll be costly for 24/7 workload. However, registered rams will suffer from delay in registers and will perform slower than unbuffered ones. Will the delay be noticeable in gaming? which one do you think will have a better Performance-Cost? (Cost in this case is the power drawn)

If I go with server mobo, I might have an option to add more ram in the future with that 8 gb stick, where as desktop mobo wouldn't let me do so. However, what would be suitable amount of ram I need for render works? or the more the better? (if this is true, it'd support the idea of going for server mobo)

I plan for desktop graphics card (not very concern of viewport or hardware render, plus workstation card is very expensive)

Well, I would've already gone for server mobo (for ECC registered ram/less-power draw), if not because of i7 > dual Xeon in gaming and (from some sources) rendering too.
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  1. If you're looking at dual xeon your budget is of a fair size. The question comes down to is dual xeon going to be worth the cost. If your rending can max out 8 ~ 12 physical cores for days on end then I would recommend the dual xeon as it would outpace the single cpu solution. The intel 6 core cpu would most likely cover what you need.

    Plus money saved on the cpus could be spent on a workstation GPU, which are pricey.
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