As hoped, the Core i7-870 has seen a nice price-drop, to $294 from $562. As a quad-core model with full HyperThreading capabilities, not to mention a 2.93GHz clock speed, this is one drool-worthy model for the overclocker and non-overclocker alike.
Also, you'll get more for your money with an ASUS motherboard,
particularly one that supports SATA/6G and USB 3.0 -- both of which
are the current standard:
1. Lots of CAD tools require loads of ram, you want to get at least 8 Gig.
2. Majority of CAD tools support multi-core, that is more cores you have more parallel threads you can run
3. You will be starving student strapped for cash for next 4+ years, you won't be able to drop Big $$$ on upgrading computers
4. School will likely force you to buy shitty laptop from pre-approved list and will only allow you to run copies of school software on it
As of right now strictly for gaming AMD system is inferior, but extra 2 cores will mean more data crunching OR ability to use PC while standard 4 cores are 100% loaded by CAD.
Additional bonus - unlike Intel, AMD stays with socket architecture for very long time, so in 2+ years you still will be able to upgrade your CPU while keeping rest of the system intact. This means your PC can be upgraded on the cheap and still "keep up".
graphics card PNY QuadroFX 580 PCI-Ex16
You might not need Quadro-based graphic card, especially if you are on a budget, benefits are very minimal (in form of better drivers tuned for applications) compared to gaming Nvidia video card. FYI - modern Quadro hardware is identical GForce. You will get maybe 10-15% better performance out of Quadro, for a very substantial premium. There are exceptions to this rule, depending on CAD tools you going to use (SolidWorks is one example where you want Quadro) and degree of complexity you going to use it for.
Back in the early days Quadro cards made a lot of sense due to vector processing for 2D, Nvidia actually had different hardware for Gaming and CAD. These days with obscene number of cores on modern video cards differences become trivial for 99% of applications out there.
Don't spend money on Quadro unless you know you will need it.