GPU I'd recommend 2 ASUS GTX 460 or 1 ASUS RADEON 6950 with the possibility of upgrading to 2! I'll leave this one open however because I'll depend on which GPU platform your 3D software benefits most from! If CUDA is preferred then the NVidia is the way to go (GTX460), if both CUDA and AMD STREAM are supported then I'd recommend the AMD RADEON 6950 as it is the newer card and offers better performance (plus more memory for that massive monitor setup!) NVIDIA OPTION:http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=54506
$177.51 * 2
AMD option: http://ncix.com/products/?sku=59248&vpn=EAH6950%2F2DI2S%2F2GD5&manufacture=ASUS $318.88
Thanks for all the help so far, it has given me a few ideas.
I am mainly using this computer for 3D work in Maya, some compositing in Nuke a little bit of video editing in After Effects and Photoshop.
I would like to stick with Cuda so Nvidia is definately the way. I also dont need the full Quadro Graphics as right now I think I could use the best computer possible for my budget and buy a Quadro later as an addition.
My bad ... for the likes of Adobe products that use CUDA cores there is absolutely no benefit from going SLI! So a single GPU card would probably be fine! From what I have heard the "new" Nvidia FERMI architecture is most orientated around GPU compute capabilities ... so going with one of those should work fine.
I'll recommend a single GTX 460 but ... budget allowing and if you need it a GTX 570 would be in order.
Thanks for all of the help,
I noticed that you guys are pretty far away from the budget top end (minus the Quadro build if I kept the card) which is good especially with the specs that are in it so far. Just wondering how much a dual processor setup would cost compared to this? or if its even worth it with the new processors coming out?
I have to say no, not right now. Intel has kinda screwed themselves because the 2600K is the best CPU they make. For MOST applications it's faster than the 8-core solutions. I think the whole tick-tock strategy has kinda backfired on them... "mainstream" builds are not supposed to replace "Enthusiast" builds, but this time they did.
You are going to have various programs that you need to be fast, and some of those will rely more on processor speed while others will utilized multiple cores better. Very few applications are really going to shine with a dual processor setup.
Those types of workstations are best left for dedicated builds. Where you are going to use one heavily threaded app all the time, usually as part of a team. In any sort of usage where you need more flexibility the Sandy Bridge processors are the best.
Now, if you were able to wait 6 months for the new high-end stuff to come out from Intel or AMD, you could probably spend more and get more power.
I recently raked this all over for someone else doing similar work. You are simply going to have too many poorly threaded apps that can't take advantage of 8 cores to make it worthwhile.
So get yourself a high end case and PSU, then re-evaluate in a year and see if it makes sense to upgrade again.