I need to know what parts are associated with with poly counts, and maybe a couple examples of proven parts that would be good for a designer on a budget that would help me raise those poly counts. Thank you in advance.
Not too long ago I installed a GTX 580 3GB for better viewport performance in Max 2012. I can navigate in the viewport with geometry up to about 50 million polygons before it's simply unusable. Of course as soon as you add to the modifier stack at this level your fps go out the window.
On a budget a 560Ti might do well. You can try Quadros but personally I think they are not worth the premium, especially if you want to game.
CPU with multi-threads are important also.
I have 16Gb of RAM and have not yet used more than about 8GB in Max. 12GB is probably a good compromise.
If you want added responsiveness while designing then a SSD will help.
All of this adds up, I know but if you plan to make serious coin then have a good look at the above mentioned components. Just about everything is covered here on Tom's, but you might want to check out Autodesk's "The Area".