Dual Cpu Setup

I am having really difficult time to decide on choosing i7 2600 or i5 2500k or for buying one Xeon on a dual socket board later to double the xeon cpu.

I cannot find proper benchamarks comparing render speeds between i7 or i5s to xeons.
There are so many Xeons I am really confused..

I am a 3D artist and I mostly do Fluid simulations and rendering which are multithreaded and can scale to dual cpus. So as many as cores it is better for me.
My OS is Fedora I ran Maya, Zbrush and Realflow or Naiad. My Main renderer is Mental Ray

So my questions are,

What is the equivelant Xeon cpu of I5 2500K in terms of mental ray or cinebench render results.

Does this mean when I get the 2nd Xeon cpu later in future I almost double up the render and simulation speeds.

Can I use a double Socket board with one Xeon only...

Budget around tops 1000 USD for system with one XEON

Thanks in advance.......
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  1. You won't necesarilly get double the performance from dual xeons. I'd go for the i7 since you'll be able to do most things.
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