Graphics Workstation - $2100-$2500

I am looking to purchase a fast new system, and looking to spend in the range of $2100-$2500 after rebates. Approx purchase date 1-2weeks.

I primarily use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe Apps. But I also like to work with 3D via 3DS Max and render in VRay. Basically I need an all-around solid primary workstation that can handle a lot of design and VFX work. I am a "power user" and speed is critical to me. Completely secondary is gaming performance, occasionally I play Starcraft 2.

I also need a spare PCIe slot for my soundcard, I use a E-MU 1212m for audio production, but this is also secondary to the stated scope of graphics work.

I already have monitors / keyboard / mouse / OS, I just need to build the system itself. Unfortunately I haven't been keeping up with the latest components as of lately, so I'm not confident I could build a really efficient setup myself - hence why I've turned to this forum. The only thing I think I've determined is that I want a really quick i7.

If anyone would be so kind to start me off with a good build, that would be amazing. Thanks in advance for any help! :pt1cable:
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  1. This should provide a good start:

    Some people may disagree with the specific parts I've picked, but in general, what I'd look for for you is the i7-3930K (6-core Ivy Bridge i7), along with lots of RAM (16GB here), and an AMD 7970 graphics card (or two) because of its compute ability.

    However, I have no idea how good the Adobe suite and/or 3DS Max and VRay take advantage of the compute power in the 7970. If most of them are CUDA-enabled, then an NVIDIA card makes more sense. Someone else on here should be able to speak better to that.

    *Note that I've included a 1050W power supply in the build here so that you can add a second 7970 if you should desire. Also note that I've recommended a very powerful gaming graphics card, and your use case may be more suited for a professional graphics card. Not sure which one, and they're much more expensive, so I went with what I knew. Hope it helps some...
  2. 3930k is sandybridge..
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