Originally Posted by Pro Lee
I use a GTX 480 in a regular basis. And I'm sorry to say but I've been out of the loop for almost a year now so I'm definitely not sure what's the latest and greatest.
The GTX 480 is still no slouch by any standard. It's on par with a GTX 570 or 6970, and ties for the 3rd fastest graphics card on Earth as of now. The current king of the hill, the 7970, isn't even that much faster.
If you do any sort of CUDA rendering, your GTX 480 will be plenty for now, and a second should solve any problems you have. That'll leave room in the budget for a build around this CPU, which will help if you do CPU rendering.
This is a good motherboard to go with it (Asrock is great now, careful with ASUS nowadays)
Get 16gb of RAM, or more if you wish since you have 8 RAM slots, some 1tb drives ( http://www.google.com/products/catalog?pq=samsung+1tb&hl=en&tok=7ofmJ8exVtQiYdzNXkMvnQ&ds=pr&cp=11&gs_id=1h&xhr=t&q=spinpoint+f3&safe=off&authuser=0&gs_upl=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&ion=1&biw=1366&bih=667&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=1366483808779858026&sa=X&ei=21UnT57LBsmEsALd--jaAg&sqi=2&ved=0CFUQxBUwAA
and good reliable SSD like this
This is a good case for almost any build.
A good PSU that can handle 2 480s
Undoubtedly the best CPU cooler for the money
Throw in the other tidbits like a DVD drive and such, and get your bro a 6870 or something, and that should be around $1200, and faster than what you have now.
EDIT: Now, if you do OpenGL rendering, a 7970 may be a very attractive option for you. In that case, go for an i7 2600k, a 7970 or 7950, this motherboard
And the same stuff as the other build.Edited by brucethemoose - 1/30/12 at 6:56pm