Re: Need help building a i7 cpu on a $1700 budget
Definately get an i7 build. If your using Maya then you will want the Hyperthreading that the i7s have. Basically it should cut down rendering times by about 30% (going of benchmarks) and then there is the extra speed gained because its a newer chip. So rendering times might be around 40% faster when compared to a Q9550, and that is a HUGE amount. So the bottom line is - dont bother with an older quad.
As far as building it yourself, we can help you out as well. If you post pics we can tell you where things go and everything, so be sure to ask - even though its not all that difficult.