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  • Quad core P4

I think you mean Core 2 Quad. The P4’s netburst architecture was retired when the Core architecture was released (well… sort of, it’s still used in the Itanium line I believe… but that’s not something you’ll be buying :-P).

  • The Sonata case comes with a 400W ps…

Get a new one! With a quad core and that amount of RAM, a 400 will be struggling. And that’s not considering a video card and RAID card! I don’t want to make any specific recomendations just yet, but you will need more power than that.

  • I use Studio 12. Any idea how it runs on xp64?

I have rather limited experience with XP64, but the bigger issue is drivers for your hardware. It has a different driver structure, but programs should run just fine (of course, this isn’t guaranteed).

  • Is there any advantage to getting a high-zoot graphics card? Say a dual PCI-x card as opposed to PCI-E (dunno if I got the letters right).

PCIe and PCIx are different. PCIe stands for PCI Express and is common on most consumer motherboards. You’ll want to have at least 1 PCIe 16x (this means it’s PCI Express and utilizes 16 lanes – it’s what the modern day “gaming” cards, and most, if not all, of the modern day workstation cards use). PCIx is not the same thing. I can’t remember off the top of my head what it stands for (I think it’s something like PCI eXpansion). I’ve only ever seen this type of slot on server motherboards, so I don’t think this is what your going to want. I don’t know how they compare performance-wise either.

  • Are there any cards which will help reduce rendering times?

I’ve onlyused “gaming”cards myself,soIdon’tknow whatthe workstation cardsarecapable of with render times.Hopefullysomeone elsehassome experience andcan chimein.Onething Idoknowisthat most modernday graphicscardsare LONG!I’vegotan nVidia 8-seriescardin mycomputer (I wish my oldcard dieda littlecloserto the ATi 4-seriescards, but that’s life :-P).It barelyfitsin mycase! Ihavea fairly standard mid-tower sizedcase.Most workstationcardsare even longer, so make sure whatevercard youbuywillfitin yourcase.

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