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So I'll be getting a bonus at the end of the year, ranging from 3000 to 3500 USD and I want to drop 2500 USD tops on a new PC.
I would mainly use it for Maya and Houdini, some animations and phys sim. but nothing crazy.

Do any of you have any PC builds you could recommend to fit into under 2500USD pricetag? I am so far removed from building at this point that I literally would just slap SLI 1080s into it, buy some i7 CPU and call it a fucking day, but I feel like that might be overdoing it and I don't really want to waste money unless necessary.

Would appreciate any pointers as to where to look for the relevant PC builds too (because google throws up "gaming pc" builds at me)
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>3000 to 3500 USD
>2500 USD tops
How is life as a wage slave?

Literally why?
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It's barely a year since I entered the industry, with no prior experience or degree. Considerin the wages of people around me, I am not making crazy bucks, but believe me, that's not a small sum where I am from.
General modeling, physics and real-time engines benefit from fast CPU cores. Simulations and CPU rendering benefit from more cores. Viewport performance and GPU rendering benefits from a fast GPU.

The best CPU option I think would be an 8700K (if you can find one), just because Ryzen lacks that extra bit of leverage when doing lightly-threaded tasks. It's pretty much hard-locked to 4Ghz unless you luck out, while the i7 can go to 4.5Ghz or more no problem, as long as you have a beefy cooler on it like a D15 (air) or a Celsius S36 (water).

For GPU there's good reason to consider anything GP102 because Nvidia enabled Quadro-tier optimizations in the latest drivers for them, which means 1080 Ti, Titan X(gen2) or Titan Xp will get much better performance in a variety of situations. That said, you probably won't make full use of it if all you're going to do use Maya and Houdini for animations, so maybe wait for the 1070 Ti.
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