Uhm, for dual processor it depends on what you're doing to my knowledge, PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong.
Pixar Renderman (and complient unless the manufacture coded different to the standard) can only support 1 processor. Then again, you'll probably not be using PRMan, though its possible you'd be using one of the free equivalents like those available on sourceforge.net
Its actually quite funny, but what are you using your models for? Animation? If so, Premiere Pro (which I assume someone with the Maya Budget is going to spring for, or its competitors like Vegas (am not clear as to THAT pricetag though) requires as much RAM and Processor power as you'll give it. It will take a lot less time to render frame by frame than Maya, but I believe it was still a half hour render and conversion (which if its for AVI, I'd recommend BINK! as a converter, even if you only apply it to DivX, because apart from Cinepak Premiere messes up the picture quality) for a 4-5 minute video with no transitions.
Before I talk about what I heard -- is softmodding illegal, or just voids warrenty? I personally don't see it any different from sticking a NitrousOxide tank in a Civic -- but I don't want to be banned :b It could save you 100's of dollars if you don't care about warrenties though (and allow you to buy your parts from actually resellers, instead of marked-up bundles)
Ram -- pretty cheap -- just be careful with it. Don't run aggressive timings or anything (which although are 100% okay, its speed boost... or in some cases reduction... can cause instability which you don't want at frame 9023 :b) -- which you probably won't.
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