I plan on buying a new workstation for the autodesk programs, maya and 3ds max and other 3d rendering programs. And my question is should I aim for a workstation with a lot of cores, or fewer cores but the are much faster. Say an Intel set up with 6 at 4.5ghz, or AMD with like 24 at like 2.1, how much does the Autodesk programs take advantage of the multi cores?
Very generally speaking, faster cores will help YOU while you're working in the software, while more cores will help the RENDERER when you leave it running on its own or in the background.
If you're going to be doing a lot of processor-intensive work, like animating extremely complex characters or running elaborate simulations, faster cores will make that less painful. However, if you're going to be a doing a lot of rendering on that box, the more cores you have the less time you'll spend waiting for those renders to finish.