Moved to the Hardware Forum.
I agree that you wuld be well off buying a computer tuned to your applications from any one of the three
We plan to purchase a new machine to support Adobe Photoshop, adobe illustrator and Adobe After effects, and would like to understand the system requirements to best support these programs:-
1) How does the CPU core affect performance for all 3 applications?
What is the recommended number of cores?
2) Other than the ray tracing benefits, is there any other benfits of using a high end graphics card (QuadPro), vs a consumer card?
For 1 above if you look ate Puget''s testing of the new processors you will find an amazing conclusion "more cores reduces After Effects RAM Preview performance and also their Final Render performance". The key to success is the highest Turbo (or overclock) core speed and of that list it turns out that the best CPU for that test is a mere 6-core, 4.7 GHz Turbo speed i7 8700K. Currently not much of AE is multithreaded, that may change in the future
Number 2, For the ray tracing look at this Adobe information but notice there is no mention of any advantage of Quadro GPU's versus GeForce GTX GPU except that they cost a lot more. Apparently for Ray Tracing you need a CUDA card if you are not using it almost any GPU will do. Probably the amount of RAM depends on your Photoshop frame sizes--my guess. But those three integrators would know more than I do for your applications.