I am going to build a computer for CAD work
(mostly 3Ds Max, Maya, Adobe CS5)
i was planning on getting a core i7 2600k with an lga1155 mobo,
until i realized that the practical limit for the amount of RAM i can get for a mobo with 4 dimm slots is only 16GB, (4x4GB) seeing as a 4x8GB (32GB) setup is impractically expensive.
Is 16GB enough ram to have a good workflow for the kind of CAD i am planing on doing?
Or should i just forget about LGA 1155 altogether, and go for a more expensive LGA 2011 CPU/mobo with 6 dimm slots (allowing a practical limit of 24GB of ram) or even 8 DIMM slots allowing a practical limit of 32GB of ram?
Would i be all that much better off with 32GB of ram rather than just 16GB, or is performance/render speed more dependent on the type of processor and video card i get?
The LGA 2011, many of them, offer 8xDIMM slots. The amount of RAM really depends on the 'project' size and complexity. Say you got 32GB (8X4GB), you can create a RAM Disk and place the project in the RAM Disk (8GB~16GB) and on some projects greatly reduce render times. Further, most Adobe products allow you to have a 'scratch disk' so simply make it a 'RAM Disk'.
2600k comes with a dedicated video core which will be rendered useless if you install a videocard leaving you at only 3 useful cores and paying for a quadcore processor... you should take that into consideration when choosing you CPU...
It does depend on what kind of projects you work on, but it also depends on your patience. I have had pretty good luck with an old Dell GX-620 (XP) with 4G ram running SolidWorks. I've had assemblies up to about 600 parts and it handled it just fine. Making a video with motion analysis took a bit of time, but I just set it up to run when I didn't need that machine.
That said, more ram is better. I started with 2G ram and it made my head spin when I went to 4G. I'd probably have a spontaneous orgasm if I had 16G.
^You need to price RAM, I can get DDR3-1600 CAS 9 $110 6x4GB (24GB), $200 8x4GB (32GB), and $90 4x4GB (16GB).
7 year old Dell GX-620 vs Sand Bridge Extreme ... it's time to retire it.
My 'renders' as such are enterprise SQL (unbelievably large and complex), and every time we expand territory I'm adding CPUs -- deadlines! I get paid to meet deadlines and I get penalized 'if' we fail.
During the day, my guys staring at a screen is wasting my money. I know this is exactly the same if you're a professional vs a hobbyist just messing around.