Hi guys. I'm a Bio Med researcher at UCLA in the Biology 3D imaging labs. We're currently ramping up our computing power for the summer and fall seasons with new NSF grant $$$ and with GE's donations of new CAD scanning equipment and CT scanners. The project will use the CAD scanners to model full 3D images of skulls and tooth structure, as well as cranial and neurological patterning, and software to model and analyze the scans into manageable data that can be tested to prove a hypothesis for numerous graduate studies.
We need a workstation (or two) capable of smoothly running a program called Mimics and 3matic, both of which allow analysis and editing of the data created by the scanning tools.
Mimics has the following req's http://biomedical.materialise.com/mimics
any multicore processor
2 GB RAM - for large datasets (> 1 GB) we recommend 8 GB RAM
ATI RADEON or NVIDIA GeForce card with 512 MB RAM
10 GB free hard disk space
Resolution of 1680x1050 or higher
and 3matic is just as intensive.
We're planning on running it a LOT harder than this and on a 30" monitor so a good GPU will probably be needed.
I was wondering if someone could cobble together a good multicore system. Perhaps the new Ivy Bridge i7 (quad or six core) build that can handle the graphics load and be smooth. 16GB of RAM is ideal, more if possible.
If possible, I would like to use a microATX form factor enclosure (was thinking Silverstones FT03) to minimize desk footprint as we need a big monitor, keyboard, mouse, and a large WACOM tablet on the same deskspace to analyze each project adequately, but if not any standard ATX motherboard will do I suppose.
Budget is about $2-3k USD per PC. Windows 7, since compatibility issues btwn the scanning tools and programs necessitate it. I have experience with building PC's and will assemble and hopefully get this thing to post, but have never built anything this high end (I built a few ~$1000 gaming systems before) and would love opinions.