My thoughts on priority would be this:
# of cores and or dual sockets
lots of ram - all solution must run in core
video card - mid range - K4000 or something close. No advantage in spending more dough here.
I run a dual socket Xeon hex core at 3.3GHz or so with 48GB non-registered ECC , 7200 rpm SAS system disk and a 480 GB SSD in a PICe slot for the working disk and a Quadro 6000 (I don't recommend a high end video card).
Hope that helps
bills got it
check customerportal.solidworks.com > knowledgebase for more info about how important CPU is
don't go too crazy on ram until you figure out how big your problem actually is. spend it on cpu and an ssd and win 7 x64
Many years ago I would go to a speed shop and the sign going in said 'Speed Cost Money' and the sign going out said 'Now That You Have It What Are You Going To Do With It?'
I saw an analysis put out by the Flowtherm group that showed 6 cores is optimum. There analysis showed a slight drop in speed over 6 core.
Check out xicomputers.com for good ideas on CAD work station configurations.
Thanks all for your answers, let me tell you that i built a pc (based on charles culpp advice) for modeling mainly, and now i am looking into buying the flow sim module and try to do CFD analysis for our customers, and i thought that this pc may not do well or fast enough...
the built pc:
intel core i7 3770k @3.5ghz
win 8.1 64x
32 gb ram
amd fire pro 4900 video card
512 gb ssd
noctua cpu cooler
basically for modeling, since i dont do much rendering...
then i saw the macpro and was wondering if it has some advantages or not...
*goes running to customerportal.solidworks.com and xicomputers.com
this computer is fine
get started with flow and see if this hardware limits you
most likely setting up the problem properly will be a better performance improvemnt
i wouldn't go with a mac because then you're just adding a layer of unsupported platform to it