So, we are entering the world of reality capture here. Point Clouds and laser scanners! WOO HOO!! Can anyone recommend desktop/laptop hardware minimums? I was at a panel discussion at AU2012 and they mentioned the HP Z800 and the others kind of nodded. I also read somewhere that a SDD hard drive is better than a SATA for 3D work. I am trying to get my IT folks looking at a proper standard for 3D work but need some good real world data to support my suggestions. Any help is ALWAYS appreciated!
WOO HOO and point clouds do NOT go together. Useful, yes, but be prepared for hair loss. Remember its reality, whereas the engineers/clients are usually looking for rationalized or optimized design values - e.g. angles at a perfect 90 degrees.
SSD vs. SATA 6Gb/s won't matter much if you are sharing data, likely the data will be served rather than local. There are a few minor advantages to an SSD in general performance and cost but nothing specifically related to 3D work.
Point clouds are *very* data intensive, so the most RAM you can stuff into the motherboard is your main goal, and usually acheivable in cost if you don't go for the uber-ultra-game-spec or ECC stuff. Normally I'd put processor speed first but in this specific case I'd make it a very close second, as point cloud management software will usually do a good job of managing those points for you.
Z800's are OK, although a bit of overkill for most work, expecially if you need more than one or two. If you already have a purchase contract with HP, the benefits will probably outweigh the extra costs involved. If this is a one-off, consider a custom build. This is exactly the situation where custom building is an advantage over mass-sourcing.
---------------------------------- If you are going to fly by the seat of your pants, expect friction burns. Adopt. Adapt. Overcome. Or be overcome.