Originally Posted by edalbkrad
If its a club why build only 1 rig with $5500 when you could build 5?
That way more club members can do stuff at the same time.
^^This ... kind of
Build like 3 GOOD rigs, or perhaps 1 bad ass rig and 2 decent rigs.
If it's for a school club that money is probably best spent on a few systems, rather than one.
Off the bat you need to put $1200-1500 aside for decent monitors. They're investments and very necessary i these fields of application.
With the remaining $4k get a couple of SB 2500K rigs with single Nvidia CUDA cards (GTX560ti perhaps?) and a SB 2600k central rig with a GTX580 in it. Or shoot, try and squeeze in 4 x AMD 1090t rigs with GTX460's. Get at least 8gb of RAM in each. SSD's are not a necessity, but would be nice. Still I wouldn't bother personally, if trying to stretch the budget to as many systems as possible.
Sure, workstation cards are great (especially when tax deductible and expense is no issue) but for this budget, and remembering that its for school kids who are all trying to learn as much as possible, spreading the wealth and accessibility is a valuable factor to consider.
I guess the real question for the OP is whether it would be in the course and schools best interest to get just one system or many. Everything changes drastically based upon this fact.