Definitely AMD is out of the picture.
I didn't really spend a great deal of time testing the 3930K loaner when I had it for CAD applications.
And re: SSD/swap/RAM
Well, unfortunately, Windows being Windows, you have to have a pagefile regardless of how much RAM you can. Yes, you CAN disable it, but I've tried that before and it really starts to behave weird/funky when you really start putting a load on it.
But otherwise yes, lots of RAM --- you can never have too much RAM. :oD
And I'm actually eyeing one of the MSI boards that supports 128 GB of RAM for the 3930K. Speed at that point isn't nearly as crucial as actually having it (since RAM will always be faster than even the fastest SSDs). And Kingston's one of the few manufacturers I know of that actually HAS 16 GB single modules (DDR3-1333) at $188 a pop. So, that'll be like close to $1500 in RAM alone. But the difference is, I will actually have something that can make use of all 128 GB of RAM (which is something that can't always be said for people that buy that much RAM).
And because it's mostly single processor applications (but still multi-threaded), I think that going with a 4-core 3770K would be plenty sufficient at 5 GHz.
The simulation nodes can be the ones that have 16-cores, and 64 GB of RAM.
And I'm using SSD as swap because unless I'm using a RAMdrive (which I've tried putting the swap onto that and it doesn't always work (depending on the RAMdrive/driver)), otherwise swap performance is actually one of my HUGE bottlenecks. Done a test before with a simulation where if I solve it using as little swap as possible (iterative solution) - I can get the result in an hour (and the system had a 7.2krpm SATA drive). If I do it with using maximum swap (direct solution), it takes 10 hours for the same problem, with the exact same solution.
I don't remember the test results that I did on the system that we had that had 128 GB of RAM (quad Socket G34 Opteron, 48 cores) min. swap vs. max. swap. (That one had a 240 GB OC Agility. It guy ordered the wrong SSD.)
Point being - swap = HUGE bottleneck for me.
It's the ONLY reason why I bought SSDs.