Workstation cards, softmods, and the workstations themselves

So, I’m both looking at upgrading my computer and building a workstation. I’m spotting down hardware that I want and trying to get a ballpark price.

I’ve been watching some PC enthusiast forums and I see a lot of 3DS max/cinema 4D users reporting huge advances in performance from softmodding their gamer cards to quadro/fireGL/firepro cards.

I’m wondering how much blender would benefit from a softmodded card, or even if it’d see a performance increase from a real quadro or firepro card, and WHERE the performance increase would be. ( To my knowledge, it would be in the 3D view / real time window )

Also, let’s say I end up initially with 6 cores / 12 threads of execution in the workstation with an additional 6 core / 12 thread CPU being added down the road. How much RAM should I look at stuffing into the system initially? ( I’m thinking about 24 gigs, then an additional 24 down the road. It’ll be about $500 by this spring )