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Need some help building all the server(s) and workstations for a huge company project. Please do help. - Page 2

post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Invisible View Post

That's what I was just debating within myself. We are quite aware that decent GPU power is going to be needed, but we weren't sure of what type of enthusiast level we were going to be targeting for our decision.
I could easily save thousands and thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars by including the higher end consumer cards of today into the workstations instead of the dedicated CAD cards. Are they any benchmarks comparing render times and other assorted data between top dollar consumer products of dollar and CAD cards such as the Quadro that we could look at?

Consumer cards have better support in opensource renderers, specially in a farm type environment but working inside retail apps they cannot utilize the workstation optimized driver sets. Green cards have better support all around in that arena.
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post #12 of 35
I just checked Newegg and their Highest Price Professional Graphics chip is a PNY Quadro 6000 with 6GB of GDDR5 on a 384-bit Bus. its $4,000
The 7970 has a 384-bit memory bus and comes with 3 GB of GDDR5, and is only $550.
The latest FirePro card listed on Newegg only has 4GB of Vram and a 256 bit memory bus

I'd say the 7970 is a much more cost effective solution, considering it almosts matches the Quadro 6000 in everything except memory size.
post #13 of 35
I was talking about the 1GB $400 quadro which works perfectly fine for the CAD people here at work. But I guess a 7970 isn't a bad option, but if you're only buying 6 thats only ~$900 bucks you would be saving. But the quadros are better for processing that type of work than a 7970, but I agree a 7970 plus the extra ram may be a better option in the long run.
post #14 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsm106 View Post

This would be the point where I would call up dell and get a business account and one of them 25% coupons.

I'm not sure if our instructor wants us to outsource. I just emailed our team leader for further confirmation, but I'm not 100% sure on that. Nonetheless I still need to include every individual piece of hardware and general specifications about it in the main hardware document, from the manufacturer of the motherboard to the latency of the RAM
Quote:
Originally Posted by UsedPaperclip View Post

Get a Few Dell PowerEdge servers to run your server roles (The number depends on what you need) with RAID 5. Hyperthreaded quad core sandy cpus would be plenty here. Then get a SAN using RAID 6 and hot swap drives in it that will fit your drive space requirements for your file server.
As for general use workstations, just get HP or Dell PCs with i5 2500s in them and 8gb of ram. Trust me, 8gb will go quick, businesses dont replace PCs like we do.
For the marketing departments and the design department, get some i7 2600s and some mid ranged nvidia quadro cards and 8-16gb of ram. No need for a GTX 580, 7970, or a Sandy Bridge E processor. They aren't enthusiasts or Video games/CGI designers.
That should cover the workstation/server side of the hardware. How many people are in this company anyways? And what server roles will your servers need to run?

Would a SAN be necessary for just AutoCAD? Nothing is really going to be stored except minimalistic files, except for all projects and renders (past and present) from AutoCAD?...I guess I just answered my question, haha. A few years down the road I would suspect all these projects would take up quite a bit of file space.

As for the amount of people in the company, we are only building workstations and servers for the amount of people that has been limited down for us. So there may be hundreds of people working at any given day, but we will only be constructing PCs for a said amount. Our amount is about 5 or 6 people. This has been done for us since we only have a semester to do this, so we won't get overworked with having to connect over 100 PCs and servers, and over 20 floors of cable. It's just about one floor and enough workstations and servers for 5 or 6 people, not including the subcontractors.
Quote:
Originally Posted by UsedPaperclip View Post

I was talking about the 1GB $400 quadro which works perfectly fine for the CAD people here at work. But I guess a 7970 isn't a bad option, but if you're only buying 6 thats only ~$900 bucks you would be saving. But the quadros are better for processing that type of work than a 7970, but I agree a 7970 plus the extra ram may be a better option in the long run.

I was using a most expensive scenario for that (the $4000 Quadros). If we would have to put about 10 of those in all our workstations (6 workstations and then 4 more for general use/backup), that would be $40,000. Of course, that's the most expensive scenario out there.
Edited by Invisible - 2/29/12 at 4:08pm
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post #15 of 35
I would recommend not getting gaming cards like the 7970. The price is definitely worth the extra performance and less headaches that workstation cards provide. Granted, a gaming card will work fine, it is just a much better choice to get a workstation card like the quadro 6000 or comparable firepro card if the budget permits. Even though I am only a high school student, I have worked extensively with professionals from NASA, and other engineering organizations. Workstation cards are definitely worth it if you are going to be using them for their intended purpose - cad, and other design programs. You won't necessarily see this performance on paper, but you will notice the difference when using these cards on a regular basis. Also, even though consumer cards may have better support, keep in mind that the workstations cards are guaranteed to work with these programs, and will most likely not need support.
post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Invisible View Post

I'm not sure if our instructor wants us to outsource. I just emailed our team leader for further confirmation, but I'm not 100% sure on that. Nonetheless I still need to include every individual piece of hardware and general specifications about it in the main hardware document, from the manufacturer of the motherboard to the latency of the RAM
Would a SAN be necessary for just AutoCAD? Nothing is really going to be stored except minimalistic files, except for all projects and renders (past and present) from AutoCAD?...I guess I just answered my question, haha. A few years down the road I would suspect all these projects would take up quite a bit of file space.
As for the amount of people in the company, we are only building workstations and servers for the amount of people that has been limited down for us. So there may be hundreds of people working at any given day, but we will only be constructing PCs for a said amount. Our amount is about 5 or 6 people. This has been done for us since we only have a semester to do this, so we won't get overworked with having to connect over 100 PCs and servers, and over 20 floors of cable. It's just about one floor and enough workstations and servers for 5 or 6 people, not including the subcontractors.
I was using a most expensive scenario for that (the $4000 Quadros). If we would have to put about 10 of those in all our workstations (6 workstations and then 4 more for general use/backup), that would be $40,000. Of course, that's the most expensive scenario out there.

Ahh, I wasn't aware that it was so few people. Maybe a NAS with SAS Drives that supports RAID 5, Hot spares, and can be expanded then that would be fine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kartcrg84 View Post

I would recommend not getting gaming cards like the 7970. The price is definitely worth the extra performance and less headaches that workstation cards provide. Granted, a gaming card will work fine, it is just a much better choice to get a workstation card like the quadro 6000 or comparable firepro card if the budget permits. Even though I am only a high school student, I have worked extensively with professionals from NASA, and other engineering organizations. Workstation cards are definitely worth it if you are going to be using them for their intended purpose - cad, and other design programs. You won't necessarily see this performance on paper, but you will notice the difference when using these cards on a regular basis. Also, even though consumer cards may have better support, keep in mind that the workstations cards are guaranteed to work with these programs, and will most likely not need support.

I agree 100%. Go with workstation cards, not gaming cards.
post #17 of 35
Thought i might throw another peice in here about the Workstation vs. gaming cards.
It looks like most of the workstation cards available today are using chips several generations old.
now i could be wrong on this but maybe it has come to a point where they arent making as many dedicated workstation cards because the consumer variants have become pretty much just as powerful?
i could be wrong on this also as i dont have any experience working with CAD but how much more complex can it get? (aside from making much larger designs at once) for a construction company like this one I'd really doubt you need anything more than that.
post #18 of 35
Thought i would add something else use Virtualization on this network thumb.gif
if you use the NAS with SAS drives use that for the Datastore
http://www.vmware.com/
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post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemesis158 View Post

Since they are going to be running CAD then Higher end Graphics cards are in order. Since you are looking for the best price to performance ratio then you should not need to get Professional CAD Targeted cards (such as nvidia Quadro or AMD FirePro ect) as their consumer equivalents should be fine (anything with 2+GB of VRAM). I'd Guess that a 3GB 580 or 7970 would handle CAD fairly easily thumb.gif


This is a bad idea, the reason behind the Firepro and Quadro Cards is the Drivers and Support. The cards are designed a bit differently too to enhance stability. High end consumer GPUs dont far well agains lower end cad cards, just how cad cards are horrible for games. I do work with these on a daily basis
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post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemesis158 View Post

Thought i might throw another peice in here about the Workstation vs. gaming cards.
It looks like most of the workstation cards available today are using chips several generations old.
now i could be wrong on this but maybe it has come to a point where they arent making as many dedicated workstation cards because the consumer variants have become pretty much just as powerful?
i could be wrong on this also as i dont have any experience working with CAD but how much more complex can it get? (aside from making much larger designs at once) for a construction company like this one I'd really doubt you need anything more than that.

Raw power has nothing to do with why workstation cards are better. They are literally designed for use with these programs. To help you guys understand how big of a performance boost this gives them, think of driver updates for various video games, and how much of a difference they make in game. The same thing applies here, except more since the drivers for these cards have support for these programs baked in.
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