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post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I've been asked to spec a couple of computers to put in place at uni for doing my work .
Programs used inc:
Rhino
Solidowrks
Simpleware Scan IP ( CT reconstructions etc)
Blender
Various other similar programs as and when required

Currently have a couple of i7 3770s with 8gb ram and decent GFX cards which aren't really used but they really struggle with the large file sizes and manipulation / creation of meshes etc in Rhino/ simpleware is painfully slow

I'm thinking
i7 4770
As much RAM as the board it's on can take
A decent Graphics card ( not too important I don't think)
256gb SSD


My question is is there any way of making A better system for running these programs. Is dual CPU worth it? etc. There is no budget but I have to be able to justify what I ask for
Thanks
post #2 of 7
A decent GPU for the job is the best upgrade you can make.
I would believe that rendering is not your primary goal here, just making the systems interact faster with complex models? Correct me if I'm wrong.

In that case, the 4770Ks won't be that much faster than the 3770Ks, and a 3930K/39xxX CPU will be actually slower.
Xeons (for 2P) would be much much slower than a 3770K, as all those apps are single threaded and you will be shooting yourself @ the foot by downgrading the clock speed of your primary processing thread going the Xeon way.

4770K will offer the best single threaded performance out of the box.

What would make real difference, would be getting a few decent workstation oriented GPUs with proper driver optimizations.

I would seriously consider either nVidia Quadro K2000 or AMD Firepro W5000 cards.
ABSOLUTELY NO COMPARISON with GTX cards regardless of cost. I have a Titan, and I have a K2000, the latter simply blows the GTX away in Solidworks, and it is a 2fold better in absolute numbers and complex scenes in pretty much any OpenGL based viewport (all of the programs you've listed are OpenGL).

Oh, and depending on model complexity, maybe 16GBs of RAM? Though you can easily check on that.
Edited by pcfoo - 8/21/13 at 9:36am
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that. I only started working on any of this stuff this year yeah and don't really know what's good for what. As you guess rendering is low in the priority list although I do a bit to show off the implant designs now and then. What's really important is playing with the meshes without lag and being able to create the meshes in as little time as possible. I obviously wrongly assumed the gfx card was unimportant. What would be your suggestion for pro card quadro/ firepro and which model?
Thanks very much
post #4 of 7
any amd cpu will work better than a gtx
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by shish0000 View Post

Thanks for that. I only started working on any of this stuff this year yeah and don't really know what's good for what. As you guess rendering is low in the priority list although I do a bit to show off the implant designs now and then. What's really important is playing with the meshes without lag and being able to create the meshes in as little time as possible. I obviously wrongly assumed the gfx card was unimportant. What would be your suggestion for pro card quadro/ firepro and which model?
Thanks very much

As Rustynails stated, Radeons are inherently better in OpenGL than GTX cards (or lets put it this way, Radeon drivers are not as limited in OpenGL and 3D CAD as nVidia makes GTX drivers to be, otherwise there is no hardware level "magic" to make both FirePro and Quadro cards leagues better than on-paper much more powerful gaming cards, its all in BIOS/Software afaik), but don't reach workstation card levels.

Already gave you a suggestion: K2000 or W5000 for Quadro and Firepro respectively are good, mid-range cards with enough memory (2GBs) for most stuff.
AMD has a nice promotion running for W5000 and W7000 cards, with an up to 50% rebate on their original price.

K2000/W5000 are normally priced in the $500 range. Definitely not cheap, but miles ahead of any GTX/Radeon card for their niche, regardless of price.
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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ok great thanks very much. I realise you already suggested those cards I just wondered which your preference would be. I use AMD cards for gaming on the better bang for buck principle but don't know if that applies to pro cards
post #7 of 7
The programs you've listed more or less don't care about GPGPU acceleration.

Blender has the Cycles for progressive renderings and that is CUDA only, so only the K2000 could provide some short of GPGPU compute for that. But the K2000 is horrible @ compute, despite being pretty good in viewport acceleration (actually it matches or beats the older Quadro 4000, a $700+ workstation card that belonged to a "higher tier", while it is much slower than the Quadro 2000 it replaces in compute). Thus, it is hard to suggest the K2000 as anything but a card just for screen/viewport use.

The W5000, being a last generation GCN based card, is actually pretty good at compute, but you need OpenCL based code to take advantage of it.
Maybe Adobe CC will be the only widely used suite where you will find that properly implemented to use AMD FirePro cards.

I would probably go for a W5000 regardless, especially with the current promotion (still valid, but till the end of this month) : http://www.fireprographics.com/experience/us/terms.asp
Unfortunately the rebate is availabe for only one card per individual / firm, but you might get more by using a friend's name/email.
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