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thelanlegend
2005-01-11, 04:53 PM
I am a local system builder in Casper Wyoming, and I am working closely with a company that is gearing up to purchase a machine for use with Mechanical Desktop as well as AutoCAD and other software. We want to do our best for this customer to configure a machine to the purpose they are looking for, but our experience with the applications is limited if not non-existant. Through a little research and a few guidelines from the client we have put together some semblence of a configuration for them, and I would appreciate if a few of you on this forum that possibly have used some or all of this hardware with these applications can tell me where I'm going wrong, or perhaps make a few suggestions.

The guidelines we were given were as follows:

Minimum 3.2ghz processor
2GB RAM
Two 250GB SATA Harddrives in a RAID 0 configuration.
DVD-RW
Windows XP Professional

Where they were unsure is the area of the video card that would work best for their purpose. A colleague of theirs recommended the QuadroFX 1300/1400 cards as well as a 3.6 P4EE Processor. Through some research through our distrobution channel we have come to find out there are numerous accounts of heat issues with that particular processor and the AMD Athlon 64 FX-55 processor as it perfoms admirably without the heat issue. Further investigation shows that currently the nVidia QuadroFX cards are running on the PCI-X architecture rather than AGP which presents a problem as AMD doesn't support PCI-X currently.

My question is thus; would we be better off configuring this system with the AMD and going with ATI's FireGL line or perhaps another manufacturer, or should we go with the Intel (heat issues aside) and go with the QuadroFX cards?

Also, any suggestions as to the configuration itself would be greatly appreciated. Maybe this thread will also help others when looking to put together a system for the same purpose.

Kenneth Knight
www.ComputerLogic.net
KKnight@computerlogic.net

Moderator Note: I posted this thread in this forum as it seemed most appropriate. If another forum would be better suited please relocate this thread.

Glenn Pope
2005-01-11, 07:16 PM
Further investigation shows that currently the nVidia QuadroFX cards are running on the PCI-X architecture rather than AGP which presents a problem as AMD doesn't support PCI-X currently.
When you say PCI-X, are you meaning PCI Express? I haven't seen anything about nVidia using PCI-X. Currently you can get a APG or PCI Express, which both are supported by AMD.

thelanlegend
2005-01-11, 08:27 PM
By saying PCI-X I was, in fact, referring to PCI Express, you are correct. Ignoring the fact that you contradicted yourself about nVidia's support for PCI-X, the only QuadroFX cards of that model we've been able to find are only shipping in PCI-X models. Also, currently AMD does not have any motherboards available that support PCI-X.

I would also like to know about the performance of the cards I mentioned or perhaps others in relation to the software the client will be using.

Kenneth Knight
www.ComputerLogic.net
KKnight@computerlogic.net

Mike.Perry
2005-01-11, 09:30 PM
Hi

Hopefully the following two articles from CADalyst will prove useful -

Extreme Speed-Six Workstations Push the Limits (http://management.cadalyst.com/cadman/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=133484)

Take the Graphics Card Express (http://management.cadalyst.com/cadman/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=128591)

Have a good one, Mike

Glenn Pope
2005-01-12, 12:36 AM
By saying PCI-X I was, in fact, referring to PCI Express, you are correct. Ignoring the fact that you contradicted yourself about nVidia's support for PCI-X, the only QuadroFX cards of that model we've been able to find are only shipping in PCI-X models. Also, currently AMD does not have any motherboards available that support PCI-X.

I would also like to know about the performance of the cards I mentioned or perhaps others in relation to the software the client will be using.

Kenneth Knight
www.ComputerLogic.net
KKnight@computerlogic.net
PCI-X and PCI Express are not the same thing. PCI-X are more for servers, while PCI Express are for PC. Here is a AMD motherboard that uses PCI Express..
A8N-SLI Deluxe (http://usa.asus.com/products/mb/socket939/a8nsli-d/overview.htm)

thelanlegend
2005-01-12, 04:25 PM
I apologize for my previous reply then. Every article I had read thus far on PCI-Express had abbreviated it "PCI-X," for this one I blame the media, lol. As for the motherboard, actually that news delights me. I will forward that link to my guy in charge of ordering who was unable to find an AMD based PCI-Express board. He must have overlooked that one. Actually that is from the manufacturer we tend to prefer.

gpope, as you seem t have quite a bit of knowledge on the subject, what are your thoughts on a good graphics card to use? Now that we've got the issue of supporting motherboards resolved I think that is the last thing we need to concern ourselves with, unless you can think of anything else we should do different of keep in mind.


Kenneth Knight
www.ComputerLogic.net
KKnight@computerlogic.net

Glenn Pope
2005-01-13, 03:02 AM
I apologize for my previous reply then. Every article I had read thus far on PCI-Express had abbreviated it "PCI-X," for this one I blame the media, lol. As for the motherboard, actually that news delights me. I will forward that link to my guy in charge of ordering who was unable to find an AMD based PCI-Express board. He must have overlooked that one. Actually that is from the manufacturer we tend to prefer.

gpope, as you seem t have quite a bit of knowledge on the subject, what are your thoughts on a good graphics card to use? Now that we've got the issue of supporting motherboards resolved I think that is the last thing we need to concern ourselves with, unless you can think of anything else we should do different of keep in mind.


Kenneth Knight
www.ComputerLogic.net
KKnight@computerlogic.net
No need to apologize. I didn't find this out myself until a little while ago when researching to build my next pc. With "X" being used to abbreviate words like express or experience it can be a little confusing.

About overlooking that board. Depending when he was looking it might not have been released yet. boards just started coming out about last month. There are a lot more coming that should be released in about a month. So depending on the rush of needing these new pc's, it might be a good idea to wait. Thou that ASUS board dose look pretty good.

About the graphic card. There are a ton of threads in the forums about this. Just do a search for "graphic card". Basically it depends on the amount of 3D work. As far as I know Mechanical is more for 2D work. So you can could go with the lowest end Quadro or FireGL cards. You could even get by with the Gforce 4 or Radeon gaming card. I have the Gforce 256mb 6800 on my work computer, and it runs pretty good for the 2D work I do. We do have Quadro cards in a couple pc. You can tell a little difference.

It looks like you have it under control. Of course if you have any more questions, just ask.

mstaralan
2005-01-13, 04:03 PM
The graphics card requirements are critical as this individual is into large 3-D models and is presently working in layouts that take considerable time to update with his current system.

Mechanical Desktop is 3-D and utilizes parametric constraints. This individual prefers Mechanical Desktop as he is highly proficient in it and hasn't had time to fully go with Inventor yet except for creating flat pattern calculations. His current frustrations are due to frequent crashes and improper graphics display, not to mention the delays in updating layouts.

He is using a Gateway system specifically purchased for CAD one year ago, but it doesn't have an approved graphics card. It is often hard to discern which one to choose, and that is why we are seeking advice from users who have been doing it and are happy with their hardware choices. He needs performance and does not wish to guess at the best hardware, but rather ask help to get the right equipment this time.

Thank you.