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Thread: Preformance Recommendations (processor and video recommendations)?

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    Default Preformance Recommendations (processor and video recommendations)?

    I'm ordering Revit workstations from Dell. The Precision line seems to be whats geared towards CAD\BIM. The only processors available in this line are Xeon Dual/Quad/Six core processors. I've been reading that the i7 processors are the way to go. Dell only offers i7 processors in their Vostro line and while configuring the memory and video card options don't seem to give me the graphics adapters and memory capacity I need.

    AutoDesk performance recommends: Intel® Core™ i7-2600 quad-core processor (3.8 GHz, 8 MB cache ) or equivalent AMD processor. In the Precision T3500 series the processors below are available. Will these Xeon processors below meet or exceed the AutoDesk performance recommendations?

    Quad Core Intel® Xeon® W3565 3.20GHz, 8M L3, 4.8GT/s [add $510.00]
    Quad Core Intel™ Xeon W3550 3.0GHz, 8M L3, 4.8GT/s, Turbo [add $310.00]
    Quad Core Intel® Xeon® W3530 2.80GHz, 8M L3, 4.8GT/s [add $250.00]
    Dual Core Intel® Xeon® W3505 2.53GHz, 4M L3, 4.8GT/s [add $50.00]
    Dual Core Intel® Xeon® W3503 2.40GHz, 4M L3, 4.8GT/s [Included in Price]
    Six Core Intel® Xeon® Processor W3690, 3.46GHz,12M L3, 6.4GT/s [add $1,730.00]
    Six Core Intel® Xeon® Processor W3670, 3.20GHz,12M L3, 4.8GT/s [add $900.00]

    AutoDesk also recommends for graphics, 2 GB (or more) DirectX 10-capable graphics card with Shader Model 3.

    Below are the graphics card options available with the Precision T3500. Which of these will meet the AutoDesk performance requirements for use with Revit 2012? or should I just get the cheapest video card option available here and purchase a graphics card separately from another vendor like newegg.com? Can someone recommend a graphics card or specs of one that I could do some research on to purchase separately? There has got to be a few models that people have been raving about with good results? If so please post a link or provide me with some info, I'd really appreciate that!

    512MB NVIDIA® Quadro® NVS 420, Quad Monitor, 4DVI [add $390.00]
    512MB NVIDIA® Quadro® NVS 420, Quad Monitor, 4DP [add $390.00]
    256MB NVIDIA® Quadro® NVS 295, 2MON, 2 DP w/ 2 DP to DVI Adapters [add $10.00]
    256MB NVIDIA® Quadro® NVS 295, 2MON, 2 DP w/ 1 DP to DVI Adapter add $0.00
    Dual 512MB NVIDIA® Quadro® NVS 420, 8 Monitor, 8DVI [add $890.00]
    Dual 512MB NVIDIA® Quadro® NVS 420, 8 Monitor, 8DP [add $890.00]
    Dual 256MB NVIDIA® Quadro® NVS 295, 4MON, 4DP w/ 4DP to DVI Adapt [add $150.00]
    256MB ATI FireMV® 2260, 2MON, 2 DP w/ 1 DP to DVI Adapter [Included in Price]
    256MB ATI FireMV® 2260, 2MON, 2 DP w/ 2 DP to DVI Adapter [add $10.00]
    Dual 256MB ATI FireMV® 2260, 4MON, 4 DP w/ 4 DP to DVI Adapter [add $130.00]

    Entry 3D graphic cards
    1GB ATI FirePro V4800, Triple MON, 2 DP & 1 DVI [add $80.00]
    1GB ATI FirePro V4800, Six MON, 2 DP & 1 DVI [add $270.00]
    1.0GB NVIDIA® Quadro® 600, Dual MON, 1 DP & 1 DVI [add $80.00]

    Mid Range 3D graphic cards
    2.0GB AMD FirePro™ V7900, Triple Monitor, 4 DP [add $760.00]
    2GB NVIDIA® Quadro® 4000, DUAL MON, 2DP & 1DVI [add $850.00]
    1.0GB NVIDIA® Quadro® 2000, Dual MON, 2 DP & 1 DVI [add $465.00]
    2.0GB AMD FirePro™ V5900, Triple Monitor, 2DP & 1DVI [add $370.00]
    Dual 1.0GB NVIDIA® Quadro® 2000, Quad MON, 4 DP & 2 DVI [add $1,030.00]

    High End 3D graphic cards
    2.5GB NVIDIA® Quadro® 5000, DUAL MON, 2DP & 1DVI [add $1,950.00]


    Memory:
    I'm probably getting 24GB but purchasing it separately as the cost with the system is an additional $1,660 and if I purchased the same Dell memory from Dell as separate items, it would cost me under $460. Which seems strange but that's what it seems to be.

    With the above information provided, what processor and video card should I purchase to meet the AutoDesk performance Recommendations to run Revit 2012? Appreciate any suggestions.

    Thank you!
    AutoCAD2007-2011 RAC2009-2011

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    Default Re: Preformance Recommendations (processor and video recommendations)?

    You're better off calling a good local computer shop for a custom build, especially if you want 24 GB of RAM.

    I've bought 3 stations for my office so far and the first one was a Dell Studio XPS with a NVIDIA Quadro 600 graphic card and extra RAM bought separately (18 GB total). You'll notice Dell charges more for RAM on the Precision series and you do not really need Xeon processors.

    these are the specs I am using these days, the whole thing comes to about 2k + taxes:
    Intel Core i7 960
    Antec P183 case
    Noctua NH-U12P or whatever good fin cooler fits in the case
    1 GB HDD (for generic storage)
    120 GB Intel 320 SSD (for OS, Revit and AutoCAD install and large Revit files)
    Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R
    PNY NVIDIA Quadro 600
    Corsair HX Series CMPSU-1000HX 1000W Power Supply
    2 x Corsair Vengeance Heatspreader 12GB (3x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz
    Microsoft Windows 7 Professional

    There seems to be a phasing out of 6 DIMMs, so get them while they are still out there. Else you will get 4 DIMMs with a realistic max of 18 GB of RAM.

    We work on models going over 1 GB in combined size and there are no issues. Of course, you can turn off Worksets to speed up operations.

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    Default Re: Preformance Recommendations (processor and video recommendations)?

    That's very interesting. I'll see if anyone else responds but I will have to look into doing a custom build. Sounds much cheaper. Do you think the Precision line with Xeon processors and 24GB are overkill? We are currently working on highrise projects and a ton of renderings. In the past I've bought our main Revit guy who models and renders like crazy a Dell Precision T5500 with Dual Quad Core Xeon's\24GB RAM and he pushes the limits of that machine at times getting close to maxxing out the memory, not sure about processor usage. That's running multiple sessions of Revit processing several renderings, AutoCAD open, browsing the net, etc.
    AutoCAD2007-2011 RAC2009-2011

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    Default Re: Preformance Recommendations (processor and video recommendations)?

    24 GB is not overkill for Revit, I see 90% usage on a single session with 18GB. You can always use more RAM.

    You do not need ECC RAM, that is normally for servers only. If you look at the price of 24 GB of RAM on that build with DELL, they will charge you 1700$ (in Canada). This is ridiculous, they are simly overcharging becasue you are a business customer. The price of RAM on Studios XPS machines is less, even when the Precision RAM is not ECC.

    If you buy the RAM yourself, you can get 24 GB for less than 200$, see RAM in specs above.

    You may want to look into rendering with iRay on 3ds Max with a high CUDA graphic card. Or you could also use 3ds to spread the rendering among multiple computers and use their cores.

    I normally render at night using multiple computers is necessary. I used to use about 15-20 computers at schools in the computer labs at night when we had submissions the next day.

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    Smile Re: Preformance Recommendations (processor and video recommendations)?

    Ah, I see. Well then it sounds like going with Dell is just a waste of money? I really didn't want to build another machine again but by the looks of it, this will save us a bunch of money where could probably get an additional workstation for the money saved. The only thing I cringe about is speccing out the parts to order and build since I haven't been on top of things for a while... I've lost my bearing now that I don't follow technology as much as I used to. The system specs that you posted, how old is that build? If over 2 years, do you happen to have an updated parts list? Hey Sam, I appreciate all your post and suggestions so far. Much thanks!
    AutoCAD2007-2011 RAC2009-2011

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    Default Re: Preformance Recommendations (processor and video recommendations)?

    The build is about 8 months old. Like I said, they are regressing back to 4 DIMMs (16GB RAM max with regular 4GB stick) instead of 6 (24GB max) on motherboards, so you may want to hurry and get the parts before they are sold out. I've recently checked the prices on these and some of the parts went down over 100$ (mobo) or less, so the updated price should be less.

    We have some computer shops here that will only charge 70$ to build it and they add a year warranty to it, really worth it. Last time I installed a processor heat sink on a motherboard it took me about 3 hours, so I would suggest getting it built by a local shop over doing it yourself. The process (10 hours +) is probably not worth your salary in hours and you may get a warranty out of it.

    You're very welcome.

    BTW, I like renderings, so I am investigating the 8 core AMD Bulldozer X8 FX-8150 processor (300$). It seems like a good and awesomely cheap render machine option.

    In a week or two, I should have a new custom machine in the office, I'll post the specs and price.

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    Default Re: Preformance Recommendations (processor and video recommendations)?

    Right on, I'll keep an eye out for that if I can but I'm not on this site much, only when I NEED something! ;-P

    If you don't mind posting back here or private message me so I get some kind of notification? Again, appreciate you sharing some of the knowledge! :0)
    AutoCAD2007-2011 RAC2009-2011

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    Default Re: Preformance Recommendations (processor and video recommendations)?

    Here's the specs:
    Intel Core i7 960
    Noctua NH-U9B SE2 CPU Cooler
    Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R
    2 x Corsair Vengeance 12GB (3x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz
    Corsair Obsidian Series 650D Mid Tower Case
    Seagate Barracuda (ST31000524AS) 7200 rpm 1TB HDD
    Intel 320 Series 120GB (only get this if you're a pro and you know how to handle the OS on an SSD)
    PNY NVIDIA Quadro 600 (may want to upgrade?)
    Corsair Professional Series HX1050 Modular 1050 W
    ASUS DRW-24B1ST cd drive
    Windows 7 Professional 64 bits

    This is a 1800$ build in Canada, subtract 220$ without the Intel SSD. Make sure the Cooler fits in there, measure your inside case space with the motherboard and check the space specs of the cooler.

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    Default Re: Preformance Recommendations (processor and video recommendations)?

    Thank you, Sir!
    AutoCAD2007-2011 RAC2009-2011

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