See the top rated post in this thread. Click here

Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 123456 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 56

Thread: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

  1. #11
    Administrator BlackBox's Avatar
    Join Date
    2009-11
    Posts
    5,536
    Login to Give a bone
    0

    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    Just ran a quick comparison build, attempting the +/- same specs for each XI, and Boxx Computers, and it looks as though you get more bang for your buck (or same bang for less) with XI.


    Boxx Apexx 2 2403 - $3,413
    Intel i7 7700-K Quad-Core 4.2 Ghz (OC to 4.8 Ghz)
    32 GB DDR4-2400 (4 - 8 GB DIMMs)
    NVIDIA Quadro P1000 4 GB GPU
    240 GB SATA SSD (no brand) (will be replaced with Samsung 960 M.2 SSD)
    ** Shipping not included


    Xi MTower PCIe Workstation - $3,040 (same bang for less... and a bit more?)
    Intel i7 7700-K Quad-Core 4.2 Ghz (OC to 4.8 Ghz)
    32 GB DDR4-3600 (4 - 8 GB DIMMs)
    NVIDIA Quadro P1000 4 GB GPU
    256 Samsung® 850 PRO SATA SSD (will be replaced with Samsung 960 M.2 SSD)
    ** Shipping not included


    Xi MTower PCIe Workstation - $3,330 (more bang for buck... and for less?)
    Intel i7 7700-K Quad-Core 4.2 Ghz (OC to 4.8 Ghz)
    32 GB DDR4-3600 (4 - 8 GB DIMMs)
    NVIDIA Quadro P2000 5 GB GPU
    512 Samsung® 960 PRO M.2 SSD
    ** Shipping not included



    Still not sure how comfortable I feel with being dependent on branded custom builds for our daily work, but Dell Precision and HP Z workstations are now both entirely dependent on slower Xeon CPUs with 4-12+ cores which are absolutely worthless using AutoCAD products... Until one-day, Autodesk decides to go multi-threaded... I'm not getting into that conversation here; just a statement of fact when developing specs for new hardware.


    Cheers
    Last edited by BlackBox; 2017-06-12 at 03:27 PM.
    "How we think determines what we do, and what we do determines what we get."

    Sincpac C3D ~ Autodesk Exchange Apps

    Computer Specs:
    Dell Precision 3620, Core i7-7700K 4.2GHz, 64GB RAM, Samsung 970 Pro M.2, 8GB NVIDIA Quadro P4000

  2. #12
    Certifiable AUGI Addict cadtag's Avatar
    Join Date
    2000-12
    Location
    Cairo - no, not Illinois
    Posts
    4,823
    Login to Give a bone
    0

    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    I think Boxx does a fair bit of tweaking and overclocking with what they sell, so may not be readily repairable/replaceable with off the shelf bit, bu both my Xi machines were put together with normal, if high-end components, from PSU to case to motherboards (Asus MBs for both of them). Basically the kind of stuff I would use to build a custom, one-off workstation from individual pieces from New Egg. Just already assembled, tested, and burned in. The older one is on my list to rebuild from the case in, (after I get a roundtoit lined up that is...
    Real pirates wear silk suits & ties, and write EULAs
    The only thing more dangerous to the liberty of a free people than big government, is big business.

    Toward a Sustainable Water Future: Visions for 2050 http://ascelibrary.org/doi/book/10.1061/9780784412077

  3. #13
    Administrator BlackBox's Avatar
    Join Date
    2009-11
    Posts
    5,536
    Login to Give a bone
    0

    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    Quote Originally Posted by cadtag View Post
    I think Boxx does a fair bit of tweaking and overclocking with what they sell, so may not be readily repairable/replaceable with off the shelf bit, bu both my Xi machines were put together with normal, if high-end components, from PSU to case to motherboards (Asus MBs for both of them). Basically the kind of stuff I would use to build a custom, one-off workstation from individual pieces from New Egg. Just already assembled, tested, and burned in. The older one is on my list to rebuild from the case in, (after I get a roundtoit lined up that is...
    Thanks, cadtag - I'll reach out to Boxx for clarification.
    "How we think determines what we do, and what we do determines what we get."

    Sincpac C3D ~ Autodesk Exchange Apps

    Computer Specs:
    Dell Precision 3620, Core i7-7700K 4.2GHz, 64GB RAM, Samsung 970 Pro M.2, 8GB NVIDIA Quadro P4000

  4. #14
    Administrator BlackBox's Avatar
    Join Date
    2009-11
    Posts
    5,536
    Login to Give a bone
    0

    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    I heard that another firm recently got all new HP Z workstations, so I looked into them a bit more.

    Apparently Autodesk has standardized on HP Z workstations as well, and they post a bunch of marketing fodder about AEC Suite, AutoCAD, etc. and even say their certified for Civil 3D. From a quick perusal of their hardware, it appears that the HP Z240 is the only workstation that offers Intel i7 processor as an 'option' (nothing at HP seems to be customizable, all pre-configured?).

    <Several minutes pass>

    Finally! It took me a while, but I finally found where you could customize the Z240; here's a HP retail comparable (no business discounts applied, numbers straight from their retail site):

    $2,242.56 - HP Z240 Customized
    Intel Core i7-7700K 4.2Ghz (4.5Ghz w/ Turbo), & Intel HD Graphics 630 (Integrated)
    16 GB DDR4-2400 non-ECC RAM (2 x 8 GB, 4 DIMM)**
    1 TB 7200 RPM SATA 8 GB SSHD
    8 GB NVIDIA Quadro P4000 GPU

    $330 +/-
    512 GB Samsung 960 Pro NVMe/M.2 SSD (purchased separately)

    $2,572.56 - Total
    ** 32 GB RAM (2 x 16 GB) brings the total up to $2,842.66

    This configuration would use the Samsung 960 Pro in the 1 x M.2 slot, but would allow me to upgrade RAM, GPU, SSD, 10G LAN, etc. down the road, and I can always add an HP Z Turbo Drive G2 (Z2 MB for Z240 only) for a fee, which is basically an NVMe SSD in a PCIe adapter with a heatsinc to cool the NVMe SSD.

    So far, this is the best, and most cost-effective configuration I've seen.
    "How we think determines what we do, and what we do determines what we get."

    Sincpac C3D ~ Autodesk Exchange Apps

    Computer Specs:
    Dell Precision 3620, Core i7-7700K 4.2GHz, 64GB RAM, Samsung 970 Pro M.2, 8GB NVIDIA Quadro P4000

  5. #15
    Administrator BlackBox's Avatar
    Join Date
    2009-11
    Posts
    5,536
    Login to Give a bone
    0

    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    After only a +/- 5 min phone call, HP dropped that system down to $2,000 for one (1) system, should I be interested in trying HP (as a long-time Dell business customer, personally as well as professionally).

    They also offered a more substantial discount, for setting up an HP business account, and buying five (5) or more systems.

    ... I just might become an HP customer this year.


    Cheers
    "How we think determines what we do, and what we do determines what we get."

    Sincpac C3D ~ Autodesk Exchange Apps

    Computer Specs:
    Dell Precision 3620, Core i7-7700K 4.2GHz, 64GB RAM, Samsung 970 Pro M.2, 8GB NVIDIA Quadro P4000

  6. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    2005-10
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
    Posts
    2
    Login to Give a bone
    0

    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    Great thread gentlemen. I have been looking at computer specs because most of our CAD stations are at the end of their life (5 years). We have a mix of Xi and Lenovo. The Xi computers worked great at the beginning, but with 5 years of install/uninstall they are getting slower. Sounds like the HP Z240 is the way to go.

    Have any of you researched virtualization? I know several companies that have virtualized their Autodesk CAD software to run off the server, and had great success. They claim it is better performance than a workstation. Even though Autodesk does not support virtualization of Civil 3D, I know an IT consultant that made it work. It is expensive upgrading the servers to handle it, but you save money on the workstations.

    Not trying to hijack your thread, just curious about your thoughts. Workstation vs virtualization?

  7. #17
    Administrator BlackBox's Avatar
    Join Date
    2009-11
    Posts
    5,536
    Login to Give a bone
    0

    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    Quote Originally Posted by dkruelle View Post
    Great thread gentlemen. I have been looking at computer specs because most of our CAD stations are at the end of their life (5 years). We have a mix of Xi and Lenovo. The Xi computers worked great at the beginning, but with 5 years of install/uninstall they are getting slower. Sounds like the HP Z240 is the way to go.

    Have any of you researched virtualization? I know several companies that have virtualized their Autodesk CAD software to run off the server, and had great success. They claim it is better performance than a workstation. Even though Autodesk does not support virtualization of Civil 3D, I know an IT consultant that made it work. It is expensive upgrading the servers to handle it, but you save money on the workstations.

    Not trying to hijack your thread, just curious about your thoughts. Workstation vs virtualization?
    Thanks for participating!

    Building on my comment about VDI (virtualization) in the OP, we're not interested in that now for two main reasons:

    1. There exists a tipping point where the cost of VDI procurement and implementation is worthwhile, based on how many users (and offices?) you'd otherwise have to buy workstations for, as compared to the VDI server, network, and thin client infrastructure improvements. We're a small shop with only a handful of CAD users, and for the cost, we can (at least currently) get way more production bang for buck in workstation upgrades. I would have to double, triple, or even quadruple the number of users here before we approach that tipping point, methinks. With the HP Z240's (above), I can replace everyone's workstation for less than $10K (with bulk order discount, and free shipping; not including monitors).

    2. The owners here are already struggling to keep up with our current, 'advanced' client/server topology, which by year's end will be 100% out of warranty. To boot, my Surveyor still uses AutoCAD 2000 + Eagle Point on WinXPx86 daily. It was like pulling teeth to get him to try using a GoPro to walk a stockpile so I could use ReCap to derive surface volumes. Haha For these reasons, especially lately, I end up documenting workflows, processes, etc. and showing the owner the dollars he's paying us to NOT be productive, and then he better gets what I'm trying to accomplish (if that makes sense?).


    Separately, I did reach out to my Dell rep, and this is the best configuration they've offered me so far:

    Dell Precision T3620 Mini Tower
    Intel Core i7-7700K 4.2Ghz (4.5Ghz w/ Turbo), & Integrated Graphics
    16 GB DDR4-2400 non-ECC RAM (2 x 8 GB, 4 DIMM)

    They don't offer the 8 GB NVIDIA Quadro P4000 (2017) GPU as an option for some reason, only the 8 GB NVIDIA Quadro M4000 (2015) which is 90% less capable. Trying to confirm that there is no form-factor conflict (meaning that if I buy P4000 separately, it will fit in the mini tower form-factor case).

    The Precision 3620 motherboard also only has one M.2 slot, so I'm having her see if there's a hardware RAID controller that will hold dual NVMe SSD given the limited PCIe slots. If not, then I would have one NVMe SSD in the M.2 slot, and a second in a PCIe adapter and be relegated to software RAID. Instead, I'd rather just get a StarTech PCIe 2xNVMe SSD + RAID controller.

    It is nice to learn that there is a Dell option, although I'd be remiss to not say I am still quite disappointed in the only option (certainly so far). Haha



    Cheers
    "How we think determines what we do, and what we do determines what we get."

    Sincpac C3D ~ Autodesk Exchange Apps

    Computer Specs:
    Dell Precision 3620, Core i7-7700K 4.2GHz, 64GB RAM, Samsung 970 Pro M.2, 8GB NVIDIA Quadro P4000

  8. #18
    Certifiable AUGI Addict cadtag's Avatar
    Join Date
    2000-12
    Location
    Cairo - no, not Illinois
    Posts
    4,823
    Login to Give a bone
    0

    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    Quote Originally Posted by dkruelle View Post

    Not trying to hijack your thread, just curious about your thoughts. Workstation vs virtualization?
    Workstation all the way. Partly as a matter of philosophy, but also as a matter of reliability. Unless you can afford to build a highly redundant back end, with 5-9's reliability, you are looking at a single point of failure to cripple you operation. Even worse, it's a cascade of multiple single points of failure. Bad enough that stand-alone licenses can be shut down by the internet license servers when Amazon mis-configures their stuff, but they at least have the deep pockets to try to achieve reliability. Joe AEC company? not so much.
    Real pirates wear silk suits & ties, and write EULAs
    The only thing more dangerous to the liberty of a free people than big government, is big business.

    Toward a Sustainable Water Future: Visions for 2050 http://ascelibrary.org/doi/book/10.1061/9780784412077

  9. #19
    AUGI Addict jpaulsen's Avatar
    Join Date
    2002-04
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,020
    Login to Give a bone
    0

    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    We've been using HP workstations for at least 10 years. They have been very reliable and IT likes them. Since we have not used any other brand I cannot speak for their relative performance. We have used the following HP workstations over the last 10 years:

    Model Processor RAM
    XW4400 2.6 Core 2 Duo 4096
    XW4600 3.0 Core 2 Duo 4096
    Z420 XEON Quad-Core 3.7 16GB
    Z440 XEON Quad-Core 3.5 16GB

    As you can see these our latest systems have XEON processors. I notice that you are specifying i7's and no one is recommending XEONs. Are i7's better for AutoCAD than XEONs? Are THESE benchmarks test a good indicator of how they will perform in AutoCAD?
    Last edited by jpaulsen; 2017-06-19 at 03:50 PM.
    Jeff Paulsen

  10. #20
    Certifiable AUGI Addict ccowgill's Avatar
    Join Date
    2004-08
    Location
    Hartford, Michigan
    Posts
    3,197
    Login to Give a bone
    0

    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    Until Autocad starts utilizing multi core, I think the general consensus is the faster the single core speed, the better AutoCAD will run, hence the reason for the I7, which can run at 4.2 compared to the 3.5 or 3.7 of the Xeon
    Christopher T. Cowgill, P.E.
    Autodesk Expert Elite
    AEC Collection Civil 3D 2020
    Windows 10

Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 123456 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. ED319-1: High Performance Buildings for Higher Education
    By Autodesk University in forum Education
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 2015-08-07, 05:30 PM
  2. High performance for surface modeling
    By Wish List System in forum Civil 3D Wish List
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 2015-07-01, 08:29 AM
  3. CP31-1: High Performance AutoCAD Programming
    By Autodesk University in forum Customization and Programming
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 2013-04-10, 02:29 AM
  4. GI32-2: High Performance Data Models for Autodesk Map
    By Autodesk University in forum Geospatial
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 2013-04-08, 07:51 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •