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Thread: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    Quote Originally Posted by ccowgill View Post
    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
    i.e. for a fixed budget of $X you'll get a lower speed Xeon compared to a non-workstation processor. Or when using comparable clock speeds the Xeon will be more expensive.

    Not certain that multi-threaded performance would make Xeon any more attractive by cost, performance, or otherwise. In order to do so there would be a need for the numbers of cores typically provided by multiple processors or the wigged-out insane ones (12 - 18 core per processor). But for day to day engineering work anything beyond 8 cores (high end gaming processor) isn't going to see much use.
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  2. #22
    Administrator rkmcswain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    Apologies if this has already been mentioned, but I did not go back and read each and every post here, and I ran across this recently.

    https://techevate.com/cad-hardware-choices-cpus/
    R.K. McSwain | CAD Panacea |

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    Quote Originally Posted by rkmcswain View Post
    Apologies if this has already been mentioned, but I did not go back and read each and every post here, and I ran across this recently.

    https://techevate.com/cad-hardware-choices-cpus/
    I was just about to go find Steve's blog post and post the link here myself.
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  4. #24
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    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    the i7 is so yesterday.... BOXX is now shipping an i9 X-series CPU, workstation model APEXX 4 6201

    whether it's bang-buck ration hits your sweet spot is an personal call.
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  5. #25
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    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    Quote Originally Posted by cadtag View Post
    the i7 is so yesterday.... BOXX is now shipping an i9 X-series CPU, workstation model APEXX 4 6201

    whether it's bang-buck ration hits your sweet spot is an personal call.
    Boxx instead recommends the Apexx 2-2403 for Civil 3D (just asked), they said they'd discount my configuration (waiting on that email back), but here's the retail quote from the website:

    Boxx Apexx 2 2403 - $4,722
    Intel i7 7700-K Quad-Core 4.2 Ghz (OC to 4.8 Ghz)
    16 GB DDR4-2400 (2 - 8 GB DIMMs)
    NVIDIA Quadro P4000 8 GB GPU
    2x OEM 512 GB M.2 SSD (RAID 0)


    I can get the same specs (albeit air cooled, not liquid cooled like Boxx) from:

    Dell Precision T3620 - $2,380.44
    Intel i7 7700-K Quad-Core 4.2 Ghz (4.5 Ghz Turbo)
    16 GB DDR4-2400 (2 - 8 GB DIMMs)
    NVIDIA Quadro P4000 8 GB GPU (includes the 365W PSU upgrade)
    2x OEM 512 GB M.2 SSD (RAID 0)
    (that's $1,623.95 for system unit + PSU upgrade, and $756.49 GPU sold separately, not factory installed)

    ... Or:

    HP Z240 - $2,528.81
    Intel i7 7700-K Quad-Core 4.2 Ghz (4.5 Ghz Turbo)
    16 GB DDR4-2400 (2 - 8 GB DIMMs)
    NVIDIA Quadro P4000 8 GB GPU (includes the 400W PSU OOTB)
    1TB 7200 RPM SATA 8 GB SSHD
    2x Samsung 960 PRO 512 GB M.2 SSD (RAID 0)
    (that's $1,868.81 for system unit after business discount and a 10% discount code, and $660 Samsung 960 PRO NVMe SSD sold separately, not factory installed)


    Not sure about you, but I'm not going to notice the 0.03Ghz when I'm spending $2,193 less for the HP, or $2,342 less for the Dell... For the same money, I can also get dual 32" 4K Ultrasharp (Dell) or DreamColor (HP) monitors.


    Cheers


    [Edit] - I am very interested in the Boxx setup; I like their products, the thought they've put into them, how versatile they are, how powerful they can be on smaller sized systems, and that they're made in US. Just not sure that I can justify the difference in price, given that we cannot even go see one in action locally.
    Last edited by BlackBox; 2017-06-21 at 04:19 PM.
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  6. #26
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    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    @cadtag -

    Do you happen to have access to a Boxx machine? Have you run any benchmarks on rebuilding Corridors, Surfaces, or even basic things like switching layout tabs, etc.?

    Speaking to my Boxx rep, they're designed to operate at peak overclocked speed at-all-times, as opposed to peak on-demand until they overheat and scale back to their 'B' cycle (in air cooled systems). That is of significant value, if their estimate of 15-20% more productivity is even remotely accurate.


    Cheers



    [Edit] - Actually, feedback from anyone with a liquid cooled system, would be most appreciated.
    Last edited by BlackBox; 2017-06-22 at 12:53 PM.
    "How we think determines what we do, and what we do determines what we get."

    Sincpac C3D ~ Autodesk Exchange Apps

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  7. #27
    Administrator rkmcswain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    I'd be interested to know if the P4000 really provides any perceivable difference to an end user of Civil 3D, over say, the P1000 ?
    R.K. McSwain | CAD Panacea |

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    Quote Originally Posted by rkmcswain View Post
    I'd be interested to know if the P4000 really provides any perceivable difference to an end user of Civil 3D, over say, the P1000 ?
    Me too! Haha

    My reason(s) for selecting the Quadro P4000 are shown here, specifically double the memory interface, +/- triple the memory bandwidth & CUDA cores as the Quadro P1000, and for only an extra +/- $350-400... I've had 32 GB RAM for the past few years, and whish I'd have instead put those few $100's in the GPU, so that's what I'm trying to accomplish now, where 32 GB of DDR4 RAM is a +/- $350-ish upgrade to the 16 GB.

    That is also why I worked with my Dell rep to upgrade the PSU in the Precision 3620 (to run the Quadro P4000), given the 85% performance gains over that of the Quadro M4000 shown here, the latter being what Dell currently makes available to the Precision 3620.

    Where I am a bit concerned, is with regard to other apps such as InfraWorks... Not that it could be any worse than the 3 GB NVIDIA Quadro K4000 I have now, but will it (the P4000) really benefit those other apps which seem to do better with Gaming GPUs as I understand it... Kind of hard to have one for each scenario (and assign each app to the desired GPU), especially when both Dell or HP system units only provide one PCIe Gen 3 x16 slot.

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

    Sincpac C3D ~ Autodesk Exchange Apps

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  9. #29
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    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    Yeah, you are light years ahead of me when it comes to knowing about all of the specs on these cards and such, but I've yet to personally witness a case where a user with a better* display adapter has a better user experience in Civil 3D than a user with the lower model. Now when you get into other apps, such as Infraworks or Revit, then I can't comment. I also understand that using 3DOrbit in C3D on a giant surface with dozens of pipe networks, is different that working in WCS on a layout sheet where everything is drawn flat. We do a lot more of the latter.

    * meaning, a more expensive adapter with better specifications
    R.K. McSwain | CAD Panacea |

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    Quote Originally Posted by rkmcswain View Post
    Yeah, you are light years ahead of me when it comes to knowing about all of the specs on these cards and such, but I've yet to personally witness a case where a user with a better* display adapter has a better user experience in Civil 3D than a user with the lower model. Now when you get into other apps, such as Infraworks or Revit, then I can't comment. I also understand that using 3DOrbit in C3D on a giant surface with dozens of pipe networks, is different that working in WCS on a layout sheet where everything is drawn flat. We do a lot more of the latter.

    * meaning, a more expensive adapter with better specifications
    Nah - I'd like to believe my inner geek is just business minded; in terms of cost-benefit, I am good about considering options, as you get what you pay for, but never have to pay retail.

    I do have some limited first-hand experience with seeing the difference between lesser and better* cards....

    The workstations my peers received as upgrades prior to my being hired, included dual 1 GB AMD Radeon HD 7470 (2 GB total), whereas after being hired I opted for the 3 GB NVIDIA Quadro K4000 (thinking a bit more here and a lot more RAM would be great)... Just recently I was showing a peer who's never really worked with pipe networks how they can orbit (or just use the View Cube to get perspective view), and change the View Style to show various levels of detail, and their system completely locks up for a bit (+30 seconds) where mine does not (+7 seconds?).

    I have used Infraworks a few times for a recent project proposal, etc. and it was light years faster than Civil 3D - I mean it, measurably faster and with much better level of detail - I honestly wanted to (and still have yet to) test, if it was faster to do a preliminary road layout (alignment and profile), and export to Civil 3D, than to do the same early-stage conceptual work in Civil 3D (without any Infraworks).

    The only performance issues with Infraworks came when I realized (after the fact), that the first rule of Infraworks Club is 'You don't save anything in the Infraworks model folder'. Apparently, what is added there gets uploaded/downloaded each time you change your Proposal view selection, and when I had mistakenly saved 4.77 GB of animated video rendered scenes to be included in our PowerPoint presentation, well, it got really ugly for a time. 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

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