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Thread: Revit 8.1 + AMD Opteron

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    Default Revit 8.1 + AMD Opteron

    Hi,
    Can I get an opinion of the Revit user that are running the software with AMD processors. I am switching from Intel to AMD. The Revit files are typically approximately from 5MB, 30MB and 85MB they are all linked into one another. Revit is used from pre-schematic to 100% CD's. So I would like to list what the specs are for the potential AMD workstation. The wkst is:
    2 - Opteron dual cores 275 (operating frequency 2.2GHz
    8Gb PC3200 in 4 chips/2Gb each
    PNY NVidia Quadro FX1400 128MB OpenGL 1.5
    So what do you all think? Is it a good investment that will run smoothly with Revit 8.1 and soon 9.0.
    Thanks for all your help.
    JimmyC

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    AUGI Addict iru69's Avatar
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    Default Re: Revit 8.1 + AMD Opteron

    Quote Originally Posted by james_cifuentes
    2 - Opteron dual cores 275 (operating frequency 2.2GHz
    8Gb PC3200 in 4 chips/2Gb each
    PNY NVidia Quadro FX1400 128MB OpenGL 1.5
    So what do you all think? Is it a good investment that will run smoothly with Revit 8.1 and soon 9.0.
    If I've got this straight, you're suggesting a setup of two dual-core Opterons for a total of four cores. And 8 gigabytes of RAM.

    Revit will run fine on it, but my opinion is that's not a very good investment. Revit can't really take advantage of more than 2-3GB of RAM at this time. There's really no reason to get more than 4GB of RAM. And aside from rendering, Revit won't take advantage of more than one of those four cores and the Opteron 2xx series is going to require an expensive motherboard. You're going to end up with a lot of idling hardware.

    If you've got that much money to blow on a computer, look at the dual core Athlon 64 FX60 / Opteron 185 @ 2.6GHz - either of those will be faster for everyday use than the slower 275s and half the price. Or if you want to stay exotic and expensive, a dual processor Opteron 254 (single core) @ 2.8GHz would be pretty fast.

    There's a bunch of good hardware advice on the forums here - you're welcome to read up and post back here if you want to suggest something else... Let us know how it goes.

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    AUGI Addict Scott Hopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Revit 8.1 + AMD Opteron

    We have several new AMD systems from Xi computers in our office. We outfitted them with the fast but very economical Athlon 4000+ single core chips. These machines are probably half the cost of the system you are looking at. I am always second guessing myself on that decision. Considering that almost everyone in the office is using streaming audio, which of course is fairly processor intensive, I am thinking dual cores may have been a better choice. Then again, no matter what chip you get it seems that it won't run Revit fast enough.

    On the other hand, an economical system is often the best way to go. If the factory does decide to implement some dual core feature into Revit (hopefully with shadow generation) then we will just recycle our old machines down to the Autocad users in the office and get the latest dual core machines for our Revit users.

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    Default Re: Revit 8.1 + AMD Opteron

    The computer specs posted are mainly to address Revit usage. So I am understanding that I will have idle hardware because Revit only uses one core and at the most 4GB of RAM during the course of modeling. Ok I got the information. But in thinking of a workflow that is not just concerned with producing CDs is it concievable Revit will use the extra hardware speced out for quick rendering of various views all opened and tiled on the monitor. This scenerio plays out when you are producing CDs and making further design decisions for the smallest nuances of the design intent even in the final CD stage. Hopefully I am painting a clear picture of the working environment using Revit. Would the hardware then get used effectively.
    Thanks for your input.

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    AUGI Addict iru69's Avatar
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    Default Re: Revit 8.1 + AMD Opteron

    Quote Originally Posted by james_cifuentes
    But in thinking of a workflow that is not just concerned with producing CDs is it concievable Revit will use the extra hardware speced out for quick rendering of various views all opened and tiled on the monitor. This scenerio plays out when you are producing CDs and making further design decisions for the smallest nuances of the design intent even in the final CD stage.
    Hmmm, I think I understand what you're getting at, though maybe at the same time you're mixing it up with things that really have more to do with human workflow than computer workflow.

    As has been discussed on this forum before, it's not just a matter of the developer deciding to "multi-thread" an application. I don't have enough programming background at that level to articulate why that is, but I've read enough about it over the years to know that the hardware is way out in front of the software.

    It would seem that one of the easiest ways for Revit to start to take advantage of multiple processors is in a way that I think you were getting at - that various tasks could use their own processor - Revit could be rendering a view while your working on the model in a different view. You can even test this out by opening two sessions of Revit and changing the user ID on one of them, and then open a separate local copy of a central file in each session. With mixed results (I've haven't tested this extensively), you can render in one session while editing, rendering, or whatever in the other session. However, that implementation is a rather clumsy way to work and isn't going to do much for the "workflow".

    Someday Revit will be able to address 8GB of RAM and make better use of multiple processors. I have no idea whether that's two years from now or five years from now (Intel is set to release quad-core CPUs for the desktop next year, so the Factory better get on it!). But right now, no.

    So all that being said, I don't think it makes much sense to spend $3,500-$4,000 on such a workstation right now, especially considering that you can actually get a faster computer than what you're proposing for much less money. Maybe it's best to spend half that amount and save the rest to put towards a system that might actually be better able to take advantage of the hardware a couple of years from now. Best of luck whatever you decide.

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