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  1. #1

    New workstation specs...

    I know this is the usual boring question that comes out from time to time... I'm going to order a new workstation soon, I still have to decide the brand but I'm looking into internal hardware.

    For the CPU I'm leaning towards Xeon 2630 v3 or Xeon 2650 v3, depends on the budget. It would probably be single CPU since Creo doesn't get much benefit from multiple CPUs anyway.

    I'm in doubt about the GPU though, I've always been an Nvidia Quadro user so maybe K2200 or K4200 should be good, but what about AMD? It seems they have some nice trick and optimizations for Creo, do you have any experience with them? Any suggestion?

    Oh right, the use case: I'm using Creo for modeling optoelectronic devices, so no very complex shapes and no large assemblies, but I'm also running Zemax and other simulation software together with Creo.


  2. #2
    Unfortunately, the only advise that anyone can give you is to look at what PTC recommend as supported hardware. If there is any difference between what you have and what is supported, they will usually use that as an excuse as to why any problems occur - having supported hardware configuration doesn't prevent problems, it only prevents PTC from saying that it isn't their problem.

  3. #3
    I will only buy certified hardware from certified suppliers, I was impressed by HP Z840 but it's 6 fans central block and more fans on the back looks a bit of a nightmare if some of the fans die. I was blown away by the P900 from Lenovo, really neat thermal dsign with just three large fans and a very smart air baffle, does anyone have first hand experience with this model? The brand that is most a delusion right now is Dell, prices are low sure, but the workstation looks more like a "super PC".

  4. #4
    A "super PC" is all one needs to run Creo these days. Not sure about your simulation requirements. We use nothing but Dell Precision workstations, they have always been very reliable.
    PTC quality philosophy: We've upped our quality standards. Up yours.

  5. #5
    Multiprocessors can be nice when running multiple applications at the same time. It doesn't sound like you really require much based on your use but I'm not familiar with Zemax.

  6. #6
    I've always gone for ISV certified hardware just because life is complicated enough. I'm running an HP Elitebook laptop at the moment which gives me enough power with a bit of portability. It wasn't cheap though.

    Unless you are are working with large assemblies, complex surfacing, mechanism design or that sort of thing then I think the truth is that a lot of reasonably quick desktops will do the job. A mid-range CAD specific graphics card is probably not a bad shout, but unless you are doing a lot of rendering then you probably don't need to go silly. I use a Quadro but AMD's offering would be fine too. I'm not sure how much notice I'd pay to what graphics card people say about all their optimisations though.

    The truth is that I think it really comes down to you pays your money and takes your choice. - A decent ISV certified workstation will give you reliability and confidence, but the chances are something lower spec will also do the job and save you quite a lot of cash. Plus you could afford to upgrade sooner.

    Beyond the Mouse

  7. #7
    Back from vacations Zemax can be pretty heavy when doing raytracing or physical optics propagation, but probably not to the point of needing a dual CPU setup. I'd love to be able to use COMSOL on my machine too, but company policy is a bit awkward so no way.

    There are two ways I can go: buy a well specced single CPU machine for CAD use, or buy a "monster" like Lenovo P900 so that it's able to sustain every sort of upgrade in the future (from CAD to FEA for example). Since my boss proposed a ridiculously low budget i'll go for the first option

    So yes basically I'm going for a single CPU, workstation-class ISV certified hardware. Currently I'm looking at Lenovo P500 with these specs:

    Xeon 1620 v3 (very fast in single core, with faster memory access than 26x0 v3, considering also 1650 v3 but probably not worth the price increase)

    4 x 8 GB Ram (or cheaper option 4 x 4 GB Ram)

    M.2 512 GB SSD drive (fastest option, I won't need a large drive and I will be able to keep both software and data on the fastest drive)

    1 TB 7200 RPM drive (I will use it as a backup solution)

    Quadro K2200 Graphics Card

    Sounds like a fine configuration, isn't it?

    Last edited by zpaolo; 07-16-2015 at 07:23 AM.

  8. #8
    That looks pretty good to me. High processor speed is def the way to go for Pro/E.
    PTC quality philosophy: We've upped our quality standards. Up yours.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by dr_gallup View Post
    That looks pretty good to me. High processor speed is def the way to go for Pro/E.
    That's why I'll probably go for the 1650, even faster and with more cache than 1620, 32 GB of RAM, 512 SSD M2 and Quadro 4200: they just told me the budget is not 4K euros but 5K ;D I'm still thinking if adding a better RAID driver can be useful or not, probably not.

  10. #10
    With that sort of budget you probably want something a little bit better than a normal mouse ;-)


    Beyond the Mouse

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