37 Replies Latest reply on Jan 8, 2019 9:47 AM by Shawn Stugard

    workstation underpowered?

    Giugni Srl

      Hello all,


      A colleague asked me to buy a new workstation for 3D designing with solidworks 2017, so i checked his best workstation build that is:

      HP Z640

      CPU:      Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2620 v3 @ 2.40GHz

      RAM:      32GB - (4 x 8GB) DDR4

      HD#1:    Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB

      HD#2:    HDD 1TB

      GPU:     NVIDIA Quadro K4200 4GB

      OS:       W7 64 bit  


      He asked me to buy somthing cheaper than that Z640, so i bought this one:


      HP Z620

      Processor #1:   2.90 GHz Octa (Eight)-Core Xeon (E5-2690) 20MB

      Processor #2:   2.90 GHz Octa (Eight)-Core Xeon (E5-2690) 20MB

      Memory:   48GB - (12 x 4GB) DDR3 ECC Reg

      Hard Drive #1:   256GB - SATA III SSD - HP Micron (671730-001)

      Hard Drive #2:   500GB - SATA - 7200RPM

      Graphics Card:   nVidia Quadro K6000 - 12GB GDDR5 - 2 x DVI & 2 x Display Port

      Operating System: Win 10 Professional (64-Bit)


      But right now the colleague that is using this "new" workstation, is telling that it is "unusable" because too underpowered and he sent me some benchmarks that he tested (attachments)


      I don't know how SolidWork works and how it menages the hardware but it looks strange for me that a workstation build like that Z620 is "unusable".


      Do you guys know the trick? any ideas? any suggestions?

      Did i buy scrap?


      Thanks a LOT for your replies



        • Re: workstation underpowered?
          Tom Gagnon

          That is far more powered than what I use, and I punish mine regularly with large assemblies.

          Giugni Srl wrote:


          A colleague asked me to buy a new workstation for 3D designing with solidworks 2017...

          Is he designing products? Large Assemblies? Renderings? Walkthroughs? Animations? Drawings for production, or art for marketing?


          I don't see any issue with either build. Why is he saying it is unusable? Is he placing value on reported numbers, or experience of use?

            • Re: workstation underpowered?
              Giugni Srl

              Tom Gagnon

              thanks for your help

              My colleagues told me that they design products and large assemblies from few millimiters or 50 pieces, up to few meters and 8000 pieces.

              He can't say why that z620 is "unusable" because it is not the user, so we can't understand in what situation the workstation is "unusable"...



              Henk Bruijn De

              thanks for your help

              He is saying that now is the software that decide what driver to use (i believe it's the default option), so today i'll check for this on all our W.S. if there is a better option.




            • Re: workstation underpowered?
              Henk Bruijn De

              Hi Giugni Srl ,

              Just make sure that Solidworks is using the correct driver and not Open GL driver

              You can run Solidworks Rx to check this.

              • Re: workstation underpowered?
                Mikko Laine

                There must be something wrong with the way SW or Windows is configured as my laptop beats the z620 and is quite close to even with Z640 results - just ran the benchmark and got overall result of 82.4 sec. And this is just a regular business laptop without dedicated GPU's or i7 processors - Thinkpad T480s with i5-8520U, 16Gb of RAM and 512 Gb SSD.

                  • Re: workstation underpowered?
                    Tom Gagnon

                    Those are very good points, which reminds me of a strong bias. I judge them harshly by the disrespect I've experienced.


                    I have entirely given up on HP as a PC maker, primarily because of their expansive bloatware included with commercial PCs. However, as a performance intensive product line, I had naively assumed that they would not inconvenience their users in the same way when they are expending serious money for a serious workstation. Does anyone else use a HP workstation and have similar issues?


                    Another reason that I now completely blacklist HP computers for line of business (except for printers / wide format inkjet plotters) is from one horrible terrible no-good rotten technical support experience when my boss's PC died, and their foreign tech support call center was coincidentally getting its phone lines reworked -  I paid extra money and received absolutely nothing in return except for a headache. I've heard business rumors that they intend to improve that sort of situation, but since their reorg with profitability in mind, I simply do not believe them. I also believe that they broadly care nothing for their customers. So, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that they do load workstation models with bloatware also.


                    A tiny bit of research: Maybe I assumed wrong, but it doesn't make up for past failures - my opinion.

                    First off, from a Reddit AMA with a HP Workstation rep, "I can’t speak for the consumer divisions but I think the following is true (not an official HP opinion). All computer companies get paid to put crapware on their systems. HP has tried removing it in the past and raising the prices to compensate but then lost a lot of sales to competitors who had computers with crap-ware selling for a cheaper price. So… customers hate the crap-ware but ultimately most (maybe not you) would rather save $50 and have the crapware. I LOVE how our enterprise products don’t. I think it works since the enterprise buyers are willing to pay the extra for a clean system but I’m not sure."


                    Crapware: Why manufacturers install it, what you can do about it, and why it's not going to go away | ZDNet

                    with links to: The PC Decrapifier and CCleaner Professional

                  • Re: workstation underpowered?
                    Frederick Law


                    AMD Ryzen 7 1700X 3.83GHz

                    16GB RAM

                    nVidia GTX1070


                    I agree something is wrong with your setup.

                    What size monitor are you using? 4K?

                    • Re: workstation underpowered?
                      Giugni Srl

                      Thank you all for your replies

                      I'm asking to my colleague all your questions

                      as soon i get the answers i'll reply to you all.



                      • Re: workstation underpowered?
                        Alin Vargatu

                        Just a note that, AFAIK, the second CPU will not be used by SW. Getting a fast i7-8700K with a single core Turbo speed of 4.8 GHz would have been cheaper and better.

                        • Re: workstation underpowered?
                          Heiko Sohnholz



                          the Z640 is newer than the Z620, wich has (at this time) the high end components (CPU/GPU). But both machines are simply OLD these days.


                          Maybe the two E5-2690 with each 8 cores runs better - but this is not a SWX related benchmark. SWX runs most of the times on only ONE core. So speed is everything! And this is up to 3,8 GHz on an older CPU. The newer E5-2620 v3 has 6 cores (more than enough ) with a max. speed of 3,2 GHz. So i think that there isn't much difference. A simple and cheap i7 8700k will beat them both by far!


                          The (older) K6000 was really expensive in 2012, when it was released. And it's around 2 times faster than the K4200. But todays P4000 has the same power as the K6000 for just 700 euro.


                          And forgot the SWX benchmark. If you'll have a look in the official list on the SWX homepage you will find identical computers with very different benchmark results.


                          So buy a normal but modern computer and everything will be fine!

                            • Re: workstation underpowered?
                              Giugni Srl

                              thanks for your reply

                              yes, you are right


                              but i've spent about 1650€ for that old z620 build that in my country is very "cheap" instead a brand new one with same performance

                              just think that brand new 48GB of DDR4 ram, cost around twice than older 48GB DDR3

                                • Re: workstation underpowered?
                                  Heiko Sohnholz

                                  I understand. But back in the days i was at a customer site, who has a brand newly computer bought for over 11.000 EUR - and he was as disappointed as your are … because he bought the wrong computer. Double CPU with 8 cores each, tons of ram and a Quadro 6000 series.

                                  Look for a 4 or 6 core CPU with higher speed. A Quadro 4000 series card - as new as possible, maybe M or P series - and around 32 gig RAM. SSD of course - other components doesn't matter that much.

                                  Back in 2008 i was able to handle a +8.200 components assembly with realview/shadow effects turned on a entry level Quadro FX 560. Not perfect, but really okay for hundred bucks.

                                  Notice that what the computer Industrie gives us, is not always that what we need or desire...

                                    • Re: workstation underpowered?
                                      Giugni Srl

                                      thanks for your reply


                                      but in this case.. is it "better" the 9700k or 8700k?

                                      the 8700k has higher clockspeed but the 9700k has higher turbo speed


                                      "passmark Single Thread Rating winner" is the 9700k on 8700k

                                        • Re: workstation underpowered?
                                          Heiko Sohnholz

                                          The 8700k was only one sample for a cheap but very fast CPU. I would recommend the newer 9700k because it has not only 2 cores more (what matters only when it comes to rendering or simulation tasks), but has the higher turbo speed of 4.9 GHz vs. 4.7 GHz. Or choose the brand new i9-9900k. But remember: All i5/i7/i9 do not support ECC RAM.


                                          And because money matters, it's a question whether the you / your company can afford them...

                                  • Re: workstation underpowered?
                                    Giugni Srl

                                    Hi all, happy new year,


                                    I've just set up that new HP Z420*: windows 16 pro 64 bit, domain, software, solidworks, pdm, antivirus so i' ve done the benchmarks obviusly and you can see the results attached.

                                    the passmark performance test results higher (+100) than our best workstation Z640 but the solidworks one results slower (+4sec)

                                    and keep the same issue that the solidworks benchmark is slow overall like the other my workstations than your.


                                    could the problem be the antivirus or the "solidworks tested gpu driver" not installed? right now gpu driver installed is the newest by nvidia






                                    Chassis: HP Z420 Tower - V2 - 600W

                                    Processor: Intel Xeon E5-2687W V2 3.40Ghz Eight (8) Core

                                    GPU: Nvidia Quadro P2000 5GB

                                    RAM: 6 x 8GB PC3-12800R (DDR3-1600Mhz, 2RX4)

                                    Hard Drive: Generic 500GB SATA III (LFF) 6Gb/s 7.2K HDD

                                    SSD: Generic 240GB SATA III (SFF) 6Gb/s SSD

                                    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 PRO (64bit)