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New system opinions?

Question asked by 1-E9PSO0 on Oct 23, 2009
Latest reply on Oct 25, 2009 by 1-E9PSO0

Hi Folks,

I thought I'd run a few things up the flagpole in regards to a couple of new Solidworks machines I'm about to buy.  As ever budgets are tight, so I need this purchase to be a good one.  Our IT dept prefer us to buy Dell, and I must say I am generally happy with their systems in terms of the price/performance/reliability/service ratio.

Proposed system:
Dell Precision T3500
Xeon W3520 2.66Ghz 8Mb L3 cache 4.8GT/s
Win 7 64 Bit
12Gb DDR3 1066Mhz ECC (6x2Gb)
Quadro FX1800
500Gb SATA 7200rpm drives x3 in RAID 5
other components as per normal
All it says about the mobo is that it's an Intel X58 chipset, PSU is apparently about 570w.
Buying two of these, and will be attached to one existing Dell 3007 and 3008 WFP respectively.  Mostly part/assembly modelling usage, occasional rendering but not too much.


1. CPU: The only other options were also Xeons - X55xx series were out of the price range (extra $1200-2200), W3503 and 3505 both a little cheaper, and W3540 at +$563.  I'm sort of pushing the price envelope already, and I think this is the pick of the options available in terms of bang/buck.  My impression is that this is basically a rebadged i7-920?

2. GFX - I swung the price for the FX1800, up from the 580 I had first thought I'd have to settle for.  Other option would be the Firepro V3750 at around the price of a Quadro FX580 (about $380 less).  I have been mightily unimpressed with the Quadro drivers in SWX2009 but I gather they are still the best of a bad bunch?  Likewise I gather that the Firepro V3750 is pretty much only a competitor to the FX580 or so and that given the money has been ok'd that the FX1800 is the best option?

Any comments on the above setup?