The old machine was a Xeon 3.2GHz Dell 690. It rebuilt the punch holder in 260s and Scooby in 71s - all as predicted from the spreadsheet. Graphics performance was poor - very sluggish and don't even think about realview (QuadroFX 4500)
A new workstation was ordered, Dell because that's what the company buys. This meant that it had to be an expensive Xeon again (T5500, Xeon W5580 3.2GHz, XP64, 12GB RAM, 10k RPM disks, SW2009 SP4.1). I have always had Quadro FX graphics cards and had a bit of a predjudice against anything else, particularly ATI. However, reading some comments on this forum and reading specs, particularly memory bandwidth, I decided on the FirePro V8700.
The new system cost a whopping £3000 including a substantial discount from Dell. I could have bought an overclocked Core i7 running at 4GHz for half that. Our IT manager recons overclocking is unreliable and for home use rather that business "mission critical" systems.
Well, benchmark rebuild results are exactly as predicted, 63s for the punch holder and 20s for Scooby - a big improvement and general modelling is much more snappy and responsive. The problem is graphics performance. It really is not that much better than the old system. I have tried all the settings in SW and yes, "use software open GL" is off. Model rotation is jerky and parts turn into blocks. I have compared using the same assemblies which are not complex and do not have more than 100 parts although some are transparent which I know slows things down.
Processor usage during model rotation is 25%. That leaves three cores and a graphics processor twiddling their thumbs and me feeling as though I am wading through treacle.
Is this as good as it gets?