Shopping for a new workstation. Some chips have a higher clockspeed, lower L3 cache and vice versa. Would SolidWorks benefit from higher clockspeed or more L3 cache?
I believe that from both. Use money on CPU before that GPU.
Based on what I've been reading on the forums, I think the correct answer is buy an I7.
also important is to make sure you get a 32nm die size. also, turbo boost is nice.
maybe drop the CPU part number of the options you are comparing?
Im looking at these, leaning towards the W3565.
Quad Core Intel® Xeon® Processor E5640, 2.66GHz,12M L3, 5.86GT/s, turbo [add $950.00]Quad Core Intel® Xeon® Processor E5630, 2.53GHz,12M L3, 5.86GT/s, turbo [add $330.00]Quad Core Intel® Xeon® W3565 3.20GHz, 8M L3, 4.8GT/s [add $530.00]Quad Core Intel® Xeon® W3530 2.80GHz, 8M L3, 4.8GT/s [add $90.00]Quad Core Intel® Xeon® Processor E5507, 2.26GHz,4M L3, 4.8GT/s [Included in Price]
when you say workstation, are you talking about more than one cpu on the motherboard? if not, you are wasting your money on any of those chips
in the cpu world, workstation or server means there is more than one cpu, and for that you want a "workstation" chip, IOW, one like in your list, contrast this to the computer sales world where workstation usually means overpriced, it's nothing more than a buzz word for a high end (more correctly, high priced) computer and has nothing to do with multiple cpu's on the motherboard
but if your motherboard only has one cpu, then you should be looking at another cpu, like the i7
but some would argue you are wasting your money buying a dual socket motherboard, whether you populate them both or not, for SW
If you are buying from Dell, and you want a CAD machine, they are going to call it a "workstation".
More importantly to your question though, the first two choices on that list are 32nm chips, and are the latest technology. The W's shown are older 45nm technology, as is that E5507.
If I was purchasing a new SolidWorks machine I would only be looking at the E56xx machines, so I would suggest either of those, whichever your budget can afford. I would take the E5630 over the W3565, it is faster. Does anyone know of a site that shows benchmarks between specific processors? Tom's Hardware has been letting me down recently with the direct comparisons.
But I won't disagree with Mark either. If you can get a Core i7 970, then it will cost the same (after including the difference in motherboard price) but run at higher clock speed 3.2 GHz, and is a very similar chip.
When Intel talks about servers or workstations they are referring to multi CPU systems, when they talk about desktops, they are talking about a single CPU system. The Xeon processors were designed to be part of a multi CPU systems, the i7 is the desktop (single CPU) version of the Xeon. For each of the Xeon processors, there is usually an i7 equivalent that gives the same performance (looking at the spec sheet). The i7 costs less because it lacks the enhancement that Xeon possesses to work in a multi CPU environment, there is no other performance advantage. Actually because they are newer, if anything the i7 has a performance advantage over the Xeon in a single CPU system. Because of the enhancement to operate in a multi CPU system, the Xeon cost a little more than the i7, thus you are wasting money buying one if not used in a multi CPU system for which they are designed.
Computer buying made simple:
do your applications benefit from a dual processor system?
Yes! get a dual processor motherboard and a pair of the best Xeon CPU's your budget allows
No! then get the best i7 your budget allows and a single CPU motherboard
You are 99% correct, the Intel® Core™ i7-980X Processor Extreme Edition (12M Cache, 3.33 GHz, 6.40 GT/s Intel® QPI) "Gulftown" is the PC (single CPU architecture) version of the Intel® Xeon® Processor X5680 (12M Cache, 3.33 GHz, 6.40 GT/s Intel® QPI) "Westmere-EP" (Dual CPU WorkStation Architecture), However, the X5680 besides having 2 QPI links (vs. 1 QPI link on the i7-980X), and cost the double that the i7-980X, the X5680 have some other differences, such as:
If dual CPU architecture is not required and memory do not need to be over 24GB and no need for ECC, then a PC with a i7-980X will be OK.
Besides the CPU, a WorkStation have many other differences on the architecture compared to a DeskTop PC, (HD Controllers, Capacity for large number of internal HD's on several configurations (RAID and NON-RAID), Espansion Slots, Ability to use high end multiple video cards (such as the 4GB dual FX5800), Larger Capacity Power Supply, etc.
If the workstation is used intensively with FEA or applications capable to work on "parallel process" or if you need to use several of this applications simultaneously, then a dual CPU machine will work better that a single CPU. Another advantage is that Dual CPU comes with memory raisers, (12 slots on 6 channels), and can use 1600 Mhz, ECC memory.
On the other hand, if you have the money and buy a US$ 15,000.00 WorkStation, you can post your configuration here and be a hero... But if you just use SW, do not expect an increase of performance that will justify the extra US$ 11,000.00 you expend for the "big machine with 7 or 8 cooling fans" (and the associated noise).
"If dual CPU architecture is not required and memory do not need to be over 24GB and no need for ECC, then a PC with a i7-980X will be OK"
OK? you cannot get anything better today than a i7 980x in a single cpu system
the 2nd QPI in the Xeon is used as a connection between the CPU's in multi CPU system
having 2 QPI links is of absolutely no benefit in a single CPU system
IOW, you are paying for something that is not used, the 5680 is roughly $1500, a i7 98 roughly $1000
The The Core i7 2600K beats the i7 980X in some benchmarks.
The 2600K also has an unlocked multiplier so overclocking is a breeze. Many get theirs up to 4.4 Ghz or so easy and I have seen some more hardcore overclockers hit 5 Ghz. I don't think any thing can touch it once you get them to the mid 4's.
Yes, we buy from Dell (corporate wide). When I look at the i7 chips in Dells Optiplex line, it doenst give me the option for a Quadro video card, only the "workstation" Precision line. Regarding the "workstation", its all semantics. Workstation simply is a high-end machine designed for technical or scientific applications (copied from wiki). Im having a hard time convincing our IT dept that we need 64bit machines (more RAM), I can just see their puzzled faces when I say I want a i7 vs the "superior" Xeon cpu. Anyone know if Dell offers a model that you can configure a i7 chip and a SolidWorks certified gfx card?
@ CharlesThanks for the info. Since the e56xx chips are the latest, it makes sense for us to buy one of those.
No, you cannot get a FirePro or Quadro card in an Optiplex. That's mostly what I was referring to when I meant that Dell refers to all CAD suitable computers as "workstations".
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