25 Replies Latest reply on Sep 20, 2012 1:10 PM by Randy Delvin

    Newbie looking to build/buy first legit computer

    Randy Delvin

      Hey all,

       

      I have been working on an outdated version of SolidWorks for some time now, and it works...but that's just it...it's not fast, it's not all that easy to use, and it's just time. I have read some of Charles' posts on custom builds, but to be honest, that scares the hell out of me. Can you guys give me a little perspective on risk v. reward for building my own comp versus buying one with SW pre-installed from Geekbox or someone else? Most of the sites for companies who build comps specifically for SW are pretty difficult to navigate and offer little info, but the idea of having the machine sent to me without having to install anything myself seems mighty appealing. Any suggestions?

        • Re: Newbie looking to build/buy first legit computer
          Joe Kuzich

          From what you've said I'd suggest ordering one if you need it for work.  Like most things, building your own is easy IF you know what your doing.  If your nervous about it it is probably with good reason.  Normally I would say it's a great growing experience to build it yourself but if you need it to be able to work that raises your risk factor a lot.  I started building them for gaming machines so if I was wrong about or forgot to check the compatibility between a couple parts I only got bummed out while waiting for replacements.  If you do decide to give it a try I would recommend checking out newegg.com.  They have given me great customer service and have been happy to answer a lot of my questions.  

          • Re: Newbie looking to build/buy first legit computer
            Jerry Steiger

            Randy,

             

            I wouldn't limit myself to places that ship you the computer with SolidWorks installed, as you are most likely goint to have to install Service Packs and new versions every year to two. Installation can have problems, but isn't usually that scary.

             

            Dell, HP, Boxx, Xi, and various other people whose names I can't think of right now will be happy to sell you a machine that should run SolidWorks well. Charles also offers some good advice on some of those machines.

             

            Jerry Steiger

            • Re: Newbie looking to build/buy first legit computer
              Max Underwood

              I personally built my own setup, Dell T1600 bought from Dell and tried to pimp it out piecemeal, but it proved to be a giant pain in the a$$. I had problems with compatabitlity from day one. I have a buddy from college who's whole office was set up by one of those "outa-the-box plug and play deals with SolidWorks and some other goodies, and every day I talk to him, he makes fun of me for not ponying up the extra bucks to have it done right. I finally got my system to work the way I need it, but the extra cost and time that it took to tweak it was hardly worth it. If you don't know what you're doing and need a powerful machine for large assemblies, just go to someone who does it for a living. That's my two cents...

              • Re: Newbie looking to build/buy first legit computer
                Glenn Schroeder

                Randy,

                 

                Welcome to the forum.  I got a new setup last fall, straight from Dell (see specs here), and I've been very happy with it.  I don't do any rendering or simulation, but I have had one or two drawings upwards of 40 sheets and it seems fast enough.

                • Re: Newbie looking to build/buy first legit computer
                  John Matrishon

                  I'll do a shout out for Boxx Technologies.  They can not only talk computer, but SolidWorks.  Not reading from a prompt screen of recommended hardware.  If you're looking for a laptop, then Lenovo is good choice.

                   

                  Remember where the warranty is when you build it yourself.......

                  • Re: Newbie looking to build/buy first legit computer
                    Alin Vargatu

                    Randy Delvin wrote:

                     

                    buying one with SW pre-installed from Geekbox

                     

                    That is interesting. I did not know that you can buy a computer with SW pre-installed. So what do you need to do once you get it? Just change the serial number with yours?

                    • Re: Newbie looking to build/buy first legit computer
                      Randy Delvin

                      Thanks for all the info guys, I checked out Dell and Boxx and they do have some setups that come pre-installed with SW and other essential programs. Does anyone know if those bigger guys just take a stock computer and install SW or do they have specific built machines built to handle the load of such a huge program? Cause if they just install it, I could do that myself, but if they really spec it out, that'd be great.

                      • Re: Newbie looking to build/buy first legit computer
                        Mike Lydon

                        For what it is worth, I bought a Dell T3400 workstation a couple of years ago. Unless you are a real hardware geek, I cannot say enough good things about the support from Dell. Having a Workstation, as opposed to a consumer grade box gets you support from someone who speaks English as a native language, no long hold times, and people who can really help you. I just recently had several BSOD episodes, thought it was virus related, wiped the drive and reinstalled Windows. Everything was fine for about a week, then BSOD. Called Dell, not really expecting them to solve my problem, ran the Dell diagnostics and found that my motherboard/CPU is going bad. A tech will be at my house today or tomorrow to replace the offending parts. Great service. When you order your machine, be sure to let them know it will be a Solisworks machine.

                        • Re: Newbie looking to build/buy first legit computer
                          Randy Delvin

                          So, thanks for all your help guys, I decided to go directly through Dell. The price was right and I am crossing my fingers that their tech support for SolidWorks is as good as everyone says. I went with a Dell Precision T3600 with Four Core Xeon E-5 1620 processor. My one concern is the graphics card, which is the NVIDIA Quadro 2000. I hope it's beefy enough for large assemblies. Wish me luck!

                          • Re: Newbie looking to build/buy first legit computer
                            Randy Delvin

                            Thanks for all the replies, y'all. It's been a couple weeks on the new Dell, and from the beginning I have had problem after problem with compatability that trigger crashes and slow performance. I expected some crap, but it doesn't seem to be resolving. Everything that I've read on here points to the fact that this hardware should support SW, Mastercam, eDrawings etc... Dell support has been great as far as the hardware, but they don't seem to have any help for the program support. I must have done something wrong early on in the install or something... I wish I had a smooth experience to report, but...no dice. I can get it to work about 60% of the time without problem, but that's not good enough. I'll keep plugging away, i guess. Does not play well with others!!

                            • Re: Newbie looking to build/buy first legit computer
                              Robert Speroni

                              Just wanted to say I had a lot of the same concerns. I recently purchased SW 2012 I even got the promo for a dell m6600 but chose not to get the m6600 from dell. Instead I researched alot due to agrivation with auto cad  and older version of sw not having the proper os.   Just because a computer or laptop is capable of running auto cad or solidworks it dosen't mean its the best solution as to a system designed to run a sw or ac like solidbox offers. When I got my m6600 from solidbox I had a major problem. THE PROBLEM CAME FROM MY VAR NOT SOLIDBOX! My var didn't register my product properly to be specific my sn#. They said lets go to meating and screwd my computer up they ment well. Chris & Joel @ solidbox fixed everything for me including sn# problems. Let me say they that they havy gone out of their way to make sure my computer & I am happy. THAT IS A TASK IN ITSELF BECAUSE I TEND TO BE DEMANDING AND SOMETIMES EXPECT TOO MUCH! While doing my research I saw that the team at solidbox was more knowledgeable then my var. Needless to say I feal that solidbox was the right choice for me. By the way I am also a newbee and felt I needed the least amount of stress while learning sw. If you have questions they have the awnser

                              • Re: Newbie looking to build/buy first legit computer
                                Patrick Moody

                                2 Quick things to check or do.

                                 

                                1) Go to Options > Performance and make sure that the checkbox for software OpenGL is cleared (I had a user whose machine recently checked this option on him and his performance tanked until he told me he had a problem)

                                 

                                2) Grab the latest SW supported drivers for your GPU. Don't trust Dell to get that right. They'll just throw the latest on if they update from stock at all. Get the latest SW approved drivers.

                                 

                                A fresh re-install of SW might not hurt, either.

                                 

                                The more important question is what messages you get when crashing.