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Company buying new workstations to run SolidWorks and VisualMill

Question asked by Nathan GN on May 24, 2013
Latest reply on Jun 10, 2013 by Nathan GN

Hello all,

The company I work for is upgrading to SolidWorks 2013 and typically the most taxing thing we do with our computers is run VisualMill inside SolidWorks. We are in the process of buying two new workstations for the engineering department (one for me and one for the other engineer), and these are the two we were quoted:

HP Z820 Workstation (ENERGY STAR) (B2C08UT) | HP® United States

HP Z820 Workstation (ENERGY STAR) (B2C06UT) | HP® United States

Biggest differences for those who can't be bothered to click the link:

The B2C08UT would have 16GB RAM, 8 cores, no packaged graphics controller, and a Xeon E5-2670 2.6 GHz processor.

The B2C06UT would have 8GB RAM, 6 cores, AMD FirePro V7900, and a Xeon E5-2630 2.3 GHz processor.

Quoting from the email we received:

"The B2C06UT would be $3235 plus $200 to upgrade to 16GB RAM. Total = $3435

The B2C08UT would be $4050 plus $802 to add the FirePro V7900 Graphics Controller. Total = $4852

Plus Ewaste and taxes."

The decisions to go with HP and go through this local company were made above my pay grade. My question: is the B2C08UT worth the extra $1400?

I am less than a computer expert. I know my way around one but I can't really predict what kind of performance I'm going to require. puts the E5-2670 miles ahead of the 2630 (and most other processors), but I don't know if I'm ever really going to need that kind of processing power. We don't run any truly complicated assemblies, the most complex would probably be a simulation of one of our stamping presses. My boss told me he doesn't mind throwing down the cash for the Ferrari, but I had better make sure I'm going to take it out a back road and let it fly - essentially "don't buy it if you're not going to use it".

So will I use it?