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Specing a system

Question asked by Gary Garrison on Aug 10, 2007
Latest reply on Aug 20, 2007 by Ryan Woita
I was asked at work here what it would cost to set up a proper CAD station. So I have a few queations:

Here is what I do - wire deck/grid assemblies for warehouse rack storage, custom formed parts, and we are starting to do a lot more renderings for presentation to potential customers. Specifically management was asking about the renderings when they asked me about spec'ing a new station.

Compared to what I have, what kind of improvement am I looking at approximately?

What I have:

XP Pro sp4 (32bit)
HPa747c
P4 2.8GHz w-HT Technology
Austek mptherboard - 800mHz FSB
2.5 GB RAM - DDR-400
ATI Wildcat V3100 PCI-Express
160GB HDD


This is what I was "building" there are 2 configurations:
(I am not including the media reader, disk drives and monitor info)

#1 Single Processor
XP Pro (64bit)
Intel C2D E6750 2.66GHz
ASUS P5K3 Deluxe
4GB Corsair DDR3 1333
PNY Quadro FX3500
2x 320GB HDD (7200 rpm)
PC Power and Cooling "Silencer" 750W Power Supply
Cooler Master Centurion 534 Mid Tower Case

#2 Dual Processor
XP Pro (64bit)
2x Intel Xeon E5320 1.86GHz
SuperMicro MBD-X7DAL-E-O Dual SOcket 771 Server MOBO
8GB Kingston DDR2 667 Server Momory
PNY Quadro FX3500
2x 320GB HDD (7200 rpm)
PC Power and Cooling "Silencer" 750W Power Supply
Cooler Master Centurion 534 Mid Tower Case

Our SW vendor said that SW08 is moving to dual GFX cards being a desirable solution. We make wire decking and grids so there can be quite a few parts in the assemblies, plus we are researching a way to run Cosmos on the assembly models (as of yet unsuccessful). They also informed me that renderings are RAM and PROC dependant. More is better.

I also had a difficult time trying to compare GFX cards ATI to NVIDIA. Apparently noone really tests workstation cards. It has also gotten confusing on comparing processors AMD to Intel. That is without getting into the quad core area.

Would a single quad be more beneficial? Or would a blistering Core 2 Duo? I am open to suggestions...

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