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lalitkmr
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎04-27-2009
Message 1 of 12 (1,943 Views)

Best Workstation Configuration for Inventor Design Suite Ulitimate 2012

1943 Views, 11 Replies
09-19-2011 11:43 AM

Hi,
I am in the process of finalizing the workstation configuration for Autodesk inventor product design suite 2012. Currently we are using Inventor 2011 on windows xp (32 bit), with 4 GB ram .

We are a small company in manufacturing. Our top assemblies use 1100+ parts. 

I am thinking of using one of the following configurations for new workstations.

Option 1

Windows 7 Pro 64
Intel QuadCore Xeon W3565 3.20 GHz 8M smart cache, 4.8 GT/s
NVIDIA Quadro FX 1500 Graphics Controller (From existing work stations)
12GB DDR3-1333/PC3-10600 RAM (with room to add more)
1 TB SATA 7200RPM Hard Drive
DVD+-RW


Option 2

Windows 7 Pro 64
Intel Core I-7-970 six core, 3.2 Ghz, 1.5 MB L2 + 12MB shared L3 cache
1GB DDR3 RAdeon HD 6670 Graphics controller
12GB DDR3-1333 SDRAM
2TB 7200 rpm SATA


Option 3:

Upgrade our current configuration which is

Windows XP 32 Bit
Xeon Dual-Core 5150 2.66GHz
Quadro FX 1500
4 GB Ram
250 GB HDD

To

Windows 7 Pro 64
12 GB Ram


our budget  is about USD 2000 per workstation (w/o Monitor)


Any Guidance is appreciated

 

Lalit

Employee
Xun.Zhang
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎09-04-2011
Message 2 of 12 (1,915 Views)

Re: Best Workstation Configuration for Inventor Design Suite Ulitimate 2012

09-19-2011 11:16 PM in reply to: lalitkmr

Hi Lalit,

In my opinion, option 3 is not that proper, oprtion 2 with larger Harddisk, but it's up to your dataset.

I think option 1 is much suitable for your chioce, low cost, good graphic card, enough RAM.

just for your information, hopefully you like it.



Xun Zhang
Software QA Engineer
Inventor Quality Assurance Team
Autodesk, Inc.
*Pro
sbixler
Posts: 1,872
Registered: ‎09-15-2003
Message 3 of 12 (1,889 Views)

Re: Best Workstation Configuration for Inventor Design Suite Ulitimate 2012

09-20-2011 05:20 AM in reply to: Xun.Zhang

I think option 1 looks fine, with the exception of the graphics card.  The FX 1500 is quite old, and certainly won't support DirectX 11, possibly not even 10.  How about a HD 6870 or 6970?  Or Nvidia GTX 560/570/580?

*Expert Elite*
mcgyvr
Posts: 6,722
Registered: ‎12-01-2004
Message 4 of 12 (1,878 Views)

Re: Best Workstation Configuration for Inventor Design Suite Ulitimate 2012

09-20-2011 06:43 AM in reply to: sbixler

Do you use Vault or work with local files on your hard drive?

At the very least you should have 2 regular hard drives in raid 0 but I will never build an Inventor machine without a solid state drive from now on. One big enough for the Inventor application and your working directory is all you need to ensure your hard drive isn't your bottleneck

 

If you are lucky and not forced to buy HP or Dell I'd highly suggest building a machine from cyberpowerpc. I am very happy with their hardware selection and the machine I have from them is doing excellent. You should be able to build a really sweet machine for right about 2K.

 

Loving my HD6970 by the way..

Did you find this reply helpful ? If so please use the Accept as Solution or Kudos button below.

Down with IDW/DWG files..... Long live 3D PMI... Hurry it up already..
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2015 Product Design Suite Ultimate
Windows 7 64 bit
Core i7 4820k processor (OC'd to 4.4Ghz), Nvidia GTX 770, 16G RAM


Employee
Xun.Zhang
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎09-04-2011
Message 5 of 12 (1,848 Views)

Re: Best Workstation Configuration for Inventor Design Suite Ulitimate 2012

09-20-2011 06:31 PM in reply to: lalitkmr

Yeah, it's better to set up 6670 Graphic card for Option 1.



Xun Zhang
Software QA Engineer
Inventor Quality Assurance Team
Autodesk, Inc.
Contributor
autoboot
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎02-09-2011
Message 6 of 12 (1,819 Views)

Re: Best Workstation Configuration for Inventor Design Suite Ulitimate 2012

09-21-2011 07:48 AM in reply to: Xun.Zhang

Option 2 

 

The 6670 is a lower-end gaming video card. 

 

Switch the video card for something like this for workstations (esp inventor):

 

NVIDIA Quadro 2000 by PNY 1.0GB GDDR5 PCI-E16 DVI 2x Display Port Fermi Workstation Video Card

 

 

*Pro
sbixler
Posts: 1,872
Registered: ‎09-15-2003
Message 7 of 12 (1,804 Views)

Re: Best Workstation Configuration for Inventor Design Suite Ulitimate 2012

09-21-2011 09:09 AM in reply to: autoboot

The Quadro series offers no performance benefit for Inventor, and costs a lot more than comparable gaming cards.

Contributor
autoboot
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎02-09-2011
Message 8 of 12 (1,793 Views)

Re: Best Workstation Configuration for Inventor Design Suite Ulitimate 2012

09-21-2011 09:57 AM in reply to: sbixler

@sbixler

 

I don't understand how a quadro wouldn't easily outperform a low-end gaming card.

 

I can see how making very simple assemblies would be fine for the gaming card but once we get into complex assemblies at high resolutions how can the gaming card even come close to the workstation card's performance? Can you explain? Does the workstation card not have the hardware designed to work with complex 3D assemblies & high-polygon models?

 

I ask this honestly - I am not well endowed with insider knowledge in this subject; if I'm wrong on this I'd like to correct my thinking. 

*Pro
sbixler
Posts: 1,872
Registered: ‎09-15-2003
Message 9 of 12 (1,784 Views)

Re: Best Workstation Configuration for Inventor Design Suite Ulitimate 2012

09-21-2011 11:22 AM in reply to: autoboot

Quadro cards run the gamut from low-end to high-end, as do gaming cards.  Comparable performance costs far less for a gaming card.  I'd like to defer to Sam M, here, who has researched this a lot more than I have, but perhaps if you search for posts by him you could learn more than I can tell you.

 

If I understand correctly, OpenGL, formerly used by Inventor and most other solid modelers as their graphics engines, required a heavy investment of time from both graphic chip manufacturers and from application writers.  Drivers primarily for gaming with OpenGL did not make use of all the OpenGL functionality, which the "workstation" drivers did.  I believe that is still true for OpenGL.  However, Microsoft decided to try to standardize the whole graphics subsystem and bring some order to the chaos.  They produced DirectX, allowing chip makers to write drivers for Windows, instead of for every conceivable application that might run on Windows, and these drivers were then certified by Microsoft.  This is the WHQL (Windows® Hardware Quality Labs) certification that you see recommended for video drivers.

 

Autodesk switched Inventor from OpenGL to DirectX several years ago, and with that change, the performance benefit of the "workstation" cards vanished.  Now, you can get a lot more bang for your buck with a gaming card, because they all use the same graphics subsystem.  Mcgyvr has a high-end AMD (ATI) gaming card in his workstation, and I just bought a mid-to-high-end Nvidia gaming card for our new workstation.  No issues, happiness all around as far as I can tell.

 

However... if you use other applications that depend on OpenGL, you will want to get a workstation video card.

 

Hope that's useful.  And I really, really hope that it's correct!

Contributor
autoboot
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎02-09-2011
Message 10 of 12 (1,769 Views)

Re: Best Workstation Configuration for Inventor Design Suite Ulitimate 2012

09-21-2011 12:35 PM in reply to: sbixler

Thank you for the response. I'm starting to get a grasp on why workstation cards are so expensive now.

 

At home I have an HD6970 - perhaps I'll give her a good run with some huge inventor assemblies :smileyvery-happy:

 

The question is, now, is if autocad, maya, showcase, 3dsmax, or a competitor like solidworks, etc. have switched to directx or not. I wouldn't want to be limited to a certain set of software when the wrong set of circumstances smack me in the face!

 

I've used some of openGL for a project in school - what a pain. 

 

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