Our company will be upgrading the engineering departments workstations in the near future, and I'm looking for some real world suggestions vs. Autodesks recommended specs.
My current station, which is one of the better ones in our group, is as follows:
Dell Precision T3500
Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
Intel Xeon 4 core W3565 3.2GHZ
24 GB RAM
Nvidia Quadro 4000
All of our work is run off of a network. I have copied this project onto my local drive to see if that makes a difference, and it did not. Local hard drive is about 50% full, 141 GB free space.
I want to suggest something to our IT/purchasing dept that will let me work on the large plant scale assemblies in Inventor 2013 pro so I don't spend half my day watching a circle spin.
I think my current bottle neck is the video card, as I can spin my assembly (which is only 91 unique parts and 203 occurences of a large energy plant) around and zoom a few times before it chokes and regenerates awhile with some of the parts visible until it fully regens. This can take several minutes every few minutes, very frustrating.
According to task manager, my PC is using around 45% or so CPU usage and 65% RAm while I'm flying around.
Any suggestions? We don't have a NASA budget as much as I'd like one.
edit: I'll also add I've followed the "guidelines" as much as possible regarding large scale assemblies to reduce the lag. The parts in it are simplified (while still keeping required detail) shrinkwraps of the various components (conveyors etc), everything is grounded and then the constraints deleted, any colour overrides removed, etc etc.
As this current machine is a multicore, I do have a few programs running at the same time, which shouldn't affect Inventors performace as it only uses multiple cores in the drawing state. I usually have running MS Outlook, web browser (Chrome or Firefox), Adept Synergis 2013(Our networked document management system), and at times during the day Windows Explorer folders, MS Excel/word, photo viewer, and perhaps a few personal programs like Uconeer.
I also run 2 24" Samsung SyncMaster monitors.
From everything I've read off the internet, my current system meets or exceeds the highest specifications for Inventor, but "I need more power captain". We have 3 other very experienced Inventor users here who share my level of frustration with the hardware performance when we work on these "large" assemblies. And by large they do not have a massive part count as mentioned earlier, but lots of surfaces, lines, etc etc etc. (Various conveyors and pressure vessels, with many more components such as ducting, hardrailing, structural platforms, piping yet to be placed into the model.
Due to our company IP policy, I cannot share any screen shots or files.
NASA doesn't have a budget either anymore.
But seriously, I'm also looking to upgrade graphics cards so I'll be watching the responses for some cheap but effective solutions.
Skip the Xeon, skip the Quadro.
Just get a high-end i7 and a good upper-mid-range gaming video card.
It's a lot cheaper, and just as functional for working with Inventor.
Basically, if a computer will run new-ish games well, then it's going to run Inventor well.
I've got the i7 in my machine (HP Pavilion Elite HPE with Windows 7 64 bit) and 9GB RAM.
Graphics card is AMD Radeon HD 6450.
I am still getting hung up with large assemblies (1000+ parts).
I am trying to figure out a good graphics card that my company will be willing to spend the money on, as well as bump up to 16GB RAM.
Anything from ATI that's x450 is pretty much crap. Just doing spreadsheets will tax it.
When you look at ATI model numbers, the first digit defines generation, the second defines overall market position, and the final two the hierarchy within the market segment. So, a 6450 is 6th generation, very low (but not quite bottom) market segment, and very low (but not quite bottom) of the hierarchy within that market segment. The generation is almost - but not quite - irrelevant. It matters for things like architecture or DirectX compatibility, or PCIe 3.0 / 2.1 / 2.0 / whatever compatibility, but just because it starts with a 6 doesn't mean it's better than one that starts with a 4.
x7xx is the minimum you should be looking at for gaming, or for Inventor for that matter, and x8xx is better. ***EDIT: Just realized that this might be confusing, because ATI did make the X800 and X700 and such for a while, many many years ago. No, I don't mean that you should run out and buy a Radeon X800 Pro from 2004. That would be really dumb.***
Good news is, you can get a 7790 for ~$130 or so. Pretty much any ATI card from $115 on up will do just fine. Heck, at home I'm still running a pair of 5-year-old 4870's, and they still scream with Inventor, even with biggish assemblies. (Of course, I've got an i7-4770k and 16GB ... )
I had a workstation similar to what you have and experienced the same issues, it should be kicking Inventors *ss, but lagged a lot, my boss bought it when he purchased PDSU. (ripped off)
You left out one key point of your post, is your company locking you into purchasing through Dell or HP?? (cause your screwed if you are) a decent workstation will run over $4000 from any of these suppliers.
I was lucky, my boss let me build one.
As mentioned earlier,
This computer cost with taxes in, just under $2000, you can't buy anything that will compare from DELL or HP (avoid re-sellers and there BS) haha
if you get one built from a local computer shop, they typically offer a good warranty or replacement plan, so don't buy into that DELL or HP service crap...
I'll keep this updated, but it looks like the powers that be do not want to move away from Dell, and we will be testing a Nvidia Quadro K5000 on my machine.
I sent our IT some food for thought based on this article:
Just have to wait and hear his thoughts as I've given as much input as I can for the time being.
Mind if I ask about the Adept PDM ?
We are looking at Vault Pro, DDM, Pro.File and Adept.
How do you like using the interface in Inventor?
How do you like using the Adept interface?
Do you have multiple sites and multiple servers sharing the data?
How many more questions can I ask before it becomes annoying?
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