Inventor General Discussion

Inventor General Discussion

Posts: 19
Registered: ‎07-25-2011
Message 1 of 10 (784 Views)

Workstation for Product Design Suite Ultimate 2012?

784 Views, 9 Replies
09-08-2011 01:27 PM

Hi All,


I know this same question has been asked and answered many times before, but at the speed technology changes, I thought I would solicited the experience of this fine forum again.


I have been stuck in the Solidworks world for the past 4 or 5 years. But am now with a new company and back on Inventor:-)

I am specifying new CAD stations. We are using Autodesk Product Design Suite Ultimate 2012, but mainly Inventor 2012 64.

Below are my minimum requirements so far.

Did I miss anything?

Do any of the specs fall short?

Any other areas I can get a good value for the buck in?


Also, I plan on getting quotes from Dell and HP. Are there any other companies I should be getting quotes from? We are trying to keep the price around $4000 +/-


Windows 7 Pro 64

Intel Xenon E5507 2.26 4MB/800
Nvidia Quadro 4000 Graphics card
16GB DDR3-1333 ECC RAM (with room to add more)
500 GB SATA 7200RPM Hard Drive

22inch Widescreen LCD monitor 1920x1080

24inch Widescreen LCD monitor 1920x1200
Thanks in advance for your valued input
Distinguished Contributor
Posts: 141
Registered: ‎12-07-2009
Message 2 of 10 (781 Views)

Re: Workstation for Product Design Suite Ultimate 2012?

09-08-2011 02:11 PM in reply to: RD-Digitek-USA
U should be crusing
Posts: 207
Registered: ‎10-11-2009
Message 3 of 10 (773 Views)

Re: Workstation for Product Design Suite Ultimate 2012?

09-08-2011 02:20 PM in reply to: RD-Digitek-USA

Per my (admittedly limited) understanding, there is no longer a need to use the Quadro OpenGL cards for Inventor.  Since Inventor is now DirectX, you're better off with a card that leverages that technology better.  A GeForce GTX 580 is a high-end DirectX card that costs about half the Quadro 4000 and will blow it away in DirectX benchmarks.


Not sure about OpenGL and any of the other PDS Applications, but if Inventor has moved away from it, seems reasonable to assume that's the right direction at the moment.


Going to be some nice machines!!  I'm about ready to replace my faithful "workstation in a bag" laptop.  It's amazingly functional but almost 3 years old now, time for new toys! :smileyhappy:

Mikah Barnett
All Angles Design
Product Design Suite Ultimate 2014
Windows 7 Professional x64
Intel i7-3770k @ 4.5GHz
32GB DDR3-2400 RAM
GeForce GTX 670 4GB
*Expert Elite*
Posts: 1,477
Registered: ‎07-30-2007
Message 4 of 10 (762 Views)

Re: Workstation for Product Design Suite Ultimate 2012?

09-08-2011 02:41 PM in reply to: MikahB

You shouldn't need a 500GB HD if you are using network storage and Vault, if you are doing a lot of local work, then that size is okay.  What would help there might be a Solid State hard drive instead for loading times.

Mark Flayler - Senior Application Engineer
IMAGINiT's Manufacturing Solutions Blog:
Valued Contributor
Posts: 112
Registered: ‎09-24-2009
Message 5 of 10 (744 Views)

Re: Workstation for Product Design Suite Ultimate 2012?

09-08-2011 06:39 PM in reply to: RD-Digitek-USA
I think there's a few components you could choose a bit smarter.
For the processor, since Inventor is still mostly single threaded, you benefit from as much GHZ as you can get, and 2.26Ghz is not all that much.
This E5507 is a cpu that does not have turbo boost technology, so It will never go faster than 2.26Ghz, and has no hyperthreading (where every core can do 2 threads), so can only do 4 threads (in Inventor 2012, only drawing view creation and rendering can do multiple threads)
Also, I believe this E5507 is a cpu that can run in a dual cpu configuration. You pay extra for this functionality for the processor and the motherboard, and is a waste of money of you only keep the 1 cpu in your workstation.
Instead, go for a single CPU workstation (like a Dell T3500), with a faster cpu like the Intel W3565 (4 core, 8 threads, 3.2Ghz, 3.46Ghz turbo boost), to give yourself a significant speed increase in just about everything you do in Inventor.
For your budget you might even be able to get a W3670 (6 core, 12 threads, 3.2Ghz, 3.46 turbo boost).
Harddrives are still one of the biggest bottlenecks in any system, so you want more speed there as well. The fastest would be to get an SSD as previously mentioned, but they're expensive. You won't need much space, so 120 or 160GB would suffice.
I normally spec similar workstations with a 300GB 10K RPM drive. Another option would be to get a 1TB 7200rpm drive. You won't need that much space, but the bigger the drive, the higher the data density, the faster it reads data.
As for the graphics, it's a neverending debate. For starters Dell doesn't let you configure a gaming card in their workstations.
Since Inventor uses DirectX and not OpenGL that's one benefit of the Quadros gone. Other arguments would be that Quadros have better driver support, run cooler and quieter, and are designed to run 24/7 for years instead of a few hours every night. I usually spec Quadro 2000 cards and the 4000 for people who deal with larger assemblies, and have been happy with them.
I would start with the following specs:
Dell T3500
3.2 Ghz W3565 4 core
300 GB 10k RPM
12 or 16 GB RAM
Quadro 4000
From that base bump the HD to an SSD first, if there's still budget left go to a 3.2 Ghz W3670 6 core or even a 3.46GHz W3690.
For the display I'd get two 23" 1920x1080 (U2311H) or 24" 1920x1200 (U2412M) displays.
I do find that prices quoted through our Dell business account are quite a bit cheaper than when you configure through their website, so what you can fit in your budget may vary.
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎07-25-2011
Message 6 of 10 (722 Views)

Re: Workstation for Product Design Suite Ultimate 2012?

09-09-2011 05:23 AM in reply to: DVDM

Thanks for the great feedback!


This gets me so much closer.

Valued Mentor
Posts: 779
Registered: ‎11-10-2009
Message 7 of 10 (701 Views)

Re: Workstation for Product Design Suite Ultimate 2012?

09-09-2011 07:57 AM in reply to: RD-Digitek-USA

This blog post is kind of old but there is some good information here:

Inventor Professional 2013 (SP-2.3), Product Design Suite Ultimate
Desktop: Intel Core i7 3.4GHz, 16.0 GB RAM, Windows 7 Ultimate SP-1, 64-bit OS, (2) GeForce GTX 580 (331.81), Space Pilot Pro (3.16.1)
Laptop: Intel Core i7 3.9GHz, 16.0 GB RAM, Windows 7 Pro SP-1, 64-bit OS, GeForce GTX 780 (331.81), SpaceNavigator (3.17.7)
Valued Mentor
Posts: 402
Registered: ‎10-07-2008
Message 8 of 10 (695 Views)

Re: Workstation for Product Design Suite Ultimate 2012?

09-09-2011 08:08 AM in reply to: RD-Digitek-USA

We just ordered four of these.


Xi® MTower™ PCIe Workstation

Intel® Core™ i7 980 3.33GHz 12MB Shared L3 Cache 1x4.8GT/s QPI Six-Core 12-Threads VT EM64T

12228MB DDR3 @1333MHz Triple Rank Interleave

nVidia® EVGA® GeForce® GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB GDDR5 PCIe SLI-Ready Dual Head 2xDVI-1xMini-HDMI PhysX™

500GB 7200RPM SATA II 64MB Cache 4.2ms Latency WD RE4 Generation

DVD+RW/DL/+R-R/CD-RW Double Media 4.7/8.5GB 18x w/Software-media

Microsoft® Windows® 7 Professional Edition 64Bit

EVGA® X58 SLI® 3 Intel® X58-2xPCIe 16x-Triple Channel DDR3 1333-1600+-1Gb Ethernet-2xUSB3.0-12xUSB2.0-2xSATA6Gb-6xSATA3Gb RAID 0/1/10/5-1394-HD Audio 8CH

850W Corsair® TX Series Ultra-Quiet BB 12cm Fan 80%+efficiency 99% APFC UL


Product Design Suite Ultimate 2014 64-Bit

Sometimes you just need a good old reboot.
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-05-2011
Message 9 of 10 (595 Views)

Re: Workstation for Product Design Suite Ultimate 2012?

10-05-2011 07:25 PM in reply to: RD-Digitek-USA

Hi Rick:


I represent HP Workstations. You can easily configure a system for $4,000 that will work very well with Inventor. In our experience, we’ve found that Inventor performance is dependent on processing power, so you will benefit the most from high speed processors. If your primarily function is to design then you could order a Z400 with a W3670 3.2 GHz 12MB/1066 6Core CPU. This will give you additional cores for any rendering, analysis, simulation or animation (with hyper-threading this could act as 12 cores).


The rest of the configuration would include NVIDIA Quadro 2000, which is excellent for Inventor, along with:


12 GB (3x4GB) DDR3-133 ECC Ram

1000 GB HDD 7200 rpm


Windows 7 Professional 64

ZR24w monitor


You can visit for more information, and call the SMB store for any special deals we are currently offering to save money. Please let me know if you have any other questions – I’m happy to help.


Tom Salomone

HP Workstation Representative

Distinguished Contributor
Posts: 227
Registered: ‎02-03-2009
Message 10 of 10 (579 Views)

Re: Workstation for Product Design Suite Ultimate 2012?

10-06-2011 01:18 AM in reply to: TomSalomone123

he could go with faster i7 cpu, SSD drive and do not need quadro....

and loads of $$$ saved



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