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Looking to build system to run CAD Software (Solidworks 2014), $2k max?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Punkrulz

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 01:38 PM

Hey guys,

This is the first place I had figured to come here. I have a bit of a project for you, so I hope you can help. A friend of mine says his company is looking to purchase 4 new computers for them to primarily use Solidworks on. Their IT guy wants to go bare minimum requirements, which we know never works.

Unfortunately he's unable to give me much of a hard cap on budget, so he's thinking around $2000 per computer. I know for something like this the video card is usually the most critical and expensive, but as I don't believe they do much rendering (and they have a graphics guy to do it), we may be able to skimp a bit on the video card.

For a HD they are going to need 256gb SSD, and I'm thinking minimum 8gb maximum 12gb memory. I've never used solidworks so I don't know the point where more memory doesn't help. Windows 7 professional x64 will need to be included in the pricing.

For the case, he doesn't care. Something cheap since they will be in an office and no one really cares (and I'm not the one building them!).

If I can answer any other questions please feel free to ask! Thank you so much!

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#2 synergy513

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 01:56 PM

you can get by with standard PC hardware, , but then there is the graphics card, the Titan is a great one for CAD and runs around 1000, ...there are the quadros and firepros, but they are way overpriced for the casual shop...unless you can acquire the ones that are a few years old like i did

 

what i would do is utilize the titan for the guys doing large assemblies and post processing, and get by with a gaming card like the gtx 650 for the guys doing the simple stuff..

 

http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/video-card/#sort=a8&qq=1&c=115,165&r=6144,2048


Edited by synergy513, 27 August 2014 - 02:12 PM.

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#3 Kilroy

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 02:22 PM

Never, NEVER, build for a business.  You want to go with standard hardware covered by a warranty.  Unfortunately the budget for this project is low for the requirements.  In the past I've deployed HP's Z800 line of workstations for engineers using CAD software, such as Solidworks.  We had a few of the high end machines, at the time they were $9,000 each.  The money was well spent as the machines were used to run simulations and could complete a simulation in 24 hours for other lesser machines took a week.  For what you pay an engineer the extra money you spend on their machine is more productivity you get from your engineer.



#4 jonuk76

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 03:03 PM

It does seem unusual for a business to want to go that route with CAD workstations.  How about something like the Dell T3610 which is certified for use with the software in question.


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#5 Aerys

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 03:16 PM

http://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/SystemRequirements.html has a basic list of the requirements for Solidworks, I would say to be safe go a little over the base, you have a good start, though. $2000 seems awfully low for this kind of workstation.

 

Also,

 

Never, NEVER, build for a business.  You want to go with standard hardware covered by a warranty.  Unfortunately the budget for this project is low for the requirements.  In the past I've deployed HP's Z800 line of workstations for engineers using CAD software, such as Solidworks.  We had a few of the high end machines, at the time they were $9,000 each.  The money was well spent as the machines were used to run simulations and could complete a simulation in 24 hours for other lesser machines took a week.  For what you pay an engineer the extra money you spend on their machine is more productivity you get from your engineer.

May I ask why you say not to build for a business, I have never had a problem building custom computers for companies, all of the parts have their own warranty and it is easier to swap out a dead HDD or CPU and send it off then getting an entire machine serviced.


He said the same thing he had been saying for hours... "burn them all".

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#6 Kilroy

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 07:55 PM

You never build for a business because they are impossible to support over time.  Purchasing business quality machines you have one stop for all of your driver and troubleshooting.  With a built machine you will have to deal with every component manufacturer if you have an issue.  All of the manufacturers will blame the issue on another component in the system, this is not possible in a manufactured machine because it is all theirs.

 

Imagine this you have an issue manipulating your model in Solidworks.  Solidworks support says it is an issue with your hardware.  Now who do you call?  Lets start with motherboard manufacturer.  They tell you they have had not issues running Solidworks on their equipment and direct you to the video card company.  Video card company says the same thing and blames it on the RAM.  RAM company says our RAM works fine call the motherboard company.

 

While building machines will save you money in the short term they will cost you money in support long term.

 

As jonuk76 pointed to a Dell for this, you will notice that both the HP and Dell low end machines for this task are about $2,500.



#7 Aerys

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 08:34 PM

You never build for a business because they are impossible to support over time.  Purchasing business quality machines you have one stop for all of your driver and troubleshooting.  With a built machine you will have to deal with every component manufacturer if you have an issue.  All of the manufacturers will blame the issue on another component in the system, this is not possible in a manufactured machine because it is all theirs.

 

Imagine this you have an issue manipulating your model in Solidworks.  Solidworks support says it is an issue with your hardware.  Now who do you call?  Lets start with motherboard manufacturer.  They tell you they have had not issues running Solidworks on their equipment and direct you to the video card company.  Video card company says the same thing and blames it on the RAM.  RAM company says our RAM works fine call the motherboard company.

 

While building machines will save you money in the short term they will cost you money in support long term.

 

As jonuk76 pointed to a Dell for this, you will notice that both the HP and Dell low end machines for this task are about $2,500.

Makes sense, I didn't think about the software side, and I guess if they use programs that can have trouble with certain hardware.


He said the same thing he had been saying for hours... "burn them all".

-Jaime Lannister

Feel free to add me on Skype for help or to chat; lolballinn


#8 enginoor

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 03:40 PM

I put a Solidworks work station not too long ago and documented the components here: http://enginoor.com/solidworks-pc-2015/

 

Don't skimp on the RAM.  I don't think stability or long term support is an issue if you go with a reasonable motherboard that has solid drivers.

 

The biggest stability concern with Solidworks will be the GPU and NVIDIA does a good job of rolling out driver updates.






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