new computer specs

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Message 1 of 5

 new computer specs
23-01-2006 09:44 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Let me apologize to you guys before I ask this question. I realize it has probably been posted before but -- and there is always a but -- I need details yesterday.

Last week upper management decided to upgrade our computers - possibly of course - depending on how much it would cost and how many more molds we could build. After a year of requesting new computers they finally decided to at least check out the problem and asked me to find the solution.

Problem: They want an immediate and infalliable answer.

I spent last week talking to HP and @Xi Computers about workstation quality boxes.
They frankly said that the best box we currently have is "a Wal-mart special" and "a dog" when it comes to Cad/Cam. However, neither one would benchmark their system for me to verify the performance increase over our present box. Nor would they estimate the increase. It's like buy this system because we think it will work for you.

I realise that the best answer is the fastest computer you can afford for the money. The best information would be to benchmark the application on both the old and the new system and that would give you hard information on which to base a purchase.

At present the best computer I have is a HP a810n --

Athlon 64 3300+ 2.4 Ghz cpu
1.5 GB of DDR400 Ram
Nvidia GeForce FX5700LE (PCI card with 256 MB)

I am checking on a new system --

Athlon FX-57 Or FX-60 cpu
3.0 GB of DDR400 Ram
Nvidia 7800 GTX PCI-E video card or
FX- 3450 Workstation

Also I have been told that XP-Pro outperforms XP-Home.

ALso checking on dual-core AMD 64s as opposed to very fast single core cpu's.

Question: Does anyone have anything close to this set-up that can give me an idea of what kind of performance I would get?
Any hardware recommendations??

We build 3D aluminum molds to reverse engineer antique automobile rubber parts.

We are also looking at a Faro/Romer type scanner arm to scan parts.
This should require more horsepower to handle point clouds.
Anyone have any experience with this type of data?

Any response will be appreciated.


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Message 2 of 5

23-01-2006 12:58 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
I can't believe those guys called your PC a rude! Your current PC seems just fine. All you need is a CPU upgrade if your mother board can handle it. I have a AMD3200+ (rock stable overclocked to 2500MHZ) , 2 GB RAM, Quadro FX1400 video card:

VX - VX is ultra fast with large scan imports and complicated surfaced parts
SolidWorks - SW is ultra slow with the same above...this shows the quality of VX
Scanning and Geomagic - Sometimes I wish I had an AMD X2 but my PC is plenty fast for 97% of the scan work that we do. You will want an X2 or dual core if you will be using Geomagic as many of its filters and functions are multithreaded.

My mother board uses a 939 AMD socket and I can upgrade to an AMD X2. Check if your PC is upgradable. Otherwise I would recommend a AMD dual core processor, FX is overkill for us but maybe you need it. I am willing to bet that the FX is overkill for VX.

I personally met with the local Romer and Faro reps, I liked working with the Faro people better, so we went with Faro. My personal rep was a reverse engineer for Ford prior to joining Faro. You may have a different experience with your specific reps. I hear both companies make great products and both products are used my major aircraft and defense companies.

What type of precision do you need for your scanner? Will be precise enough? If not, you will need a scanner like .

For those that don't know, Geomagic takes point clouds to meshes (stl) then to NURBS.

3 Million points on a scan is pretty typical for us. We mainly take the point cloud data and use Geomagic to transform it into stl meshes. We rarely if ever need to take to data all the way to NURBS for what we do. If you don't need to take the point cloud to NURBs then I recommend that you do not spend the extra $xx,xxx on that module. In addition to the extra $, there is a lot of extra time consuming manual processing that is necessary to go from stl to a good quality NURBs model.

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Message 3 of 5

24-01-2006 01:34 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
I don't see the point of a 7800 graphics neither the reason for a FX processor. I don't like their price/performance.

I would dare to suggest you a dual-core + 2..4G RAM a decent fast +100GB SATA drive. Looks like live without dual core isnt possible anymore if you own one

Graphic card should be at least 6600GT.

This setting without display is $1000-$1500 that I can say is cheap.

I use @ home a Sceptre 37" 1920x1080 that really change the experience completely and I've paid $1600 for it from Costco over the inet so I suggest it to everyone that's doing serious graphics.

VX can use around 2GB and QM I believe another 2GB so for milling a big STL I think VX+QM can use 4GB of RAM. If you don't mill then 2..3GB should be enough.


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Message 4 of 5

24-01-2006 03:09 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Personally, I'd go with a 6800GS card. 80%+ the performance of the 7800, at almost 1/2 the cost.

This one in particular is $169 after rebate.

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Message 5 of 5

03-02-2006 06:11 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
I've just put together a new machine:
Athlon X2 4400 - 1 hours work to overclock it to a 5200+ (20% extra performance, no issues with heat or performance chewing through renders at 100% on both cores)
Maxtor SATA 200 Gb HD
Nvidia 6800GT graphics card modified to Quadro 4000 (seems to be working OK - no issues with Solidworks / Maya so far)
Shuttle Xpc case - Nforce4, 16x dual layer DVD writer, nice and quiet and small (plans on moving this for "home use" eventually!)
All for about
See also