I've always ordered workstations through a company that specialized in CAD workstations, and built them just for Pro, and later solidworks. They no longer sell systems. I've recently looked at Dell and HP. How can you be sure their workstations are going to run pro well? I don't feel comfortable combining a bunch of components and hoping for a result, I want a machine I know is going to run pro well. For instance, why does a Xeon cost twice as much as a P4 of twice the GHZ, and what type of memory works best with what? I guess I would prefer a professional selecting my components. Are admins pleased with your results form these giant companies, and how do you know the machine you are ordering is going to kick some butt running pro/e?
As far as the Xeon vs P4 question: The Xeon is more expensive because it allows you to run more than one processor. P4s are limited to one processor per system. Also, the Xeons have more level 2 cache than the P4s. Joe
Mark - As usual, you might look to the OCUS benchmark results on Olaf Corten's site (www.proesite.com) for some "real-world" results, or as close as you can get without actually running your own customized system testing. My recommendation is to get the latest AMD or Intel processor (both companies offer dual-core products now), pair it with 2 GB of RAM, and add in a professional (not gaming) graphics card (like the Nvidia Quadro series, or something from 3DLabs). If you are going to be performing FEA or CFD, then look to a multiprocessor platform and bump the RAM up to at least 4 GB. Keep in mind that the performance of any computer will depend heavily on the applications loaded, the processes that are running at any given time (anti-virus, etc.), and the specific network and system configuration settings. Other factors such as the quantity and location of true-type fonts, linestyles, and other config.pro options will heavily affect your performance. Regards - Dan Marsalek