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Creo 2 users please help with system build

Newbie

Creo 2 users please help with system build

Hello!

I'm building a new system that will be used for PTC Creo 2. I'm really looking forward to getting some advise on the parts for the new system. I'm interested in knowing what CPU you are using, and what type of memory. I'm going with a socket 2011 motherboard but haven't decided on going with a server board or a high end desktop board. Also should I go with ECC memory or are you using desktop memory, and what MHz memory are you using? If I go with a desktop system it looks like I can use higher clocked memory, like 2400MHz. Will that help me?

Based on what I'm asking if there's something you can think that I haven't asked, please mention it.

On the graphics side of things, I'm struggling with the whole nvidia vs amd thing. So far I'm leaning towards the Quaddro K5000. Would you prefer the FirePro W8000 and why?

Thank You so much in advance.


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19 REPLIES 19

Re: Creo 2 users please help with system build

What kind of work do you plan to do with the new system? Simulation/analysis? Rendering? Large assemblies? etc. And welcome to the forum!

Re: Creo 2 users please help with system build

Hello and Thanks! I plan on using it for a bit of all 3. Not sure yet whatt size the assemblies will be. I would like to just be safe and be prepared for large assemblies.

Re: Creo 2 users please help with system build

For our group of designers, I've recently gone through this. We do large assemblies, part modeling, and drawings.

You want the fastest processor you can get. I spec'd the Xeon E5-1620 3.6 GHz (i think a 3.7 GHz processor is now available). Creo only occasionally uses more than one core so I opted for the 4 core processor. You'll use the other cores for windows and if you do FEA, you may want to consider more cores or more physical processors (FEA is not a major factor in my groups computers).

I tested our big assemblies and established that we were max-ing our RAM so we spec'd out 16gig of RAM.

In Wildfire 4 I was able to do some video card testing and we couldn't find much of a performance difference between the Quadro 2000, 4000 and 5000 BUT supposedly CREO 2 better utilizes the higher end video. I have not had the opportunity to re-test video cards since moving to CREO 2. We ended up specifying the Quadro 4000.

I have a SSD drive and I think it helps but I can't verify that with numbers. I think our IT guy did some testing on it and he was the one who sold me on it.

If you have an opportunity to test systems, I would recommend it. We used Olaf Corten's (www.proesite.com) CREO benchmark to help us make decisions.

Good Luck


Steve Williams
Pro/E Version 15/16 (Circa 1995/1996)

Re: Creo 2 users please help with system build

Well, here's my $0.02 (USD)

Like Stephen said, four cores is plenty. Higher the speed, the better. That changes with FEA and the other programs you are running.

ECC is probably good to have if you keep a very large assembly in memory all week long or else frequently do heavy and critical analyses. But then again, memory corruption is rare and you may never even notice it if it did happen. But reliability is peace of mind....then again, high speed Xeon's to get ECC aren't cheap. So it depends on your budget. I don't think you'll notice much difference in the speed of RAM unless you are comparing leaps in generations of RAM.

Over the years for non-professional cards I've preferred Nvidia's cards over AMD's due to driver quality. But I've used many Quadro's and one Firepro and their drivers are very reliable. Quadros always seemed to have a small edge in speed over Firepros. Creo 2.0 build M090 and above support better transparency for Quadros but earlier builds for Firepro's. I don't think you could go wrong with either. But if I were to make a decision with no mind to budget, I'd go with a Quadro. You can probably avoid the very high end (5000 level quadro) cards. I've run sessions with 31k parts on 2000 and 4000 level cards just fine.

I have 32GB in my machine since I have large assemblies and do FEA quite often. I'm even contemplating running the software or my "scratch" space for analyses in a RAM Disk. Almost daily I hit about 15GB without doing any FEA. There are higher quality settings for graphics in Creo but it will eat your RAM up quickly depending on how many parts you have loaded into session and what graphics quality setting you have.

SSD's are nice, no brainer there.

If you are pulling common data (formats, colors, part files) etc. from the network, a high speed and reliable network is imperitive. If you don't have a high speed network connection to where this data is stored, it may be wise to replicate the data locally and synchronise as needed since a slow connection can cause Creo to pause and it can be frustrating.

Input options. I usually have my own personal mouse and 3D mouse that I take to work and customize, but that's me and some people think I'm odd.

Monitor choice. More pixels, the better. I wouldn't go with anything smaller than 20" and be careful with wide screen monitors....menus, etc. they limit vertical space....extra space horizontally becomes useless. I've used 30" monitors, they are nice, but I'd still prefer two monitors so I'm not constantly resizing Creo windows and it's easier to compare things side to side.

Speaking of two monitors if I had a choice between ECC RAM vs. Two monitors, or a professional card vs. two monitors, I'd go with two monitors. Make sure they are the same size and model number with color adjustments. You'll go crazy if one monitor is slightly off from the other or you have to move your mouse to a certain location to switch monitors due to a difference in size. There is a slight performance hit by going to dual monitors but it's barely noticeable and the advantage of two monitors seriously outweighs any drawbacks.

Re: Creo 2 users please help with system build

SSD drive can make alot difference to your computer. Make sure you get the right one.

To avoid the trouble with new creo windows on wide monitors, try using this hidden config option: open_window_maximized yes

Re: Creo 2 users please help with system build

The only three things I have so far are: Windows 7 Pro 64-bit, the graphcis card (it's on the way) Quadro K5000, and 4 SSDs I picked up on sale. Crucial M500 480GB SATA III. I was a bit worried because 3 of the SSDs had an old firmware and one of them had the newest. I didn't know if this would afffect the RAID setup, but they had a super easy to use firmware updater to run on windows and now they all match. Now, I don't know about controllers, but I heard, and read that, the Marvell controller used in these SSDs is supposed to be a good one.

When it comes to monitors, I know I'm getting an IPS monitor, but what other specific things do I need to take into account. Can you point out some nice ones for me please, in the 27 - 30in size.

Thank You So Much for your help guys!

Re: Creo 2 users please help with system build

I have a Dell U2412 eIPS and I used for years a U2410 IPS. IPS is the way to go if you use your computer all day, IMO. The 2410 was CFL and got pretty hot. but was AMAZING to use.

Re: Creo 2 users please help with system build

Eric Terrell wrote:

and be careful with wide screen monitors....menus, etc. they limit vertical space....extra space horizontally becomes useless. I

Look at 16:10 monitors and not 16:9 monitors, solves that issue mostly.

Re: Creo 2 users please help with system build

Eric, I was considering the RAM disk option. The motherboard I ordered comes with easy to use software to create a RAM disk, that even saves the RAM disk to the hard drive during shut down and then reloads it at boot up. Sounds great to me I already have the k5000 for graphics.

Re: Creo 2 users please help with system build

More recently I built a watercooled i7-4960X, with an Asus X79-Deluxe motherboard, and 32 gig of G.Skill 2400Mhz memory.

You have to be careful with memory speed, the higher Mhz doesn't always mean it will be faster if the CL and other timings are slow. I actually made a spreadsheet at the time to compare speeds with prices etc. the 2400 was a good combination at the time. You also have to turn that on in the BIOS (XMP profiles) to get the memory to run at that speed (most motherboards you seem ot have to turn it on).

Re: Creo 2 users please help with system build

Matt Griswold wrote:

More recently I built a watercooled i7-4960X, with an Asus X79-Deluxe motherboard, and 32 gig of G.Skill 2400Mhz memory.

You have to be careful with memory speed, the higher Mhz doesn't always mean it will be faster if the CL and other timings are slow. I actually made a spreadsheet at the time to compare speeds with prices etc. the 2400 was a good combination at the time. You also have to turn that on in the BIOS (XMP profiles) to get the memory to run at that speed (most motherboards you seem ot have to turn it on).

I was looking at this motherboard http://www.asus.com/us/Commercial_Servers_Workstations/P9X79_WS/

Will a i7 support ECC momory or do I need a Xeon for that? And, the fastest ECC memory I can find is 1800MHz. Do you know of any faster ECC memory?

Well I just found this on an Intel site:

Does the Intel® Core™ i7 Desktop Processor support Error Correction Code (ECC) memory?

The Intel® Core™ i7 Desktop Processors typically do not support ECC memory. ECC memory is usually used on servers and workstations, rather than on desktop platforms. This is mainly due to the price premium of ECC memory and chipset support. Check with your desktop board manufacturer to see if ECC memory is enabled on your board.

They say "typically" but it seems like they are suggesting that it's up to the motherboard.

Re: Creo 2 users please help with system build

On that motherboard, if you hit the specs tab it says it supports ECC memory, and they also have a vendor list there, too.

I have not used ECC memory in forever, yes it is slower. However when I built this computer, I did memory test it for about 3 days (usually running through the night) because I am sort of old school in that I still "burn-in" computers when I build them.

I was just looking at monitors on newegg. I see the bigger IPS monitors have come down a little on price, but if you want 16:10 they are a bit expensive. The 30" Dell U3014 is $1200.

Re: Creo 2 users please help with system build

To enable ECC you have to use a Xeon. So I've been conteplating building a system with either a E5-1650, 1660, 1650 v2, or1660 v2 Xeon since I hear they are unlocked, just like their 3930k, 3970k, 4930k, and 4970k brothers. Then you can use ECC RAM and have a high clock via overclocking.

Re: Creo 2 users please help with system build

Good pick on the SSD's I guess. I've had to deal with one of SSD's from Kingston couple of years ago. It kept throwing in BSODs even after I updated the firmware, so unplugging it was the only options. I've got other SSD with Sandforce controller as well, from OCZ, and it's running just fine.

With that kind of setup, make sure you get strong enough power source.

If you are not gonna run simulations over night, then you should not be worried about ECC memory. It would just slow your computer down, and the SSDs would not shine that much. Regular DDR3 RAMs with 1800 MHz are good enough.

I also got Xeon E5-1620 3.6 GHz processor as mentioned above. They say Xeons are good for servers, but if your PC is gonna be abused alot, then why not buy a Xeon for it instead of i7.

Re: Creo 2 users please help with system build

Just FYI. This is a pic of the memory spreadsheet I made, the memory prices are probably almost a year old now. I made this early into my new PC planning and I always wanted to better understand memory speeds and timing and this spreadsheet was the result.

But based on the prices and the speeds buying anything less than the 2400 made no sense.

mem-calc.JPG

Re: Creo 2 users please help with system build

Thanks Matt!

I went with G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) Desktop Memory Model F3-19200CL10Q-32GBZHD

Re: Creo 2 users please help with system build

Thanks Jakub! I ordered the SeaSonic Platinum-1000 PSU.

Re: Creo 2 users please help with system build

So i ordered the Dell U3014. But I'm still not sure if I should be getting a square monitor instead. Could someone please elaborate on benefits/drawbacks of square vs widescreen 16:10.

Hope all of you had a Happy Valentine's Day!

Re: Creo 2 users please help with system build

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphics_display_resolution

IMO it's personal preference, but since everything is going widescreen anyway. What I have seen is most people don't know there are 16:9 AND 16:10 monitors, and if they end up with a 16:9 you lose a chunk of screen.

Also some people confuse terms and request "HD 1080p" monitors thinking they are getting "the best" when in fact, that is the 16:9 screen size.

I stuck with 21"-ish sized CRTs for long after LCDs came out, even the more recent LG LED I had I couldn't draw on it, gave me headaches. I think IPS is great for the price, until OLED or whatever the next technology is catches up.

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