Can anyone give me guidance on specifying hardware as far as how much RAM, processor speed,what video card etc for
a Dell 7500 and a Dell M6500. I would like this info for both a designer and a CNC worker. I have seen the info on PTC's website
but it does not give specifics.
I refrained from replying to this inquary because I didn't want to come across as a salesmen. Of coarse you can check out my offerings if you'd like, but that is not why I'm speaking up... I want to give a thumbs-up to Ron and his well written reply and add just a couple more details.
You should be aware that most of what you are looking at on the cpubenchmark site are processors tested at stock speeds and ranked accordingly. They do show one chart listing OverClocked CPU's, but its confusing to me because everything is listed @ standard clock speed. I'm not real sure how this relates to OverClocking because it doesn't show how much the processor was OC'd, only that it has a higher score. (ref the i7 990X score on the OC page vs the i7 990X score on the "High End" page.) My only point here is that with a properly configured OC system you can get alot more bang without spending the buck.
Also, in regards to Graphics, the reason that the top cards listed on the sites are different is because the cpubenchmark test focuses on DirectX (Gaming) capabilities, where the proesite test uses Pro/E directly, and focuses on the OpenGL (Professional Modeling) capabilities of the cards. (Hense the difference in the Quadro family vs the GeForce family of cards.) Of coarse there is some cross over fuctionality between the two families, but each family has an area where they perform better. I also agree that the minimum professional graphics card to consider would be the Quadro FX 580, however I personally would not recommend it for daily Pro/E use. Along with building custom GC workstations, I am also a daily Pro/E user. I have an FX 580 card in one of my backup system. I did try to use this card for a while for daily work, but was very dissapointed in its slow responce time when working with large assemblies, hidden line views, and repaints in drawing mode. Now, I use this "backup" system only for opening part models and checking in through my clients VPN - ProjectLink workspaces. I do however highly recommend the Quadro FX 3800 as an everyday CAD card. Although no card is perfect... as Ron said, "the more you spend the faster it will go", so you could go with the FX 4800, or FX5800, but I have not personally tested either of these cards and have found them to be REALLY expensive. The FX 3800 seems to fit the sweet spot of price vs performance.
Good Luck with your decision.
In Reply to Ron Rich:
Really it is a simple answer. The more you spend the faster it will go.
But here are your bottom line items. As for a Designer and CNC programmer I would have the same machine for both. Or if you do not need to be mobile then go which ever is least expensive.
Ram - Bare minimum is 6Gig Note you will need 64bit Windows to use this memory. I have been using 8gig for about 4 years and have not hit the limit on it yet. One time I was close running a FEA session it was swapping about 500meg but things were going smooth. 8gig could be looked at as a minimum but it depends on the mother board and type of memory. Bottom line if you can afford it 12-16gig is perfect memory place to be for the next 5-7 years.
Processor - This is truly the more you spend the faster you will go. CNC programmers will benefit from faster processor more than Designer. Designer usually sits , plans, changes, creates, regens just a few things at a time and usually has not much wait time. CNC on the other hand sends a long routine to calculate and then goes and gets coffee, then comes back and if he was luckly he had many cores or a dual processor unit and can surf the web until his calculations are done. Truly Pro is not set to run multi processor , or farm mode or anything like that with the exception of some FEA routines so dual processors does nothing than waste your money, or let you do other things quickly while your main stuff is off churning away. Get at least dual core (suggest quad core) you can compare processors easily here http://www.cpubenchmark.net/ making it easy to see which processor is fastest and where you will stand on the chart. Find your current processor and see what rank it is for comparison. You can also see what processors are the fastest running proe on www.proesite.com< .
Graphics card - This is a quandary, I have used countless different graphics cards over the years. But minimum on tower system should be a quadro fx580 and on the laptop minimum should be the quadro fx2800 if you have money go for next step up in price, it can't hurt. I will say however I don't know how much pro/e is affected by this anymore. Looking at the benchmarks on www.proesite.com< you can sort by graphics score and get idea what graphics others are using. Going to the cpubenchmark site above will also show you graphics card ratings. What you will see is that the top card on the proesite.com are not the top of the list on the other site. SLI does not seem to improve this either which in the gaming world it has a major effect. I would love this to be something you could try before you buy. I want a card that can reorient me in hidden line mode the fastest. Most cards these days can spin a shaded object or assembly fast enough but the other modes I would like to see improvement on.
Hope this helps.