Our HP XW4600 (e8500 3.16Ghz, 4GB Ram, Nvidia Quadro with 256MB, 32bit) did a really good job for many years, but now it's time for something new!
The primary objective is to reduce the regeneration times for models and espacially sections on drawings. Graphic performance is still ok, but could be better. From what i find out until now, Pro/E and even Creo are still using mostly one CPU core for these tasks. So the only thing i can do is to find a really high clocked CPU. Right?
I took a look into the OCUS benchmark(www.proesite.com) and PassMark CPU Benchmark (www.cpubenchmark.net/singleThread.html) results and the most powerful and still affordable CPU seems to be the Intel E3-1270v3 (PassMark score 2274). So i selected the following workstations for a deeper look:
-HP Z230 (Xenon E3-1270v3, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD)
I agree with David on the Boxx Technologies machine. I have a 4150 Extreme with a NVIDIA K5000 an SSD and 32G RAM. it runs extremely well. I bought this August of 2013 and have had no problems. They ship with hyperthreading turned on but it seems to run better turned off. This machine is also whisper quiet. You don't even know it's running. It is an overclocked (4.3Ghz) liquid cooled system. The K5000 is overkill but they didn't have the K4000 yet when I purchase the card.
It all depends on the type of work that you do and your budget. First of all going on a 5 year upgrade plan on your workstation my not be the best idea. 3 years (max 4) would be the way I would go and that is not just becauase of performance. Any worthwile workstation should be reliable for at least 2 years but at 3 years you are definatly going to be running into some failures were you are going to have to deal with down time. This isn't always the case though as I have transfered old workstations to other users after they reach their 2-3 year life cycle here and they have run pretty much issue free for another 3-4 years (5-7 years total). About the only things that I ever replaced on them was the odd graphics card and worn out fans. There has been the rare motherboard or power supply but they have always failed during the warranty period so no big deal. As always think about the environment you are going to be using your PC in as well. In my environment our office space is attached to our fabrication shop so we have to deal with build ups of welding and desiel soot but I usually keep everthing pretty clean so it is not that much of an issue. One of these years they are going to let me put a positive air pressure system in the office....sigh.
If you are going to try to future proof for 5 years you are looking at a lot of money upfront for not alot of gains and wishing sometime during year 4 that you had a new computer already.
We use Dell T3600's in my workplace with 16GB of Ram, 250GB SSD and Nvidia Quadro 2000 and 4000s. The machines run plenty quite and should meet our users needs for the next 2-3 years. Note that these will be running Windchill and Creo with large 200-600 part assemblies. I have had no complaints about performance with these machines. They may not run the fastest but considering our $3000 CAN per machine budget it seems to be working out just fine with us.
I believe your biggest concerns are going to be RAM and your graphics card. As you mentioned in your post processor is less of an issue for sure (unless you are say running Mechanica then I say that is going to be your #1 issue). I would say that your machine should have a minimum of 16 GB of Ram and an open GL card with 1-2GB of Ram. I don't have much experience with the AMD cards but we have had no issues with Quadro 2000s or especially the 4000s that I have started transitioning the office into.
Thanks to everyone for your recommendations! I've read only excellent reviews about grumans workstations and the price/performance ratio seems to be great, but we are from germany and we need a local seller and support. (Should have mentioned it before, sorry)
To Ben Loosli: Thats a good point, thanks for this hint!
To logan holmberg: Thanks for your detailed hardware informations. Since we are on a similar budget like you, we now have ordered a Z420 and T3610 with a K4000 for testing purposes. So we will se if there is a noticable performance boost compared to our old machines. We also plan to use the old ones as office computers for the next years.
Any one knows about a workstation builder like Gruman Creations or BOXXtech in germany?