Home / Component / KitGuru Complete Guide to Workstations – Part 4

KitGuru Complete Guide to Workstations – Part 4

So far in this series, we have made some initial tests and conclusions about the balance between CPU and graphics in a workstation, and then focused specifically on the types of application covered by the industry-standard SPECviewperf 12.02 tests. In this article, we turn our attention to two very significant applications in the 3D content creation (3DCC) industry: Autodesk 3DS Max and AutoCAD.

The former is an extremely popular 3D animation application used in films such as Avatar and 2012, as well as the games industry and architectural or engineering previsualisation. AutoCAD, on the other hand, is very much focused on computer-aided design (the clue is in the product name), and has a thirty-plus-year track record in this industry, having first been launched at COMDEX in 1982. Now in its 30th incarnation, it is the most widely used software in its category.

As with our previous articles, we will be running our tests on three different workstation specifications using three different Intel processors, with four different NVIDIA Quadro professional 3D accelerators. All of the workstations and cards were kindly supplied by Wakefield-based PC Specialist. However, in this case we are focusing on how much the CPU affects overall performance for 3ds Max, rather than graphics card influence, and a variety of different subsets of our configurations for AutoCAD.

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3 comments

  1. what about quadro vs firepro

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  3. One and only good guide would be an advice, look at your budget and then see what sort of pro card and program combo you can afford. Then you/me must go through the tedious task of checking the supported features of a given 3D CAD or other program on a given card, that is a make or break thing.
    It appears that a card will be fully supported on a given program +/- 1.5 to 2 years, so if a card has been produced in 2014 it should be optimised on programs that have been released in years 2012-2016.
    In my case this speciffic situation is paramaunt in Autocad, shading 3d models while modeling or plain adequate representation without artifacts, so a low range firepro v3900 (released in 2012) is not supported (in 3D) on Autocad 2011 (released in 2010, go figure).
    If doing drafts is your thing, don’t worry, a pro card, even the cheapest is a must, but if the 3D function is not needed, you’ll be set as good as on a 1000$ card.

    About what’s better, firepro or Quadro, I can say that drafting is excellent on both. I have the low end quadro Fx 580 and the FirePro v3900, Quadro is accurate but laggy in 3D modeling (moderate complexity) but the low end firepro card is not supported for the speciffic function on the given program release.
    A warning is in place, I could not set up the firepro card on my system that had quadro in it for a few years no matter what driver I installed and uninstalled, given that formating the drive wasn’t an option i put the card in an AMD apu system that had Amd graphic drivers and it was a breeze installing the firepro drivers and running my CAD program, till the mentioned 3D functionality. I think that Nvidia has put some goblins, that repell the AMD branded cards.
    As you see, a whole lot of mess for an individual to go through…