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My first build (SolidWorks 2009 Workstation)

Last response: in Systems
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November 28, 2008 10:00:11 PM

Here is my part list:

1 XFX PVT98WYDDU GeForce 9800 GTX+ XXX 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Model #:p VT98WYDDU
$204.99 -$5.00 Instant $199.99

4 CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400C4 - Retail
Model #:TWIN2X2048-6400C4
$44.99 -$5.00 Instant $159.96

1 Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Model #:ST3500320AS
$69.99 -$10.00 Instant $59.99

1 PC Power & Cooling S61EPS 610W Continuous @ 40°C EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
Model #:S61EPS
$199.99 -$105.00 Instant $94.99

1 ATOP Decorative AT-AP101-RD Red SGCC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #:AT-AP101-RD
$29.99 -$9.99 Instant $20.00

1 Microsoft Windows XP Professional 64Bit SP2C for System Builders - OEM
Model #:ZAT-00124
$139.99 $139.99

1 Microsoft Office Excel Home and Student 2007 - Retail
Model #:79C-00007
$109.99 $109.99

1 LITE-ON Black SATA CD-ROM Drive Model LTN-52S1S-10 - OEM
Model #:LTN-52S1S-10
$13.99 $13.99

1 GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #:GA-EP45-UD3P
$134.99 -$15.00 Instant $119.99

1 Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400 - Retail
Model #:BX80570E8400
$169.99 -$10.00 Instant $159.99

Some notes:
GPU: I know this isn't a CAD card, but I wanted to see if SW really does require a CAD card.
No, I do not plan to OC.

Where do you think my bottleneck is in this system?
Where can I save money?
Should I get open box to save money?
November 29, 2008 12:05:02 AM

You should get Vista 64. SP1 made it quite stable on new hardware.

9800GTX+ for $200? bad deal. Get a 4850 for $140.
http://216.52.208.185/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Get 2x2GB RAM.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Get a case that will actually work and keep parts cool :p 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You may downgrade as far as this PSU if you need to save there:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There are also some good deals on Corsair right now.
November 29, 2008 1:32:52 AM

If you are going to be using this computer mainly for SolidWorks you will need to get either an nvidia geforce FX card or the ATI fireGL card to properly run SolidWorks features. . Both of these cards have passed the Solidworks tests and are recommended by SolidWorks. Any geforce or Radeon card have not passed the tests and are not recommended. I would also get at least 4 gig of memory. Every thing else looks good
Related resources
November 29, 2008 1:40:07 AM

I'd probably spring for a quad core instead of the dual for a workstation build.
November 29, 2008 3:14:30 AM

Simulation (Cosmos),photoworks and photoview 360 will take advantage of the multiple cores. Besides that SolidWorks mainly uses a single core. That being said, I would agree with cjl and go with a guad core.
November 30, 2008 11:47:39 PM

Proximon:

Thanks for the helpful tips!

Video Card: I am a little paranoid when it comes to the video card. If I get a SolidWorks approved card I will end of paying $300 more than I have to spend. I found an article (I cant find it now) that benchmarked the GeForce 9800 GTX+ against workstation cards and it performed very well in all tests except the synthetic test. I am afraid using any other card unless I can find evidence that it will work well. I know that video card problems can inflict much misery so I am try to be cautious without spending $500 on a card. Probably the reason the one that is listed is overpriced because is comes with a game.

Ram: Do you think the ram you suggested should be higher speed?
Get 2x2GB RAM.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231209

Case: I thought that a case is a case is a case. How do I know which cases will be acceptable or not? $70 seems expensive me. Do I need to spend that much to get a good case?

PSU: Thanks for the tip. I picked the one listed because it had a 24 pin connector. I think it will be smarter for me to get the one you selected and by an adaptor.
December 1, 2008 1:27:59 AM

Here is a link to the SolidWorks site where you can see which cards are certified and have passed the SolidWorks tests. This link also has a link to SolidWorks system requirements.

http://www.solidworks.com/sw/videocardtesting.html

As you can see, none of the nvidia geforce cards are recommended and the system build says you need an OpenGL card (quadroFX). The main reason why you need a guadro FX card is manily because it uses OpenGL which is what SolidWorks (as well as most CAD programs) uses. Video games use DirectX10 which is what the geforce cards use. This card may work for simple parts/assemblies/drawings, but when you get to complex parts or large assemblies/drawings, you will see a large difference between the gefoce and guadroFX cards. If there is one component that you should splurge on it is getting a nvidia guadroFX graphics card.

In my line of business I have talked to hundreds of people that have had issues with SolidWorks that are caused by them not using a recommended card. If you have access to the SolidWorks customer portal I would recommend going to the knowledge base (found under "my support") and do a search for "geforce". You will find many issues that are cause by these cards. Hopefully this is enough information to help you see why I stress so much on getting a recommended QuadroFX card.
December 1, 2008 2:06:49 AM

I should have linked my guide, which will clarify the RAM issue a bit. Since you are on a tight budget, 800Mhz RAM will work fine. You would not see any real gains from faster RAM unless you are overclocking beyond 400FSB.

From the SolidWorks site, it looks to me that specific hardware is not so much the issue. The issue is that it needs the workstation card DRIVERS to run well... this is similar to many other professional programs.

If Chadley says you need a Quaddro, perhaps you'll need to rethink some of the other parts to make room for it.

My guide
!