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I7 vs Xeon for SolidWorks 2011

I am purchasing a new machine to be used strictly for running SolidWorks 2011 and I dont know if an I7 or a Xeon processor will be better. Thanks
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  1. In most cases i7 and Xeon CPUs have the same performance. Which specific CPU are you looking at?
  2. Comparing the Quad Core Xeon w3565 3.2 Ghz, 8M L3, 4.8GT/s and the Intel Core I7 970 Gulftown.

    I have been told that for "Workstations" that Xeon processors and Quadro graphics cards should be used. I am just wondering if this is accurate or just a marketing scheme to overprice basically the same hardware under a different name.
  3. The i7 970 is virtually identical to the W3565 except for two very significant differences:

    The i7 is a hexacore vs. the Xeon's quadcore

    The i7 is a 32nm process vs. the Xeon's 45 nm

    SolidWorks 2011 should work perfectly on either, so the i7 hexa has a marked advantage. As for your video card, as long as you can find it on this:

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

    You're fine. However, I'm seeing primarily Quadros and Fires on there so keep that in mind.
  4. Best answer
    Solidworks has long been known to take advantage of a higher core clock than having more cores. One of the main advantages of using a Xeon will allow you have multiple processors on the motherboard if you have the cash. If you are running assemblies with hundred or thousands of parts or running photoview all the time, consider spending more and getting a Xeon. You can find Xeons with the same clock, amount of cores, and xeons can be used in 1156 and 1366 boards just like you can find an i7 supporting those boards too.
    Depending on what your needs are for Solidworks and budget allotted to you, make sure you have a decent graphics card too, its not all about the processor.

    You can use Quadro/Fire cards with a Xeon or i7 system.
  5. Best answer selected by twlawrence.
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