Centralized info on hardware performance for new system


(Willem Derks) #1

Hi,

I’m starting to look for a new laptop (= my workstation)
This type of question pop’s up every now and then so I was wondering if there is
a centralized (up-to-date) list of GPU’s / CPU’s and other configurations to make an initial choice easier.

I know of http://www.holomark.com/, http://wiki.mcneel.com/rhino/rhino5videocards and http://wiki.mcneel.com/rhino/videocards but they seem not fully up to date?
Yet this general info is useful as a start: http://wiki.mcneel.com/rhino/hardwarebaseline

Just now I’m looking at this page and wonder should I go for Nvidia (GTX/Quadro), or is AMD comparable or at least not too far behind in performance. Since NVIDIA crippled gaming cards to push Quadro’s I rather do not do business with them anymore. Are performance differences marginal or significant.

Can anything usefull be said about processors apart from this rule of thumb:
Predominant modeling: less cores at highest single-core speed
Predominant rendering: more cores at highest total speed

To complete the list:
as much RAM as possible just for those rare projects that need all RAM.

a fast SSD for OS and DATA
a slower HDD for backup and general storage

Thanks for any tips
-Willem


(Brian James) #2

Hi Willem,

I see no one touched this one! For what it’s worth here’s my personal take on hardware choices. I don’t work for any company listed other than the obvious.

  • I like actual tower computers for workstations versus the laptop variety which I will bring to a class or meeting but not to do actual work on. The ability to swap out components or customize cooling is key for me.

  • I find the Nvidia drivers to be updated more often so I buy those cards. I like the high end GTX 600 line personally and haven’t used the 700 series yet. Mobile versions of these are likely good as well but are not going to be the same as the desktop variety. I also know what you mean about the gamer series going backwards in some ways but I’ll take that hit in exchange for Cuda. Rhino doesn’t make use of this processing power now nor do I know if it will although I lobby for this internally I assure you. I do use other programs though that fly when accelerated via stream processors like rendering engines or video processing. Octane for Rhino actually just came out too so there are some uses directly in Rhino starting to surface as well. Arion has used Cuda within Rhino for a while too.

  • OCZ vertex 4 and the Samsung 840 SSD have both proved reliable for OS use here. I agree that using a traditional 1-3tb HDD is best for data and system imaging.

  • I have found any Intel i7 cpu either laptop or desktop to be excellent. Higher ghz and more cores seems to be the way it all goes but I find that cooling is also very important. Again it’s desktop specific but the Noctua brand makes very good heatsink/fan combos.

  • Regarding RAM, I have found 12GB to be fine for almost all modeling operations or rendering tasks. I set up one system with 64GB to see if I could use it but it didn’t seem to matter in the projects I had running. RAM is one of the cheaper components though so I’d go with what you can and it’ll be there if needed.

I hope this helps in your decisions.