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Workstation Build - C4D / Octane / X Particles / Solidworks / Rhino / AE / Premiere

I

ian

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Hi All,

I'm hoping to get some advice, as believe I need to look at a custom build here for my requirements.

I'm currently running a Dell Precision laptop:
Quadro P2000
32gb ram
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8850H CPU @ 2.60GHz 2.59 GHz

Which has worked great for my Solidworks / Rhino requirements

With the addition of a 2070 Super EGPU, I have been able to run C4D and Octane on the machine too - which has been fine until I added Xparticles into my workflow. Now its just crashing out non stop trying to run X-particles sims. (I believe due to the under specced CPU in the laptop)

Software I regularly use, in order of importance:
C4D
Octane
Xparticles
Rhino (no issues here it runs on pretty much anything)
Solidworks (main issue is any non Quadro GPU is not officially supported, but all the Quadro cards are more expensive and have a lower OTOY benchmark) - I have had the 2070 Super for 5 months now, with no issues running Solidworks though.
AE /Premiere

We are looking for a relatively futureproof build, with a big focus on a suitable CPU to run X-Particles,

These are the specs that our IT support has recommended, I am concerned about the GPUS in particular as they are all worse performing that the EGPU I currently have, but have been specced due to Solidworks compatability:

  1. Precision 3640 – Intel i7-10700K, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, NVIDIA Quadro P2200 5GB GPU -This ticks all the boxes required, and is fairly reasonable. May not be futureproof though.
  2. Precision 3640 – Intel i9-10900K, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, NVIDIA Quadro P2200 5GB GPU - Top level CPU, 2 extra cores and a slight performance boost. Instinct is that this is overkill, but may help out with Xparticles
  3. Precision 3640 – Intel i7-10700K, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 8GB GPU - RTX 4000 will hit any rendering with a hammer – we use these for 3D buildings and VR. May not help with Xparticles if this is CPU based though.
  4. Unfortunately, I cannot find a prebuilt model with an i9 and RTX 4000 (which would 100% solve all your problems) - so this would be a custom Dell build
I just wanted to see if people on here have had any issues running Solidworks on GeForce cards? I always have the laptop as a backup but ideally would like it to run on the workstation too (obviously switching the licence)

Also peoples feedback on the best CPU for X-Particles use ?

For now, I would be looking at a single GPU, and utilise thunderbolt to plug in the EGPU (as this means I still have the option to use my laptop and the EGPU when at home / travelling - if that ever happens again !)

The above specs were all coming in around the £2K mark (Ex Vat) so I think this is the ball park my employer will be looking to spend.
 
Jerry James

Jerry James

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Oh yeah, you're probably hitting the limits of that 8850H when running X-particles. It's extremely CPU-bound and requires fast, and plenty of cores.
Are these 4 the only options available to you? Even an i9 with 10 cores isn't exactly ideal in a market where an AMD Ryzen 9 with 12/16 faster cores exists.
A custom workstation build would serve you much better because you're looking for something that can tackle both CPU and GPU-heavy workloads. Recommended CPU would be an AMD Ryzen 9 5950X (or if you can't find one, a 5900X). You should be able to get a build around this processor at that 2000 GBP price point.
As for official support in Solidworks, you can find a more detailed explanation here - https://www.cgdirector.com/amd-rade...Workstation_Graphics_vs_Gaming_Graphics_Cards
 
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imr82

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Thanks Jerry. I think at this point we are going to go for a full custom build. So will look into the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X. Out of interest how do you tihnk this will stack up performance wise to the i9 which Xparticles mention below ?

“We are unable to offer specific recommendations to answer your CPU question as there are just too many variables to be able to offer sound advice, however, we can provide some very basic information.

At the moment, X-Particles relies solely on the CPU and for viewport playback, performance and simulations, higher CPU speeds are desirable.

Having a large number of cores will increase your CPU rendering capabilities, but they won't necessarily make X-Particles simulate or run faster in the viewport.

There is no rule regarding hardware, but in most cases when you have, for example, fluid simulations, CPUs with more cores will simulate much faster than those that don't.

When we have tested our machines, we noticed that an i9 CPU with 8 cores (16 threads), higher clock and faster RAM performed much better than CPUs with more cores, lower clock and slightly slower memory.”

From your recommendations - this looks like a good starting point:

CGDirector.com Parts List: https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/?=6LXRw

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 3.4GHz 16-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
Motherboard: MSI X570 Tomahawk ATX AM4
GPU: Nvidia RTX 3080 10GB - Gigabyte Turbo
Memory: 32GB (2 x 16GB) G.Skill Trident Z Neo DDR4-3600 C16
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 980 PRO 1000GB M.2 Solid State Drive
Power Supply: EVGA 650 B5, 80 Plus Bronze 650W Power Supply
Case: NZXT H510 ATX Mid Tower Case

Thanks
 
Jerry James

Jerry James

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Thanks Jerry. I think at this point we are going to go for a full custom build. So will look into the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X. Out of interest how do you tihnk this will stack up performance wise to the i9 which Xparticles mention below ?
Luckily, we just did a bunch of X-Particles tests to answer your question :) Here you go - https://www.cgdirector.com/x-particles-benchmark-results/

From your recommendations - this looks like a good starting point:

CGDirector.com Parts List: https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/?=6LXRw

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 3.4GHz 16-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
Motherboard: MSI X570 Tomahawk ATX AM4
GPU: Nvidia RTX 3080 10GB - Gigabyte Turbo
Memory: 32GB (2 x 16GB) G.Skill Trident Z Neo DDR4-3600 C16
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 980 PRO 1000GB M.2 Solid State Drive
Power Supply: EVGA 650 B5, 80 Plus Bronze 650W Power Supply
Case: NZXT H510 ATX Mid Tower Case
Yep, that looks like a very strong build for your use case. No compromises anywhere. I'd up the power supply on that build to at least an 850W though. You can also opt for a pricier motherboard only if you're planning to get into GPU rendering and will need to add additional graphics cards to your rig at some point.
 
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