Intel or AMD for CAD workstation?
I'm working on AMD based computers my whole life. Recently I was thinking about trying to go for an Intel CPU based configuration. Currently I have a an AMD Phenom II x4 965Black Edition running at +10% auto OC (3.74GHz) and am looking at Intel I-7 2600K CPU (which seems to be the top of the line Intel CPU available in my country)
Before I spend quite a nice, hefty sum to switch my MB/CPU, I'd like to hear some opinions what kind of improvements I can expect on the CAD application use. I also am curious will the performance of the Intel CPU be better with KeyShot?
For SW I have a Quadro FX580 which seems to be ok for the job.
I would choose Intel just because I never had important trouble with them nut a godd AMD is suitable too.
An other important think too look at is the service, personally I know shops around me that have very good service from intel and received comments about the slow respond time from AMD... but this could be regionnal only so it could be good to ask around if aftermarket service is important for you.
I'd go with the i7 2600k especially if you're going to overclock it (which I definitely recommend), it seems to perform best with SolidWorks and I it's easy to overclock.
As for the performance with KeyShot, it performs quite well but with KeyShot you can always go with more CPU's and cores.
I have heard general reports of AMD being bad for most workstation work - be it CAD, video editing, 3D rendering, etc.. Same goes for ATI video hardware.
However there are many people using AMD and ATI for these exact purposes - both individuals and companies.. So... Its a bit mushy.
Personally having recently built a few machines around the newest i7 2600K - i would fully recommend it as a major upgrade over older dual\quad cores you might have now.
havent built an AMD since... the 486-DX4 CPUs - which was NOT a good experience compared with similar intel chips..
2600k msotly because its faster core for core and clock for clock.
Considering Solidworks is mostly not multithreaded the intel would be better because there core design is faster, amd relies on a higher number of cores, intel makes faster cores.
let it be known i have an amd hexcore rig and ati graphics mostly because the 2600k wasnt on sale at the time.(and budget)
Also if you don't plan on overclocking save some money and get the 2600 without the k, the k just indicates an unlocked multiplier and its pointless to pay for if you dont want to oc.
I just fired up the new setup with I-7 2600K and GA-Z68X-UD3-B3 MB. Windows 7 is a real Frankenstein when it comes to hardware changes :) Just plug it into electricity, press the power button and it's alive! LOL! :)))
Time to see if this is going to be any better than the AMD...
Wasn't so lucky when it comes to fitting the Cooler Master Gemini S2 heatsink, the new CPU and MB have just a tiny bit more spreaded mounting holes and for the next few days I'll have to live with the stock cooler/fan... Being an enthusiast DIY-er, I'll see if I can modify the adapters to match the new positions of the mounting holes on th motherboard... If not, then, no overclocking will be possible until I buy a new massive cooler... Ouch... ;)
Not really on topic, but a nice touch: the new MB has a support for USB3 and I bought one USB3 stick as well. I often have to carry the work with me and working on/from a stick on a current project seems to be the most practical way if you constantly need to take the project to the office and then back home... Well, the time of reaction and the speed is now noticeably improved once you need to access, open or save the file. A tiny detail that deserves appreciation and respect ;)
I have both an i7-2600K (4.8Ghz) and an AMD Phenom II X6 1090T (4.0Ghz). For programs like SolidWorks that are mainly single threaded applications the i7 is much faster. However, if you are looking for a (cheap) rendering rig the AMD is the way to go. The 2 extra physical cores really help with the multi-threaded rendering programs.
But for the money the i7 is the way to go. The rendering performance isn't much lower than the overclocked AMD 1090T and the single threaded performance is far better than anything AMD has to offer.
I'm not rendering much, most of my work ends with finishing the design on new projects, technical drawings and from time to time, I do a render of decent quality for a customer which is far from being demanding to even low budget hardware... Anyway, the new hardware setup is complete, waiting for the new GPU and in the meantime the paycheck should arrive and there will be enough to buy the 650W Cooler Master PSU...