Intel’s ‘Ivy Bridge’ Core i7 3770K may have just celebrated its first birthday, but it continues to be the processor of choice for mainstream CAD.
Single threaded applications thrive on this high GHz chip and with four cores and eight threads, there’s power in reserve for rendering and simulation. And the best thing — it only costs £220.
For this ‘Workstation Enhanced’ WSX4 the Core i7 3770K has been clocked up to 4.3GHz from 3.5GHz, resulting in a healthy range of benchmark scores.
While the CPU is relatively old in computer terms, the graphics card is bang up to date.
The Kepler-based Nvidia Quadro K2000 was only released in March this year and, while the AMD FirePro W5000 looks to have the edge in PTC Creo and SolidWorks it should provide a solid option for mainstream CAD.
With a 120GB Intel 520 Series SSD and a 1TB 7,2000RPM HDD, the machine offers both performance and capacity. However, those who use multiple applications, such as the Autodesk
Product Design Suite, may benefit from an upgrade to a 240GB SSD.
For a mainstream CAD workstation some might find the 220 x 500 x 500mm to be a touch on the large side, but it does make servicing easy. Furthermore, because every Workstation Specialist machine features the same chassis, self repair over the phone, under the guidance of a WS engineer, is made easier, helping get back up and running quicker should it develop a fault.
The WSX4 is a good all-round CAD workstation, delivering solid performance at a decent price.
» Intel Core i7 3770K (3.5GHz clocked to 4.3GHz) (Quad Core)
» 16GB (2 x 8GB) PC3-1600MHz Quad Channel DDR3 memory
» Nvidia Quadro K2000 (2GB) GPU
» 120GB Intel 520 Series SSD + 1TB 7,200RPM SATA3 HDD
» WS motherboard (Intel Z77 Chipset)
» Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)
» 3 year full parts & labour system warranty
(secs – smaller is better)
CAM (Delcam PowerMill 2010) – 1) 145 2) 228 3) 322
CAE (SolidWorks 2010 Simulation) – 81
Rendering (3ds Max Design 2011) – 214
(bigger is better)
CAD (SolidWorks 2013) – 48
CAD (Creo 2.0 – SPECapc graphics test) – 4.47
Intel Core i7 3770K (3.5GHz clocked to 4.3GHz) (Quad Core)
16GB (2 x 8GB) PC3-1600MHz Quad Channel DDR3 memory
Nvidia Quadro K2000 (2GB) GPU
WS motherboard (Intel Z77 Chipset)
120GB Intel 520 Series SSD + 1TB 7,200RPM SATA3 HDD
3 year full parts & labour system warranty