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Thread: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

  1. #41
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    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    10 seconds on the old machine is now 4 seconds on the new rig .... <voice of management> "So now you'll be 2.5 times more productive?"

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    Administrator BlackBox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    From the open dialog, I hit <Enter> on the sample drawing at 0:03 seconds (anonymized version of a FEMA/FIRM overlay of existing conditions, located on the network), Layout tab with viewport at 1"=80' annotation/standard scale (for context) is shown at 0:04 seconds, and selection is seen just as 0:07 turns to 0:08 seconds (after all of my AcadDoc.lsp AUTOLOAD statements, etc are done):

    https://www.screencast.com/t/myhxlO8DEEg

    [Edit] - Forgot to add that I recorded the video clip above remotely from my house using RDP +/- 10 miles away from the office.
    Last edited by BlackBox; 2017-08-09 at 09:34 PM.
    "How we think determines what we do, and what we do determines what we get."

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  3. #43
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    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    If you've got $40K to spend on a workstation....

    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017...6-core-3tb-z8/
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    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    Quote Originally Posted by cadtag View Post
    If you've got $40K to spend on a workstation....

    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017...6-core-3tb-z8/
    ... And it _still_ runs Civil 3D (or any other AutoCAD product) at nearly 1Ghz slower than a single quad-core i7-7700K 4.2Ghz (w/Turbo) processor workstation. Haha



    The things I could have done with that workstation, back when I was in college for Computer Animation! I had to run my dedicated render workstation 24 Hrs a day for 3 days (back then) to render a single 30-second video clip at 30 FPS for weekly homework assignments. Most of my classmates didn't have money to buy one for home, and had to reserve a slot to use the computer lab. Haha I bet that task only takes second-minutes nowadays. Alas, my heart will always have a place for Maya, Photoshop & After Effects / Avid.

    Neat article though, thanks for sharing!


    This just reminds me that I still need to post what happened with HP, too... Hopefully save others the same pain/frustration.

    Cheers
    "How we think determines what we do, and what we do determines what we get."

    Sincpac C3D ~ Autodesk Exchange Apps

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  5. #45
    100 Club jgrande26's Avatar
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    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    It's been a long time since I've shopped for new hardware, so I'm not familiar with the current options. My IT provider is offering me the following: HP Z4 G4 Workstation, 1 x Intel Xeon W-2123 Quad-core 3.6 GHz processor, 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM, 1 TB HDD, NVIDIA Quadro P2000 5GB graphics card, Win 10 pro 64-bit.
    Any thoughts? I do mostly 2D CAD, with some large C3D surface models with data gathered by drone, and the occasional Revit model.

  6. #46
    Administrator BlackBox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    Quote Originally Posted by jgrande26 View Post
    It's been a long time since I've shopped for new hardware, so I'm not familiar with the current options. My IT provider is offering me the following: HP Z4 G4 Workstation, 1 x Intel Xeon W-2123 Quad-core 3.6 GHz processor, 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM, 1 TB HDD, NVIDIA Quadro P2000 5GB graphics card, Win 10 pro 64-bit.
    Any thoughts? I do mostly 2D CAD, with some large C3D surface models with data gathered by drone, and the occasional Revit model.
    The past couple of years have been quite revealing about how inefficient most pre-configured workstations are at running AutoCAD products.

    The two single biggest internal factors for running AutoCAD products is single-core CPU clock speed and read/write speed... To both internal storage, RAM and network.

    Forget the Xeon (especially Quad Core) and just get a Quad Core i7 with the highest single-core clock speed (last year for me, that was the Core i7-7700K @ 4.2Ghz [4.5Ghz Turbo / 4.7Ghz Intel Xtreme OC]).

    Do not put an HDD as your primary (boot) drive, as a secondary 'data' drive that's fine; instead, consider a Samsung 970 Pro NVMe/M.2 SSD. This will perform significantly better than any SATA SSD. Upgrading from the Samsung 960 to the 970 a year later was worth every penny in drive performance, better still is to also upgrade to 32 GB RAM & buy a SoftPerfect RAM Disk license (this is where I load all AutoCAD support files and have my Temp folder mapped to), hosting the RAM Disk .IMG file on your 970 SSD. Best is... Well, I'll save that for another time.

    As for network latency, that's a more difficult and costly challenge that really does require your IT folk - if you can swing 10GBe NICs, switches, and cabling throughout your office, great - If not you might stick with the typical 1GBe NICs, switches and cabling that have been in use for a long time now. Windows 10 has SMB 3 enabled OOTB, so you're not likely to see more than 1GBe FTP even in a dual NIC workstation (i.e, Intel NIC Teaming), but your IT folk can answer that for you, based on proximity to your DC / file server(s).

    Your GPU is fine for AutoCAD, although you'll likely never exceed 7-10% utilization even using DirectX 11 and I wouldn't expect the AutoCAD team to even adopt DirectX 12 for some time... This goes for all AutoCAD verticals too, like Civil 3D... I cannot speak to Revit as I don't use it.

    HTH
    Last edited by BlackBox; 2018-09-20 at 04:26 PM.
    "How we think determines what we do, and what we do determines what we get."

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    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    Here's are some sample benchmarks, comparing NVMe/M.2 SSDs & RAM Disks:

    2018-07-27_8-32-49.png

    2018-07-27_10-23-00.png
    Last edited by BlackBox; 2018-09-20 at 04:27 PM.
    "How we think determines what we do, and what we do determines what we get."

    Sincpac C3D ~ Autodesk Exchange Apps

    Computer Specs:
    Dell Precision 3620, Core i7-7700K 4.2GHz, 64GB RAM, Samsung 970 Pro M.2, 8GB NVIDIA Quadro P4000

  8. #48
    Administrator BlackBox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackBox View Post
    <snip>

    The two single biggest internal factors for running AutoCAD products is single-core CPU clock speed and read/write speed... To both internal storage, RAM and network.

    <snip>

    As for network latency, that's a more difficult and costly challenge that really does require your IT folk - if you can swing 10GBe NICs, switches, and cabling throughout your office, great - If not you might stick with the typical 1GBe NICs, switches and cabling that have been in use for a long time now. Windows 10 has SMB 3 enabled OOTB, so you're not likely to see more than 1GBe FTP even in a dual NIC workstation (i.e, Intel NIC Teaming), but your IT folk can answer that for you, based on proximity to your DC / file server(s).

    <snip>
    Forgot to mention server read/write as a facet of the 'network'.

    Most dedicated IT folk are rightly focussed on getting the owners the best bang for their buck, which often translates into server storage being run in a RAID 5 array... This is a complete productivity killer for Civil 3D in particular as it is more data-heavy than most other flavors of AutoCAD.


    If you want to get more juice out of the servers you already have - besides adding that second processor, maxing out your server's RAM, NIC Teaming (if using an older version of Windows Server), breaking your on-premise Exchange server, Terminal Server (aka RDSH), etc out into their own, disparate virtual servers (even if hosted on the same physical machine) - is to first make sure you have a complete (bare metal) backup of the physical server (the OS and Data partitions, VHDx, etc), reconfigure your Data physical disks into a RAID 10 array (this won't change your OS partition), then restore the Data partition from that backup, provided you still have enough Data partition storage capacity of course (your IT folk can determine this before anything is done).

    By changing your file server's physical disk array from RAID 5 (slower, more capacity) to RAID 10 (faster, less capacity) you will significantly increase the speed at which the server reads/writes - translation: increase the performance of Civil 3D when working on projects located on the network.


    Thinking of this reminded me that it's time for me to start shopping for a new server (ours is now +/- 4 years old and we could always use more capacity anyway)... Hoping to include Samsungs newest 983 DCT or 983 ZET SSDs:

    https://www.samsung.com/semiconducto...nter/overview/


    Cheers
    "How we think determines what we do, and what we do determines what we get."

    Sincpac C3D ~ Autodesk Exchange Apps

    Computer Specs:
    Dell Precision 3620, Core i7-7700K 4.2GHz, 64GB RAM, Samsung 970 Pro M.2, 8GB NVIDIA Quadro P4000

  9. #49
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    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    This has been a great post. Thank you for contributing this information

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    Default Re: Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

    Quote Originally Posted by dkruelle View Post
    This has been a great post. Thank you for contributing this information
    You're welcome, dkruelle; happy to help.

    Cheers
    "How we think determines what we do, and what we do determines what we get."

    Sincpac C3D ~ Autodesk Exchange Apps

    Computer Specs:
    Dell Precision 3620, Core i7-7700K 4.2GHz, 64GB RAM, Samsung 970 Pro M.2, 8GB NVIDIA Quadro P4000

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