How to Configure the Ultimate Autodesk

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2 Δεκ 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 4 μήνες)

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How to Configure the Ultimate Autodesk
®

Revit
®
Workstation

















How to Configure
the Ultimate
Autodesk
®

Revit
®
Workstation

Your Guide to Overcl
oc
king
, RAM, SSDs, and More


If you’re in the market for
an Autodesk
®

Revit
®

workstation,

your first consideration
should
be

your
workflow.
In general, you should d
etermine the size of your
models
, followed by the
level of detail you
plan to put into your families
, and the other software applications you rely on in conjunction with Revit.

Once
you have made these determinations,
it’s time to look at the key aspects of a Revit hardware
solution:




Processor (CPU)




Memory (
RAM
)



Hard drive



Graphics card (GPU)




Image courtesy of Eric Bogenschutz, BSA LifeStructures

The Processor

In order to maximize the performance of the features and tools found in Revit Architecture, your
hardware platform requires outstanding core speed.
Running by itself, Revit
do
e
sn’
t take advantage of
Intel Xeon processors, dual processor systems, or

multip
le cores
. H
owever, if you have Revit open,
in
all likelihood, you may also have
Adobe Acrobat, Adobe

Photoshop, AutoCAD, or other programs in
use as well.
I
f you incorporate these applications into your
Revit

workflow, a workstation with more
cores can pro
vide

superior

performance.

Intel Core i3 and Intel Core i5
proc
essors

are available
, of
course, but should not be considered viable options. In fact, o
nly workstations featuring quad core Intel
Core i7 processors offer the multi thread
ing capabilities nece
ssary for R
evit to run
at
optimal
performance.


George Matos, Vice President of Technology and Visualization at Chipman Design Architecture
recently initiated his company’s conversion from i5 systems to BOXX Intel Core i7 workstations

and is
pleased with
the results. “
W
hen we moved to the quad core i7’s, we experi
enced a 40% efficiency
increase,


he says.


The quad core Intel Core i7 processor is also essential for desktop rendering, since t
he rendering
functions in Revit are bandwidth bound

(
meaning they
use

multiple cores simultaneously
)
. The mental
ray® rendering engine within Revit relies on CPU performance, so

workstation with more (and faster)
cores can
also
provide accelerated rendering performance.


Overclocking

Matter
s

Another key advantage to In
tel Core i7
processors is th
at

they can be o
verclocked
(unlike Intel Xeons).
BOXX is the only
workstation manufacturer to offer overclocked
systems

(under the 3DBOXX XTREME label),
and t
he advantage is simple: if the cores process
faster, your applications

will run faster too
.

A
chiev
ing

4.5 GHz
, overclocked
3DBOXX
XTREME
workstations hold a
decided advantage

over competitors’ top
-
of
-
the
-
line

models which
can only manage 3.7 GHz


the
speed
threshold
since 2006.

“It’s the frequency plateau,” says
Tim Lawrenc
e,
BOXX

Technologies’

VP of Engineering. “Improvements to architecture have helped somewhat, but not
enough. With processor speeds remaining virtually stagnant for six years, overclocking is the only way
to significantly increase core speed and thus, perfo
rmance.”

H
owever
, t
he value of overclocking doesn’t begin and end with speed. Faster processes result in an
accelerated workflow, greater efficiency, higher productivity, and in general, a better overall user
experience.

At Chipman,
Matos cites a twenty t
o thirty five percent

performance increase

since they
began using 3DBOXX XTREME workstations
.

And if you’re concerned regarding the effects of overclocking on a processor, rest assured

knowing

BOXX has shipped overclocked systems since 2008 and with thousa
nds of systems in the field, the
company has not experienced a processor failure rate any different from that of standard processor
systems. In short, there has been no statistical variance whatsoever. The reason for this is that BOXX
works closely with In
tel to stay within the parameters of safe overclocking, providing increased
performance without applying significantly larger increases in voltage.
“BOXX will tell you what can be
overclocked and what can’t be,” says Matos, “and they test their machines to

ensure that that the
overclocking
will not

be a problem.”

And like all BOXX systems, XTREME
workstations

are backed by a three year
warranty.

For Autodesk Revit workflows, BOXX recommends the following:




3DBOXX 4050 XTREME

This liquid
-
cooled
workstation, powered by an overclocked quad core, 3rd
generation, Intel® Core™ i7 processor running at 4.5 GHz, is the industry's
fastest single socket workstation for engineering and product design
applications like

Autodesk
®

Revit
®

and

SolidWorks® .






3DBOXX 4925 XTREME

Another liquid
-
cooled BOXX workstation, 4925 XT
(4.5 GHz)
includes an overclocked, six core
,

Intel
Core i7, and is available with support for 4 GPUs and SSD caching.

(
This would be a great system if
you utilize Autodesk® 3ds Max® / Autod
esk® 3ds Max® Design in your daily design process.
)


The SSD Difference

Your choice of hard drive makes a significant impact on performance

especially if you lack sufficient
RAM with which you can take advantage.

T
he option of Intel® Smart Response Technology
further
enhances performance because

the system automatically learns which files users access frequently
and copies them from the hard disk drive to the solid state drives. The next time these files are
request
ed, the system loads them from the SSDs rather than the slower hard drive. The result is faster
booting, faster application loading, and accelerated performance.

SSDs

are st
andard features in
3DBOXX 4925 and
4050 XTREME workstations.

Memory

“When it comes
to memory,” says Matos, “
I don’t

spec
anything

less
than 16GB of RAM for our Revit workstations.” He insists that 16GB
should be “more than sufficient” as a
standard;

however
, users who
work
consistently

with larger scale models may want to consider
more.

The bottom line is this: Is your system responsive? Does it
execute tasks quickly? If not, you may need to increase your RAM.


Hard Drive

Both BOXX and
Matos r
ecommend a minimum of 500 GB hard drive
space in order to accommodate the features found in Revit, as well as
to support additional applications like Adobe Photoshop, AutoCAD,
and
Autodesk
3ds Max which are often part of
the

design workflow.



G
etting Gra
phic

A lot of people think you need a high end NVIDIA
Quadro card in order to run Revit,” says Matos, “bu
t

that is simply untrue.” He cites extensi
ve

testing
conducted by Chipman

Design Architecture

using
Quadro 600, 2000, 4000, and 6000 cards. “The
2000 has a slight advantage over the 600 because
it’s double the memory,” he says, “but in terms of
running Revit, there is no difference between the
Quadro 2000 and either the 4000 or 6000.”

Image court
esy of Eric Bogenschutz, BSA LifeStructures


Revit does not
utilize the

graphics card like 3ds Max, Showcase, and other applications, so if your
system is to be used solely for Revit, Matos advises users to opt for the NVIDIA Quadro 600
GPU
.
“I
would rathe
r spend less on the graphics card,
” he says, “then

take the money that was saved by
moving down from a Quadro 2000 to a 600 and invest it in SSDs, more memory, or upgrading from an
Intel Core i5 to a quad core i7.”

BOXX

recommend
s

the NVIDIA Quadro
600

a
s well
,
but also
the
Quadro
2000 as an ideal mid range
graphics card for most
Revit

workflows
. They suggest

a Quadro 4000
only
if

one relies

heavily
on other
GPU needy applications like Photoshop
(
or more specialized software
where

a higher grade GPU is
es
sential
)
.



Dedicated

Rendering

Because rendering is such a critical aspect of the
Revit

workflow (requiring substantial time and
processing power), BOXX recommends off
-
loading to a dedicated rendering system like renderPRO,

a
personal, dedicated rendering solution for 3D graphics,
animation and compositing workflows.

Easily configurable to
accommodate

any workflow
,
renderPRO frees your workstation and brings dedicated
rendering to your desk side.

Available with Intel® Xeon®
E5
-
2600
series process
ors, renderPRO features up to 16

processing cores.

It’s key advantage, however, is that

the
system

enables

the
Revit

user

to deliver complex projects
within budget and on schedule by drastically reducing
rendering time.


C
onclusion

So if you’re ready to configure
the ultimate Revit

workstation, the list of considerations is remarkably
short:



Processor (CPU)




Memory (RAM)



Hard drive



Graphics card (GPU)

If you make sound decisions in these areas
(
and pay
attention to ROI and its relati
onship to performance
)
,

your result
should be a
Revit

system that will save
you time

and
money,
while
increas
ing

your
productivity and profit.
And Matos believes that your
decision
-
making process should begin with BOXX.



Chipman Design
Architecture wa
nte
d to partner with a workstation manufacturer that would give us
options to customize our
machines

the way we want them. BOXX builds it the way I need it and they
work
.

Their support

is l
ocated right at the company headquarters in Austin, Texas
,

and it’s

fa
ntastic.
Whether we call sales or support,
BOXX

know
s the A
utodesk software

and they

know what hardware
specs are necessary to run that software
.”

Learn More about BOXX
Autodesk Revit

Solutions at:
h
ttp://www.boxxtech.com/Solutions/revit

Special thanks to
George Matos,
Vice President of Technology and Visualization at Chipman Design Architecture

http://www.chipmandesignarch.com/

and Tim Lawrence, Vice
President of Engineering, BOXX Technologies.

To view
the video
C
onfigur
ing a Workstation for Autodesk Revit

visit

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I16VG8LKmqU