New Computer - Seeking Ideas

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  • Hi There!!


    I am fortunate at the moment where my company is asking me to provide them with specs that I would want in a new Desktop PC for my office.

    I've had close to a dozen different workstations in the past and all worked really well, but I have to admit I was just getting by with just above minimal components in the prior machines based on what they would buy me.

    So, although this topic gets beat up quite a bit, I'm curious any have opinions about certain computer components and which they would rank more valuable than others.

    For example, my current GPU (at home) is an Nvidia RTX4000, it worked ok for rendering smaller building projects. However, these days I'm working more on large sites with many new buildings as the Architect. My work desktop GPU is an Nvidia Quadro P4000.

    I believe I'm overtasking my workplace's GPU, and just realized it does not support Ray Trace..... (RTX does).

    Having said that, I'm sure I'm overtaxing my CPU/processor as well, but that makes sense after 5 years.


    So, if you had a fairly open checkbook to buy the almost best (instead of just a notch above minimal):


    What GPU would you wish for when using Revit/Enscape/Archvision/Twinmotion/or really any other render tool alongside Revit?? My current thought is the best RTX Nvidia GPU that they'll let me buy, but perhaps RTX isn't the right model??? Thoughts?


    For CPU/Processor, im going to ask for best available, but if you have thoughts, please chime in....

    I'm also thinking dual hard drives; to keep programs on C drive and other misc items (ie materials) on D or other non-C drive. My home machine works well with dual drives.


    If you have had good experiences or recommendations, please let me know, very much appreciated.

    I have a chance to do a new computer the right way, so may as well ask for advice :)


    Have a great day!!


    David Horvath

    Architect

    Florida

  • Processor:

    If you're using SketchUp then you want a processor that is good in single-core processing, Intel were/are slightly better than AMD for that but it might have changed with the recent AMD 3D (not our type of 3D, its just a name thing). TBH either are so fast that both are good. As for the processor model I usually look at the top tier and then take 1 step back for cost reasons.


    Motherboard:

    Depends on the processor and onboard features (Wifi/High-speed ethernet/dual ethernet etc etc) you require.


    Memory:

    32 or ideally 64Gb of whatever speed suits the processor/motherboard.


    Storage/SSD:

    Without knowing what IT environment you work in it is hard to spec storage capacity, lots of it if you save locally, less of it if you save to a network but other than that you'd want them to be M.2's on whatever PCIE version the Motherboard supports, probably PCIE4 (5 is still a bit rare and expensive)


    Graphics card:

    You DONT need a pro card unless you also use very specific apps that can leverage their features, go for the Gaming cards.

    Nvidia RTX 4070 Super with its 16Gb if you want to save some money or the RTX 4090 with its 24Gb if you want to make a load of us here cry with envy. Also, the 4090 is realistically required if you want to do smooth VR with the likes of a Quest3.


    Power supply:

    Often overlooked! Make sure it's good enough to run the 4090 as they are hungry beasts, 1000w should be enough with some headroom.


    The rest such as Case, monitors etc etc are personal preference but if you are specifying it to the N'th degree then Noctua fans are probably still the quietest.

  • Does your IT dept have a preferred vendor (Dell, Lenovo, etc) or are they open to anything? Assuming they don't want to build a workstation from scratch, some sort of pre-configured gaming desktop w/ 4090 would offer the best performance.


    CPU: If you are doing any CPU rendering w/VRay then a Threadripper would be "best" but assuming you are sticking w/ GPU rendering, you probably want AMD 7950X3D or Intel 14900K (or a hair under those if you want to save $)


    GPU: The market for 4090s has gotten wonky with the AI boom; it is easier (or a better value at least) to get one in a pre-built system vs buying ala-carte. If you need to stick with the nvidia "pro" cards, then an RTX 4000 Ada would likely be the best option. Note, it seems like Nvidia is purposefully obfuscating their naming conventions at this point.


    P4000 - past time to retire.

    RTX4000 - functional but VRAM limited (8GB) compared to newer cards.

    RTX A4000 - great card, 16GB VRAM, but a generation old with the release of Ada.

    RTX 4000 Ada - generally no reason to buy anything else in the "Pro" lineup. This is relatively new, and you may need to make sure it is getting configured properly on the various vendor websites (it's not always clear if you are getting this or the SFF version.)

    GeForce RTX 4090 - lots of options but requires a "gaming" setup with high PSU specs.


    RTX 4000 Ada SFF - low-power compact version of 4000 Ada - avoid unless you want a small box that could be taken between work and home. The Lenovo P3Ultra is pretty cool if you configure with Intel 13900 + RTX 4000 Ada SFF.

    RTX 5000/6000 Ada - $$$ - only consider if you are doing absolutely massive scenes.


    STORAGE: I tend to configure systems with a C drive for system + libraries and D drive for projects. This is not really necessary with modern SSD/NVME storage (as compared to older HDDs) but I also like having two drives just for doing quick internal backups with important project files, in case one SSD dies.


    RAM: Probably get 64GB. 32GB tends to be limiting these days if you are doing large Revit models w/ Enscape.

  • I don't know what your budget is, but for just under $4000, you can get an excellent (and blazing fast) machine from MSI. Intel i9 14900K; 2 TB SSD; RTX 4090 with cooling; 360mm CPU cooling; 64GB DDR5 RAM (2x32GB). Very well built and easily $2000 - $3000 cheaper than dedicated BIM machines with similar specs. A desktop machine will be 30%+ faster than a laptop because you don't have thermal issues or battery power concerns. Our vendor was not able to find anything close from other manufacturers at that price and configuration. Running the RTO Revit Benchmark 2024 test, it easily completed the tasks in 1/3 the time of my massive HP ZBook laptop.

  • I'm happy to report that a new machine has been ordered, and I believe we did a good job with the specs, thanks to the advice on this forum.



    Processor

    13th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-13900F (68MB, 24 cores, 32 threads, up to 5.60 GHz P-Core Thermal Velocity)


    Operating System

    Windows 11 Pro, English, French, Spanish


    Video Card

    NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 4090, 24 GB GDDR6X


    Memory

    64 GB: 2 x 32 GB, DDR5, 5200 MT/s


    Hardrive

    2 TB, M.2, PCIe NVMe, SSD



    PS, i did ask to have dual hard drives for a C & D drive so that my home pc matches my work pc drive arrangements.


    Please let me know if you see any problems with the specs above, might not be too late to tweak things.


    Cheers all, and thanks again,


    Dave

  • That looks a cracking setup, the Windows Pro is unnecessary but is probably reqd for a corporate environment.


    Just out of interest, When will it be delivered, where are you located and when won't anyone be looking .... asking for a friend :)