BOXX, DELL and HP go into a bar…Only one comes out.

by Steven Darcey

What’s the best computer you’d recommend? A SOLIDWORKS Question.

As an Applications Engineer, a question I am asked quite often is, “What type of computer system and graphics card is the best?” I always come back to them with another question, “How much money do you have?”

The more money you have can definitely get you the best computer that’s out there. With a new i9 or Threadripper CPU and an NVIDIA Quadro RTX P6000 graphics card, you’re easily looking at PLUS $14K. Let’s get a little more serious as the typical workstation for engineers is typically around $5K. So, what’s the best bang for your buck? I was lucky enough that one of our customers BOXX, was also wondering the same question.

The setup:

To get a good honest setting, I got with the guys at BOXX, and we called the customer service Reps at HP and Dell. We asked them for the best CAD workstation specifically for SOLIDWORKS, and to keep the price range around $5K.  Just to make a more even playing field we had to standardize a couple things: Graphics cards on all systems are NVIDIA Quadro P4000 8GB (and same SOLIDWORKS Certified driver version 22.21.13.8607); Same memory of 64GB DDR4-2666; Same spec SSD Drive 512GB SSD M.2 PCIe Drive (might be different mfg.); and each running on Windows 10 (64-Bit) Professional Edition.

Benchmarks:

I tried to get a good dataset.  I had some come from customers that agreed to let us open their files on YouTube. Some assemblies were a good size, I didn’t want to get too large of a file set. In contrast, I also did not want a simple 100pc assembly, I wanted that to be real-world.

Most of the Simulation and other files are pulled directly from the SOLIDWORKS Training files used in our classroom and online courses here at GoEngineer.  You may find some of the video to be a little boring so we did speed those parts. But note, we didn’t cut any of the video out. We wanted to make sure nobody got us for clipping frames. Each video is running side by side, so you can really get a good feel of what each benchmark is testing.

DELL 7920 vs. BOXX

BOXX S3 vs. HP Z6

Summary

Hopefully, you watched all the videos!  But, just in case you didn’t, the BOXX S3 came out a winner. We had a really good time putting these video’s together, and it was fun to “nerd-out”, playing with some really fast machines!!

Here is something to mention that you can’t get from the video. The size and weight of the Dell 7920 is quite heavy. Putting that thing on the desk took a little work.

When it comes down to it, speed is king, so when you’re overclocking the i7 up to 4.7Ghz, that machine is going to win every time (as of this published date BOXX has some machines hitting 5.1Ghz).

BONUS  –  BOXX S3 vs. BOXX S2 

In fact, we had so much fun that we decided to test the older BOXX S2 vs. the newer BOXX S3. It was a pretty close comparison.

BOXX APEXX S3 Specs
  • CPU – Overclocked 6 Core i7 (4.8Ghz)
  • Memory – 64GB DDR4-266
  • Graphics – NVIDIA Quadro P4000 8GB
  • M2 Storage 1 – 512GB SSD M.2 PCIe Drive
  • Windows 10 64-Bit Professional Edition
  • Liquid Cooling
  • Warranty – 3 Year Standard
  • Dimensions – H:15.28”  W:8.84” D:17.8”
  • Weight – 23lbs
  • Price: $5,193USD

DELL Precision 7920

  • CPU – Four-Core Xeon Gold (3.6Ghz)
  • Memory – 64GB DDR4-2666
  • Graphics – NVIDIA Quadro P4000 8GB
  • M2 Storage 1 – 512GB SSD M.2 PCIe Drive
  • Windows 10 64-Bit Professional Edition
  • Air Cooling
  • Warranty – 3 Year Standard
  • Dimensions – H:17.13”  W:8.5” D:21.46”
  • Weight – 45lbs
  • Price: $6,525.42USD

HP Z6

  • CPU – Four-Core Xeon Gold (3.6Ghz)
  • Memory – 64GB DDR4-2666
  • Graphics – NVIDIA Quadro P4000 8GB
  • M2 Storage 1 – 512GB SSD M.2 PCIe Drive
  • Windows 10 64-Bit Professional Edition
  • Air Cooling
  • Warranty – 3 Year Standard
  • Dimensions – H:17.5”  W:6.65” D:18.3”
  • Weight – 29.98lbs
  • Price: $5,823.30USD
BOXX APEXX S2 Specs
  • CPU – Overclocked 4 Core i7 (4.8Ghz)
  • Memory – 32GB DDR4-2666
  • Graphics – NVIDIA Quadro K4200 4GB
  • M2 Storage 1 – 512GB SSD M.2 PCIe Drive
  • Windows 10 64-Bit Professional Edition
  • Liquid Cooling
  • Warranty – 3 Year Standard
  • Dimensions – H:14.6”  W:6.85” D:16.6”
  • Weight – 18lbs

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