InterPro IPW-DX8

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A very high-end CAD/BIM workstation with graphics primed for design viz

  • 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2670 2.60GHz (8 cores) CPUs
  • 64GB (8 x 8GB) DDR-3 1600MHz ECC (PC3-12800) memory
  • AMD FirePro W7000 (4GB) graphics
  • 240GB Intel 335 Series SSD + 2TB Seagate SATA 3 drive 7,200rpm
  • Supermicro X9DAi mainboard
  • 193 x 424 x 525mm
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
  • 3 year return to base (RTB) (Inc. parts and labour) or “swap out&rsdquo;
  • £4,295

ipworkstations.com

When it comes to dual processor workstations, hitting the sweet spot for a pair of Intel Xeon CPUs is a big challenge. Aim too high and the top-end chips often bring the overall machine cost to over £6,000. Aim too low and the low GHz processors cannot keep up with lower cost overclocked single CPU workstations.

For price sensitive users of design visualisation software, InterPro has got things just about right. The two Intel Xeon E5-2670 processors in this IPW-DX8 workstation boast 16 CPU cores between them, making light work of complex ray trace rendering calculations. This is demonstrated by putting in an excellent shift in our 3ds Max rendering test. And with a clock speed of 2.6GHz the GPU is not throttled so much that it cannot deliver the frame rates required to smoothly navigate around complex 3D models.

InterPro has made an interesting choice when it comes to graphics. Typically this type of design viz workstation is paired with a high-end GPU, but InterPro has opted for a mid-range card, the AMD FirePro W7000. With a list price of £499 it is significantly cheaper than an AMD FirePro W8000 or Nvidia Quadro K5000, but ticks all the right boxes in our 3D tests. The GPU also comes with 4GB of memory, meaning it is more than capable of handling some hefty scenes.

The same is true of the system memory, which at 64GB should give plenty of headroom for even the largest of datasets — and with eight free RAM slots there is even room to grow.

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