A beautifully engineered mainstream CAD/BIM
Scan is back with another of its trademark overclocked Intel Core i7 3930K workstations. The build quality and acoustics are superb, performance excellent and there is a good balance of RAM and storage, making it a good fit for most high-end BIM workflows.
The standout component is the FirePro W8000 GPU, second only to the FirePro W9000 in AMD’s professional graphics family. It is possibly overkill for most mainstream BIM users, with the excellent W7000 demonstrating similar levels of performance in many applications for almost half the price. However, Scan has also set its sights on low cost design review for which the W8000 is ideal.
To help users really get inside their designs, Scan shipped the GW-HT15 with four 23-inch HD Dell UltraSharp displays. Arrange in a 2 x 2 array and you have made yourself a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution 46-inch powerwall for design review, model co-ordination or client presentations. It is low-cost too — a mere £596 for the displays plus an extra £300 for a stand, such as the Ergotron DS100. The experience is good — it is possible to see component clashes in a wider context. However, the bezel that surrounds each of the screens can be distracting, though compensation in the AMD driver helps remove the stepping effect.
One would think that driving this many pixels would mean 3D performance takes a big hit, but we only experienced a 20% drop in frame rates in our 3D test.
With a hardware bundle price of £2,888 Scan’s offering gives small firms an affordable entry into powerwalls. Forget the iPad, this is a sure way to wow clients.