xeon or regular
If one have intention to buy a new computer for CAD 3D modeling application, should he/she chose a xeon or a regular Pentium II? Is there any major performance increase of a xeon over a regular Pentium at the same clock speed and same L2 cache? Thanks for any explanation.
You should probably get the PII, since modeling programs like CAD 3D use lots of floating point math, and floating point math is less dependant on high speed memory. Save the money, or get a dual PII.
Zeon or not.
Recently, I pondered this question and made the decision to go with the Zeon.
When the PII400 first came out, I upgraded a Win98 rackmount system for a design firm to be used as an all purpose machine. Browsing the Net, running Micrografx Designer for floor plans and elevations with embedded graphics, photo scanning from Adobe, AutoCad R14 for instructional and tutorial purposes, and multi-media and such.
The firm was really satisfied. The stability and speed of the system was better then they expected. (With a little tweaking on my part -thank you.)
Anyhow, they wanted a more application specific machine running on WinNT4 SP4. This time it was for AutoCad R14, 3D StudioViz R2, Adobe Photoshop and associated applications. A none-stop workhorse workstation.
I chose to go with dual Zeons and they are glad. They say they are more than sastisfied with the system performance and the machine itself.
During the software checks, I got a chance to run 3D StudioMax's cousin - 3D StudioViz. These types of applications will benefit from every little hardware boost you can give them. When you start getting into massive walkthrus and animation development it can slow down even highend systems. AutoCad isn't a problem. The good thing about these AutoDesk products is that the software itself is written to take advantage of mutiple processors.
Now having said all this, the Zeon CPU's are specifically designed for multi processor use (not that you can't use regular PII/PIII's) and they run the L2 cache at full processor speed (unlike the regular Pentiums.) As I say, for those applications you'll want the cutting edge.
Don't skimp on the video board either. Look towards Elsa's Gloria GMX or 3DLabs' Oxygen GMX (preferred.) at the $1400 range. If the cost is to high, go for the newest 3D gaming cards. They are an absolute wonder at a 10th of the price. This way you can swap it out every 6 months coinciding with the major advances in the 3D chip design. But keep in mind the highend cards offer an on board geometry processor capable crunching numbers faster than any CPU in production, combined with one of the fastest dual 3D chips and 96MB of ram.
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