CAD PC Road Test

At PKCG we are constantly researching and testing the performance of different CAD PCs to ensure our clients are always getting the best performing CAD PC to fit their requirements, budget and office aesthetic.

Over the coming weeks we are going to be road-testing and benchmarking a variety of CAD PCs that we supply across the AEC industry and will be presenting the results for everybody to see.

If you have any particular devices you would like to see tested or any specific benchmarks you would like to see run feel free to email sales@pkcg.com.au.

The benchmark tests we will be using to compare our chosen CAD PCs are as follows:

  • RFO Benchmark 2018 (Revit Test) - Is a newly updated and totally automated script which opens and manipulates Revit models to see how fast your computer is under somewhat realistic working conditions. A lower score is better.
  • Geekbench (General PC Test) - Is a cross-platform processor benchmark, with a scoring system that separates single-core and multi-core performance and workloads that simulate real-world scenarios. A higher score is better.
  • 3D Mark Time Spy (VR Test) - Is a DirectX 12 benchmark test for gaming PCs running Windows 10. With its pure DirectX 12 engine, built from the ground up to support new API features like asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, and multi-threading, Time Spy is the ideal benchmark for testing the DirectX 12 performance of modern graphics cards. A higher score is better.
  • Cinebench (Rendering) - Is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer's performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and OS X). A higher score is better.

Dell Precision T5820 Workstation
- Intel Xeon W-2133 3.6GHz, 3.9GHz Turbo, 6C, 8.25M Cache
- 32GB (4x8GB) 2666MHz DDR4 ECC Memory
- 256GB SATA Class 20 Solid State Drive
- NVIDIA Quadro P4000, 8GB
- Windows 10 Pro

The Dell Precision T5820 has long been a workhorse PC for the AEC industry, neither slow nor blazingly fast.  At PKCG we have considered this build of PC to be a recommended baseline machine across a large portion of our client base.

RFO (Model Creation) 108.15
RFO (View Change) 28.01
Geekbench (Single Core) 4608
Geekbench (Multi Core) 23142
3DMark (Time Spy) 5134
Cinebench 1162

Dell Precision 5720 All in One Workstation
- Intel Xeon E3-1275 v6 3.8GHz, 4.2GHz Turbo, 4C, 8M Cache
- 32GB (2x16GB) 2400MHz DDR4 Non-ECC Memory
- 256GB SATA Class 20 Solid State Drive
- AMD Radeon Pro WX7100, 8GB
- 27" 4K UHD Non Touch Display
- Windows 10 Pro

While not a purpose built CAD PC we often find the Dell Precision 5720 AIO in use as a replacement for iMacs where the slim All in One shape is preferred over a bulky Workstation.

RFO (Model Creation) 110.71
RFO (View Change) 34.07
Geekbench (Single Core) 5210
Geekbench (Multi Core) 17319
3DMark (Time Spy) 3932
Cinebench 838

Dell Precision 3630
- Intel Core i7-8700 3.2GHz, 4.6GHz Turbo, 6C, 12M Cache
- 32GB (2x16GB) 2666MHz DDR4 Non-ECC Memory
- 512GB NVMe Class 40 Solid State Drive
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080, 8GB
- Windows 10 Pro

Our current favourite from Dell - the new Precision 3630 is smaller, faster and significantly cheaper than all of the Workstations we have tested so far.

RFO (Model Creation) 95.16
RFO (View Change) 24.55
Geekbench (Single Core) 5522
Geekbench (Multi Core) 26134
3DMark (Time Spy) 6775
Cinebench 1415

Apple iMac 27-inch (5K, Late 2015)
- Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz, 4.2GHz Turbo, 4C, 8M Cache
- 32GB (4x8GB) 1867MHz DDR3 Non-ECC Memory
- 512GB Solid State Drive
- AMD Radeon R9 M395X, 4GB
- Windows 10 Pro

As much as everybody loves having a big, heavy and sometimes loud tower PC keeping things warm under our desk during the day, we still support quite a few AEC clients who use iMacs. Although this isn’t the very latest model, it is the most common we encounter.

RFO (Model Creation) 133.45
RFO (View Change) 38.56
Geekbench (Single Core) 4728
Geekbench (Multi Core) 15672
3DMark (Time Spy) incompatible
Cinebench 767

Alienware Aurora R6
- Intel Core i7-7700K 4.2GHz, 4.5GHz Turbo, 4C, 8M Cache
- 32GB (2x16GB) 2400MHz DDR4 Non-ECC Memory
- 256GB Solid State Drive
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080, 8GB
- Windows 10 Pro

Being 30% more expensive than the Dell Precision 3630 and 10/15% more than the T5820 our expectations were a little higher.

RFO (Model Creation) 100.06
RFO (View Change) 29.68
Geekbench (Single Core) 4608
Geekbench (Multi Core) 23142
3DMark (Time Spy) 6280
Cinebench 953

Dell XPS 8930
- Intel Core i7-8700 3.2GHz, 4.6GHz Turbo, 6C, 12M Cache
- 32GB (4x8GB) 2666MHz DDR4 Non-ECC Memory
- 256GB Solid State Drive
- 2TB 7200rpm Hard Drive
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, 8GB
- Windows 10 Pro

For a low budget workstation, the XPS 8930 performs surprisingly well.

RFO (Model Creation) 98.73
RFO (View Change) 25.29
Geekbench (Single Core) 5385
Geekbench (Multi Core) 25049
3DMark (Time Spy) 5943
Cinebench 1312

Dell Precision M7510
- Intel Xeon E3-1535Mv5 2.9GHz, 3.8GHz Turbo, 4C, 8M Cache
- 32GB (2x16GB) 2133MHz DDR4 Non-ECC Memory
- 256GB Solid State Drive
- Nvidia Quadro M2000M, 4GB
- Windows 7 Pro

With an RRP of circa $4,500 does Dells flagship mobile workstation meet expectations?

RFO (Model Creation) 115.47
RFO (View Change) 35.35
Geekbench (Single Core) 4260
Geekbench (Multi Core) 14912
3DMark (Time Spy) incompatible
Cinebench 750