Dell Workstation

Hi, I’m looking to get a sense check on a new workstation via work, which will be a corporate purchase through Dell so options are quite limited.

My use case is modelling offshore tooling concepts, installation sequences and rendering product images. Heavy use of Fredo Animator, Twilight Render (switching, probably to Vray), Layout.

Currently using a Dell laptop Latitude 5401, i7-9850H, NVIDIA MX150, 32GB RAM. Significant effort and compromises to keep things running on this machine: not animating, not rendering (i.e. SketchUp native export). I import many models from Solidworks and other CAD programs, so I have to do a lot of geometry reduction and remodelling, use simplified proxies, edges off etc. etc. to keep models usable.

Generally working file sizes are kept to around 10 - 25MB (~ 1.5 million faces) though this has ranged up to 500MB for a particularly painful CAD import (remodelled down to a usable 50MB). Layout files range up to 50MB before I give up on Sketchup >> vector and use PNGs.

Product animation
Product animation 2

Couple of images also in public domain

I am hoping to:

  1. Increase model and animation complexity - preferably also reduce time I spend remodelling
  2. Incorporate Vray rendering in my normal workflow
  3. Throw models around on screen in live demonstrations to clients via Teams

Options available
Dell Precision Fixed Workstations | Dell UK

Best bang for buck option I can see is Precision 3660 Tower Workstation
CPU: i7-12700K
GPU: RTX A2000
RAM: 32GB (dual channel 2 x 16GB)

i7-12700K selected for fast single core
Please confirm that there is no particular benefit in going to Xeon or Threadripper, conversely going to an i3 or i5? I will generally always have Outlook, Teams, Excel, Edge and VS Code running as well.

RTX A2000 - this is a judgement based on price vs performance, so I’d appreciate some insight, it seems to have performance between RTX 2060 Super and RTX 2070. I haven’t seen much chat about this range of cards.
T1000 - £428
A2000 - £772
A4000 - £1169
A6000 - £5598 (out of budget)

T1000 8GB vs RTX A2000 12GB vs RTX A4000 [] by PassMark Software

Prices from this build:
Precision 7865 Tower Workstation : Dell Workstations | Dell UK

From experience, I’m routinely hitting 20GB+. Can always expand down the line if needed.

I think you are right. Some CPUs get 7…15% more points in the Passmark single-thread benchmark but I think that your choice is reasonable.

I have a RTX2070 and I am still happy with it. The A2000 is somewhat overpriced - I understand that you can get a RTX 3060 or 3070 for the same money, but with the choice you have it would be OK.

You now have 32 GB. I wouldn’t go for less for a pro machine.

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I think that will fly for what you what it for, those 12700ks are great for SketchUp.

You’ve got an RTX card. So that’ll give you a bit of leeway for v-ray. Real time renderers liek Enscape will run nicely on that too as you aren’t using foliage


Thanks both for the responses @Anssi and @Elmtec-Adam. I de-marked the solution only because IT has come back and suggested an XPS desktop as a possibility.

12th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-12900K (30 MB cache, 16 cores, 24 threads, 3.20 GHz to 5.20 GHz Turbo)
NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3080, 10 GB, LHR
32 GB, 2 x 16 GB, DDR5, 4400 MHz

Obviously this is a faster CPU, but just wanted to check that the A2000 doesn’t offer any performance benefit over the 3080 in SketchUp workloads? In this review the A2000 beat a 3070 in SketchUp FPS, which seems a bit odd.
Product Review: NVIDIA RTX A2000 GPU for Workstations - Page 2 of 2 - Architosh

The A2000 is categorically a slower card than both a 3070 and a 3080 - although the difference is SketchUp itself is likely to be imperceivable as it is so CPU reliant.

3070 and 3080 will both help you render faster in v-ray both interactive mode and for production renders - the 3080 especially.