Why Small Size Matters for Your Workstation

Maybe you’re renting an office space that’s a little smaller than you’d like, or maybe your business has been growing, and you’ve been forced to get creative with your workspace layouts. And, if your business relies on engineers, architects, or other creative professionals, you also have to think about the size of the workstations your team uses to design or render.

When many people think about professional graphics workstations, they think of a giant monolith taking up valuable real estate on or under a desk. However, desktop workstations have been getting smaller and sleeker, which is ideal for offices with limited space. Even if you have a decent amount of space in your office, compact workstations can still be valuable, especially if you’re planning to scale up and will eventually need to pack more workstations into your facility.

As more and more people begin working from home at least part of the time, small workstations can also be a powerful addition to home office setups. With a compact workstation at home, creative professionals can use programs like Maya and SolidWorks without worrying about performance bottlenecks. Additionally, the smallest compact desktop workstations could easily be taken home or on-the-go and hooked up to most any monitors and desktop input setups.

While small size matters, no creative professional wants to compromise function for form. Fortunately, there are now high performance workstations available in a compact form factor. Within these smaller chassis workstations, a lot of power can be packed inside. Small form factor workstations can house high performance processors, two 2.5 inch drives or even smaller M.2 PCI Express solid state drives, powerful graphics cards, liquid cooling and much more.

Space constraints shouldn’t force you to slow down your workflow. Ultra-compact workstations like our tiniest powerhouse, the APEXX 1 can help you blow past performance bottlenecks without taking up a lot of room. The APEXX 1 is loaded with the latest powerful hardware components. The APEXX 1 is just 4.7 inches wide, 8.5 inches tall, and 9.0 inches deep. It weighs in at 7.6 pounds, making it easy to move around your office if the need arises. It may be a cliché, but it’s true that good things come in small packages. Learn more about our powerful compact workstation – the APEXX 1.

In It for the Long Haul

How a 3-year-old BOXX workstation is faster than your brand new Dell or HP.

 “Kaby Lake” is the latest processor from Intel, introduced in early 2017, and features a top clock speed of 4.2GHz. That sounds impressive, until you realize that BOXX offered safely overclocked 4.3GHz workstations as far back as late 2013. While Dell and HP brag about their new 4.2GHz machines, BOXX offers expertly-engineered solutions – with speeds up to 4.9GHz currently – to boost 3D design & modeling performance.

Taking this concept a step further, BOXX has also introduced overclocked multi-core systems that bridge the gap between single-threaded and multi-threaded tasks. Thanks to Intel’s new line of Extreme-series processors, safe overclocking of multi-core CPUs is now possible. Imagine how much faster you can compile a 3D scene using the speed of a single, high-speed overclocked core, and then render your scene in record time with additional overclocked CPU cores. Now your creativity doesn’t have to wait on your hardware!

BOXX workstations are built to last, and they will likely be the most relevant piece of hardware your organization uses for years to come. While cheap, throw-away PCs are just now catching up, BOXX is introducing systems that will outpace those other systems for another 3 or 4 years, and maybe longer. Some BOXXers have even reported using their BOXX workstation for up to 12 years before needing to upgrade. Talk about return on your investment!

SolidWorks 2017 comes with new tricks and new options

The latest SolidWorks has a little something for everybody, but mostly CEO Gian Paolo Bassi works hard to keep everyone happy.

bassi_sw17-300x225Dassault Systèmes rolled out the latest version of SolidWorks with a live stream and event for users, press, and analysts. Clued-in users were not surprised by much in the announcement, since SolidWorks has been walking their base through the changes to come for some time. In general CAD users hate big surprises.

But, whether they like it or not big waves of change have been transforming the CAD industry for the last five years. And, during times of change loyalties may shift. The users are up for grabs especially because CAD is becoming integrated into production and encompasses more functions than ever before. If the CAD model is to truly be the digital twin of the products it is describing, it has to have information about all aspects of the design.

SolidWorks claims more than 3.1 million users, which includes education. Dassault Systèmes is also claiming around 3 million registered users for its DraftSight drafting tool, which they now say is getting a user base of its own and not just as an alternative to AutoCAD.

As for SolidWorks itself, the company has, as always, focused on usability with more little tweaks to features like context-aware tool tips, improvements to breadcrumbs, and alerts for problems in the models that highlight the actual problem so users can go straight in and fix it. It has enhanced support for large assemblies, magnetic mates and improved tools for chamfers, fillets, and holes.


Read the Full Article at gfxspeak.com

P5000 and P6000 Now Available in select BOXX Workstations

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BOXX is pleased to announce the availability of APEXX workstations equipped with Quadro® P5000 and P6000 GPUs powered by NVIDIA’s  Pascal™ GPU technology. Whether you’re developing revolutionary products, telling spectacularly vivid visual stories, designing groundbreaking architecture, or creating the most lifelike, immersive virtual experiences, BOXX workstations powered by NVIDIA Quadro gives you the performance to do it brilliantly. Continue reading

The DEVELOP3D Review: BOXX APEXX 2 + BOXX renderPRO 2

Ray trace rendering is arguably the most computationally intensive process in any product development workflow. It is highly multi-threaded so it absolutely hammers all of a workstation’s CPU cores. It is also extremely scalable, so doubling the number of cores can, in many cases, halve the render time.

CAD software is very different in that it is a single threaded process, so the majority of tasks are performed on one CPU core. This means it thrives on a high frequency (GHz) CPU. Performance will not increase if you add more CPU cores.

This presents a big challenge when choosing a workstation for both CAD and rendering. The highest frequency CPUs have the least number of cores, while the ones with the most cores tend to have the lowest frequencies. As a result, designers and engineers must accept that there will always be a trade off. Or must they?

Custom workstation manufacturer BOXX offers an alternative solution by dedicating separate machines to each process. CAD work is done on the BOXX APEXX 2, a high frequency Intel Core i7 desktop workstation, while the rendering is handled by the BOXX renderPRO 2, a networked, dual Intel Xeon rendering machine with lots of cores.

As both machines work completely independently of each other, it also means that the BOXX APEXX 2 workstation will be able to dedicate almost all of its resources to CAD modelling when the BOXX renderPRO 2 is rendering.

In contrast, when a traditional desktop workstation is set to render flat out, it will often become sluggish, making it almost impossible to do any meaningful CAD work.

To get round this, users have to reduce the number of cores assigned to the rendering task, either by changing processor affinity in Windows Task manager (so specific applications use specific CPU cores) or by applying more granular control of CPU core usage inside the rendering application. And that means renders come back slower.

CLICK HERE to read the full article from DEVELOP3D!