Odd inquiry: Solidworks 2020 and Plex VM graphics card

Outlaw85

Gawd
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Feb 7, 2012
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Trying to help a friend build this on a budget of course. That budget was $300 and a laptop if possible. After I looked at the recommended spec, I told them that it is quite a stretch since the recommendation is using Quadro or Radeon Pro GPUs and it'd be closer to $1000. Even using GTX/RTX is a stretch for a decent setup and isn't recommended.

Upgrade budget - $500 or less if possible.
Build/Laptop budget- < $1000 a must

Primary use -
- Run Solidworks for school/training for about a year. If it's a laptop, it would just be used for casual interwebs and use.
Secondary use -
- Plex transcoder - I have had up to 5 streams at a time with at least 3 of them transcoding- I'd like to be able to support 5-8 transcodes.
- I currently have Plex running in a Windows VM on the DL380 G6s (2x in a VMWare cluster).

Using VMware and a Windows VM:
- I may be able to get a single slot GPU to run in if it doesn't require additional power. I can also upgrade to X5670s to get the 3.0Ghz minimum.
Or
- I have a have a S5500bc but is limited to x8 pci-e slots and would require a x16 to x8 ribbon but would at least alow for additional power and not have space constraints. I can also upgrade to the same X5670s. It's limited to 32GB max but would work for Solidworks and/or Plex.
Or
I pricier upgrade. I have a Tyan S8812 (G34) I could upgrade to 6380 or 6386 SE (maybe) and this board does have an x16 pci-e.

Is anybody running this today and have any real-world tests done? I was looking at creating a few accounts (if needed) to test out different machines but didn't really want to spend that much time :)

Thanks.
 
Last edited:

noxqzs

Limp Gawd
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Aug 2, 2013
Messages
215
For Solidworks, depending on your model size, you can get away with integrated intel graphics. I use a couple of basic systems for modeling parts for my cnc. The laptop in this picture is almost 10 years old. Most of the parts on the mini cnc were modeled in Solidworks and 3d printed. Quadro features can also be enabled by creating a REGISTRY entry in the graphics section. You can enable realview rendering for example, as well as full scene antialiasing. If your main use will be for training/hobbyist then bare minimum will suffice. For rendering and plex server, obviously you want fastest cpu/gpu you can manage.
IMG_20200416_161646.jpg
 

Outlaw85

Gawd
Joined
Feb 7, 2012
Messages
1,021
For Solidworks, depending on your model size, you can get away with integrated intel graphics. I use a couple of basic systems for modeling parts for my cnc. The laptop in this picture is almost 10 years old. Most of the parts on the mini cnc were modeled in Solidworks and 3d printed. Quadro features can also be enabled by creating a REGISTRY entry in the graphics section. You can enable realview rendering for example, as well as full scene antialiasing. If your main use will be for training/hobbyist then bare minimum will suffice. For rendering and plex server, obviously you want fastest cpu/gpu you can manage.
View attachment 258154

Thank you. I will have to get more info on expected use. It is for training but for work and I don't know the level of details they use there.

For the solidworks / plex, I was trying to see if I can hit two birds with one stone to not waste money on parts. Looks like a p4000 can be had for about 5-600 and if I remember can handle h265 transcode.

Also, I did see a GRID K2 gpu for a good price ($100) but looks like it's pushing age here.
 

cyclone3d

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Aug 16, 2004
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13,571
We did tests at work and unless you are doing shaded renderings, the CPU handles pretty much everything in Solidworks.

Going with a really nice GPU and an older CPU is going to really be pointless for Solidworks.

Really need to know how complicated and large the drawings are and what type of real-time rendering they want to do before any real recommendation can be made.

If you really want to get a nice Quadro or Radeon Pro card, get a used recent model on eBay for way, way less than they go for new.

Here is a Dell Precision 7720 with a Quadro P3000 for $1,000 + shipping on ebay:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Precision-7720-16GB-RAM-256GB-SSD-Quadro-P3000-Win10/233635237347
 

Outlaw85

Gawd
Joined
Feb 7, 2012
Messages
1,021
FYI here is a good link for Nvidia decode info: https://www.elpamsoft.com/?p=Plex-Hardware-Transcoding looks like a p4000 can do like 20+ transcode streams in h265. Also noe Nvidia just unlocked an extra decode stream on consumer cards to 3, without hacks.
Thanks, I was using that and trying to cross-reference with the Solidworks page. Running 3 would likely be fine, unlimited would just be the icing on the cake. On CL, someone was selling a Grid K2 for a good price but it's not on that list and not a lot of info for plex since it's primarily for VDI. I don't need external video, so that isn't an issue. I did also see someone selling a 1060 (3G) for $75, I think, which would be good as well (3 transcode limit).

The biggest gain I think I'll get is to upgrade my CPUs to something that supports quick sync since they are older 5series Xeons... and Xeons in general without IGP. Maybe the cpu paired with something like the 1060, would be a solid plex machine, no? I currently battle transcodes with cores (10vcpu assigned to plex VM).


We did tests at work and unless you are doing shaded renderings, the CPU handles pretty much everything in Solidworks.

Going with a really nice GPU and an older CPU is going to really be pointless for Solidworks.

Really need to know how complicated and large the drawings are and what type of real-time rendering they want to do before any real recommendation can be made.

If you really want to get a nice Quadro or Radeon Pro card, get a used recent model on eBay for way, way less than they go for new.

Here is a Dell Precision 7720 with a Quadro P3000 for $1,000 + shipping on ebay:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Precision-7720-16GB-RAM-256GB-SSD-Quadro-P3000-Win10/233635237347

Thanks for the help. Got more details over the weekend. Looks like a mid-level laptop ($500-$600) should be plenty for their daily needs, the price can still get a decently fast CPU with IGP. The Solidworks training will be completed through a VM during class and they will not have to install it on their local machine. This obviously makes shopping for a laptop much easier and leaves me with only the plex requirement.
 
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