I need to find the best possible computer (PC) for running Crosslight simulation software and Visual Fortran 6.5 / 6.6.

Hi,
    I need to buy or build a CAD workstation that will run Crosslight simulation software and Visual Fortran 6.5 / 6.6.  The budget is less than 5,000 dollars.  It may also run Solid Works.  I am looking for top of the line equipment and if it is justified will consider going over the 5,000.  It needs to run Windows 2000 or XP.  I need to know if there is an already built solution (Dell, SGI, etc.) or if I should White Box it.  What would be the best graphics card?

Thank You,
mike erwin
zeroiq01Asked:
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DoTheDEW335Commented:
It depends on your technical knowledge if you should White Box it or get a solution from a manufacturer.

Some specs I looked up for a powerful machine were this:

P5AD2 Deluxe  $227.00

INTEL Pentium 4 560 3.6GHz LGA775 800FSB 1MB  $495

(3) PC4400 DDR 1GB 550MHz Memory w/Copper Heat Spreader Retail Total -  $247/each

(2) Maxtor - 200GB SERIAL ATA  $108/each (for raid)

ATI RADEON X800 XT 256MB GDDR3 PCI-Express X16 VIVO (OEM) X800XT  $560

Thermaltake Jungle 512 Heatsink (CL-P0037) $30
P5AD2 Deluxe  $227.00

I personally would build my own, and the PCI Express has been benchmarked higher than AGP so I would think that would be your best bet. The card spec'd out should be fine. You also could go through Dell or another company and try to spec out the same type machine if you want their support.
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BjornEricssonCommented:
Make sure that you have a sufficient videocard, like ELSA's ATI FireGL T2 at least, this is a remarkable card, specifically designed for CAD applications and it's just over $500 from on-line retailers. SATA hdd is a must, pending the speed and compared to the cost of SCSI. I would be a little bit carefull regarding PCI Express cards since I personally think that the standard isn't fully implemented by all CAD designers yet.
AMD 64 would probably do the trick just as well as Intels HT Processors.
As always, the cheapest solutions doesn't come free,
I'd go for whitebox due to expansion opportunities,
Happy Hunting,
/B
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zeroiq01Author Commented:
I am a network admin and have been building pc's for years.  I just haven't purpose built a computer specifically for CAD.  I need to know if AMD or INTEL has an edge and whether to by a Quattro or ATI card.
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tmj883Commented:
Any high end platform from AMD/Intel will do with the features mentioned above but you need a high end graphic card and monitor to match.
Check out NVidia's Quadro series especially the PNY Quadro FX3400. About US$1100, spend the rest on the PC white box and monitor...serial ATA, PCI express...a nice new mainboard from Gigabyte does all this with Athlon64 on 939 and NForce4...new...
http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2273
T
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CallandorCommented:
The Athlon64 FX-55 seems to be the top contender these days: http://www6.tomshardware.com/cpu/20041019/athlon64_4000-16.html.  Match it up with an Asus A8V and a fast GL video card and you will have a very fast system.  The Radeon X800 has the same core as their high end FireGL cards, so you may get some good value there - I recall there being a way to softmod them to run faster.
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DoTheDEW335Commented:
I have seen mods for them X800's to run as X800 pro's. Some worked some didn't. I did mean to meantion the fact that you would want to research that the software would work for PCI-Express as Bjorn said. If it does (which they should start supporting it due to the speed improvements) then I would definatly go with what I recommended for a video card. Of course it is my opinion :)
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tmorrison3Commented:
We built custom boxes to our CAD software recommendations - Spent the most $COIN$ on the video cards
my .02
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CallandorCommented:
Here's one of the sites with an X800 to FireGL mod:http://forums.rojakpot.com/showthread.php?t=9832
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zeroiq01Author Commented:
The problem I am having is the Crosslight Simulation software.  This is a huge number cruncher and not so heavy on the graphics.  The website has ablsolutely no specs for a system to run the software and I was hoping someone out there had used it and could help.
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tmorrison3Commented:
XP box with dual processors and all the RAM you can by within your $5000 budget!
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zeroiq01Author Commented:
does anyone know if Fortran 6.5 is 32-bit or 16-bit.  I ask because it will tell me how much memory i can use.
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DoTheDEW335Commented:
Hewlett-Packard Company announces the release of Version 6.5 of its Fortran 95 compiler system for Windows systems. Compaq Visual Fortran for Windows 2000, NT, ME, 98, and 95 systems is a complete development system that includes HP's industry-leading native Fortran 95 compiler, the latest visual development environment from Microsoft, full access to the Win32 Application Programmer Interfaces (APIs), Microsoft Fortran PowerStation compatibility, and support for numerous de facto industry-standard Fortran language extensions.

I would think 32bit from that? but it's not definate.
http://h18009.www1.hp.com/fortran/visual/v65.html
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ptelliniCommented:
If you would like you can contact me and I can get  you all the top of the line components you need for well under $5000 when if you go elsewhere for them  you would very likely spend more.
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techsupport101Commented:
If you want the best system visit www.falcon-nw.com,
Falcon Northwest builts top of the line systems with the best components on the market, and an automobile
case paint job. I would recommend the Mach V. This computer will run anything that is thrown at it.
-Good Luck!
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ptelliniCommented:
I will give a better price than any store will.
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