Complete System Specs for 3D modeling/CAD system

Posted on 2006-05-04
Last Modified: 2010-04-25
Getting lots of pressure from the people who sign the checks to resolve this quickly...

I need to build a system to run a 3D modeling program called ETemplate (detailed info at Basically we upload a series of 20 to 50 pictures of an object to the ETemplate program, the program buzzes and whirs and creates a 3D model of the object that we then enter into a CAD program to work with. Right now we've got the program running on an ASUS Pundit-R (3.2Ghz P4, 2 GB RAM, integrated ATI Radeon 9100 graphics card)... if we run one session (i'm calling the process from when we start the picture upload until it creates the 3D model a session) it runs up into 65 to 75% CPU utilization and typically takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete. If we run 2 sessions, it maxes out the CPU utilization at 100% and I start pushing 30 to 45 minutes. Our workload has just gone through the roof with no signs of slowing and my ETemplate user (and his boss) are really pushing hard to be able to run up to 4 sessions concurrently. Yikes!

I've spoken with the tech support at ETemplate and they say that they designed the software with the intention of only one session going at a time and that my current set-up is much more powerful than their typical user already. That said, I'm getting pressure from all sides to create a bigger, badder machine that can handle the workload better.

So... suggestions of how you would build this system would be most appreciated. **I've only put together one PC and the components were pre-picked... so please give me the 'for dummies' version including all components that you'd recommend.**
Question by:jm14638
    LVL 69

    Accepted Solution

    I'm not surprised your system is slow - integrated video is some of the slowest available.  Go for an ATI FireGL or an nVidia Quadro card (based on what your budget will allow), which are optimized for OpenGL rendering.  Team that up with a dual core Opteron 175 cpu and 4GB of RAM and you will have a very fast system.  The hard drive can be a RAID-0 array to speed up access, with a large SATA drive for backup.
    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    If the people who sign the checks like to put there money where their productivity lies, tell them they need 4 machines to do the job as the Etemplate team has explained to you, and hook them up to a KVM switch so they can have one station to access the 4 from. (Maybe only 2 computers if you take Callandors choice of components, cause they are bloody fast with the capability to run those renderings)

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