Civil 3D | High-Performance Workstations

Looking for some input with regard to a new Civil 3D workstation

What workstations are you using/building/buying?

For my next workstation, I’m hoping to have an i7-7700K +/- 4.5
Ghz or higher, stick with 32 GB RAM but want it to be +/- 3000
Mhz or faster. I’ll swap out OEM drive for a Samsung 960
EVO/PRO NVMe SSD (more on that below), and perhaps have an 8 GB
NVIDIA P4000 GPU (although with the other specs, anything 4 GB
or higher would be great). I confess that the GPU was
tentatively selected based on price-point alone, and I’ve not
tested anything better than my old K4000 to-date.

I know there’s a lot of articles, and posts for workstations
running AutoCAD (which Civil 3D is built on), but Civil 3D is
another animal altogether, performance wise. We’re not at a
stage where we’re considering thin clients + VDI/RDS + vGPU, so
I’m looking for client (desktop) specs, and/or lessons learned.
We’re just upgrading user workstations at this time.

I recently started looking at what new technologies have to
offer, and the first thing I tested was introducing a Samsung
960 EVO PCIe+NVMe SSD. I was surprised that it was actually
cheaper than the equivalent capacity Samsung 850 PRO SATA SSD,
and that it listed exponentially better performance. I have to
say, that making the Samsung 960 EVO PCIe+NVMe SSD drive my
Civil 3D Temp folder alone, is the single best performance
upgrade I’ve had to-date. For some reason latest Dell BIOS+UEFI
doesn’t support PCIe+NVMe as my boot drive? Grrr.

Using the same project data set on my same server/network, I
shaved +/- 20 seconds off the Civil 3D drawing open times
(depending on drawing complexity, how many XREFs, etc.). If I
open 50 drawings per work day, that saves me +/- 17 Mins, which
doesn’t seem like a lot, right?

Extrapolating that 17 mins per work day over 5 work days per
week, at 50 work weeks per year (17 mins x 250 work days),
that’s 70.8 hours (or 8.8 work days, or 1.77 work weeks) per
year. That’s a lot of real time and money I’m being paid to
just open drawings (not even work on them)!

… Now, here’s where you ask your manager to consider how much
they pay an employee for 1.77 work weeks per year, and how many
CAD users they have? Haha

Here’s my current workstation’s specs:

Dell Precision…

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