I7 not so hot for 3D CAD

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Oct 30, 2008
So I just finished my i7 build for work and we tested it against my old E8500 and here are the results using Autodesk Inventor Simulation Suite 2009. They are both much faster than the computers our mechanical guys are using now, so at least I have that.

i7 Specs
i7 920 @ 3.1 GHz
6GB DDR3 1333 7-7-7-18
74GB Raptor HD
EVGA 9800 GTX+ 1GB
ASUS P6T motherboard

E8500 Specs
E8500 @ 4.0 GHZ
4GB DDR2 1066 5-5-5-15
Seagate Barracuda 250GB
Pallit 9600 GT 1GB
ASUS P5Q-E motherboard

The E8500 beat the i7 in opening an average complex part by 26% (41.4s vs. 56.1s) (current computer: 354s)

It also beat the i7 in creating a 2D drawing from a complex 3D part by 52% (48.1s vs. 101s) (current computer: 7200s)

Granted the E8500 has a higher clock speed but that's still disappointing for the i7. I was under the impression that it would beat out the other Intel's in number crunching and rendering but perhaps that's just because of the way Inventor is written. It is only built to run on one core so the rest of the processor is wasted.

If anyone is building a rig for Inventor I would suggest an OC'd E8x00 over an i7 until they get those clock speeds up!
Gee ... it only uses a single core and If you are running a 32 bit OS then both are stuck by the 3Gig memory boundary (so much for the 6Gigs of RAM sitting in the i7).

You overclocked the Wolfy to 4Gig's too ...

Your comparing the London Philharmonic Orchestra to Def Leppard ... try making sense of that eh?? I can't.

I imagine a P4 single core at 4Gigs would do well at this test ... any takers?

Sound like a similar problem with digital imaging programs written for 32 bit OS and only one or two cores.

reynod - roflmao! Recently the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra did a concert called "Phoenix Symphony Plays Led Zepplin". Still having a hard time trying to imagine that.


Sep 3, 2007
What a stupid comparison.

Duh the faster mhz wins in a single threaded app. This is a known fact to the rest of us.

Also you need to run the same HDD in both rigs.

Why dont you grow a sack and overclock the i7 to 4.0, and run the test again.

Also you have prover your limited in knowledge. The 74GB raptor is about 30-40% slower then the Seagate Barracuda in transfer speeds.

If you would like the test to really show the power of a proper i7 rig, send me the file and I'll be happy to run it.

I have a proper i7 rig, unlike you.

core i7 3.6
Asus P6T Deluxe
6G Ram
Vista Ultimate 64bit
ATI 4870
4x 32G OCZ core series SSD in raid 0, 507MB/s transfer vs your raptors 50-60 MB/s.
The 74G Raptor is a piece of crap bt todays standards.

I will stomp your 4.0 e8500


Oct 30, 2008
@roadrunner: Wow! What a Jerk! There's always one narcissistic idiot that has to prove themselves. It's a shame you have to muck-up an otherwise good community here. I'm guessing your a somewhat short individual, too? Napoleon complex i believe they call it...

ANYWAY, back to the real thread.

I re-ran the tests because I realized when we tested these, sometimes we had just opened Inventor and sometimes it had already been open. Inventor has an issue where it hangs for a bit opening the first drawing after it's initially opened, anywhere between 5 and 15 seconds. That would account for the discrepancy we saw.

Also, this is a 64-bit machine with a 64-bit OS and 64-bit Inventor. I'm not sure where everyone got that this was a 32-bit OS.

Inventor 2009 uses both Open-GL and DirectX cards. In fact there is no Open-GL support in Vista anymore. We checked with them and DirectX cards are fine.

I can't overclock that much because I don't want to keep upping the voltage. It runs hot enough (with aftermarket cooling) as it is and I'd rather not be blamed for ruining 8 new machines. (This is just the test machine)

Oh ya, @roadrunner, you realize we have almost identical machines except for the HDD, right? ;)

Onto the new results!

Opening Complex Assembly:
i7@3.1 - 16.8s
E8500@3.1 - 17.6s
E8500@4.1 - 17.4s

Opening Simple Assembly:
i7@3.1 - 10.1s
E8500@3.1 - 8.6s
E8500@4.1 - 12.4s

2D View of Complex Assembly:
i7@3.1 - 48.2s
E8500@3.1 - 60.6s
E8500@4.1 - 46.4s

Looks like I was wrong! The i7 worked very well even at it's lower clock speed, just like people said it would, for rendering and computationally-intensive tasks.

Duh the faster mhz wins in a single threaded app. This is a known fact to the rest of us.
Hmm roadrunner, I guess you have "prover"-ed your limited knowledge after all!


Oct 30, 2008
Sigh, I was GIVEN some of the times already so I had to go back and do them all myself.

Are you having a bad day roadrunner? Most people, while critical, can still give opinions without being jerks. Look at Reynod, he said almost exactly what you did but he was not an ass*ole about it. I actually respect his opinion.

You can keep posting if you want, I've made my point.


Oct 13, 2004

I presume you mean in Inventor, because Vista itself certainly does support OpenGL.


Oct 30, 2008
@rtfm: That was one of my first thoughts too, but I called them and they said it would do no good.

@MarkG: Yes, Inventor does not support OpenGL in Vista. I would assume Vista does.
Did someone just say they respected my opinion?

Cripes ... my reputation is at risk here.

Roadrunner is more polite than me ... that guy is a gentleman and a scholar ...

We have the the new Autodesk suite at work and it runs pretty good on the Core2 machines ... on a couple of the newer P4D 3.2's it seems to run well too ... hence I suspect the fast REE on the P4 helps.

Not so on the older P4's ...

Be interesting to see how well an FX57 would run ... or a Phenom II



Mar 18, 2009
I was enjoying this thread, it is helpful to my work as a product engineer, using Inventor, sometimes solidworks, than I read the helpful comments from this nad, roadrunner. Gad! can you imagine working with this guy?
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