Question What SSD/HDD for CAD workstation?

RedDirt

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Hi everyone, I have happened upon a cheap CAD workstation that is only missing the disk drives. A driller at work bid on it at auction because it has an awesome graphics card. However it's a Quadro, so he couldn't get it to work in his gaming build. So he's happy to sell me the whole computer, and for me it's the sort of CAD workstation I could only dream of, having worked for only small broke mining companies. This workstation is a Z800 from Chevron, who have plenty of money to spend on decent tools for their technical teams.

So far I'm aware that I can power it up to test that everything is functional without a hard disk. But then I'm going to have to decide on what disks to get, how many, what type, capacity. That's where I really need some educated opinions because I know very little about it. I'm also reluctant to test it with the hard disks I have, I want to install Win 7 Pro and use the key on the case and I don't want to mess that up.

I've had a bad experience with a custom built CAD workstation before. It had a SSD and HDD and it took forever to boot. IT could not fix the issue, so if they couldn't then I don't stand a chance.

The basic specs are: HP Z800 (2012 model) with 2x X5670 processors, 96GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro 5000. So I want to know what is going to work optimally with this.

Any and all opinions welcome :)
 

RedDirt

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Sounds good, I did wonder why Samsung SSD appears to be mentioned as a selling point sometimes.

What sort of capacity do you think I should look at? A typical project I use has 2 to 8GB of data in it. My current work computer hangs when I drag a 250MB file into the 3D view. I think this might be because we only have one Samsung SM961 256GB SSDs in our computers and they are getting too full to work fast. I want to test this by cleaning mine up.

For my new workstation I was looking at having a SSD for current projects and moving them over to a HDD to store the ones I'm not working on.

As far as budget goes I'd like to spend as much as it takes to get to the most out of the system.
 

USAFRet

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With todays prices, unless you need an HDD of more than 1TB, it makes little sense to go with SSD + HDD. Especially for a workstation like this.

1 SSD for the OS and applications, 1 SSD for project files.
Maybe..500GB + 1TB.
Samsung 860 EVO would be the default choice.
 

g-unit1111

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Sounds good, I did wonder why Samsung SSD appears to be mentioned as a selling point sometimes.

What sort of capacity do you think I should look at? A typical project I use has 2 to 8GB of data in it. My current work computer hangs when I drag a 250MB file into the 3D view. I think this might be because we only have one Samsung SM961 256GB SSDs in our computers and they are getting too full to work fast. I want to test this by cleaning mine up.

For my new workstation I was looking at having a SSD for current projects and moving them over to a HDD to store the ones I'm not working on.

As far as budget goes I'd like to spend as much as it takes to get to the most out of the system.
The reason why Samsung drives are considered the best is because they also manufacture the internal NAND components of the drive which yields far better quality drives than your average manufacturer.

As far as capacity goes a 256 GB is generally good for an operating system but these days you can easily find a 500GB for the ~$75 mark, though those prices might be impacted by COVID at the moment.
 

RedDirt

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Ok, 500GB + 1TB SSD sounds great.

The reason I was thinking of HDD for archiving projects is because I've read that HDD are less prone to corrupting data when left unused for a long period of time. In my industry projects get mothballed for many years before they once again become economic, so long term storage of data is useful. Is this info still current or have things changed?
 

USAFRet

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Ok, 500GB + 1TB SSD sounds great.

The reason I was thinking of HDD for archiving projects is because I've read that HDD are less prone to corrupting data when left unused for a long period of time. In my industry projects get mothballed for many years before they once again become economic, so long term storage of data is useful. Is this info still current or have things changed?
Oh, you definitely need other long term storage and backups.
Those SSD's were just for the workstation and current data.

But you can't trust any drive to be written, and then sit on the shelf for 5 years. No matter what type.
 

USAFRet

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Ah, thanks. Now I get it. It's definitely time to backup again. Thanks for all your help!
If you are in any way serious about your data, backups need to happen all the time.
 

RedDirt

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Thank you for the link, it's a good read for me now, since I will have a lot more data in the future and will have to back up in a more organized way.
 

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