Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Here’s one that came over the wires a week or so ago that caught my eye: BOXX Technologies unveiled its new 3DBOXX 4150 XTREME workstation. And, like everything BOXX does, it sounds like it would blow the pantyhose off a giraffe. Not sure what that means, but this is a unit to look into. It has got legs to get you far. Here’s why I say that.
First and foremost, BOXX makes mean machines and has from its earliest days. And I don’t mean average. They engineer systems for engineers who need the workstation and not a JAW (just another workstation) for messing around with huge CAD, rendering, visualization, and similar files and datasets. That can cost you. Which brings us to the new 3DBOXX 4150 XTREME.
This workstation targets the engineer who needs the workstation but who does not have the wallet. 3DBOXX 4150 XTREME base unit starts at around $2,800. So what do you get for that?
It starts with one of Intel’s new 4th generation quad-core Core i7 processors. That’s the Haswell series, and the i7 is what Intel calls its maximum performer in the group. The chip is overclocked to run at speeds of up to 4.3 GHz and is liquid-cooled. The Core i7 provides Smart Cache for increased performance and hyper-threading as well as something called Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, which is said to provide a jolt of speed automatically when you need it.
Next comes a 1GB NVIDIA Quadro K600 graphics card paired with an NVIDIA Tesla GPU (graphics processing unit) using NVIDIA Maximus technology. NVIDIA Maximus means that the Tesla GPU handles most of your simulation or rendering computations and the Quadro GPU handles your CAD work. This frees up resources on the Core i7 to cope with all that stuff computers do.
Rounding the base unit are 4GB DDR3 memory, a 500GB SATA hard drive, 20X DVD RW drive, 64-bit Windows 7 Professional, keyboard, and mouse. You have front- and rear-panel ports with USB 2.0 and 3.0, 7.1 HD audio, one Gigabit Ethernet, S/PDIF Out (optical), and onboard video. You also have two internal drive bays, two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (single at x16 or dual at x8/x8), one PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4), and one PCIe 2.0 x1 slot. And BOXX offers memory, graphics, storage, and other options you can add on to the 3DBOXX 4150 XTREME.
Let’s review: With the 3DBOXX 4150 XTREME base unit, you have the capacity to do compute-intensive work simultaneously with a new generation CPU designed for maximum performance and overclocked for even more performance. It has plenty of disk storage, a bunch of ports to plug-in stuff, networking connection, and expansion slots. And did I mention that it’s compact? Its chassis measures 6.85 x 14.6 x 16.6 inches (WxHxD).
You can check out today’s Pick of the Week write-up for a few more specs. But the 3DBOXX 4150 XTREME is so new that there’s not a lot of collateral like videos on it as of yet. Still, it seems like a worthy unit to look into, especially if you’re watching your budget but need a lot of bang for your buck. Also, to get an idea of what BOXX Technologies brings to your engineering desktop, you might like to read David Cohn’s review of the 3DBOXX 8980 XTREME in the July DE. It’s linked at the end of today’s Pick of the week write-up.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering
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