03-25-2012 02:31 AM - edited 03-25-2012 02:34 AM
I'm looking to buy a new E30 workstation computer, and I'm a bit unsure about which I should choose between integrated and discrete graphics. I understand, in effect, what the differences are, and I would go with discrete graphics, but I'm confused by why each option comes with a different set of processors to choose from. For example, if I choose an E30 with integrated graphics, I can select from a range of Intel Core and Xeon processors, but if I choose to go with discrete graphics, I can only select a from a range of different Xeon processors.
Originally, I had planned on going with the Intel Core i7-2600 with the NVIDIA Quadro 600 video adapter, but this combination is only available if I select integrated graphics, which I've read is generally worse than discrete graphics. I would be happy to go with discrete graphics, but I'm not sure about how the Xeon processors compare with the Core i7-2600.
If I intended on using my computer for running CAD programs, as well as games, which way should I go?
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03-25-2012 05:37 AM - edited 03-25-2012 05:41 AM
The new integrated GPU exists on the same chipset as the CPU. The new i3, i5 and i7 CPU all have an integrated gpu onboard. Some of the Xeon processors used in the E30 doesn't have an integrated gpu, this is why only some Xeon processors are on choice when you choose the discrete only option.
Having the integrated gpu + discrete graphics card option won't really affect the performance, as only the discrete graphics card will be used.
Xeon processors are processors designed for servers, workstations etc, which are constantly running large memory and cpu intensive operations. The provision of ECC RAM on the Xeon also reduces error rate when used with these processes.
If you are trying to run games, the Quadro 600 isn't really all that good, you are better off with a gaming cards, which may have some compatibility issues in the E30. Also, the 280 watt power supply on the E30 won't support lot of graphics card. Also depending on the CAD programs, you may get away with using a standard gaming class graphics card rather then the workstation cards. i.e. many of the Autodesk products can work with gaming cards.
I think you should probably look at building your own desktop rather then purchasing an E30, if you also want to play games. If you have the money, then you can get S20, D20, C20x, which are better suited for the range of uses you have in mind.
P.S. ThinkStation S20 doesn't have provision for integrated GPU, hence it can only be purchased with discrete graphics card and it doesn't support i3, i5, i7 class cpu.
03-26-2012 08:13 AM
I will agree with lead_org, but what you thinking about an refurbished S10 for example. I´ve got one with a C2D 3.0 and Quadro FX4600. It runs very smooth and supports all the games I run at it.