Hardware

Poly P3503-DDR3 Workstation (First Look Review)

24 Sep, 2007 By: Ron LaFon

Highly recommended system from Polywell Computers offers top-notch performance, expandability, componentry, and warranty.


Highly RecommendedAmong the speediest workstations we've seen from Polywell Computers, the Poly P3503-DDR3 is a new model that we recently put through its paces. Based on the Intel Quad Core Extreme QX6850 microprocessor running at 3.0GHz, this system is also the first we've had a look at that uses DDR3 memory - in this instance, a full 2GB of 1600 MHz RAM.

This model is housed in a compact case with a large ventilation fan on the removable side panel. A flip-up panel on the top front of the case provides

Poly P3503-DDR3 Workstation
Pros: Speedy, excellent warranty, quiet operation
Cons: None significant
Price: $3,499 (base price); $4,395 (as tested)

Polywell Computers
800.999.1278

convenient access to commonly used controls, such as two USB 2.0x connectors, an e-Sata connector, and the system power button. Despite the large fans used throughout the system for cooling, noise levels were low to moderate. A beefy 1000 W Enermax provides room for expansion and enough power to drive the newer high-performance graphics cards. The case provides five external 5.25" drive bays and one 3.5" bay, with an additional four 3.5" bays internally. You'll find six more USB 2.0x connectors on the back of this model, as well as a Firewire connector.

Inside the box, the system is based on an Asus P5K3 Deluxe motherboard that uses the Intel P35 chipset that supports the 1333 MHz front side bus. A total of four RAM slots reside on the motherboard, but the maximum DDR3 RAM allowed is 2 GB. The Poly P3503-DDR3 included a 74 GB Western Digital 10,000 rpm SATA hard

Poly P3503-DDR3
The Poly P3503-DDR3 from Polywell Computers.
drive and Lite-On DVD ROM and LightScribe optical drives. The 3.5" floppy drive incorporated card reader technology. Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2 was preinstalled.

For graphics, the P3503-DDR3 included an NVIDIA Quadro FX 4600 graphics card with 768 MB of integrated onboard memory. NVIDIA drivers v6.14.10.9778 were installed on the system and used to run our full suite of benchmark tests. For part of the 3ds Max tests, we used v9.00.01 of NVIDIA's MAXtreme Direct3D accelerated driver.

Speaking of benchmarks, the Poly P3503-DDR3 system was among the last to be tested using the Cadalyst C2006 benchmark. Future system tests will be conducted using the new C2008 benchmark, which will be available soon. We ran the C2006 benchmark with AutoCAD 2008 in two different configurations using the native AutoCAD drivers - one group of tests with the OpenGL drivers, the other group with the Direct3D drivers. The system produced a Total Index score of 333 on the OpenGL tests, and a very speedy 453 for the Direct3D iterations.

Next we ran the MAXBench4 benchmarks with Autodesk 3ds Max 9 using the native OpenGL driver, the native Direct3D driver, and finally with the NVIDIA MAXtreme accelerated driver for 3ds Max. The averaged high/low scores for the OpenGL drivers were 116.39 and 238.62 for the Direct3D drivers. When we switched to the Direct3D accelerated MAXtreme driver, the averaged high/low scores were 259.86. All performance scores are excellent.

For our final benchmark, we ran the full SPEC ViewPerf 10 benchmark, which generated the following scores: 3dsmax-04: 47.89, catia-02: 56.85, ensight-03: 44.97, maya-02: 168.60, proe-04: 53.27, sw-01: 99.11, tcvis-01: 20.54, and ugnx-01: 25.27.

As delivered, the Poly P3503-DDR3 system is priced at $4,395. The price includes an exceptionally good warranty covering five years of labor and three years of limited parts coverage. You can purchase 24-hour telephone support and 24-hour replacement part service for an additional fee.

Offering excellent performance, excellent expandability options, and high-quality components throughout, the Poly P3503-DDR3 workstation is a top-notch choice for CAD work. Highly Recommended


About the Author: Ron LaFon


AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

Autodesk Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen guides you through a different AutoCAD feature in every edition of her popular "Circles and Lines" tutorial series. For even more AutoCAD how-to, check out Lynn's quick tips in the Cadalyst Video Gallery. Subscribe to Cadalyst's free Tips & Tools Weekly e-newsletter and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!
Follow Lynn on Twitter Follow Lynn on Twitter



Poll
Which file format do you use most often for CAD drawing/model exchange?
Native format
PDF
3D PDF
DWF
STEP or IGES
JT
IFC
Other
Submit Vote