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Best Workstation PC for Inventor (Summer 2020)

Written on July 29, 2020 by William George


Here at Puget Systems, specifically in the Labs department, most of the content that we write falls into one of two categories: either long, fairly in-depth articles looking at the performance of various PC components in a given application or recommended system pages, with multiple configuration options aimed at different budgets and lots of supporting data drawn from the aforementioned articles. For some readers, all of that is information overload, though, and they just want a quick question answered: what is the best computer for my needs? We’re going to try answering that question more directly in a new series of short articles, like this one.

Today we are looking at Inventor, a multi-function engineering program from Autodesk. It uses the CPU for most of the heavy lifting, with general modeling benefiting primarily from clock speed while and some secondary workloads can utilize multiple cores more effectively. The video card is also important, as it impacts the smoothness of manipulating large models.

This article is going to focus on using Inventor for modeling parts and assemblies. If you are working more with simulations or rendering of completed assemblies, then a different hardware configuration may be better for you.

Screenshot of Inventor Bench for Autodesk Inventor 2020

Screenshot of Inventor (during Inventor Bench run)

Good PC Configuration for Inventor

We'll start off with a good setup for Inventor - without too high of a price tag. Many of the tasks within Inventor perform best with a CPU that has a high clock speed, with little regard to core count, which means that Intel's latest Core 10th Generation processors do very well here. The Core i7 10700K is a great choice there, and pairing it with 16GB of memory will be sufficient for most assemblies with 500 parts or less. Likewise, a Quadro P2200 is more than fast enough for most assemblies - while sticking with NVIDIA's professional-grade video card family. A fast 1TB SSD will ensure that the system is responsive and offers a solid amount of storage space.

CPU Intel Core i7 10700K 8-core
Video Cards NVIDIA Quadro P2200 5GB
Drives 1TB NVMe SSD

Better PC Configuration for Inventor

To ramp up performance when working with larger parts and assemblies, we can move up to the Intel Core i9 10900K with slightly higher clock speed and a couple of additional cores. Doubling the RAM to 32GB should cover almost any size of the assembly, and upgrading to the current generation of Quadro video cards in the form of the RTX 4000 should cover most users' needs. Increasing the storage capacity and splitting it into separate drives for OS & applications versus project files helps with organization. To protect this investment, increasing the parts warranty length is a good idea.

CPU Intel Core i9 10900K 10-core
Video Cards NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 8GB
Drives 500GB & 1TB NVMe SSDs

Best PC Configuration for Inventor

The best possible hardware configuration for Inventor is overkill for what almost anyone using this software would actually need... but here it is, for those who just want to see what it would look like. The video card is maxed-out to NVIDIA's Quadro RTX 8000 with an absurd (for this use case) 48GB of memory. RAM and storage are both doubled again as well.

CPU Intel Core i9 10900K 10-core
Video Cards NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000 48GB
Drives 1TB & 2TB NVMe SSDs

Please note that this last system is almost certainly overkill. For the vast majority of Inventor users, something around the "Good" or "Better" configurations will be ideal - and specifics like the storage setup can easily be adjusted to your needs before you order.

Additional Resources

If you want to know more about workstation performance, we have published several articles over the years looking at how various CPUs and video cards compare in a wide range of professional programs. And if you aren’t sure what you need, or if your workflow includes multiple applications, please feel free to call or email our consultants to get a more personalized configuration.

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Tags: Workstation, PC Workstation, PC, Modeling, Inventor, Autodesk