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Case Study with Utah State

Utah State University is using photogrammetry and virtual reality to design a new community on Powder Mountain in the Ogden Valley of Utah. Benjamin George, a professor of landscape architecture at USU, is using three Puget Systems workstations for this particular project, and says by using VR his students are able to design as if they are actually in the landscape. One of the Puget systems runs Pix4D for processing the thousands of images they took of the mountain, while the other two are used for design and modeling in VR.

Imagine being able to close your eyes and visualize what you want to create. With Puget Systems workstations, the students at Utah State are now able to work on projects that exceed what they were able to do before and do it faster.

Unity Workstation FAQ


Q: Do I need anything special to create VR content?

A: If you are developing for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or any other VR HMD there is actually little in the way of special hardware needed. The only exception is that we typcially recommend using a more powerful GPU if possible. While a card like the GTX 1070 is often considered an entry-level card for VR, for working directly through Unity it pays to use a more powerful card. We recommend at minimum a GTX 1080 GPU if not the more powerful GTX 1080 Ti.

Q: Does having more CPU cores improve performance?

A: Whether you should use a CPU with more cores depends on the tasks you tend to wait on in Unity. Many tasks like opening projects, importing/exporting packages, and viewport FPS are only lightly threaded so having more CPU cores does not improve performance. Other tasks like navmesh, GI baking, and progressing lightmapping are able to utilize a high number of CPU cores. For more information on what CPU you should use, we recommend reading our Unity Hardware Recommendation page.

Q: You only list Core i7 CPUs, don't I need a Xeon CPU for a workstation?

A: In the past, Xeon CPUs were more robust than their Core i5/i7 counterparts. Today, however, there is very little functional difference between the two Intel product families for workstations. In addition, Xeon CPUs are almost always clocked slightly lower than the Core i7 CPUs which means that you will be giving up a small amount of performance to gain a set of features that are typically only useful for servers.

Q: You only list NVIDIA GeForce video cards, what about AMD Radeon?

A: AMD Radeon cards give great performance for their cost, but we have found that NVIDIA GeForce cards are much more reliable and stable. In a professional environment where a broken computer means lost time and money, we simply feel that the increased reliability of NVIDIA cards is well worth the small increase in cost.

Q: Should I get multiple video cards (SLI)?

A: In general, we recommend sticking with a single GPU if possible. For the majority of game development, having two video cards in SLI simply introduces additional bugs that can be time-consuming to work out. However, if you intend to have SLI support in your game then having two GPUs in your system can be great from a testing perspective - although we recommend disabling SLI when not doing specific SLI testing.

Q: Do any of your systems support Thunderbolt?

A: Yes! Our Standard Workstation natively supports Thunderbolt 3 which is currently the latest and fastest version of Thunderbolt. Unfortunately, our Compact Workstation does not yet have Thunderbolt support - but we are working on it!

Q: How much system RAM do I need?

A: The amount of RAM you need is going to depend on your specific project and whether you do RAM-intensive tasks like light baking. However, as a general rule of thumb we recommend 32GB of RAM for most users or 64GB+ if you work with especailly large and complex projects.

Q: Should I use an SSD for my files?

A: Yes! SSDs are much faster than traditional hard drives and in many cases can be noticeably faster than the older style drives. We highly recommend using an SSD (or even one of the newer and faster M.2 NVME drives) for your OS drive as well as a dedicated secondary SSD if possible for your project files.

Related Workstations

Why Choose Puget Systems?

Highly Reliable Product Line

We do not add a part to our product line unless we feel we can stand behind it. You can feel confident that any selection you make on our website is a quality product.

Fast Build Times

By keeping inventory of our most popular parts, and maintaining a short supply line to parts we need, we are able to offer an industry leading ship time of 7-10 business days on nearly all our system orders.

We're Here, Give Us a Call!

We make sure our representatives are as accessible as possible, by phone and email. At Puget Systems, you can actually talk to a real person!

Lifetime Support/Labor Warranty

Even when your parts warranty expires, we continue to answer your questions and even fix your computer with no labor costs.

Click here for even more reasons!