CPUs and GPUs always get the ticker-tape parades. Increases in processing power, however they may manifest, are always greeted with great fan-fare. We all like to see how much faster those high core-count CPUs crunch through tests like Cinebench, or how the latest pro graphics perform in tests like SPECview, but the unsung hero in system responsiveness is, and for quite a while now has been, the storage technology in a workstation. For years the mechanical hard drive ruled the consumer and professional PC market.
First introduced in 1956 as a way of permanently storing data for easy accessibility, the basic functionality has not changed; rapidly rotating disks or platters, coated by magnetic material, are paired with magnetic heads arranged on a moving actuator arm. These heads read and write data to the platter surfaces in a random-access manner, meaning that individual blocks of data can be stored or retrieved in any order rather than sequentially. While the basic functionality of these drives has largely unchanged in over a half century, the technology used to increase performance and storage size has evolved, all the while delivering smaller and more innovative form factors. From migrating from Parallel ATA (PATA) to Serial ATA (SATA), and introducing technologies like Native Command Queueing, onboard caching, faster on-board processing, to denser platters, increased spindle speeds, and even introducing exotic technologies like helium-filled drives and on-board NAND flash for caching, the mechanical hard drive still has inherent technological limitations that can be detrimental to your workflow.
In this article we’re going to be talking about various storage technologies and their limitations, as well as the technologies that have arisen to address them, including the move SSDs have made from SATA to PCI-E, as well as the migration from AHCI to NVMe. Confused? Don’t be, we’ve got you covered. Before we get started, let’s put some numbers on the board we can talk about, starting with some basic performance characteristics. We’ll discuss each one of them and how it affects you, then we’ll dive into benchmarks that show the right SSD solution can greatly increase workflow efficiency.
Windsong Productions takes their business to the APEXX
By John Vondrak
When BOXX announced the introduction of the APEXX 5, the most advanced workstation in the world, Windsong Productions, an up-and-coming Central Valley, California production studio, was first in line—thanks to the legwork of lead colorist and motion graphics artist Jeremiah Belt. An avid BOXXer, Belt had relied on BOXX systems long before joining Windsong and throughout his career, continued to keep track of the Austin, Texas-based company and their innovative, high performance computer workstations. On behalf of Windsong Productions, Belt kindly agreed to the following interview.
Tell me about Windsong Productions.
Windsong Productions is a California-based, full-service creative production company. Since 2011, we’ve been producing commercials and web videos, as well as providing post-production services for TV shows. More recently we’ve expanded into full TV show and documentary production. By investing heavily in creative services, in addition to equipment and technical know-how, we’re able to manage every single aspect of production, from concept to filming to graphics to color correction. We love every part of the process.
We’re pleased to announce the immediate availability of the APEXX 2 Model 3402 and APEXX 4 Model 7402 with 8-core Intel® Core™ i7 processors overclocked to 4.125GHz. What does this mean for you? Increased performance in single threaded applications vs. its stock clock of 3GHz and faster renders with 33GHz of aggregate frequency for rendering.
At BOXX, we’ve solved the problem of single-threaded bottlenecks in programs like Autodesk 3ds Max, Maya, Revit, and SolidWorks, as well as other professional applications where viewport performance (panning, zooming, and manipulating 3D objects), opening/closing assemblies, and doing rebuilds are bound by the frequency of the processor, not the number of cores or the GPU. But what if rendering or simulation is an important part of your workflow? The paradox here is that you need more CPU cores, but with an increase in cores, a decrease in frequency inevitably follows. For those of you that can’t compromise performance, our engineers have delivered the perfect solution.
With a 37.5% increase in absolute and aggregate frequency, our new overclocked eight-core processors deliver a one-two punch to your workflow. Continue reading
A leading Austin, Texas architecture firm makes the switch from Mac Pro to BOXX
by John Vondrak
Eric Lancon is an intern architect at Pi Architects, located in Austin, Texas. Depending upon the size and scope of a particular building project, he works alongside four or five other team members including, draftsmen, project architects, and project managers. From master planning to schematic design, from design development to construction documentation, Lancon is directly involved in each phase, fleshing out overall designs in graphisoft ArchiCAD. The work is demanding, especially in the schematic phase where clients like to see options, require changes, and want them by next week’s meeting. In order to meet these critical deadlines, Pi Architects bid farewell to their underperforming Mac Pro systems and now rely on BOXX professional workstations. The results have been astounding.
This is Pi Architects’ BOXX Video Customer Story. . .
Images and content below © cadalyst. Read the original article HERE.
The APEXX 2 from workstation specialist BOXX Technologies is a purpose-built system designed specifically for tearing through CAD and rendering up a storm. Neither at the bottom nor the top of the range of configurations available for this model, the 2401 configuration is built around an Intel i7 4790K 4-Ghz CPU that is overclocked to 4.5 GHz and paired with the nimble NVIDIA Quadro K4200 graphics card. Continue reading