PBK Architects – A BOXX Customer Story

VIZLab

When leading architecture and engineering firm PBK needed state-of-the-art rendering for their new visualization lab, they chose BOXX

By John Vondrak



Jose Galindo is the Director of the PBK Visualization Lab (or VIZLab as he likes to refer to it), a San Antonio-based illustration and animation group within PBK Architects, a national architecture and engineering solutions leader focused on K-12 school, higher education, healthcare, corporate, and government clients. “The firm has been providing professional planning and design services for more than 34 years and has established a strong reputation for its unique approach to performance-based design and responsive customer service,” says Galindo. “We effectively facilitate a collaborative, consensus-generating design process that produces customized, purpose-specific, building environments which enhance end-user performance. We also maintain strict control of the client’s budget and schedule objectives.” PBK has offices in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, and McAllen.

In 2014, when PBK CEO Dan Boggio announced the creation of the VIZLab as an independent group within the firm, it was understood that the new division would be tasked with specific goals, chief among them, providing clients with dynamic, real-time, life-like, project visualizations prior to the start of construction. At its inception, the VIZLab primarily assisted PBK’s Higher Education division (also based in the San Antonio office), but it wasn’t long before that changed. “Now that the group has grown in its capabilities,” says Galindo, “we’re taking on projects sourced from the entire firm. Also, the VIZLab has the capability to work with outside clients on a variety of project types ranging from renderings to augmented reality presentations to mobile application development.”

Galindo has worked in the A/E industry since 2005. Prior to PBK, he owned a small San Antonio illustration firm and had a stint at Jacobs Engineering, the Fortune 500 international technical professional services firm. The other VIZLab team member, visualization specialist Oscar Veloz, is an architecture school graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio. Veloz began his PBK career as an intern in January of 2014, but transitioned to the VIZLab later that year. Together, Galindo and Veloz have built the VIZLab from the ground up, helping PBK develop stunning new visuals and client presentations.   Continue reading

Summer 2015 Workstation Hardware Guide

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Configuring the ideal workstation for your specific workflow can be daunting task. That’s why our in-house performance specialists are ready to take your call, providing expert advice and consultation. But if you’re more comfortable browsing our website and determining for yourself which BOXX solution is right for you, we’ve prepared this helpful guide.

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A Solid State Of Storage

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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.

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First in Line

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.

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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.

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BOXX 8-core Workstations Break the 4GHz Barrier With Professional Overclocking

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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