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Jeffrey Rowe has more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. On the publishing side, he has written well over 1,000 articles for CAD, CAM, CAE, and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the … More »
Hardware Review: 3DBOXX 4150 XTREME
August 23rd, 2013 by Jeff Rowe
Small Footprint, Big Performance
We evaluate several mobile and desktop engineering workstations every year. Some are unique; some not so much. Some are well designed and built; some are not. Some are inexpensive and you get what you pay for; others cost more, but are great values.
Experience has shown us that workstations from BOXX Technologies are unique, well-built, and while costing a bit more, have proven to have excellent price/performance ratios. The 3DBOXX 4150 XTREME desktop workstation continues the positive experience we have had with other BOXX machines in the past.
BOXX Technologies builds a wide spectrum of high-end workstations geared for high-performance applications, such as CAD, CAE, advanced animation and rendering, game production, and other demanding design and engineering work.
Even though it’s a desktop workstation, it is relatively compact with a smaller footprint than previous BOXX desktop workstations we’ve evaluated in the past, measuring 6.85”W x 14.6”H x 16.6”D. As a matter of fact, the 4150 XTREME is BOXX’s first foray into smaller form factor desktop workstations – a plus for those with space-constrained work spaces, like me.
This machine will appeal to those users who need higher levels of performance, reliability, and quality, and are willing and able to pay a bit more for these attributes. So, let’s see how the relatively compact 4150 XTREME performed and compared.
3DBOXX 4150 XTREME Workstation Specifications and Build Quality
EDITOR’S NOTE: Many hardware component options and configurations are available for the 4150 XTREME workstation.
BOXX claims the 4150 XTREME to be the fastest single socket workstation available for engineering and product design applications, such as SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor, as well as all other frequency-driven, CPU-bound applications. We’ll check that out soon enough.
Another nice feature of the 4150 that we’re seeing more and more is the fact that no tools are required to access the workstation’s internals – just remove two thumb screws and you’re in.
When pushing the unit during demanding benchmark testing, it remained cool and relatively quiet, thanks to the liquid cooling. The 4150 XTREME has just about every connectivity option you could need, and many ports are easily accessible from the front of the unit.
Like BOXX computers we have evaluated in the past, the build quality of the 4150 XTREME is very solid. Overall, the 4150 XTREME is a well-executed, high-quality platform that is also well-priced for what you get.
The tests were performed with the 4150 XTREME “out of the box,” as we received it – nothing was tweaked or optimized to distort the performance numbers (such as enabling multi-threading) in a positive or negative direction. I actually get more out of the subjective testing because it’s more “real world,” but the raw numbers from the benchmarks are also useful as a means of objective comparison with other machines in the class. Your evaluations will probably differ from mine, but they do, at least, provide a point for comparison.
For objective testing, as we do with all workstations, we ran two benchmarks NovaBench (geared more toward overall performance) and SPECviewperf 11 (geared more toward graphics performance).
NovaBench Benchmark Test
Total NovaBench Composite Score: 1499
The 1499 composite score was a about 8% higher than the score of recent and comparable desktop workstation evaluations.
SPECviewperf 11 Benchmark Test
For a desktop workstation, the 3DBOXX 4150 XTREME workstation is relatively compact, well-built, and well-priced. The level of performance that this small footprint machine exhibited is also quite good.
Whether mobile or desktop, workstations have come a long way in the past few years, and they often command a premium price. However, with the quality, performance, and configuration options, the 3DBOXX 4150 XTREME has a good price/performance ratio, offering high-end performance in a relatively compact package.
For More Information on the 3DBOXX 4150 XTREME workstation: BOXX Technologies; 512.835.0400; www.boxxtech.com