Central Innovation Series X Workstation proves its superior performance in independent benchmarking by WA building firm
Shrishti Yogaraj • 8 March 2023
Series X Workstations from Central Innovation have been developed to deliver a top quality, performance-driven hardware solution in a compact, portable size. Featuring premium components and powerful NVIDIA Graphics Processing to meet the demands of architecture and construction professionals, each Series X has been thoroughly tested to ensure it can handle the most challenging computing tasks.
The Series X was recently put through its paces by Barry Kelly, BIM Manager at well-established WA residential building firm JWH Group, when Central Innovation provided him with the opportunity to benchmark one of the new workstations. As one of the founders of the Architalk online forums, Barry is known for his plain speaking and expertise in all things Archicad – so who better to trial the Series X and give it an honest appraisal?
“We currently lease our workstations from another supplier, but we decided to start looking at what else is available on the marketplace,” Barry explains. “It seemed the right time to re-evaluate what we were using, and John Riddington from Central Innovation gave us the opportunity to try out one of the Series X Workstations. I played around with it for about a week, comparing it with two other machines – my usual laptop and desktop.”
Barry modelled and annotated files on the Series X and was particularly impressed with its speed and graphics rendering capability. “I have to say my existing desktop is about five years old, whereas the Series X is brand new with the best of everything in it,” he notes. “But certainly when comparing it to my old machine it was like chalk and cheese – the Series X is brilliant.
“I compared the app startup time which was a few seconds faster with the Series X, and when I switched views from plans to elevations it was about a second or two faster. Which doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you consider how often you open sections and elevations, it is a pleasant difference. Updating layouts was probably about 30 per cent faster, which was impressive, and rendering was much faster again.
With the Cinerender of an average-sized house it took my existing machine four minutes 15 seconds, and the Series X just one minute 32, which is a remarkable speed difference.
The Redshift of the same model took 39 seconds and that’s just for an average sized house – my existing machine couldn’t use Redshift because it needs a more advanced GPU. Over the course of a working week this would save us hours.
“Overall, all aspects of the work, from opening views, updating libraries, updating layout pages, publishing to BIMx – everything was just that much faster with the Series X.”
Established in 2003, JWH Group encompasses a number of different building companies, each focused on their own niche markets – everything from first home builds to multimillion dollar mansions. It currently has some 45 Archicad licenses across its team and Barry has been using the software since version 6.5 back in 2000. “It was the first 3D package we used – before that we drafted in 2D,” he says of the firm’s move to Archicad. “Again, such an improvement – just the fact that your plans are derived from the model rather than having to draw every single line in the 2D package was a great benefit, so it’s the only software I’ve ever used since.
“It fulfils all our needs so we’ve never needed to turn to anything else – hence we’ve had a long-established relationship with Central Innovation.”
Most of its existing workstations are big desktop towers, which made the Series X quite a contrast with its compact size designed for portability – a development made partly in response to the need to move between the office and home during Covid lockdowns. “I’d describe the Series X as a minitower, which doesn’t take up a lot of desk space,” Barry says. “It’s remarkable how something that size can still deliver such fast performance.”
You can find out more about the series-X workstations here.
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