We just wrapped up benchmarking some new systems.
Without going into too much technical detail...
We found significant performance gains on day to day operations using SSD over HDD.
We tested processors and found that clocks speeds do have an impact even though the new i7 processors are clocked slower than their predecessor (offset by turbo boost technology) however, the gains from changing clock speeds were barely noticeable unless you were jumping speeds in GH increments.
Rather than clock speeds, we found that the L3 cache (up to 12mb at time of testing!!) had a huge impact aided by the QuickPath Interconnect (designed for increased bandwidth and low latency. It can achieve data transfer speeds as high as 25.6 GB/sec) and the Integrated memory controller (enables three channels of DDR3 1066 MHz memory, resulting in up to 25.6 GB/sec memory bandwidth.)
We also tested the amount of RAM and found that anything over 8GB did not really improve Revit's performance...HOWEVER, it will improve overall stability and pc performance as there is more to draw on.
This stuff adds up fast, but our approach was to invest in the long run as our new machines will be in production for a long time and not just meet the minimum specs and have to upgrade every couple of years.
For cost justification we benched these machines using several liver projects and in one example; a large project (~20 over a few years) the new systems will actually generate a cost savings of roughly 1.2 MILLION dollars gained per year in production...or time NOT lost due to waiting for day to day tasks to occur.
Our next project will be to test Revit in a virtual environment using VMWare...the trick here being assign each VM more RAM the the system actually has so it will pull memory from the SSD!! I foresee very good results!
"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today. "
~ Abraham Lincoln