The first point is to understand if you are using a standard PC for your projects or a workstation. At CADplace we feel that there are many good reasons for using a workstation. The counter-implication is also in that statement ... if the good reasons for using a workstation do not apply to you, then it is OK to not use a workstation for your projects. In our survey, a clear majority are workstation users.
Nearly 70% of our respondents are running on workstation class machines, and as we see in future answers, some of those configurations are rather robust. It was a small surprise to see this number above two-thirds of the respondents.
The next question further classifies the system as a desktop or mobile computer. The desktop systems carried the day.
To see only 15% mobile workstations surprised us. We expected a number just above 20%.
As for the most popular brands of workstation, it was not a surprise to see HP and Dell with the highest numbers.
Interestingly, 15% of respondents use an alternative to a major workstation brand.
A key characteristic of professional workstations and a point that differentiates a workstation from a standard PC is the ability to have a dual processor workstation. Not every user needs 2 CPUs, but the extra processing power comes in handy for users in simulation, analysis, realistic rendering and ray-tracing.
The 26% of dual-processor systems is a surprise. CADplace expected 5% - 10%. This number is more impressive since we know that 15% of the workstations are mobile workstations and therefore single-processor machines.
One of the most cost-effective paths to higher productivity is to configure your workstation with 2 or more displays. CADplace posed an open-ended question and offered options for 1, 2, 3, and for more than 3 displays.
The fact that multiple display systems out-numbered single display systems by almost 2 to 1 shows a recognition of the value of multiple displays.
A "standard" mouse is standard equipment. A 3D mouse is a very common accessory and it is used by more than 1/4 of our survey respondents.
Workstation technology improves year after year. This question looks at the age of the systems being used today.
These results are good news for most of you out there. 80% of the systems are three years or less in age. None-the-less, almost 1 in 5 workstations is older than 3 years and are due for replacement. 2016 is a great year to refresh as a new wave of technologies has been released - new processors, next-gen graphics, faster SSD storage, and increases in memory speeds and capacities.
So how does your workstation compare to our survey results?
It is good to see such a high percentage of users on professional workstations. CADplace finds it encouraging, albeit a little unexpected, to see the number of workstation users compared to PC users. It was also interesting to see the majority using multiple displays as well as to see a healthy % of customers using 3D mice. Last but not least, the age-spread of workstations looks quite reasonable.
At CADplace, we value you input and try to respect your time. For this reason, CADplace offers a prize drawing at the close of a survey. One of our respondents, Jeremie from Annecy, France, was selected as the winner of a 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Pro. We congratulate Jeremie, and we extend our thanks to each of you who participated.