The preferred supplier that we use for our computers is Dell but
Start by visiting the US Dell-site https://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop/scc/sc/workstations?~ck=mn and running some trade-offs.
For a conservative idea of the cost of a given computer spec, look at the price before discount (The “List price” on the right) and use a R/$ conversion of about 20. This is because the local discount differs from the US and there are import duties and VAT that should be added.
The following shows how to get to the page(s) that allow you to adjust the spec and see the price.
If you scroll down to the desktop workstations and select “5000 Series” for example:
you’ll get to a page about the 5820 desktop workstation. Scroll down until you see “view details” (there’s a couple next to each other) and select it.
It will bring up the Precision 5820 specs and options. There does not seem to be an updated 5-series workstation yet, although there are probably newer CPUs, Graphics and Drives.
On this page you can change pretty much every setting available (CPU, OS, Memory, Drive(s), Graphics, KB, Mouse, Screen(s) etc.).
A brief overview of the 3, 5 and 7 series precision is given below to help you choose.
The “3” series is the “Baby” workstation, but don’t let that deter you.
It can be specified with 8th and 9th gen. core i3, i5 and i7 as well as Xeon E2-series which are the Xeon equivalent of the Core i3..i7. These come with 4 up to 8 cores and all have pretty high clock speeds which are important for Nastran and Marc. Turbo speeds between 4.1 and 5.0 GHz is available.
The 3630 can take up to the Quadro P5000 (a R26k+ card!) and has the P2200 as an option.
Memory up to 64GB with the Core i3..i7 and 128GB with the Xeon series is possible. The memory-interface is dual-channel.
It can take up to 5 SATA drives + 1x PCIe NVMe SSD drive.
5 Series compared to the 3-series:
The 5 series adds options for the even higher spec Quadro P6000 (R67k+ Card)and RTX8000 (R97k+ Card). It still has the P2000 and P2200 though.
The other difference is that it supports the Xeon W2-series. The “W” is for workstation, meaning high core-clock speeds and high core count). Examples are 4 core 3.9 GHz turbo (faster 3630 CPUs are available!) and 18 Core 4.3 GHz turbo, with options between these extremes.
It can take up to 6 SATA drives + 1x PCIe NVMe SSD drive.
Up to 256 GB RAM is possible. The memory interface is quad-channel (double the 3-series)
7 Series compared to 5 series:
Can take up to 2x Xeon Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum ( more names and families). The most extreme would be 2x 28-Core 4GHz turbo (at R320k+ !!)
It has mostly the same graphics cards as the 8-series with a few of the latest cards not listed: The P2000 is there but not the P2200.
Up to 768 GB RAM is possible. Each CPU has 6 memory channels (3x the 3-series and 1.5x the 5-series).