HPE Edgeline Engineering Workstation with AMD and Citrix Cloud

HPE Edgeline Engineering Workstation – Overview

Back in 2016 I wrote about the next generation workstation, and things have evolved and at HPE Discover in Madrid, 28th November 2018, HPE announced HPE Edgeline Engineering Workstation with AMD and Citrix Cloud. The new offerings have new enhanced GPU capability with the HPE m710x and providing a dedicated GPU from AMD more specific the AMD Radeon Pro WX4100. The solution requires no hypervisors and lowers complexity while enabling the mobility of users and enhancing user experience. This solution is designed to meet the requirements of power users such as designers, architects and visualizers that require high performance with reduced physical footprint, and targeted towards 4-100 users.

Benefits of replacing physically engineering workstations with HPE engineering workstations.

  • Move physically workstation to a central location and unchain engineers from their desk
  • Centralizing compute
  • Benefit from central datacenter performance accessing the CAD/BIM files
  • IT Security and IP Protection
  • Providing mobility to work from any device such as tablet
  • Providing engineers/designers a great experience thanks to dedicated compute and graphics resources
  • Save up to 20% in operational cost

HPE Edgeline offerings with user segmentation – one size does not fit all

Moving Engineer workstation into a central location

Today many high-end designers have full workstations underneath their desks, dedicated to their use.

This is clearly inefficient, as for half the day (at least) that workstation is unlikely to be in use.

Hosting these machines in a central location like IT or communications cabinet not only increases efficiency, but also centralizes data for security and ease of cross-geographical working. It also means that many other devices can be used to access the data, e.g. viewing a 3-D model of a construction site on an iPad.

(By the way you might even get better performance)

What is HPE Edgeline EL4000v2

What is HPE Proliant m710x server blade

What is AMD WX 4100

AMD Radeon Pro WX4100 is a single slot GPU from AMD, its using the latest architecture from AMD and is part of the Radeon Pro series. This GPU have 4 GB dedicated frame buffer which application demanding vendors are requiring when working in CAD/CAM/CAE. The AMD drivers are the same used for either physically Radeon Pro GPU or virtualizing the GPU or using example MxGPU. This helps simplify the driver validation process and ease of use and switching between AMD Radeon Pro GPU models. AMD is releasing drivers Quarterly and some times even monthly, the great thing about this GPU is that this is the GPU that is being used in physically workstations for Engineers and Designers. The idea of below concept is to give the user the dedicated power of the m710x (CPU, NVME, fast memory) and then dedicated AMD GPU power to the user so the user replaces their existing physically workstation and the desk and put it in the datacenter.

Which HPE product can you add the m710x + AMD WX4100 in

Now HPE has a new server appliance available and a new solution that targets a new business opportunity for SMB/medium customers. Previously you needed to buy a Moonshot 1500 solution that was a 4.3 U chassis, where you could add up to 45 server blades. This have changed and new offerings are now available from HPE. These include Edgeline. HPE Edgeline EL1000 which support up to 1 HPE Proliant server blade and HPE Edgeline EL4000, which support up to 4 HPE Proliant server blades. This is great for business that would like CPU/GPU/Fast storage and IO in small capacity but require fast performance. These appliances are also built for IoT systems. This means that HPE Edgeline is a more accessible solution for companies no matter their size or demand.

Reference architecture

HPE Edgeline Engineering Workstation
with AMD and Citrix Cloud

Reference architecture

HPE Edgeline Engineering Workstation
with AMD and Citrix Cloud
(Software components)

Testing Methology for HPE Edgeline Engineering Workstation

I have been testing the HPE m710x with Intel Xeon CPU and Intel P580 GPU enabled + the new configuration the HPE m710x with onboard Intel P580 GPU disabled and attached a AMD Radeon Pro WX4100 GPU (Q4.18 driver) together with Windows 10 1803  + Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktop 7 1808.2 (CR). I tested several Media entertainment application such as Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 + more high end CAD such as Autodesk Inventor Professional 2019 and lots of industry standard GPU benchmark tools such as Basemark GPU, Unigine, Furmark, Specviewperf + the newly released SPECworkstation 3:

To summary up

The goal was to show the user experience how it is compared to the 1 generation Engineering Workstation offerings from HPE more precised the m710x with the 2 generation Engineering Workstation offerings from HPE which is the m710x + AMD WX4100.

HPE Proliant m710x Intel P580 GPU (shared system memory) vs HPE Proliant makes m710x and AMD WX4100 GPU (4GB dedicated video memory).

Test Setup

HPE EL4000v2 is the chassis
To the left the HPE m710x with Intel P580 GPU and to the right HPE m710x with AMD WX4100

Latest OS (Windows 10, build 1803, 64bit, October 2018) + Intel GPU drivers from October 2018 + Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktop 7 1808.2 VDA at that current time was installed on HPE m710x with the Intel P580 GPU enable

Latest OS (Windows 10, build 1803, 64bit, October 2018) + AMD GPU drivers from Q.4 18 + Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktop 7 1808.2 VDA at that current time was installed on HPE m710x with the AMD WX4100

The GPU driver what is seen inside GPU-Z

The GPU driver seen inside GPU Shark

Use case and benchmarking applications

These Application are tested and benchmarked

  • Adobe Photoshop CC 2019
  • Autodesk Inventor Professional 2019
  • Basemark GPU
  • Furmark
  • SpecviewPerf
  • Specworkstation3
  • Unity
  • Unigine

Results with application: Autodesk Inventor Professional 2019

I used this application because its a very popular CAD application in the engineer/designer BIM world. To automate it I used a tool Micrographics have developed which

Source: Autodesk Inventor Professional 2019 with Inventor benchmark tool

Benchmark Results with Autodesk Inventor Professional 2019:

AMD Radeon Pro WX 4100 is faster in Graphics Intensive Test than the Intel P580

AMD Radeon Pro WX 4100 is faster in Graphics Test than the Intel P580

Results with application: Unity

Unity game engine is one of the most famous engines used around the world for when customers are designing an application that works across any platform/device, its also popular for game companies and entertainment business such as the hollywood industry, they are using Unity when they are capturing a scene including very famous blockbusters such as Bladerunner 2049 or Ready Player One, yes these movies have been captured with Unity and its also very popular with content creators creating the next app in Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality. I have in this test used an Unity WebGL application to benchmark the GPUs which is running inside Chrome, and its correct that results will vary depending on which browser and which version this is because Google, Firefox, Microsoft is optimizing GPU engines all the time improving the user experience.

If you would like to rerun my test please do it here:

Source: Unity WebGL benchmark run in Chrome

Benchmark Results with Unity:

AMD Radeon Pro WX 4100 is faster in “Mandelbrot GPU”  than the Intel P580

Results with application: Adobe Photoshop CC 2019

Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 is very popular for creators, engineers and designers and Adobe keep improving the user experience adding more GPU capabilities into the product, this is why I have run test with latest version and to automate a benchmark simulation I ran the Puget System benchmark that is made for Adobe Photoshop CC 2019.

It would be nearly impossible to test everything in Photoshop, but Puget System benchmark is designed to test a broad range of tasks in order to give an accurate overall picture of how a system performs in Photoshop. Puget System benchmark test how long it takes to complete general tasks, apply filters, and generate a panorama (photomerge). The tested actions are:

Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 with Puget System benchmark

Benchmark Results with Adobe Photoshop CC 2019:

AMD Radeon Pro WX 4100 is faster in “Adobe Photoshop CC 2019”  than the Intel P580

Results with application: Furmark

FurMark is a very intensive OpenGL benchmark that uses fur rendering algorithms to measure the performance of the graphics card. Fur rendering is especially adapted to overheat the GPU and that’s why FurMark is also a good stability and stress test tool (also called GPU burner) for the graphics card.

Source: Furmark (OpenGL)

Benchmark Results with Furmark:

Results is AMD Radeon Pro WX 4100 is delivering 2x more FPS  than the Intel P580

Results with application: SPECworkstation 13

SPECworkstation 13 is a very popular benchmark tool

The SPECworkstation 3 benchmark measures all key aspects of workstation performance based on diverse professional applications. SPECworkstation 3 was introduced with initial benchmarking results on October 31, 2018.

Major new features and upgrades in SPECworkstation 3 include:

  • A totally redesigned storage workload based on traces of nearly two-dozen applications.
  • Workloads that reflect changes in updated versions of Blender, Handbrake, Python and Luxrender applications.
  • GPU-accelerated workloads based on Luxrender, Caffe, and Folding@Home applications.
  • Refreshed graphics workloads from SPECviewperf 13, including new viewsets representing Autodesk Maya, PTC Creo, energy (oil & gas), and medical applications.
  • A more robust GUI and improved results validation and error reporting.

Source: SPECworksation 3

Benchmark Results with SPECworkstation3 running Maya & 3DSMax:

AMD Radeon Pro WX 4100 is 3x faster in “Autodesk Maya & Autodesk 3DSMax”  than the Intel P580

Results with SPECworkstation3 running Dassault CATIA & PTC Creo:

AMD Radeon Pro WX 4100 is 2-3x faster in “Dassault CATIA & PTC Creo”  than the Intel P580

Benchmark Results with SPECworkstation3 running Siemens NX & Dassault Solidworks and Autodesk Showcase:

AMD Radeon Pro WX 4100 is 2-4x faster in “Siemens NX, Dassault Solidworks, Autodesk Showcase” than the Intel P580

Results with application: Basemark GPU

Basemark GPU is a new vendor in the benchmarking world, the company is from Finland.

Basemark GPU directly supports OpenGL 4.5, OpenGL ES 3.1 and Vulkan 1.0 graphics APIs across Windows

Source: Basemark GPU

Benchmark Results with Basemark GPU:

AMD Radeon Pro WX 4100 is 2x faster in Basemark GPU than the Intel P580

Results with application:Unigine Superposition

Unigine have very popular benchmark tools that the EUC community, partners, customers uses this is why I have included this great tool.

Source: Unigine Superposition

Benchmark Results with Unigine Superposition:

AMD Radeon Pro WX 4100 is 2x faster in Basemark GPU than the Intel P580

Summary of keyfindings

  • HPE Edgeline EL4000 and M710x with AMD Radeon Pro WX4100 takes the Engineer workstation to the next level and adding more horsepower than the traditional HPE M710x offering with integrated Intel P580 GPU.

  • HPE Edgeline EL4000 and M710x with AMD Radeon Pro WX4100 is delivering a clearly min 2x performance and the designer/engineer see the value working with larger datasets

  • Windows 10 1803 is getting more demanding and above 2GB GPU framebuffer is a requirement in the modern workspace delivered by Citrix

  • Application validation have worked great with the latest drivers from AMD and there is no graphical issues or application crashing with the enhanced testing that have been accomplished

  • HPE Edgeline EL4000 and M710x with AMD Radeon Pro WX 4100 delivers a great user experience in high-end CAD/CAM workflows simulated by SPECviewperf and SPECwpc

 

Poppelgaard.com – Professional Services

Above article is written myself as an independent blogger/consultant and the results of the testing of the CAD applications was accomplished by Thomas Poppelgaard and sponsored by HPE. The methodology are as is and samples can be required if the readers would like the material to reproduce the same results.

if you are interested in testing your applications on the HPE Edgeline EL4000v2 with HPE ProLiant Server blade m710x with Intel P580 GPU or with AMD WX4100 GPU – please dont hesitate to contact me a thomas@poppelgaard.com
I can also help with above value added tasks plus much more 🙂

Source

HPE press announcement HPE – With HPE and Citrix, innovation never stops. Ever

AMD press announcement Always on the Go with AMD Remote Workstation and HPE

HPE Proliant server cartridge m510 and m710x building blocks for Citrix

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