I am due to specify a new PC to use for my MATLAB work. The most demanding tasks are typically repeatedly running long (couple of hours simulated time) Simulink simulations at small sample times (couple of microseconds) and plotting and otherwise processing (fairly simple like averaging, root mean square, etc.) the data. The simulations are usually time-varying and often of stiff systems. Ususally I run the simulations in series (tuning model and control parameters, etc.) although sometimes they could run in parallel for Monte-Carlo-type simulations, should MATLAB allow so (Parallel Processing Toolbox?).
Does anyone have information/ideas about whether the 'workstations' offered by companies such as Dell and Lenovo would perform significantly 'better' (mainly faster) than 'home PCs' at a similar price, say £1200/US$2000/Euro1400 for guidance? I am assuming the same RAM, say 8GB (trying to get 16GB, but that may exceed the budget).
Looking at Intel CPUs only, I have noticed that (mid-higher spec) 'home PCs' (which is all we use in the office at the moment) usually come with i5 or i7 CPUs, whereas 'workstations tend to come with a variety of Xeon CPUs. Is there any benchmarking data on whether (current, lower-end) Xeon CPUs offer an advantage over an i7, or vice versa, for the type of Simulink work described above?