^EDIT: Oh it's 2D CAD? $50 Quadro card based on Nvidia 7000 series, and a dual-core is overkill. As are SSD's. Disregard the rest lol..
Originally Posted by Jayjr1105
So get a good strong CPU, 8 GB ram, a low'ish end card and you'll be perfectly fine unless you are doing a lot of rendering? Can someone explain rendering within AutoCAD software and how to know if the client will be doing a lot of it? Thanks all, I'll be tossing out some rep sooner or later.
i5-2500 should be fine. i7-2600 will be a little faster for render speeds, due to hyperthreading. On the SSD recommendation, Intel 510/520, or Samsung 830, or Crucial M4 are the only ones I'd consider. Intel 320 SSD's have horrible reliability, and they're not even fast. For graphics, make sure the Quadro card has at least 96 CUDA cores. Those are a good bang/buck. Anyways, consumer Nvidia cards absolutely suck for CAD work. I've seen AMD laptop graphics cards bench about 70% better than a GTX 580 desktop, this is absurd. Proof. http://www.techspot.com/review/452-amd-bulldozer-fx-cpus/page7.html
CPU is more important when you're editing the part (uses 2 threads) and rendering (uses all threads). Graphics are still important for actually letting you rotate the component at a decent speed, zooming in/out, and so on.
I would ask the client what their typical CAD file sizes are (for parts, and for assemblies). If they say something like > 20MB for parts or assembly.. ok, get something fast. Any time you save the part, you have to render it, meaning every 20 minutes with autosave. You also have to render the part occasionally when modifying an assembly (basically "rebuild"). For me, it's maybe 8-10 seconds with an i3 dual-core and a ~20MB assembly. 3-5 seconds would be more ideal, I'm sure a 2500 would bring it down in the 4ish range. But Autosave also means you're doing a lot of disk I/O, so the SSD is a good idea. And CAD programs have a lot of temp files that are accessed from the disk if/when needed, so SSD is good. Basically, what you have looks fine.
Originally Posted by ClaytonGFinley
***, my cad worstation is a p4... and the boss man won't let me do a build to bring and leave at work to work out ( out of my own pocket )
But my home rig is beast ( see sig rig )
IMO, an SSD is not solely worth it for just cad, it still boots rather slow, and once your in the program, it saves fast and opens fast, since ( for me ) most of the cad files i work in are from 1-5mb
Also, unless rendering, any generic video card will do. the $30 card in my workstation preforms cad actions just as fast as my overclocked and watercooled gtx 580 ( for the work i do anyway )
EDIT: and yes, cad is more CPU intensive than GPU
( basically, when video gaming, your screen ( idealy ) changes 60 times a second, and on autocad, it does not change until you tell it to )
( also note how my work machine us under the official autocad system requirements, and i'm running full blow AutoCad Architecture )
And as far as ram, i've noted that on higher end systems, if you have 4gigs, it will use up to 2, if you have 6, up to 4, and at home on my 8gigs, it uses 6 despite the file size, number of drawings open, etc.
For whatever it's worth, I'm in university working on a school-related project and I mainly work with a ~25MB assembly, various smaller (5-10MB) assemblies, and occasionally modifying 3D scans (30-50MB). Soo.. it completely depends on what sort of files you work with. I run Solidworks so that's probably part of the difference. But yes, I'd expect the $30 CAD card to beat a GTX 580 for pretty much any CAD work.Edited by jrbroad77 - 3/2/12 at 12:43pm