Many creation apps derive their acceleration through standards like OpenGL and OpenCL such that any gaming card with an equal core configuration will give similar results as a pro card but at a much lower price. Then there are specific acceleration capabilities that are either severely un-optimized in the "gaming" GPU drivers or forced to run on CPU, or, are purposely limited by driver or bios on the "gaming" cards in order to create a "market" for the more expensive pro-cards. On the NV side of the isle, all fermi/Kepler cards support double precision (whether they are gaming cards or "pro" cards), however there is a catch. The DP performance on most of the "gaming" cards is purposely limited by the driver, and some of the lower end cards simply have very poor DP performance regardless. As far as AMD is concerned, I'm not sure whether or not the DP performance is hampered on their DP capable gaming cards or not. It would be worth exploring whether or not this performance attribute is going to effect the programs you intend to use.
N0BOX is incorrect about the pro cards all supporting double precision floating operations (and more specifically, that it is this capability that separates them). In fact, the card linked to by the OP here is based on a GDDR5 HD6670, neither the gaming nor pro version of the card supports double precision. Many of the middle and lower tier AMD pro and gaming cards do not support double precision. There is nothing architecturally different about the pro cards vs the gaming cards. In fact, most pro-cards have a gaming card cousin with the exact same core configuration, sometimes at a lower clock. The difference is that the BIOS of the card is changed to the "pro" version, and the pro-card drivers include profiles (much in the same way that SLI and Crossfire drivers include profiles for each game to maximise performance), to optimise acceleration or enable particular acceleration in a handful of pro-apps.
I found this: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/graphics/display/nvidia-quadro-5000_8.html#sect2
The solidworks 2010 performance difference on the quadro is slightly better than it's slightly "faster" (on paper) GTX470 cousin (the 5000 has a core configuration that is effectively a GTX470 with 3 SMs disabled, and twice the VRAM). I would venture to guess that for the money, overall, you will be better served by a non-pro card in solidworks, since the same money will by a "gaming" card that is fast enough to overcome the minor driver based advantages.
Then there is this: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/graphics/display/nvidia-quadro-5000_7.html#sect1
AutoCad, on the other hand, seems to have some critical performance areas that favor the pro card, as, from what I am interpreting, a handful of the capabilities there are being performed by the CPU instead of the GPU without the pro-drivers. The problem I see, is that, the performance benefit here is based on a $1700 pro card. A $160 pro card is unlikely to tilt the performance much better than a good CPU in those same tests, so again, I'm not sure there would be much value in the high cost of the pro-card here.
As far as the build is concerned, there is no reason for so much power supply. The system will rarely if ever draw more than 200W as configured, and even if configured with a heavy duty gaming card instead, it wouldn't ever draw more than ~300W, as an AMD build, add another 50W or so. Better quality should be the focus, not watts. Having some overhead is a good idea, but too much just hurts idle efficiency of the system. The bigger the PSU, the worse the efficiency is at low power levels.
For a professional machine, I would not personally suggest over-clocking to extremes. I would either suggest picking up a non-K ivy bridge instead, and just use the included retail box CPU cooler or a rather mild after-market approach, ideally a down-blowing configuration to provide cooling to the VRMs on the board. Many boards will allow you to set a forced "turbo" ratio all the time that is effectively a mild OC. Alternatively, I would say that an AMD approach is also valid here, with an 8120 being a nice value spot for this build as pro-apps can leverage multiple cores when it really counts, and the 8120 is priced very competitively for a machine with the sort of uses you intend. I would probably want the 8120 OCed to around 3.5-4GHZ to get this thing "up to par" so to speak. The stock AMD heatsink will typically pull off a OC in this range, but an afermarket one would more or less ensure being able to hit the 4GHZ point. (most of these chips will hit ~4.5GHZ or better from my understanding, provided enough cooling, the way I see it, it's not worth pushing it to the bleeding edge though, long term stability is important).
I also notice, that many of your component choices are based on price AFTER rebate. There are ways of getting similarly good deals without the rebates through the use of combo specials and such over at newegg. The case you have selected IMO looks like trash. No cable management, and no rolled edges internally. In otherwords, it's a throwback to the 1990s when building a budget computer meant that you bled all over it in the process and wound up with a terrible looking interior after the fact. There are lots of cases in the $30-50 range that are built very nicely internally, with rolled smooth edges, often painted black interior, bottom mount PSU, several large fans included, or at least, mounting positions for them.
OCZ is not the most reputable or reliable company for SSDs right now, a Crucial M4 or Samsung 830 is pretty much the go-to SSD right now for reliability and performance.
My recommended build (AMD):CPU/ODD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1053626
The original build did not include an optical drive, not sure if you need one or not, but this combo practically gives you one for free (about $7 after savings?)MOBO/RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1064385
The combo savings on this puts the price of the RAM here in the same class as the "after rebate" price of the memory you had in mind. This motherboard is also suitable for mild overclocking.GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130625
This is being presented as more or less a placeholder item. Basically, you want to invest AROUND $100 on a GPU for this build, but the exact GPU you wind up selecting may be different. The used market is worth a look here since people swap GPUs about as often as they change socks around here. The 550Ti would probably prove to deliver quite a few of the accelerations that count. Don't compare AMD stream processor count with Nvidia CUDA core count, they are different specifications and can't be directly compared. For all openGL/CL and CUDA accelerated tasks, this card should be better than a pro-card in the same price class, however, there will always be a few things that the pro card might egde out on slightly better due to drivers, however, I'm not sure it's worth the hit if the machine may also be used for gaming and such.SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147163Case/PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1062905
The capstone series PSUs are remarkable for the price. 450W from a well made unit like this is plenty for this build. The capstone internals are made by superflower, and 3rd party testing and tear-downs has revealed them to be remarkably well made PSUs. I've built 2 machines in the case here in this combo and really have nothing but good things to say for the price point. It's a lot of case and PSU quality for the money here.
That's around $610-620
shipped if I recall correctly.
$15 promo code savingsMOBO/RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1061243
micro board approach here. Not a bad board though really, good expansion all things considered.SSD:
same as build aboveCase/PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1063505
A micro ATX build makes room in the budget for the intel chip instead of the AMD chip. Here again, we have a Rosewill PSU. the "green" series units are also very well made. Do some 3rd party test site searching and you'll see that it's not a bad unit at all. In fact, it's made better than many of the units you would expect to be made better based on brand. This case isn't exactly fantastic, however, it will fit any GPU you choose as it was very well thought out for GPU length in a micro build.ODD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500241
Again, this is a sort of placeholder example card that fits the budget. This card is slightly better than the 550Ti listed above as far as CUDA, shader and floating point performance is concerned, which are attributes that your pro-apps may be able to make use of.
Both builds above are based on a pricing that does not involve sending in MIRs. I don't personally consider MIRs in the price of a machine because the way I see it, the amount of money laid out at the onset of the purchase is what needs to be limited. By the time the MIRs come back around, the same amount invested at that later date would have bought a better machine anyway. It's a sort of revolving door of BS.
EricEdited by mdocod - 9/9/12 at 3:42am