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Thread: New Rig for CAD

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    New Rig for CAD

    Hay all

    My girlfriends uncle is looking to get a computer and as I have advised other family members on computers in the past he has come to me. The only problem is he is an architect of sorts and other than using it for the normal office applications he will be mainly using it for CAD (2D I believe) and as I have no experience with CAD I am finding it hard to advise what hardware would most benefit him. As an educated guess I would say that the hardware isn’t so impotent so long as you have a quality monitor? Would this be correct? Does anyone out there use their computers for CAD? What have you found important in a CAD rig? Are there any resources on the net which you found helpful? Any help and suggestions would be most appreciated. Additionally any advice of drawing pallets would also be most helpful.

    Thanks for your time

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    Re: New Rig for CAD

    i use AutoCAD at work (although not as much as i used to) and occasionally at home when ther is not enough working hours in the day . one thing i've found is that AutoCAD can be memory intensive (especially AutoCAD electrical, i don't know exactly but it seems to be), so plenty of ram is a good start min 2gigs. but this maybe dependant of which type of cad the person is using ( i.e. AutoCAD or there is another called TurboCAD , there is a fair few out there).

    another this is a decent good quality monitor, nothing worse than trying to do a cad drawing on a small monitor, at work the bosses are a bit tight and use the monitors supplied instead of getiing say 20" ones which would have been far more beneficial. mine is only a 17"crt and i stll struggle a bit with it. which brings us on to another point, if your going for a larger screen then you may want to look for a decent'ish gfx card to match,i'm using the older version of the 8800GTS 320 and it's mor than capable for doing CAD. some may not agree but i don't like to cut corners if i don't have to.

    one last thing for now is a decent mouse. it may sound a bit odd to some - but when your using it for hours on end you need one that is comfortable to use (functional helps to) and has a good dpi, i've used ones at the cheap end of the scale and they are naff - the best one i've found is what i use for gaming and CAD at home and that is my trust MX518, that is unless they are going to be using a tablet etc etc.

    if you look at my system <<<<<<<<<< you'll see my rig and it runs AutoCAD - both electrical and mechanical versions with no problems, some bits maybe a bit ott like the psu but that's me. i'm sure somebody will disagree and have different views but those are mine.


    as for resources there is plenty to look at.

    Autodesk's System Requirements - admittedly this is for the latest 2009 release
    Autodesk's Graphics Vendor list

    there is loads more out there, just depends on what your looking for - just google.
    Last edited by SuicidaL; 18-05-2008 at 10:34 AM.

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    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: New Rig for CAD

    What kind of budget do they have?

    I mean for &#163;500ish you could build a silent, quad core, 4gb of RAM machine

    You don't need a great graphics card for it in my experience, my old work ran it off integrated graphics with no problems what so ever.

    Off the top of my head,

    Intel Q6600 + scythe ninja ~&#163;160
    4GB PC6400 ~&#163;60
    500GB Western Digital AAKS ~&#163;55
    Abit IP-35 dark raider ~&#163;65
    Antec sonata plus ~&#163;100
    ATi HD3450pro ~&#163;25
    Optical ~&#163;15

    That is massive overkill though even if it is nice machine. Deffinatly get a good monitor first
    Last edited by staffsMike; 18-05-2008 at 01:41 PM.

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    Re: New Rig for CAD

    Thanks for your replys

    As of yet there is no budget. My girlfriends uncle is going to get a quote from a guy he knows and I guess I just need to beet the quote.

    Do you have any advise on what kind of monitor to go for? Is there any good makes I should be looking out for?

    Also, if anyone has had any experience with drawing tablets It would be most apreciated if you can give me any advise on what to look out for ect as I have no idea about drawing tablets at all.

    Thanks

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    Re: New Rig for CAD

    All depends on the size of the monitor really and what the budget it is again.

    24" screens with a nice PVA panel are good, something like the Dell 2408WFP, thats the sort of monitor I would want for the job but that will be &#163;400+.

    Well as I specced above thats what you could do with &#163;500 and that would be frickin awesome for a long time. You could get a decent dual core rig for about &#163;400 maybe less depending on which compents you can scale down, hard drives etc..

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    Re: New Rig for CAD

    I use this PC for 3D Cad ( see sig )
    i find twin monitors useful ,
    the SAS is good for speed ( my 3D Cad needs to access to lots of small files )
    but the most important for me is the Quadro

    NVIDIA Quadro FX – Professional workstation graphics cards and solutions for workstations
    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

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    Re: New Rig for CAD

    Cool, thats handy to know. Do you think that these quadros will benifit 2d CAD? Cos its alot of money to spend if I can get the same proformance with a standard graphics card.

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    Re: New Rig for CAD

    No you don't need them for 2D. The &#163;25 jobby will do nicely.

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    Re: New Rig for CAD

    The quadro range is basically NVidias gaming cards retuned and given better support - hence the high price tag.

    As Mike says, in your particular case, the cheaper one will do. If he starts 3d cad, then the situation changes, but suffice to say going up to an 8600 or somesuch will still give you more than enough in terms of performance.

    The caveat is that you are a home user rather than part of the development team on something like a new race car etc - where things get more complicated (and expensive) due to the volume of items used in CAD to design such things.

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    Re: New Rig for CAD

    It really depends on the software being used if the software uses OpenGL hardware acceleration
    then yes but for 2D I don't personally think it would be worth it.

    Also i'm not sure about OpenGL in Vista

    staffsmike's quote
    "You don't need a great graphics card for it in my experience, my old work ran it off integrated graphics with no problems what so ever."

    this used to be the case with the software i use but now it will only work 100&#37; on a OpenGL optimised card
    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

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    Re: New Rig for CAD

    We've just run a comparison between an 8600GT (512 RAM) and a Quaddro FX570 (256 RAM) on the same machine at work - Q6600, 4GB ram, XP Pro. The end result was that the 86oo was faster for 2D drafting, with drawings loading faster, but the Quaddro was much better at manipulating 3D models (Autocad, using Pro-Steel plugin) despite only having half the onboard memory.

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    Re: New Rig for CAD

    In terms of monitors you will want to get an IPS panel (LCD technology)

    I would look at:

    24.1": NEC MultiSync LCD2490WUXi, 1920x1200 (16:10)

    See here for more options
    AnandTech - The LCD Thread

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    Re: New Rig for CAD

    Before going much further you're best to confirm what he actually does with AutoCAD. These days, while the general development and layout is 2D, the customer more easily visualises 3D so you may need both.

    In our case we use AutoCAD Lite for building layouts and CATIA V5 for our primary 3D CAD.

    Critical points:
    You can never have enough desktop real-estate so if you can afford a Full-HD monitor it is a must have. Although I love to use dual-monitor setups I'd rather have a single big screen for the CAD and only add an extra if using other programs simultaniously. Colour reproduction will be less important than fine-line clarity so read monitor reviews with that in mind.

    Gaming graphics cards are engineered for high throughput of textures. CAD cards are engineered for dealing with huge number of lines and polygons. These are fundamentally different approaches even if the core hardware is often closely related.
    I'd recommned Nvidia's Quadro or ATi's FireGL ranges as they will suit your CAD needs much better than a gaming card simply because they should provide better line definition on-screen. Some of these cards can be extremely good value so they needn't cost the earth.
    Also remember if you do plump for a Full-HD screen you'll need a card capable of producing that resolution with ease and not at the limits of its specification.

    Any modern CPU should do although some clock-speed is desirable for the mathematical calcs CAD systems live on.
    RAM however is critical so buy enough but make sure more can be added in case you're looking at a sky-scraper rather than a bungalow.

    One last thing will be the control device. It needs to be accurate, even more so with the high-res big screen we're talking about here. There's nothing worse than bad mouse when using CAD systems. A decent laser mouse would be my preference.
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    Re: New Rig for CAD

    Well I'm a 2D and 3D designer and recently had a new PC for work. We looked into a mid-range Quadro such as the FX3450 256MB (&#163;600), but as the latest AutoCAD and Inventor use Direct3D (not OpenGL) it made more sense to go for 2x8800GT in SLI (1024MB & DX10) for about half the price, yet better performance.

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    Re: New Rig for CAD

    Hi - 1st post
    I'm thinking of a new PC to train myself in CAD but I cant afford an AutoCAD system, so I'm looking at TurboCAD, which has been reviewed by Hexus (I'm not allowed to post a URL but see TurboCAD dot co dot uk tubocad-deluxe dot html Reviews for link)
    Having upgraded an old system (too low spec to show details) which is adequate for other things but groans, I have been thinking of a 64-bit system from MESH. Will TurboCAD and even AutoCAD (if I win the lottery, say) work on 64-bit?
    If you were going to buy a new PC, would you make it so powerful that you never had to upgrade it? eg System Base Price: £ 433.91
    AMD Phenom™ II X4 955 Black Quad Core Processor AM3 (3.20GHz, 8MB Cache) [upg £ 100.00]
    Genuine Windows Vista™ Home Premium with Service Pack 1, 64-bit - English
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    ASUS M2N68-VM Mainboard, AM2+ with integrated HDMI/DVI/VGA Graphics - MATX
    8GB 800MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM - (4 x 2GB) [upg £ 40.00]
    1TB Serial ATA 2 Hard Drive with 32MB Buffer [upg £ 40.00]
    Samsung 22x Dual Layer DVD Writer Super Format +R/-R/RW/RAM
    512MB ATI Radeon HD4350 (Direct X10.1, PCI Express 2.0) - PC Pro Best Value [upg £ 26.00]
    22" Iiyama ProLite E2208HDS-1 (1920x1080) Full HD Monitor (DVI,VGA,WS,Spkrs - 5ms)
    52-in-1 Multi-format Memory Card Reader (matx)
    7.1 High Definition onboard sound card - for 8 Channel Cinema sound
    Logitech Deluxe Keyboard & Optical Mouse (Corded)
    + a Telly card + delivery = £785.84

    any advice greatfully received

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    Re: New Rig for CAD

    Advice.. post more legibly lol

    Sounds fine for both AutoCAD and turboCAD to me.. 64bit will be fine afaik as well.

    I perhaps wouldn't use MESH but they are good value I suppose. Have you considered a self build?

    Don't be affraid to start your own thread either..this one is showing its age

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