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Thread: Help! I need some advice on an AutoCAD capable PC?!

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    Help! I need some advice on an AutoCAD capable PC?!

    Hey.

    Before we start, just a quick one to say for those who remember, my previous build went fine, and I am very happy with the results! My new PC is very capable, and about £400 less than I was going to buy originally!

    Now, on with the show!

    My mate is a CAD engineer, and has just done his knee in so will be working from home for a 6/12 months. He has asked me to spec a PC for AutoCAD work. Ideally he wants to run dual 20" or 22" screens, and be able to run CAD very very well. No lags or anything.

    He has given me a budget of, well, whatever it takes, but wants to come in about the £800 mark, which seams reasonable to me.

    Now I am not a novice, with multiple builds behind me but I have no idea on a) The requirements for CAD programs and b) Dual screens.

    He will not be gaming or even playing movies on this thing, just CAD and emails basically!

    I have had a look and the specs for his CAD software is:

    Pentium 4 (3 GHz or higher) or AMD Athlon; multiple processors supported, dual-core supported.
    3 GB RAM
    5 GB free disk space for installation
    1,280 x 1,024 display with true color, 1,600 x 1,200 or greater recommended (OpenGL® accelerator with full OGL ICD support not required)

    So that seems pretty straight forward. I was thinking along the lines of a Intel E8400, Ninja Sythe HSF. Combined with a P35/45 board, 4G of decent 800 RAM and all the usual HDD/DVD stuff.

    Now, what kind of GFX card am I going to need to get dual 22" monitors to run smooth? Should I be looking at 2 average GPU's, or one very good card?

    Also, if anyone has any experience with this kind of stuff, I value any input!

    Thanks all
    Last edited by phurbs; 05-11-2008 at 06:29 PM. Reason: Extra info!

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    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Help! I need some advice on an AutoCAD capable PC?!

    You don't need anything special for graphics at all. Onboard would actually do it but dual DVI is a bit tricky so perhaps a £35 ATi HD3470 (The 3450 isn't dual DVI).

    It's all 2D and desktop stuff so that really is all you need.

    I really wouldn't put much money into it tbh, certainly no where near £800. Build him something super silent and nippy.

    I would get:

    Antec Solo ~£60 (great silent case and decent enough cooling)
    or
    Antec P180 mini ~£60

    Corsair 520W HX (or 450W VX) ~£65 or £45 respectively
    Intel E5200 ~£55 (or blow his socks off with a Q9550 but that is so very pointless)
    Scythe Ninja II~£30 as you say, great passive cooler but the fan is super quiet anyway.
    Asus P5Q-PRO ~£90, nice featured board (or a G43/G45 based uATX board for the P180 mini)
    4GB PC6400 ~£40 (just because it's so cheap)
    640GB Western Digital AAKS ~£50
    DVD Writer ~£15

    HD3470 ~£35

    Should come in under £450 and be amazingly nippy and quiet. Overclockable as well if he wants 3.0GHz +

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    Re: Help! I need some advice on an AutoCAD capable PC?!

    Cheers Mike!

    I should have been more clear, the £800 includes the £350 for dual monitors! So the £450 mark is about right the nuts and bolts.

    I should mention as well, he does does a LOT of 3D CAD work. He specifically mentioned AutoCAD 3D as his main software. So I have bumped the gfx card.



    What do we think? I am a little concerned about the monitors, but Samsung have an awesome rep, and it isn't like ghosting or lag will be an issue, he just needs clear displays?!

    Also, needs a case. But I aint decided on that yet.
    Last edited by phurbs; 05-11-2008 at 07:22 PM. Reason: Duh!

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    Re: Help! I need some advice on an AutoCAD capable PC?!

    Where's the case?

    Get the standard cas 5 corsair RAM, it's £40 and you wont notice the difference.
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?W...c+CAS+5-5-5-18

    Cheaper mobo is a good idea for cost cutting as well, your pick is ok just has a poor layout which would annoy me but probably not most others lol

    If it's for 3D work I'm a little stumped as to what you will need really.
    It might be worth getting something opel GL based
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?W...OEM+(Brown+Box)

    Nothing special by any stretch of the imagination but might be better.

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    Re: Help! I need some advice on an AutoCAD capable PC?!

    OS? autocad would love a 64bit os, it eats ram for breakfast, but with only 4gb maybe just a 32 bit u have lying around

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    Re: Help! I need some advice on an AutoCAD capable PC?!

    Is that Autocad 3D or Inventor? Don't scrimp on the graphics if possible, what you have specced is a good machine. It's ok to go with 4 gb of mem with 32bit XP, as long as you remember to add the 3gb switch in the boot.ini file.
    Personally, screen wise, iiyama screens are, ans always have been difficult to beat for CAD work. I spec the 22" Prolites accross the office.
    [
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen
    When I say go, both walk in the opposite direction for 10 paces, draw handbags, then bitch-slap each other!

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    Re: Help! I need some advice on an AutoCAD capable PC?!

    Quote Originally Posted by 0iD View Post
    Is that Autocad 3D or Inventor? Don't scrimp on the graphics if possible, what you have specced is a good machine. It's ok to go with 4 gb of mem with 32bit XP, as long as you remember to add the 3gb switch in the boot.ini file.
    Personally, screen wise, iiyama screens are, ans always have been difficult to beat for CAD work. I spec the 22" Prolites accross the office.
    He just said AutoCAD 3D, not sure which one exactly. Do you have experience with CAD work? If so, what kind of GPU do you suggest?

    I will be sticking Vista64 Pro on it, so 4G will show up no probs.

    I like the tip in regards the screen.

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    Re: Help! I need some advice on an AutoCAD capable PC?!

    Quote Originally Posted by phurbs View Post
    Do you have experience with CAD work? If so, what kind of GPU do you suggest?
    Abt 20 years experience. If it were me, I would go with a Fire GL or Quadro Pro card for pure CAD, due to their full on support for OpenGL. However, if the machine was dual purpose, i.e. CAD & gaming, then ACAD will work well on any mid range card. ACAD is also picky about drivers.

    http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet...linkID=9240618 may be useful

    Quote Originally Posted by phurbs
    I will be sticking Vista64 Pro on it, so 4G will show up no probs.I like the tip in regards the screen.
    Unless you buy a 64bit version of ACAD 2008 & on (iirc) then it wont work on Vistax64. 32bit XP pro is the OS for you imo.
    [
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen
    When I say go, both walk in the opposite direction for 10 paces, draw handbags, then bitch-slap each other!

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    Re: Help! I need some advice on an AutoCAD capable PC?!

    Thanks for the advice 0iD. It is not really dual purpose, but he wants it to run CAD programs very well. I have no idea about openGL, so how does this card look? It says it is supported on the AutoCAD site.

    As for the OS. If I am going to get get XP, is it worth the 4G of RAM, or should I just stick 2G in?

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    Re: Help! I need some advice on an AutoCAD capable PC?!

    Still worth getting 4 gig, mod the boot.ini file with the 3gb switch(Easy to do & does work in XP) & away you go.
    Yes, that card would be ok
    [
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen
    When I say go, both walk in the opposite direction for 10 paces, draw handbags, then bitch-slap each other!

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