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Dual AutoCAD Machines for Architect

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#1
Going to be pricing out and building two matching desktops for an architect. These will be used for Microsoft Office, a little online browsing, Acrobat Professional, and AutoCAD. Most of the work in AutoCAD will be done in 2D, but some in 3D as well. He doesn't really run any other design programs.

Price range: $2,000-$3,000 ea (flexible)

Current Build:
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  • Mushkin Silverline 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1333
  • Corsair TX750W
  • Corsair Obsidian 700D
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  • Mushkin Callisto Deluxe 120GB
  • ASUS SATA DVD Burner
  • ATi FireGL V7700
  • CM Hyper 212 Plus
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • Office Business 2010
  • Acrobat Professional 9

If anybody has any experience running AutoCAD in 2D or 3D, your input will be GREATLY appreciated.
 
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#2
I did alot of Auto Cad 2k lite work. I would think anything with a solid GPU and dedicated memory and a decent processor would handle it just fine....

We ran ours on Core 2 Duos with X800s. So anything since then should be fine..
 

Reventon

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#3
Is AutoCAD for modelling?
 

JrRacinFan

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#4
Is AutoCAD for modelling?
Yes, although for being used with architecture in this specific case 3d modeling would almos be used very little.


Myself and DD were discussing possibly i5 660's with 8GB of ram. Unsure on gpu.
 

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#5
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#6
Just as bpgt64 says: AutoCADD is now a powerhouse program. As I mentioned in a earlier post for you today if doing design work in Pro-Engineer, Unigraphics, or SolidWorks you do need a high end computer and GPU, but not AutoCADD. At work we use HP xw4600 (Xeon 2.5GHz - Wolfdales CPUs, 8 Gig RAM, and Quadro FX 1700 video cards) workstations for Pro-E Wildfire doing large assemblies for oil rig platforms (BOP's) etc.. AutoCADD models come up very quickly and are no problem. But the Pro-E files (large assemblies only) can take 3 to 4 minutes to pull up on the screen.

So summary: A nice i7 920 or AMD 1090 with 6 to 8 gig's ram and a midgrade card would work best. I think most of these programs tend to prefer NVidia cards over AMD cards - but either one would work.
 
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#7
Will AutoCAD benefit more from an i7 920 or an i5 680? From what I've read, AutoCAD uses 1 core heavily, and a minor part of a second core, and clock speed is what matters.
 
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#8
Yes the i5 680 would be plenty. From what I believe the newer versions of AutoCADD will starting utilizing more cores but I'm not sure at what version that became true on. I run some minor AutoCADD on my 2.6 Dual core AMD machine at home and it seems to be fine. It struggles some on heavy 3D but works fine for 2D. With that kind of budget you would be better off getting a SSD drive and larger monitor and highly clocked CPU. Hope this helps?
 
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#9
It does. Going for a 128GB SSD already. Going to be posting the specs once I finish the estimate on paper. He's already running off 30" monitors, so 2560x1600 I assume.

I'll post once I've got the OP finished.

ALSO, Windows 7 x64 obviously, but Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate? I don't think he needs more than HP.
 
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#10
I pulled up a 3D model in AutoCADD a few minutes ago and you are correct the CPU was hitting hard on one core, a little less on the other one, and the other two were flat. I am using 2005 version at my workstation, a few folks here have 2010 version. I can ask them in the morning to see if they have the same CPU spread on the newer version if you like?
 
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#11
I would greatly appreciate that!
 
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#12
No problem, will 2010 be the version you will work with?
 
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#13
Good question. I'll have to check. Doubt it, though. His machines are about 2 years old. Core 2 Duo E7400s w/ 4GB RAM and Vista 32-bit.
 
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#14
I would highly recommend ditching the Vista-32 bit and going Win 7 Pro 64 bit. You cannot even address all that RAM with that 32 bit.
 

boogah

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#15
Overclocking is a no-no in the engineering business because you want the machine to be as stable as possible. Any downtime or a crash during large project could cost thousands and hours lost. So the system need to be solid. Only invest in what's important for the usage of the machine.

I think Hardware accelerated lines are more important for autocad(so you don't select the wrong line/face. So most important component is the professional GPU. (I posted a link up above)

System Memory is also important when you have a large drawing up or large assembly with thousands of parts and faces. Slower speed DDR3 are fine 6 - 12 gb is good if you go with i7
8 gb would be plenty on i5 etc..

For Animation and such where rendering is involved the i7 would be the best choice.

For general CAD a high clock dual core would suffice but if the budget allows then i would still pick the i7 for future proofing. AutoCad only using most of the CPU power when you load up the files then it sits idle until you changes some dimensions or changes the equations. Most engineers has many programs opened at the same time. For me when i work on stuff : solid works, excel, mathcad, acrobat, autocad are all running the same time switching between them with keyboard shortcuts.

SSD for OS and Programs SATA hard drive for data.

64 bit OS for sure for maximum system memory. Note that they will also need to install the 64bit version of autocad to fully utilize it.
 
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#16
i would get an 8 core cpu for sure.
 
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#17
Well written boogah, I notice you have Houston for your location also - which part?
I live in the Clear Lake area near Johnson Space Center but work on the Northwest side of Houston near Beltway 8 and West Little York
 

boogah

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#18
Well written boogah, I notice you have Houston for your location also - which part?
I live in the Clear Lake area near Johnson Space Center but work on the Northwest side of Houston near Beltway 8 and West Little York
I live on the west side toward Katy (bear creek) not too far from where you are working.
 
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#19
Cool - it's a very small world after all. I have quite a few friends in the Katy area and I pass by Bear Creek area on the way home every day. I use to pass Katy going to Sealy to do design work on the BAE armored military trucks and missle launchers for two years - that was fun. The Mine Resistant Vehicles in Afghanistan now and HIMARS missle launchers were my projects.
 
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#20

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#21
If i were to build a good stable work station right now this is what i will be buying.






btw the warranty for FireGL V7700 is 3 years directly from AMD/ATI
 

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#22
Going to be pricing out and building two matching desktops for an architect. These will be used for Microsoft Office, a little online browsing, Acrobat Professional, and AutoCAD. Most of the work in AutoCAD will be done in 2D, but some in 3D as well. He doesn't really run any other design programs.

Price range: $2,000-$3,000 ea (flexible)

Current Build:
  • i5 680
  • GA-P55-UD4P
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  • Corsair TX750W
  • Corsair Obsidian 700D
  • WD Caviar Black FAEX 1TB SATA 6GB/s
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  • Gigabyte GTX 460 1GB
  • CM Hyper 212 Plus
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • Office Business 2010
  • Acrobat Professional 9

If anybody has any experience running AutoCAD in 2D or 3D, your input will be GREATLY appreciated.

That looks really solid. I might double the RAM though..if there heavy multi-taskers... Or like to open thousands of window's like some of the people I work for do.
 
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#23
He's running on 4GB's with a 32-bit OS. I think 8 per machine should be enough. Good thing is, since we're getting him 2x4GB he can always double it if he thinks he needs it.
 
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#24
Good idea on the RAM - always leave room for expansion.
Okay I checked both AutoCADD 2008 and 2010 here at work and both used all four cores equally. I had two large 3D files up in a orbit/rendering/environment and the CPU was showing 20-25% usage. Remember I have older CPU and video and it shows these stats - so your's should be even less strain. According to Autodesk website the system requirements are really low - the FireGL V7700 has a certified driver support for Win 7 64 bit and fully supports version 2010 and 2011 AutoCADD

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servle....1&os=1&os=512&os=256&os=2048&os=4096&os=8192

Make sure to get Win 7 64 Bit and AutoCADD 64 bit.
Also will his plotter/printer, mouse/digitizer/spaceball, and other equipment will it support 64 bit drivers?
 
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System Name http://www.heatware.com/eval.php?id=73751
Processor i7-920 CO@4.2GHZ / ASUS GL553VW 15.6" Gaming Laptop NVIDIA GTX 960M 4GB Intel Core i56300HQ 8GB DDR4
Motherboard Asus P6T Deluxe Intel X58
Cooling Asetek Liquid CPU Cooling System
Memory CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600
Video Card(s) 2X ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB DDR5 PCI-Express
Storage (RAID-0) with 4 Identical Hard Drives (1.28TB (320GBx4)
Display(s) LG 50" 50PK550 1080p 600Hz Plasma/37 Inch WestingHouse @1920x1080
Case Thermaltake M9 (I hate it its like trying to live in a 1 inch box)
Power Supply ThermalTake ToughPower 1200 Watt
Software Windows 7 professional 64
#25
Good idea on the RAM - always leave room for expansion.
Okay I checked both AutoCADD 2008 and 2010 here at work and both used all four cores equally. I had two large 3D files up in a orbit/rendering/environment and the CPU was showing 20-25% usage. Remember I have older CPU and video and it shows these stats - so your's should be even less strain. According to Autodesk website the system requirements are really low - the FireGL V7700 has a certified driver support for Win 7 64 bit and fully supports version 2010 and 2011 AutoCADD

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servle....1&os=1&os=512&os=256&os=2048&os=4096&os=8192

Make sure to get Win 7 64 Bit and AutoCADD 64 bit.
Also will his plotter/printer, mouse/digitizer/spaceball, and other equipment will it support 64 bit drivers?
Most plotters do and the spaceball does as well.:toast:
Really windows 7 64 will be best!
 
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