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Quadro 600 vs GTX 670 for CAD

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June 7, 2013 5:59:22 PM

Hello, just wondering for a build I'm planning for my dad who's using CAD software specifically autocad 2013. As such I'm speccing up a new pc for one of his staff and I would like to know if anyone knows which is better, both the quadro 600 and gtx 670 fit into the budget and as such price isn't the biggest of issues. Many like me just look at the hardware and expect the 670 to trample the quadro however I'm inexperienced with CAD so please any input is valuable. - Conor

More about : quadro 600 gtx 670 cad

June 7, 2013 7:29:32 PM

The Quadro cards are designed for CAD. The GTX series are far cheaper but they are also artificially hamstrung to not perform well for non-gaming tasks.

Having said that, the GTX series may perform better on a COST basis, though I've heard you have to go to support forums to learn how to "trick" the autoCAD program into realizing your card is there. NVidia makes a lot of money of Quadro cards and doesn't want you buying a $300 card with better performance than a $1000 Quadro.

There's a list HERE but it's really out of date (I assume any Quadro card will work):
*Choose "graphics hardware" and the program, program version and OS etc..
http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/syscert?id=1884453...

That's the best I can help. I did see an article somewhere that recommended a GTX660 and the "trick" but I'm just not an expert.
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June 7, 2013 7:38:04 PM

Update:

I did read that AMD was working with Adobe to support their HD7000 and HD8000 series gaming cards but I can't find any info to link.

You may wish to contact ADOBE in an e-mail to investigate IF this is true and WHAT software is supported since their site seems to be out of date. If so, an HD7950 might be a good idea.

The ONLY link I've seen recently is one about the MAC version but it says this HD7950 will work well with CAD so will a regular Windows version work? No idea.
http://architosh.com/2013/03/amd-partner-sapphire-has-r...
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June 7, 2013 9:45:08 PM

Adobe and autodesk are not the same company. The only program that you have to add gpus to the list is premiere (it has some geforce and missing quadros so is not a workstation vs consumer thing), no other program uses a list. The adobe thing is completely different because they are adding opencl gpu acceleration which works on any gpu with opencl but this is off topic so won't say anymore. The autodesk list is just the cards they tested and mostly everyone ignores it (because of the same issues of any company of not adding cards). Cad uses directx so is actually completely fine with a consumer cards. Since it is directx you will see gaming cards have better performance. Even the intel hd 4000 beats a low end quadro. Geforce are only gimped in opengl and fp64.
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/workstation-graphics...
http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/AutoDesk-Auto...
But I must point out what they mention as well, if this is your job, then go with a workstation card, there are other things to worry about than utmost performance. Though I am wondering why you are comparing a $140 quadro to a $330 geforce, it's not really a fair comparison.
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June 8, 2013 1:54:00 AM

According to the second link above, there's very little advantage when going above a GTX650 which is roughly $100.

My advice (unless you need a gaming card) is THIS card from Asus. It's a GTX650Ti for $140 with an excellent cooling system to keep it quieter than similar cards.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I don't think autocad is too RAM needy so 8GB might be plenty but don't quote me. Video editing is a different story. Again, I'm no expert but I'd probably recommend something like this:
1) i7-4770K
2) 1150 Z87 motherboard
3) Windows 8 64-bit
4) Start8 from Stardock ($5) if you want to bypass the new Start Menu and Charms (Windows 8 has several improvements but many can't stand being forced to use the new interface.)
5) after-market CPU cooler (stock one is noisy). Any 1155/1156 one should be compatible with 1150 socket. PWM fan recommended. Optionally a water-cooler like the Corsair H80i but it's about $90.

THIS appears to be a good cooler for $30: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

6) 8GB (?) of DDR3

7) suitable case with USB3 front inputs
8) SSD for Windows and programs (The $100 Samsung 840, 120GB might be the best value. Run Samsung magician for firmware update and apply overprovisioning).
9) WD Green hard drive for backup IMAGE using Acronis True Image 2013 (setup an AUTOMATED weekly backup scenario so you can restore that important information in case of a drive failure).

10) get the free version of SyncbackSE and setup a DAILY backup of any folder with critical data (current autocad files)

11) Antec VP450 power supply (If graphics card is a GTX660 or less). It's an inexpensive but well reviewed power supply. You can find PSU's with quieter fans but they tend to be in the $80 or more category. This PSU is still fairly quiet.
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June 8, 2013 3:08:12 PM

I know you want to help but you shouldn't give suggestions on something you don't have experience with. A wrong suggestion is worse than no suggestion. Before suggesting a quadro or gtx, or any part really, more info needs to be given. Cad can eat ram as does any content creation software. It all depends on the project. There are plenty of other solutions for the w8 start menu, many of which are free like classic shell. I keep seeing start8 like people are advertising it. Bringing up a h80i first seems misleading. Xig gaia is only $20 and will keep it plenty cool and quiet even when oced. The green hdds are usually more expensive and secondary hdds can turn off so the power saving is irrelevant. But backups should preferably be external. A cx430 is around the same price as a vp450. Even the 430m is lower price with the rebate.
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June 8, 2013 3:51:21 PM

k1114 said:
I know you want to help but you shouldn't give suggestions on something you don't have experience with. A wrong suggestion is worse than no suggestion. Before suggesting a quadro or gtx, or any part really, more info needs to be given. Cad can eat ram as does any content creation software. It all depends on the project. There are plenty of other solutions for the w8 start menu, many of which are free like classic shell. I keep seeing start8 like people are advertising it. Bringing up a h80i first seems misleading. Xig gaia is only $20 and will keep it plenty cool and quiet even when oced. The green hdds are usually more expensive and secondary hdds can turn off so the power saving is irrelevant. But backups should preferably be external. A cx430 is around the same price as a vp450. Even the 430m is lower price with the rebate.

As much as I appreciate you trying to help, I mainly need help on the graphics card, I sorted the rest of the build long before this :p 
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June 8, 2013 3:55:31 PM

photonboy said:
According to the second link above, there's very little advantage when going above a GTX650 which is roughly $100.

My advice (unless you need a gaming card) is THIS card from Asus. It's a GTX650Ti for $140 with an excellent cooling system to keep it quieter than similar cards.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I don't think autocad is too RAM needy so 8GB might be plenty but don't quote me. Video editing is a different story. Again, I'm no expert but I'd probably recommend something like this:
1) i7-4770K
2) 1150 Z87 motherboard
3) Windows 8 64-bit
4) Start8 from Stardock ($5) if you want to bypass the new Start Menu and Charms (Windows 8 has several improvements but many can't stand being forced to use the new interface.)
5) after-market CPU cooler (stock one is noisy). Any 1155/1156 one should be compatible with 1150 socket. PWM fan recommended. Optionally a water-cooler like the Corsair H80i but it's about $90.

THIS appears to be a good cooler for $30: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

6) 8GB (?) of DDR3

7) suitable case with USB3 front inputs
8) SSD for Windows and programs (The $100 Samsung 840, 120GB might be the best value. Run Samsung magician for firmware update and apply overprovisioning).
9) WD Green hard drive for backup IMAGE using Acronis True Image 2013 (setup an AUTOMATED weekly backup scenario so you can restore that important information in case of a drive failure).

10) get the free version of SyncbackSE and setup a DAILY backup of any folder with critical data (current autocad files)

11) Antec VP450 power supply (If graphics card is a GTX660 or less). It's an inexpensive but well reviewed power supply. You can find PSU's with quieter fans but they tend to be in the $80 or more category. This PSU is still fairly quiet.


Thanks for the lovely advice! However I'm experienced with pc building, I really don't need any help on building the computer with anything but the gpu infact, that was the only reason I made this thread haha :) 
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June 8, 2013 4:44:22 PM

Conor W said:
Hello, just wondering for a build I'm planning for my dad who's using CAD software specifically autocad 2013. As such I'm speccing up a new pc for one of his staff and I would like to know if anyone knows which is better, both the quadro 600 and gtx 670 fit into the budget and as such price isn't the biggest of issues. Many like me just look at the hardware and expect the 670 to trample the quadro however I'm inexperienced with CAD so please any input is valuable. - Conor


Conor W,

Quadros and GeForce grphics cards are very similar physically, but differ in emphasis in important ways. GeForce cards are intended to present maximum frame rates in sacrifice of image quality-each frame is not "finished" to the level that Quadros produce. The difference is in the drivers and BIOS and Quadros are oriented towards much higher precision, anti-aliasing (how about 128X instead of 16X?), and general subtlety of color and shadow gradation. Autodesk, Dessault (Solidworks and Catia) , Adobe and others optimize their programs and provide special "partnered drivers for Quadros. The Quadro I use now, the FX 4800 (1.5GB) had a special version called the "CX" that was speciafically to use with Adobe CS 4- which I also use.GeForce are however "faster" at the expense of image quality and up to a point, better cost / performance.

The problem in the Quadro vs. GeForce debate is that the line over which a Quadro becomes desirable and/or necessary is difficult to determine in advance. This line has to be crossed to find it and by then the project is over budget, three weeks late, and the client is getting proposals from down the road.

I've used AutoCad, for more than 20 years and Adobe CS for graphics. I made the change to 3D CAD using Revit Solidworks, and Sketchup for 3D modeling. About three years ago, I bought a used Dell Precision T5400 workstation having a Quadro FX 580, 512MB graphics card. This worked very well for 2D but 3D performance was lacking so I bought a GeForce GTX 285, 1GB. The GTX was a $350 card that chosen because it was internally similar- same GPU, 512 bit, same 240 CUDA cores to the Quadro FX 5800- a $3,300 and 4GB card. But, it was not similar enough and was not a bargain. The GTX 285 had severe problems- bizarre shadows, artifacts, viewports not opening, model navigation freezes, and rendering crashes that cost many hours of diagnosis and rerunning of renderings. The used Quadro FX 4800 ($1,200 new, purchased for $150) cured everything. As I was gearing up for larger projects, I added a second Xeon CPU and more RAM to the Precision. Even though the system benchmark is slightly lower, it 's unnoticeable in use.

My 20 years with CAD has me to believe that at a professional level, the long-term, reliable, precise, and quality-oriented workstation solution will be: Xeon > ECC RAM > Quadro. These are all more costly terms, but the time saved in precision and reliability pays off.

In answer to your question> Concerning the Quadro 600 and GTX 670 (2GB, $400), these are not at a similar level in their respective product lines. The Quadro 600 and new K600 are very good in 2D, but the 3D performance is only fair. It would be more appropriate to compare the Quadro K2000 (2GB , About $430). And, in light of comments above,, I'd choose the Quadro K2000 in a minute. Actually, I would choose the K2000D version which has 2X DVI connections for dual monitors not having Displayport input.

I recently was thinking of a kind of ideally cost /performance balanced imaging workstation >

The BambiBoom Pixeldozer Espresso TurboKlonk 3000 CAD / Imaging / Rendering / Editing Workstation ® © ™ ℞ _5.31.13

1. Xeon E5-1650 6-core 3.2 /3.8GHz $600
http://ark.intel.com/products/64601

2. ASUS P9X79 WS LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 SSI CEB $380

3. Kingston 32B (4X 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 ECC Unbuffered Server Memory w/TS Intel Model KVR16E11/8I $300.

4. NVIDIA Quadro K4000 3GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Workstation Video Card $800

5. SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD256BW 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $250

6. 2X WESTERN DIGITAL 1TB HARD DRIVE SATA 64MB 6 Gb/s WD AV-GP (RAID 1) $170

7. LIAN LI PC-A75 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case $182

8. SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply $150

9. Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit - OEM $190

10. Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 140mm and 120mm SSO CPU Cooler $89

11. ASUS Black Blu-ray Burner SATA BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS $85
_____________________________________________________________

TOTAL > about $3,200

And today I would buy a 27" 2560 X 1440 monitor (probably Samsung) and 24" dual monitor configuration

_______________________________________________________

For gamers system configurations can be more easily summarized in frame rates at the maximum settings- a more graspable quantification, but for content creation, the issue of quality and stability against speed- and higher cost is subjective and becomes a complex equation.

Cheers,

BambiBoom


[Dell Precision T5400 > 2X Xeon X5460 quad core @ 3.16GHz, 16 GB ECC , Quadro FX 4800 (1.5GB), WD RE4 / Segt Barcd 500GB > Windows 7 Ult > AutoCad, Revit, Solidworks, Sketchup, Adobe CS MC, Corel Technical Designer, WP Office, MS Office > Monitor > HP 27" 2711x @ 1920 X 1080] < about a $1,400 total investment
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June 11, 2013 11:21:23 PM

RE: above build

If you're going to design a computer don't spend money if it's a waste. I don't have the time for further research but I'll make some quick comments. Note that I'm not SAYING it's a waste, just pointing out things I recommend be investigated as I think they easily COULD be:

1) CPU: what is the performance difference versus the i5-3570K, i7-3770K or similar Haswell CPU's?
(Some programs are very demanding but is AutoCAD one of them?)

2) Graphics Card: In the link to "...pugetsystems.." above somewhere we saw a sharp bottleneck where a better GPU made little difference. So would the $800 card make any difference? It appears that the CPU is the current bottleneck.

3) RAM: How much is needed?
Video editing is intensive, but does AutoCAD need more than 8GB? (If so, where's the proof?)

4) SSD: How much capacity is needed?
(Mainly, how large would the work files be? 120GB might be plenty.)

5) RAID setup?
*I would argue that the BEST SETUP would likely be that Windows and the programs simply use the SSD completely and that a SINGLE hard drive be used with Acronis True Image 2013 to create an Auto-backup of the Windows drive (set to weekly). A single 2TB WD Green should be more than adequate (slow and quiet).

**For critical files use SyncbackSE Free to create a DAILY automated backup of the AutoCAD work folder. (from the SSD to the Hard Drive)

6) PSU:
That is a quality PSU, but it's overkill if it's determined only a GTX660 is needed. There are plenty of high quality PSU's for $80 to $100.

7) Windows 7 Ultimate? WHY?
a) Windows 8 64-bit is superior to Windows 7 and the Start Screen issue is avoided with Start8 (It's more secure, more reliable, boots faster etc...)
b) Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro should be adequate and cost less (unless there's a specific feature that is indispensable)

8) CPU Cooler:
The Noctua NH-D14 does not have PWM fans. Therefore most modern motherboards can NOT control the fan speed. Either get a good air cooler with PWM fans or a water-cooler with built-in control like the Corsair H-series.

9) Motherboard:
If it's determined that the Intel i5/i7 Haswell CPU's can get good performance why spend $380 when a $150 motherboard is adequate.

SUMMARY:
Again, I don't claim to be an expert but it's important to verify if these parts are a waste of money or not. I've seen many people report using AutoCAD on systems with far lower specs than this with excellent results.

I hope you can find reliable benchmarks for the CPU, RAM (amount) and video card. Again, assuming the above link is accurate, the difference between a GTX660 and QuadroFX4000 might be quite small.


**Please don't start FLAMING ME. If you disagree, please provide PROOF to legitimate benchmarks such as the graphics card to demonstrate its value.**
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June 12, 2013 10:19:12 AM

photonboy,

I agree completely that no one should spend money unnecessarily. The thing is, "high performance" is by definition a luxury- if any system -not only computer) performs the task to completion, that is sufficient. Engineering is finding the minimum means of achieving a function.

Of course, the function has qualities and quantities- control and performance. In computers, the functions and definition of performance varies considerably. In the case of gaming computers, the frame rate of games at the highest settings is the performance goal, and for image content, image quality in terms of precision finishing is the goal. The gaming performance is the more measurable- frame rates, while for content creation, speed is an important factor- time is money, but that's secondary to quality.

As for the system build I propose as a high performance image creation, the components are intended to balance high precision calculation, which affects qualities such as alaising, light, particle, fluid, shadow affects and color mix and gradients with reasonably fast rendering.

After twenty years using CAD and graphics design software on nine computers, I've found that above a fairly low threshold of function and image quality, the systems needs to include a Xeon > ECC RAM > Quadro. Recently, I found that in my use a Xeon > ECC > GTX system would simply not function in several important areas. None of these image qualities and features can be reflected in benchmarks, they are experiential. In other parameters, such as floating point and integer calculation, double precision, error correction, and in 2D and 3D composite testing, memory bandwidth, disk subsystem and so on are helpful as good scores will translate into a subjective high performance. When I changed my graphics card from a GTX 285 to a Quadro FX 4800- in price new, that's going from a $350 card to a $1,200 card- the system rating in Passmark dropped from 1909 to 1859 but it solved a number of serious quality and running problems that involved a considerable frustration, loss of time, and having to settle for poor image quality.

You ask >


1) CPU: what is the performance difference versus the i5-3570K, i7-3770K or similar Haswell CPU's?
(Some programs are very demanding but is AutoCAD one of them?)


AutoCad has always been a low-demand application. However, Solidworks and any 3D Cad with simulation capabilities is the opposite case. As in any workstation, the configuration has to be capable of the most demanding application. Maya is another that I intend to use in future- and that is polygon intensive, 3D moldelin, eanimation, and rendering- all the most system demanding.

Renderings can require hours of processing and is one of the few applications that can use all available cores. In a no cost-limit system, I would specify dual Xeon 2697W's -8-core Xeons for 16 cores /32 threads and a dual CPU also provide more PCIe lanes and memory capacity. And for only $3,800,.. My current system has dual 4- core Xeons. If you look at this chart >

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php

> and put them in order of rank, you will see that 8 of the top 10 and 15 of the top 20 CPU's are Xeons. and, Xeons have enhanced floating point and integer calculation.

2) Graphics Card: In the link to "...pugetsystems.." above somewhere we saw a sharp bottleneck where a better GPU made little difference. So would the $800 card make any difference? It appears that the CPU is the current bottleneck.

I'm not sure to what you're referring, but in Passmark, a system using the E5-1650 / Quadro K4000 configuration, but an HP Z420 had a rating of 4482, CPU score of 11829 and 2D / 3D scores of 689 / 2789. In the Top 100 systems, the number 6 computer uses 2X Xeon 2687W's and a Quadro 6000.

3) RAM: How much is needed?
Video editing is intensive, but does AutoCAD need more than 8GB? (If so, where's the proof?)

AutoCad does not need a lot of CPU power nor memory, but I- in common with most in this kind of work, use multiple complex applications at once use- up to 7 complex programs (plus OS)- at once and sometimes single files of 600MB and up to 1GB of files open at once, plus Internet and Media Player. When I had 12GB of RAM in my current system, I would occasionally see the HD sctivvity light go mad- I was running Ptograms off the HD instread of in RAM. I increased the RAM to 16GB, but when doign a new system, I would always have headroom. There’s a reason why a new Dell Precision T7600 supports 192GB of RAM and many workstations today use 64GB.

4) SSD: How much capacity is needed?
(Mainly, how large would the work files be? 120GB might be plenty.)

I would not use the SSD at all for files, it would be only for OS and applications. I do this on my current computer in a partition which occupies 147GB and I have not installed several large applications that I intend to use in the future. I could probably use a 180GB SSD, but the Samsung 256 has a very good reputation and I hate having to fuss over drive space. In terms of files, on my work computer I keep about 75,000, which is only about 80GB, but if I added sound recording files, I would have about 1.5TB.

5) RAID setup?
*I would argue that the BEST SETUP would likely be that Windows and the programs simply use the SSD completely and that a SINGLE hard drive be used with Acronis True Image 2013 to create an Auto-backup of the Windows drive (set to weekly). A single 2TB WD Green should be more than adequate (slow and quiet).

**For critical files use SyncbackSE Free to create a DAILY automated backup of the AutoCAD work folder. (from the SSD to the Hard Drive)


Yes, I could survive on a single disk system, but two drives means simultaneous read / write and RAID 1 mirroring means never having to say I'm out of business. It's of no use having a system image and back up on a single drive. If that drive fails, the system image can't be used.

6) PSU:
That is a quality PSU, but it's overkill if it's determined only a GTX660 is needed. There are plenty of high quality PSU's for $80 to $100.


My experience with high end audio has made me very particular about power supplies dynamic headroom, noiseless (not sound) transient response,and reliability. Also, in the system described, I intended to someday upgrade by adding a GPU copreocessor or two- when they aren’t $2-3,000 that is.

7) Windows 7 Ultimate? WHY?
a) Windows 8 64-bit is superior to Windows 7 and the Start Screen issue is avoided with Start8 (It's more secure, more reliable, boots faster etc...)
b) Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro should be adequate and cost less (unless there's a specific feature that is indispensable)


The indispensable features of Windows 7 Ultimate are reliability and refinement. I will never buy a Microsoft product in the first three years. The fact that Windows 8 sales were less than Vista, an d8.1 “Blue” had to brought out is a sure sign of another crude product released prematurely. The interface, just as is the ianane and resource hungry Windows 7 “Aero” is a complete waste. I would use XP Pro if it weren’t for the lack of driver support for new peripherals. I’d seen a lot of offices still using XP and read recently that 38% of Windows systems are still XP.

8) CPU Cooler:
The Noctua NH-D14 does not have PWM fans. Therefore most modern motherboards can NOT control the fan speed. Either get a good air cooler with PWM fans or a water-cooler with built-in control like the Corsair H-series.


The mother board specified to quote from ASUS has >

“Fan Xpert+

Customizable speeds with independent fan control
Hardware-level ASUS Fan Xpert+ allows users to independently adjust both CPU and case fan speeds with multiple dedicated controllers based on different ambient temperatures, climate conditions and system loads. Built-in profiles offer flexible automatic and manual fan speed controls to achieve a quiet and cool computing environment.” < END

9) Motherboard:
If it's determined that the Intel i5/i7 Haswell CPU's can get good performance why spend $380 when a $150 motherboard is adequate.

The motherboard specified is $500 and was chosen for accommodating Xeon E5 and ECC RAM,, the combination of slots that will allow the possible addition of both GPU co-processing accelerators, 64GB ECC RAM, 6GB/s SATA controllers, and PCIe drives like OCZ RevoDrives, plus it’s very high benchmarks results (X79 chipset). That particular board, because it is made for overclocking- which I will never do- also has very throughly worked out board cooling. There are very few boards. This is again, not about saving every dime, but features, reliability and performance, and having the ability to expand. I’m not against spending less if the component has the same features, performance, and expandibility.

To summarize, a content creation system has very different needs and components from a content consumer system- and when it is the core of a business and produces income instead of for entertainment. Those who have not worked in content creation may be mystified by the arcane, subjective characteristics and shocked at the what seems like unnecessarily high hardware- and software cost (AutoCad $4,600, Maya $5,600, Autodesk Inventor $7,300, Solidworks up to $9,000, Catia up to $26,000, Adobe CS $2,700) but in my experience for high quality results at a good performance level, it’s necessary to make a careful analysis of the parts and what they do well, as well as configurations that emphasize quality results.

Computers> They’re not just for shooting aliens anymore!

Good Discussion!

Cheers,

BambiBoom
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June 12, 2013 2:26:20 PM

Xeons do not have enhanced floating point and integer calculation. The reason xeons are on top is simply because they are higher end specs. Benchmarks show identical performance between similar specced i series and xeons. You can even look at single threaded performance which will be ordered dependent on architecture and ghz regardless of branding. The reason to take an xeon would be features, most notably ecc capability or multi cpu configs. You should take synthetics with a grain of salt and even more so with ones like passmark where anyone can submit their results. But as any software will not perform the same, you would gauge performance per software or over an average of multiple suites.

There is still little reason (none in this case) to go with ultimate over pro when it comes to w7. You can argue the decision vs w8 but there isn't a difference in w7 pro to ult. "Blue" is really more of just ms switching to yearly updates because of marketing and complaints of service pack releases. W7 sp1 was nearly a year after its release and most would agree 7 is just vista improved. I could argue I haven't had an issues with reliability or refinement with w8 but ms seems to be pushing for changes nobody wants, as with the xbox1 too.

Fans can be controlled by voltage or pwm. 4 pin connections will typically only allow control with pwm though there are mobos that let you switch between voltage or pwm control. Other connections can be voltage controlled though you would want to check with the mobo. Fan expert+ is just software and doesn't change the capability of the mobo.
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June 13, 2013 4:27:58 PM

Bambiboom,
Many good points and you are obviously quite knowledgeable but I'll jest rebut a few points:

CPU FAN:
I have an Asus Z77 Sabertooth. It absolutely can NOT control the fans on my Noctua NH-D14 (the one you recommend). Nor can very many modern motherboards. PWM fans are what you need unless it's a water-cooler with its own integrated fan/temp sensor.

Graphics Card:
I was referring to THIS: http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/AutoDesk-Auto...

In terms of performance there appears to be a point of lessening returns. I realize there are other reasons to get a Workstation card but if a $130 card (the Asus 660Ti I linked) does what's needed why spend more?

Windows 8 (plus Start8):
I think the security, reliability and other benefits being added to Windows 8 far outweigh any perceived reliability Windows 7 might have because it's older. Unlike the issues when going from XP to Vista, Windows 8 is now very, very solid.

SSD/HDD:
I still don't understand why you'd want a 2xRAID setup which is far slower than an SSD. If you don't want the files on the main SSD you could have a second SSD for the files (i.e. 120GB for Windows/apps and 120GB for files or whatever size is needed). The free version of SyncbackSE can copy the working files from the SSD to the hard drive on a DAILY BASIS so data loss isn't really an issue and a good modern SSD is now more reliable than a mechanical hard drive.

An SSD would be far faster and quieter than a 2xRAID setup and the length of time to wear out is realistically many years of constant use. Unless the capacity requirement is getting expensive (it's about $1 per GB on SSD) I just don't see any good reason to get a RAID HDD setup.

Overall:
It's too much to comment on, but I also don't know the budget or exact intended use. I'm mainly trying to state that it's good to think about each part and find PROOF that it does in fact benefit. While you might need 32GB of RAM, an $800 Workstation card and that level of CPU processing power, others probably don't.
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June 13, 2013 10:39:23 PM

photonboy,

This thread was begun by Conor W asking whether a Quadro 600 or GTX 670 would be "better" for a system using AutoCad 2013. My answer, in my experience, is that Quadros offer certain advantages in image quality and in other CAD programs, a GTX 285 would not perform certain tasks, produced frustrating artifacts and rendering crashes. A GTX is simply made for a different purpose and above a certain- fairly low threshold I discovered, they are a waste if money as they are not capable of the highest quality results and in my use crashed renderings and produced artifacts and shadow problems. Yes, if a person is doing straight 2D AutoCad (vector) and image quality is not important, AutoCad will oblige on even quite low end cards, a 2GHz CPU and very little RAM. But, for business use, in which a high image quality and complete precision and reliability are expected, I would recommend a Xeon > ECC > Quadro, configuration. Performance is important too, but speed is secondary to quality and reliability. Even though they are more expensive initially, they pay for themselves in improvements in certain features, and image quality. You haven't mentioned how many years of CAD experience you have, but unless you've used CAD in a business setting, I believe it would be impossible to comment with authority- these issues of quality and reliability have to be experienced. This situation is well summarized in the article to which you linked >

http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/AutoDesk-Auto...

>"" According to our benchmarking, the NVIDIA GTX cards are much faster than the NVIDIA Quadro or AMD FirePro cards, but what many do not realize is that FirePro and Quadro cards are not primarily about speed. They are more akin to ECC memory as they prioritize precision over speed. In fact, the NVIDIA Quadro 5000/6000 and AMD FirePro W8000/W9000 actually use ECC memory for their video RAM.

When gaming, precision is not really needed since one small artifact every 1000 frames is not noticeable to the human eye. When you get into 3d modeling or simulation, however, one small artifact can cause big problems. In a professional environment, you want to be 100% sure that everything was completed properly the first time and that there are no small artifacts in the results. For example, if you are modeling a bracket that will be used in a million dollar football stadium, you want to be 100% confident in the load simulation results. Workstation cards are really the best way for you to be confident in the results.

So, the foremost question when it comes to Desktop vs. Workstation graphics is actually not about which has the best benchmark performance, but rather if speed or precision is more important to you. If you are a gamer that dabbles in 3d modeling, a GeForce or Radeon card will likely work great for you. If you are a professional that needs consistent results that you can be 100% confident in, it is likely worth the slightly slower Quadro or FirePro card for the assurance that there will be no minor problems with your model.

Another point to take into consideration is that NVIDIA Quadro and AMD FirePro cards are the only modern cards that AutoDesk has officially qualified for AutoCAD. Obviously the NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon cards do work, but they technically are not endorsed by AutoDesk. "" < END

In my view, the article you use to promote the idea of using a GTX in a workstation clearly states the opposite conclusion.

As for the CPU / case fan, the Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler does have PWM fan control >

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for OS, that's mostly a choice of the reliability of Windows 7 and moreso an aesthetic choice- I just can't stand the Metro interface- which is too Fisher Price / fuzzy bear. Plus, as I use several applications at once and keep shifting, I have 75 icons on my desktop and shift on the Start button constantly. Even if there was room for 75 tiles, the desktop would be solid and incomprehensible. Microsoft has realized their mistake, but to me that's a sign of their odd, marketing desperation rather than a focus on interface design quality and I'll be waiting for Windows 9. Yes, I could work with Windows 7 Professional, but the BitLocker encryption in Ultimate is worth the difference.

The fast SSD is used for the OS and applications and the RAID 1 on mechanical drives is to 1> have sufficient storage space- in my case to have absolutely all my files available requires 1.5GB (show me 2TB SSD's!) and 2 > mirror redundancy with a system image and file backup. That allows nearly uninterrupted work even if the SSD or one of the mech'l drives fails. A lot of businesses using CAD are billing $150-200 per hour, so this is an important feature, I wouldn't mind a RAID 10 or other that combines striping performance with mirroring redundancy, but with 6GB/s mech'l drives the performance in a workstation use is not that critical. If you've ever visit an architectural or engineering office you will see RAID every time. Actually, today, most offices have a RAID for OS and applications on the individual computer and the working files are on a server- and they will all use RAID and often on hot swap SAS drives.

Again, the features and performance parameters as applied to a gaming system are just very different from a workstation. Those playing games don't all need three GTX 680's- that's a luxury, but those using workstations in business are facing unacceptable risks going below a certain set of standards- and in the imaging world- as your linked article says, "If you are a professional that needs consistent results that you can be 100% confident in, it is likely worth the slightly slower Quadro or FirePro card for the assurance that there will be no minor problems with your model" and this applies similarly to Xeons and ECC- not a luxury.

Good discussion!

Cheers,

BambiBoom
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June 14, 2013 9:54:59 AM

The puget article actually suggests a workstation card for professionals. That is why it's important to read an article and not just look at the pretty pictures.

W8 has a desktop exactly like 7. The new start menu replaces the start button menu, not the desktop. I'd use truecrypt over bitlocker. It's offers the same aes encryption for free and with more features.
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June 14, 2013 12:11:56 PM

k1114,

Yes, I was surprised that our friend photonboy linked to an article that clearly stated the opposite of his premise that workstation cards are a waste of money. I understand the suspicion of Quadros as GTX-with-a-different-label cash cows for NVIDIA, as the hardware is essentially the same, but that profit conspiracy attitude must be from those who have never used CAD, high end graphic design, or image processing / editing professionally.

As for Windows 8, the only desktop I've seen is one in which Windows 7 icons are replaced by a mosaic of large, gaudy tiles that are either square or a double square. I see Microsoft is introducing an alternative (September?) including the Start button-- but which apparently doesn't work in quite the same way, and the desktop is a grid small tiles that are more like Windows 7 icons, but I simply don't see the need to switch OS at this point, especially to a less refined one still undergoing experiment and development. The start button / taskbar, icon of windows 7 was just fine and if MS wanted something that was more appropriate to touch screen iBlots, that should have been a separate design. The slightly slimmer- or less bloated- aspect of Windows 8 is the only attractive feature. I just don't understand how Microsoft has gotten away from so many years with these crude interfaces.

I'll have a look at Truecrypt. My use of BitLocker is quite basic and it seem reliable at the moment.

Cheers,

BambiBoom
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June 14, 2013 6:31:43 PM

The metro design you are talking about is the start menu, not the desktop. There is no alternative being introduced. They are adding the actual start button back but it still goes to the same w8 start menu. There are other features being added but nothing is being changed in how it works. Here's the current w8 desktop, exactly the same as 7 but missing a start button. http://www.walldesktops.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/...

From what I can tell, you have never used w8. Immediately pushing aside w8 without actually knowing about it is the main cause of all the dislike of w8. With the new interface there is a learning curve but only because people are expecting the old windows interface. I had to train people on it and literally takes 1 min to go through the charms bar and new start menu and show how everything else is pretty much the same. Most people said they wouldn't care which windows version they had since the ui change wasn't a big deal as they had thought. If you do have w7 already there is no reason to upgrade but for those getting a new pc, they should just go with w8.

Bitlocker is fine and there was a tom's article comparing them. In the end, it came down to features so there just isn't a reason to pay more for ultimate to get it.
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June 15, 2013 5:25:11 PM

Thank you for all the responses, I am going with a quadro however it puzzles me how all of decided you'd start speccing up the rest of the build - I said I had that all sorted but oh well :p .
Hope you all have nice days - Conor
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June 15, 2013 5:25:12 PM

Thank you for all the responses, I am going with a quadro however it puzzles me how all of decided you'd start speccing up the rest of the build - I said I had that all sorted but oh well :p .
Hope you all have nice days - Conor
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June 15, 2013 5:25:14 PM

Thank you for all the responses, I am going with a quadro however it puzzles me how all of decided you'd start speccing up the rest of the build - I said I had that all sorted but oh well :p .
Hope you all have nice days - Conor
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June 15, 2013 8:09:17 PM

Conor W said:
Thank you for all the responses, I am going with a quadro however it puzzles me how all of decided you'd start speccing up the rest of the build - I said I had that all sorted but oh well :p .
Hope you all have nice days - Conor

Conor W,

May we know the final system specification you intend to use?

You seem to have taken some degree of offense that there were suggestions for the system about which you asked for advice. But, don't take all the wrangling personally- it's not an insult to your knowledge or experience. All the fuss is so we might wave ideas around and learn by analysis and criticism - a digital Platonic dialectic and the purpose of the forum. Sorry, but it's not always very efficient, focused, or ego-free.

Cheers,

BambiBoom
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June 16, 2013 5:49:07 AM

bambiboom said:
Conor W said:
Thank you for all the responses, I am going with a quadro however it puzzles me how all of decided you'd start speccing up the rest of the build - I said I had that all sorted but oh well :p .
Hope you all have nice days - Conor

Conor W,

May we know the final system specification you intend to use?

You seem to have taken some degree of offense that there were suggestions for the system about which you asked for advice. But, don't take all the wrangling personally- it's not an insult to your knowledge or experience. All the fuss is so we might wave ideas around and learn by analysis and criticism - a digital Platonic dialectic and the purpose of the forum. Sorry, but it's not always very efficient, focused, or ego-free.

Cheers,

BambiBoom


Hello, sorry I wasn't trying to kill your creative spirit as I do understand that you all want to help and I enjoy that honestly I like joining in on these debates over hardware or I wouldn't be on this forum :p . Sorry if I seemed a bit harsh when putting it back on topic but anyway you asked for the full spec so here you go guys :) 


Quick note this was on a tight budget of 800 pounds including os and monitor but not autocad 2013. Also where I live is VAT free so look at the VAT free prices :) 

First off an XFX pro 550w core edition - http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA...
I like this as it's a good quality PSU that I don't expect to explode any time soon :p 

Corsair 8gb lp dimms - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Corsair-CMX8GX3M2B1600C9-1600MH...
Now I won't be overclocking these much as I feel the voltage is already a bit high but the pricing on this kit for where I live is spectacular and 8gb 1600mhz shouldn't cause anything too bad.

TP link 150mbs http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=NW... Internet where I live is pricey so this speed is more than enough :) 

OCUK dvd drive http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CD...

Quadro 600 - http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...
With this I must say to you all it's a building development firm they don't do anything but auotcad so this is enough :p 

Noctua heatsink http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HS...
Good, silent, cheap and it will allow me to get a hefty overclock on the system which should allow the user to really get autocad up to its full potential.

I5-3570k http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CP...
Do I really need to state how awesome a cpu this is, I'll try get it up to 4-4.5ghz nothing huge but something good :) 

Case http://www.amazon.co.uk/Xigmatek-Asgard-Without-Power-S...
Yeah, I'll admit I saved some money here however I was told it's going under a desk and they don't care how it looks :p 

Monitor - http://www.amazon.co.uk/BenQ-GL2450HM-Widescreen-Multim...
I personally use one of these in my gaming setup - they're brilliant and cheap :D 

Motherboard- http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asus-P8Z77-V-LX2-Motherboard-So...
Asus motherboard with fan xpert which I use myself and good voltage control and an epu which I will be using as the epu should save them power when idle'd.

OS- http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=SW... It does its job.

Hard drive - http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD... They use a server so this is just to hold non essential programs such as microsoft word.

SSD- http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD...
For auotcad and the os lovely little ssd which should speed up the program :) 
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June 16, 2013 7:23:20 AM

Conor W,

Well done. AutoCad 2D has always made formulated to run well on moderate performing systems, and the file size is relatively small. If I hadn't moved to 3D CAD, I would still be using my 2004 Dell Dimension 8400 (P4 3.0GHz / Quadro FX 570, 256MB) and XP Pro 64-bit and my brother's office still uses Dell Precision 390's with 2-core, 1.86 CPU's and 128MB Quadro 550's. If the firm is using AutoCad 2013, your proposed system will make it really fly and also should be quite good for 3D and renderings. I think you've found one of best cost/ performance formulas- the i5-3570K is a really good one.

One final suggestion- sorry to still fuss over it- is to consider using the recently released (Mar 2013) Quadro K600 in place of the Quadro 600. In the US, the K600 costs about $30 more ($170), but uses the Kepler GK-107 GPU (the same one as the $450 Quadro K2000), faster GDDR3 memory and has 192 CUDA cores instead of 96. The benchmarks especially in 3D- the Quadro 600 weak spot- are improved. An i5-3570K / P8z77 / 16GB/ Quadro 600 system on Passmark had a system rating of 2882 with 2D/3D of 808/707 and a Xeon E3-1245 V2 (similar to i5-3570K> 4-core, 3.4 / 3.8 GHz) / Gigabyte z77 / 8GB /Quadro K600 system had a rating of 3324 with 2D / 3D of 883 / 872 = +9%/+23%. > Just a thought, if there's not to be 3D work, the original Quadro 600 will be fine.

If you're in a VAT (is it 20% on electronics?) -free zone- Jersey?, you're very lucky !

Cheers,

BambiBoom
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