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Need Best Computer for Autocad Civil 3D

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January 10, 2014 8:08:36 AM

Hi,

My boss asked me to look into upgrading our computers. We are running AutoCad Civil 3D. We have a budget of about $1500 to $2500 per computer. Our main desire is for them to be fast. Currently when I move the mouse the display lags a half a second. We are extremely behind the times. If you had this budget what components would you use. PLEASE HELP!

More about : computer autocad civil

January 10, 2014 8:19:08 AM

are you using that 1000-1500 and building from scratch? or do you already have towers, motherboards etc to upgrade from? the i5 or i7 will be a good choice. 16GB of 1600Mhz or faster ram for big renders. Running the program from a solid state drive can help improve speed too. since 1500-2500 is a big range, you may even be able to fit something like a quadro or firepro GPU into each computer, these graphics cards are built for CAD and workstation computers.
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Best solution

January 10, 2014 9:04:56 AM

i've worked in the cadd field for quite a few years and have used autocad, inventor, microstation amongst others in both 2d and 3d so i do believe i can give you a good answer. it also helps that i've been involved in the pc building hobby for quite some time so i know my way around.

lets start out with the easy topics...

ram: you want lots and lots of it and you want it to be fast. for average cad projects 16 gb (2x8gb sticks) should be sufficient. civil 2d or 2d horizontal shape files placed vertically in 3d to simulate 3d on its own really doesnt take up too much memory and the file sizes are small however if you convert this to 3d or use 3d elements then you definitely want the extra ram. also when attaching background photos and other elements the file size and ram usage can jump. while i'm not a civil guy (i did mechancial and overall project layouts so i worked with all disciplines) there are some situations where a civil pc could require more so that is why i suggested 16 not 8. going with 16 is also more future proof.

as far as speed is concerned... at bare minimum you want 1600mhz although going with 1866 or 2133 is suggested. having a low cas (timing) number at a higher clock rate (the mhz rating) is ideal. for instance a 1866mhz cas9 ram is better than a 1600mhz cas11.

hdd:

for the operating system you would want to use a ssd plain and simple. while its quite possible to use a hard drive putting everything on a solid state makes windows start faster, programs open faster and system responsiveness go way up. i would say something around a 250gb ssd is ideal for this although you could get away with a 120gb depending on how many applications you install.

if files are stored locally on each machine you may want another hard drive for storage however if you store your files on a nas (network storage) or server this is not required at all. having a nas in fact is the suggested way for such a business to operate. one central source for files so that all users can access. then you only have one source to back up.

gpu:

in terms of gpu the obvious clear winner is to get the best professional level card (firepro, quadro) that you can for your given budget. what you may lack in other areas you gain in terms of precision. what this means is that there are less errors from gpu computing which results in faster 3d in cadd/modelling programs. as for 2d... well it also is likely better than a consumer graphics card from nvidia/ati (such as a gtx770) but not by as large of a margin.

you could run cad on a high end consumer grade gpu like a gtx770 or gtx780 (when at home i run cad on my gtx470 and it runs well) but generally they are less optimized for cad which is why i suggested a professional card. if you want to keep the budget low however this is likely the route you would need to take to get maximum performance for the least amount of cash. a high end gtx780ti for example would power through 3d rather well but a professional level card which does the same might be 2x to 3x the price. the professional level cards however do have lots of vram which if you do 3d work is important so i'd go for a card with 4gb+ if you do 3d. if you strictly deal with 2d files then you dont need any sort of high end video card at all. any mid level card should work but a high end card is going to be more future proof.

case:

you want something mid to large tower with usb 3.0, lots of fans (since the systems will be running for extended periods of time) with dust filters (that you can clean to avoid dust buildup in the systems). there are plenty of cases for this but a few of my favorites are from corsair. nondescript plain flat front cases while certainly business like are absolutely horrid for performance. you dont want to know what those dell xps cases looked like at work when they were opened! dust magnets and they get rather hot when you're working all day long.

monitors:

quite simply two screens are best and preferable over one large screen. dual 1920x1080p is great but going two 1920x1200 is better. color accuracy really isnt as important as resolution and size. you want as much desktop real estate as possible for cad. 22-24" monitors are a great size though some of your older employees may like 23-26".

psu:

a power supply rated for 100-150w over the theoretical maximum load scenario (we can calculate this out for you when you make your mind up about parts selection). i would suggest going with pc power & cooling, seasonic, antec or xfx brands. modular if possible. again... we can help you out on this once parts are decided on (we will run a power calculation).

now as for the harder questions...

cpu:

xeon procesors are rated for 24/7 with a warranty which states this however have many more cores (which autocad doesnt really use) and is a slower clock speed (which adversely affects programs like autocad). many of our systems ran on xeons however i think you would be better served with an i7-4770 instead due to the higher clock speeds. i'm not to sure how you guys feel about it from a business standpoint but you might even do a bit better if you went with a 4770k and clocked the cpu higher than what it comes stock (cpu overclocking). provided you put a decent cpu cooler on them (such as a hyper 212 evo) its likely the best route to take.

mobo:

if you went to overclocking route you would need a z87 motherboard. if you went with a non overclocking route i'd suggest h87 although since you likely wouldnt be running multiple video cards you could probably make due with a h81 chipset.

------------------------------------

short list of what i'd suggest

i7-4770k processor (if overclocking, if not then 4770)
hyper 212+ or 212 evo cpu cooler to keep temps low and noise levels down.
z87 motherboard (if overclocking, if not then h87) from asus or other major brand.
2x8gb 1866mhz (or higher) ram from corsair, mushkin, gskill.
250gb samsung 840pro (though you could get away with a 840 or 840 evo, or an intel model.)
best firepro or quadro card you can get for the money left over (see note above about using consumer cards instead)
seasonic modular psu rated for 100-150w over your max load conditions (we can calulate this later)
mid or full tower case with lots of airflow and with removable filters for cleaning.
2x 1920x1200 monitors 24" size

------------------------------------

most companies tend to like renting computers from dell since i do believe they allow you to exchange/trade up every few years. the large company i worked for did this for thousands of computers. i suppose it makes sense for large companies. if something goes wrong they just rma with dell without having to deal with any individual companies.

perhaps worth looking into? if not then you have a suggestion from me above on what i'd look into.

-------------------------------------

any questions just ask..
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January 10, 2014 10:13:08 AM

Quote:
psu:

a power supply rated for 100-150w over the theoretical maximum load scenario (we can calculate this out for you when you make your mind up about parts selection). i would suggest going with pc power & cooling, seasonic, antec or xfx brands. modular if possible. again... we can help you out on this once parts are decided on (we will run a power calculation).


Why? That entirely depends on what GPU you want to run. You can get by with a 430W - 600W provided it's a solidly made power supply.

Quote:
most companies tend to like renting computers from dell since i do believe they allow you to exchange/trade up every few years. the large company i worked for did this for thousands of computers. i suppose it makes sense for large companies. if something goes wrong they just rma with dell without having to deal with any individual companies.

perhaps worth looking into? if not then you have a suggestion from me above on what i'd look into.


Somehow I don't think Dell offers that route to the home / student market. Large enterprises use that route because it allows for quick deployment of new software and saves management money on equipment expenses and depreciation.

Quote:

xeon procesors are rated for 24/7 with a warranty which states this however have many more cores (which autocad doesnt really use) and is a slower clock speed (which adversely affects programs like autocad). many of our systems ran on xeons however i think you would be better served with an i7-4770 instead due to the higher clock speeds. i'm not to sure how you guys feel about it from a business standpoint but you might even do a bit better if you went with a 4770k and clocked the cpu higher than what it comes stock (cpu overclocking). provided you put a decent cpu cooler on them (such as a hyper 212 evo) its likely the best route to take.


I'd stick with the 4770 or 4770K, there's no real need for a Xeon, I use standard AutoCAD 2014 and I run it off an i5-3450 and it handles everything that I need it to do. Anything above a 4770, I would go with an i7-4820K or an i7-4930K depending on the budget.
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January 10, 2014 5:38:30 PM

@g-unit1111

#1
while technically if you have a theoretical max load of lets pick a number... 430w... that doesnt mean that you want a 430w psu even though 99.999% of the time it would work perfectly fine. no, you would go with a 450w or even preferably a 500w in case you wanted to make some upgrades down the road or leave headroom for extra peripherals, fans, etcetera. you always want a bit of headroom over whatever your max load would be. while i agree 150 is excessive its all relative and also depends on the price you can get components at (you can get 650w psus for the same price as 550w when they are on sale for example. so while i do agree with you, you also dont want to go too small either.

#2
if you read the ops statement you would realize that he said "my boss asked me" which implies a business hence the comment was 100% relevant. personally i really dislike dell and think they are a bunch of crap computers (and they are) however they make alot of sense for mass deployment and large business. since we dont know how many computers we are talking about given that the op did not state a number (i'm going to guess 8-25 since its civil) i just threw it in as an option if it applied.

#3
if you read my statement i also agreed that a 4770/k would be ideal. i just mentioned xeon because many workstations and companies use them (our company had at least 500 of them through dell). i did state that a 4770 was a more powerful option since autocad really isnt optimized for more cores over stronger individual cores. i dont think theres any real need to go with socket 2011 as its a waste of money.
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January 10, 2014 8:47:01 PM

Quote:
while technically if you have a theoretical max load of lets pick a number... 430w... that doesnt mean that you want a 430w psu even though 99.999% of the time it would work perfectly fine. no, you would go with a 450w or even preferably a 500w in case you wanted to make some upgrades down the road or leave headroom for extra peripherals, fans, etcetera. you always want a bit of headroom over whatever your max load would be. while i agree 150 is excessive its all relative and also depends on the price you can get components at (you can get 650w psus for the same price as 550w when they are on sale for example. so while i do agree with you, you also dont want to go too small either.


Well again it depends on what GPU you plan to run. If you want to run a GTX 770 then you'd need at least a 600 - 700W, if you want to run a GT640 then you can definitely get by with a 380W or a 430W.

Quote:
if you read the ops statement you would realize that he said "my boss asked me" which implies a business hence the comment was 100% relevant. personally i really dislike dell and think they are a bunch of crap computers (and they are) however they make alot of sense for mass deployment and large business. since we dont know how many computers we are talking about given that the op did not state a number (i'm going to guess 8-25 since its civil) i just threw it in as an option if it applied.


I'm not the biggest fan of Dell either but I got a Venue 8 Pro for Christmas and this thing is amazing. It's not entirely changed my opinion on Dell but it's definitely a way better tablet than I expected. For a small business or student that wouldn't be the route to go. But my firm that I work for has 50 people and we've gone the DIY route for the last several years and it has worked out pretty well so far.

Quote:
if you read my statement i also agreed that a 4770/k would be ideal. i just mentioned xeon because many workstations and companies use them (our company had at least 500 of them through dell). i did state that a 4770 was a more powerful option since autocad really isnt optimized for more cores over stronger individual cores. i dont think theres any real need to go with socket 2011 as its a waste of money.


Yeah the 4770/4770K is definitely the better option. But the only reason I'd go with a 4820K or 4930K because of the extra cores and increased RAM - Z87 can only have at max 32GB where 2011 can have up to 96GB depending on the motherboard. If you've got a drawing with several hundred layers, redrawing those fine lines can be a painfully slow process. And believe me I've used larger drawings on six year old machines that are still running Core 2 Duos - and that's WITH current 2014 versions of Autodesk software. :lol: 
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January 10, 2014 9:06:29 PM

@g

there really is no need for the extra cores (since autocad does best on stronger cores not more of them) or 96gb ram (though 16 would be a good idea with 2 slots left open for future upgrades as a just in case.) i've had 1.5gb files open in SmartplantReview flying around... lucky we got that ram upgrade to 8gb (haha... the systems had 4 before! talk about using older systems). in any case... 16 should be more than enough (though 8 is probably fine for just civil work)
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January 10, 2014 10:54:41 PM

ssddx said:
@g

there really is no need for the extra cores (since autocad does best on stronger cores not more of them) or 96gb ram (though 16 would be a good idea with 2 slots left open for future upgrades as a just in case.) i've had 1.5gb files open in SmartplantReview flying around... lucky we got that ram upgrade to 8gb (haha... the systems had 4 before! talk about using older systems). in any case... 16 should be more than enough (though 8 is probably fine for just civil work)


Yeah you're right 16GB would definitely be ideal. But having the option open for more than 32GB definitely doesn't hurt, especially if you're running a RAM disk. That would speed things up significantly.
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January 10, 2014 11:06:51 PM

yeah but ramdisk is extremely volitile. you dont want volitile if working on important documents which is why things are often incrementally saved to a nas. in case of a power surge you might lose some data which wasnt saved to the nas but you would lose all of the data on the ramdisk unless you had it set to automatically save to the nas (i guess you could create some program to do this but its not really all that necessary)

in the long run having to transfer all the files after you save them instead of doing it in one step is going to take more time than just saving on the nas to begin with. and in business time = money.

ramdisk might be nice for temporary files which get autocreated but in the autocad business world its not really all that necessary.

i agree with leaving some space open for future upgrades though which is why i said to leave 2 slots open. that would give you 32gb total possible but you would only have 16 installed.

...now where having 96gb of ram installed would be of huge benefit would be video editing. using it as a source and destination could speed up editing immensely. (the other option would be having 3 differend drives).

remember that users of autocad arent always computer smart. while they can use programs not everyone is a tech geek. they might forget or not realize ram disk is volitile and lose lots of data (costing time and money). just using the nas is safer!
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January 10, 2014 11:12:34 PM

Quote:
yeah but ramdisk is extremely volitile. you dont want volitile if working on important documents which is why things are often incrementally saved to a nas. in case of a power surge you might lose some data which wasnt saved to the nas but you would lose all of the data on the ramdisk unless you had it set to automatically save to the nas (i guess you could create some program to do this but its not really all that necessary)


I have personally never set up a RAM disk but I definitely know the pros and cons of setting up one. The biggest downside to a RAM disk is that you constantly have to leave your computer on, you can't exactly shut it off or restart for Windows updates.

Quote:
remember that users of autocad arent always computer smart. while they can use programs not everyone is a tech geek. they might forget or not realize ram disk is volitile and lose lots of data (costing time and money). just using the nas is safer!


Believe me, I work with them on a daily basis, I know the type! :lol: 
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January 10, 2014 11:37:10 PM

@g

you dont have to leave your computer on to have a ramdisk. you can shut it off however the data would need to be taken off and backed up from the ramdisk (this can be done automatically when you shutdown) and then data would need to be loaded back on at startup (this could be done automatically as well) which takes time. while great for some applications where speed is crucial its a bit hard to recommend it for all applications.

oh yes... i've had people who barely knew how to change the mouse speed. and even one who didnt know how to clean out a trackball.

a little off topic..
oh... just thought of something you might be interested in... since you're in the field ou might really want to check out 3d adobe pdfs that can be created from cad. while perhaps not the best thing since sliced bread its still cool enough to get your nerd sense (spidey sense?) tingling!

we are gumming up the ops thread though... so i suggest we stop the off topic discussion before the thread gets too long :) 
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January 11, 2014 8:08:58 AM

poblatu,

Follows is an idea for a workstation intended for 3D CAD. The basic recommendation is to have an LGA2011 processor as these have a wider bandwidth, more memory, and more PCIe lanes than 1155, but especially offer the possibility of 4,6,8,10, and 12 cores, extending the useful life of the system by upgrading. The choice of options depend on the specific uses, for example, if one system is mostly 2D, the graphics card can be the lower end, but fro intense 3D the higher end GPU, and if there is a system used for rendering and presentation image processing, both the 6-core and higher end card will be an advantage.

In a business situation, there are a lot of advantages to buying system from Dell, HP, or Lenovo with on site service warranties. I don't know any architectural, industrial design, graphics, or animations firms using self-built systems, unless there is a more or less full-time IT expert. the advantage to building is being able to tailor each part to your uses, plus considerable cost savings. The $1800 E5-1650 V2 system system below as an HP z-series would cost at least $700- more. Still, the following might be considered from a standpoint of specification.

BambiBoom PixelDozer Cadaedirendagrapharific IWorkBlazomatic ExtremeSignature 5000 Turbo ®£©™®$™_ REV 1.11.14

1. Xeon E5-1650 V2 6-core 3.5 / 3.9GHz, 12MB cache, LGA 2011 (Passmark CPU score= 11462, rank = No. 12) > $630. (Superbiiz) (Having an LGA 2011 has a much wider bandwidth than LGA 1150 and will allow you to upgrade to 8 and soon 10-core)

1A. OPT'L CPU Intel Xeon Quad-Core Processor E5-1620 v2 3.7 / 3.9GHz 0GT/s 10MB LGA 2011 CPU, OEM - CM8063501292405 > $298. (Superbiiz) (If you are not going to be doing much rendering, this could useful CPU- quite fast, economical- LGA 2011 Zeon E5 at a E3, LGA 1150 price)

2. Noctua NH-U12S 120x120x25 ( NF-F12 PWM) SSO2-Bearing ( Self-stabilizing oil-pressure bearing ) CPU Cooler $70

3. ASUS Z9PA-U8 LGA2011/ Intel C602-A PCH/ DDR3/ SATA3/ V&2GbE/ ATX Server Motherboard > $287.

4. 16GB (2X 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 ECC Unbuffered Server Memory > $150. (Check ASUS motherboard compatibility list)

5. NVIDIA Quadro K2000 VCQK2000-PB 2GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Workstation Video Card $420. Quite good in 2D and adequate in 3D

5A. OPT'L GPU__ Quadro 4000 2GB A better card in 3D than the K2000. Buy "New Other" on Ebay for about $400.

5B. OPT'L GPU__ Quadro 5000 2.5GB A better card in 3D than the 4000. Buy "New Other" on Ebay for about $550. Workstation cards are not screamingly fast with games as they try to finish each frame. Of the three listed, the 5000 would be most capable in games.

5C. OPT'l GPU__ Quadro K4000 3GB Very good in both 2D and 3D CUDA acclerated and OpenGL applications. About $750 new.

5D. OPT'L GPU__ Quadro K5000 (4GB). In my view the perfect GPU that does everything beautifully > images, 3D video processing- and would be useful for years and years. However, $1,800 new and used still $1,200 or so. If you are doing though large 3D infrastructure models, your firm might consider having one system with this card.

6. Western Digital WD1003FZEX Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Internal Desktop 3.5" Hard Drive) > $93 (This is the new single 1TB platter design- very fast.

7. SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold ((SS-650KM Active PFC F3)) 650W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply $120.

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

9. ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM $17.

___________________________________________

TOTAL > $1,972. With E5-1650
> $1,640. With E5-1620

Other options >

1. I don't think SSD's are strictly necessary for workstations, but they do have advantages if you're using / transferring large files like video. If adding an SSD, I'd suggest one that could hold the OS, all programs, and the current files and then use thee mech'l drive ro storage, / backup, and keep a system image for quick restore in a partition.>

Samsung 840 EVO Series 250GB 2.5 inch SATA3 / SATA 6.0 GB/s Solid State Drive > $179.

2. If your systems are quite elderly, don't forget to consider suitable monitors and I'd recommend (if budget allows) 27" ASUS, Viewsonic, or Samsung @2560 X 1440. I strongly recommend that you see these in person, paying special attention to the coating, controls/ calibration, backlight bleed, and small text quality. Autodesk applications throw up hundreds of menus with tiny-tiny text! These are not cheap, but the size and resolution saves dozens of pans and zooms per day.

Cheers,

BambiBoom



HP z420 (2013)> Xeon E5-1620 quad core @ 3.6 / 3.8GHz > 24GB ECC RAM > Quadro 4000 (2GB) > Samsung 840 SSD 250GB /WD Black 1TB> Windows 7 Ultimate 64 > Autodesk Building Design Suite, Inventor, Solidworks, Adobe CS MC, Corel Technical Design, Sketchup Pro, WordP Office X-5, MS Office
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January 11, 2014 9:19:35 AM

i agree, many large scale businesses do not use self-built systems. however i have seen a few smaller firms using such systems. it does make sense to go with prebuilt in some cases but what you get for the money is pretty pathetic at times. still, worthwhile for warranty issues and definitely worth a thought.

1.
autocad still isnt optimized for multicore. it performs better on stronger single cores than it does on more cores. this makes 6, 10, 12 cores a complete waste of money. while it can use multiple cores the performance difference really is negligible. i do however agree that a high clocked xeon at 3.8/3.9 quad core might be a valid solution which is why i mentioned xeon as a possible cpu.

2. a bit much for a cooler wouldnt you say? while i agree with a nice large cooler for silence at that price you might as well step up the nh-d14 which is 100% complete overkill considering smaller heatsinks will work perfectly fine on the system.

3. a server board would work if going with socket 2011 however its also rather overkill as well. at least its cheaper than non-server 2011 boards though certainly $150 more than socket 1150 boards.

4. agree 2x8gb 1600mhz is fine. higher mhz while keeping low cas timings is better but 1600 works.

5. i agree, quadro cards are good for cad applications. definitely expensive but they do work fairly well. however as far as a performance per dollar is concerned they absolutely suck. consumer level cards are cheaper, much cheaper. in cases where you need all the extra vram of the higher end quadro cards there really isnt any comparison but if you dont then well... it needs some thought given.
please do see this review.. a $140 gtx650 beats a $370 quadro 2000 for example. http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/AutoDesk-Auto...

6. i wouldnt call any 7200 drive "very fast". its comparable to just about any other recent 7200. i own some, i should know. perhaps it is faster than some 9 year old drives but not by a huge margin. to get faster you would either need 10k raptors or 15k scsi however they are loud and impractical or go the ssd route. since its a workplace there are likely nas servers for most of the data which means that 250gb (or possibly 500) should be more than enough and will make that "very fast" wd black look like a turtle.

7. while definitely a top of the line and very good psu there are other options available for a lower price level. while i do agree with your choice here i think there are other options to consider as well. also agree with a gold rating seeing as how much power the systems (since there will be quite a few of them) will be sucking down. the more efficient the lower the power bill.

8. fairly nondescript which is nice for a business scenario but lian-li has always been pricey. they typically have some rather nice stuff (i myself own a v2000) which is well built but there are cheaper options which work just as well.

9. almost anything works here.

ssd.
while not necessary they do speed up the system performance. programs like autocad, adobe reader, etceter open faster and react faster. if storing files centrally on a nas there will always be delay to deal with there but only so much you can do about it. there is no need for multiple drives in a system if using a centrally located nas like most cad businesses use. doing so would be a waste of cash. in short either a 1tb hdd or 250-500gb ssd would work. i worked at a large corporation which was well known in the field and employed hundreds of people in one office and our average useable hdd space was typically only 30-50gb more than what was needed for the os and programs so there is no worry about space issues too much when using a nas (though with outlook email, working with some photos for projects and other such things should have more space) so i'd suggest more than what we personally used (hence the recommendations i gave earlier.

monitors.
i definitely agree that new monitors should be included in the price. for autocad the magic number is two. the magic size is about 24" with 1920x1200 resolution. two monitors is most ideal for any sort of 3d even if it is just changing the elevation of 2d civil topo lines. it also allows for having up autocad on one side and another app on the other. technically a 2560x1400 (or 1600) monitor would work (i'd get a 30" if going this route since it has the same ppi as regular 22-24" monitors) but its going to be a more expensive option and from years in the cad field i found one monitor really wasnt as convenient as two despite the resolution difference. some people may like 1 some people may like 2... cant please everyone but both options are worth a thought.
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January 11, 2014 4:27:08 PM

Quote:
6. i wouldnt call any 7200 drive "very fast". its comparable to just about any other recent 7200. i own some, i should know. perhaps it is faster than some 9 year old drives but not by a huge margin. to get faster you would either need 10k raptors or 15k scsi however they are loud and impractical or go the ssd route. since its a workplace there are likely nas servers for most of the data which means that 250gb (or possibly 500) should be more than enough and will make that "very fast" wd black look like a turtle.


Yeah I agree 10K and 15K RPM hard drives definitely aren't worth it. They cost too much and have no payoff in terms of performance gain.

Quote:

1. Xeon E5-1650 V2 6-core 3.5 / 3.9GHz, 12MB cache, LGA 2011 (Passmark CPU score= 11462, rank = No. 12) > $630. (Superbiiz) (Having an LGA 2011 has a much wider bandwidth than LGA 1150 and will allow you to upgrade to 8 and soon 10-core)

1A. OPT'L CPU Intel Xeon Quad-Core Processor E5-1620 v2 3.7 / 3.9GHz 0GT/s 10MB LGA 2011 CPU, OEM - CM8063501292405 > $298. (Superbiiz) (If you are not going to be doing much rendering, this could useful CPU- quite fast, economical- LGA 2011 Zeon E5 at a E3, LGA 1150 price)


What are you trying to run with these CPUs? Unless you're running a rendering farm in addition to CAD, there's no reason to get a Xeon and AutoCAD doesn't use the extra cores so that's really a waste of money.

Quote:
i agree, many large scale businesses do not use self-built systems. however i have seen a few smaller firms using such systems. it does make sense to go with prebuilt in some cases but what you get for the money is pretty pathetic at times. still, worthwhile for warranty issues and definitely worth a thought.


Yeah if I was running a small business I'd go the DIY route over using a large scale service from Dell or Gateway any day of the week. It's a bit more overhead but in the long run it's worth it because if you have system downtime you definitely don't want to have to wait for a service tech to come to your office to fix equipment.
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