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Programs used in university engineering

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October 29, 2010 1:26:20 PM

Hey guys, I'm going into engineering.
I'll build a new pc before I go and I'll be gaming a lot. However, what kind of Programs does an engineering undergraduate degree and what kind of CPU and pc power to I need to run Programs like autocad and other similar things?
October 29, 2010 7:09:42 PM

What kind of engineering? I have a CS/EE (computer science/electrical engineering) degree and the majority of the programs I used didn't really need a large amount of power to run...but then again, I was mostly just coding.

But, if you're going into civil engineering then yeah, it would be nice to have a nice system at home so you don't have to spend all your time at the library. Just off the cuff here is a list of what would be a good system to have and at a decent price:

CPU: Intel e8500 CPU/AMD X4 940 or higher
GPU: Nvidia 2xx/ATI 4xxx or higher
RAM: >= 4GB DDR3
PSU: >= 700w
Mobo: depends on what CPU you get/how long you want to wait until upgrade
Case: Mid size tower
HDD: I'd recommend getting a small sized SSD for your OS, then a secondary HDD to save all your files on.

Anything less than those parts (performance wise) and you'll start to notice a considerable difference in render times/fluidity of the software. Price wise you're looking at no more than ~$700 and some of them you can catch on sale, like the e8500 and RAM (sign up for Newegg's newsletter).

Also, with some of the parts (like the e8500/GPU) I would expect for you to OC them. I've taken an e8500 and gone from 3GHz (stock) to 4.1GHz with full load @ 50c. You don't need to OC RAM, as you only really see a difference in performance when running benchmarks.

Anyway, I hope this helps!
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October 29, 2010 10:34:01 PM

oops sorry i should have mentioned that. I'll be going into mechatronics, mechanical, or engineering physics. i don't have to decide until my second year, but i hope to have this pc for 2-3 years. In addition, I live about 5 minutes from my university.

the build i was planning was actually up around 1200$ before tax and shipping.

i'll certainly be overclocking, and i'm looking at least in the performance range of an i5-760. it sounds as though that will be more than enough for anything i need for school, and it'll be great for gaming. I was basically only wondering if i needed a core i7 for engineering (i think subconsciously i wanted an excuse to buy one lol). If not, then i know what i'm doing!
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October 29, 2010 11:28:20 PM

No, you don't need an i7 at all, lol. I have an i5 and a GTX 460 w/ 8GB DDR3 RAM and @ max settings (for most any game) I get 70-100+ FPS. For $1200 you could make a pretty decent system. In fact, the one I'm using right now was just under that. Check out my system config (under my picture click more info then click member config) and that'll be pretty much exactly what you want (unless you want AMD/ATI hardware).
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October 30, 2010 3:49:35 AM

basically the same system lol. or at least same specifications. thanks a lot for the advice.
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October 30, 2010 6:40:50 AM

Haha yeah no problem. Good luck with the build and school!
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November 5, 2010 3:44:59 PM

as a student and with your .edu email address you'll be eligible for the microsoft windows 7 program and possibly a few others.
get win7 for $30 and access to the msdn sites..
check it out, look into it.
goodluck.
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November 5, 2010 10:27:18 PM

I am a current undergrad in a Civil Engineering program, and the most demanding program, (well really the only program) is VMware to run Linux for the g++ compiler that the university wants us to use, but that's just for convenience because I could just dual boot if I had a weak computer. It all depends on your university I'd say.
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November 6, 2010 7:43:09 AM

You don't need Linux to run gcc. CygWin provides this for Windows.
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November 27, 2010 3:18:37 AM

verbalizer said:
as a student and with your .edu email address you'll be eligible for the microsoft windows 7 program and possibly a few others.
get win7 for $30 and access to the msdn sites..
check it out, look into it.
goodluck.

Depending on your school and major, you can get Windows 7 for free. I think EECS students and Mechanical Engineering students at my university get access to the MSDNAA site free, registering again each semester.

In Mechanical Engineering, the programs I've needed are MATLAB, AutoCAD, Solidworks, and LabVIEW. I've tried the first three programs on my old laptop and they all work (Pentium M 1.73 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 80 GB 5400 RPM, 128 MB ATI X300). Of course, with a dual-core processor and more RAM, they will run much more smoothly.

I'm pretty sure that any modern dual-core processor can handle these programs. I read somewhere that Solidworks 11 recommends 6 GB of RAM, so I might upgrade if I need to. By the way, my university has links to getting free AutoCAD and Solidworks student licenses (13 months, I think) and a one-time LabVIEW student license.
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November 27, 2010 11:47:39 AM

^
better than when I was last in school...
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November 27, 2010 2:19:49 PM

The only that sucks is nobody really uses Solidworks outside of school. Most people use Pro/E. I think our university offers a course on it... but it's not offered every semester and it's only an elective. They should probably make it part of the required course list.
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