Mid Level CAD system

Newegg wish list is here.

I would like to double check this build. This system is for a family member that will be contracting CAD jobs from home.
I would like to know if there are any gotchas on this build. I went ahead and got 4 gig of ram so that it will max out the ram on the 32 bit OS.

Budget is $1500. Software is Autocad and Solidworks.

LIAN LI PC-A05B Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail / Model #: PC-A05B / $89.99
GIGABYTE GA-P35-S3G LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail / Model #: GA-P35-S3G / $74.99
PNY VCQFX1700-PCIE-PB Quadro FX1700 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 Workstation Video Card - Retail / Model #: VCQFX1700-PCIE-PB / $449.99
Thermaltake Purepower W0100RU 500W ATX 12V 2.0 Power Supply - Retail / Model #: W0100RU / $59.99
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400 - Retail / Model #: BX80570E8400 / $189.99
Rosewill RCR-FD200 All-in-one USB 2.0 Black 3.5" Card Reader with 1.44MB Floppy Drive - Retail / Model #: RCR-FD200 / $31.99
OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2P10664GK - Retail / Model #: OCZ2P10664GK / $119.99
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3500630AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM / Model #: ST3500630AS / $79.99
LITE-ON SK-1688U/B Black USB Wired Standard Keyboard - Retail / Model #: SK-1688U/B / $6.99
SCEPTRE X22WG-1080P Black 22" 2ms(GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail / Model #: X22WG-1080P / $229.99
RAZER KRAIT RZ01-00110100 Black 3 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical Mouse - Retail / Model #: RZ01-00110100 / $34.99
RAZER RZ02-00060200 Mantis Control Mouse Pad - Retail / Model #: RZ02-00060200 / $24.99
LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model DH-20A4P-04 - OEM / Model #: DH-20A4P-04 / $23.99
Microsoft Windows XP Professional With SP2C - OEM / Model #: E85-05040 / $129.99
18 answers Last reply
More about level system
  1. First off, ditch the G84 based FX1700. The only real diffrence between the Quatro cards and their gaming cards are the drivers anyways. The FX1700 is similar to an 8600GT. Even if you do not soft mod it to a Quatro, an 8800GTS will give you way more performance than the FX1700 (at half the price).

    Second, most professional apps are programed to take advantage of as many cores as you can throw at them. Solidworks and Autocad both support multi CPU systems. With that in mind, a Q6600, Q9450 or similar will give you a much greater performance boost. Add a good heatsink to your list and you can safely overclock to speed up your work. Both of these CPUs can safely and easily run above 3Ghz.

    The Thermaltake PSU you list is not one I would really recommend. Do your self a favor and get a quality unit. The PC Power & Cooling Silencer 610 or one of the Corsair CMPSU series will treat you much better.

    Your motherboard is on the cheap side but it will do what you need it to.

    Do your self a BIG favor and ditch that cheap TN panel. They are not up to the task of graphic design. I would highly recomend the S-PVA Dell 2408WFP. Samsung's 245T is also a good choice. Pretty much any non TN monitor is a must for CAD work.

    I can't see anything else I would worry about.
    Good luck with your CAD business!

    Almost forgot! A space ball is a MUST! I don't know what I would do if I didn't have one at work. You can get one from $60 at the 3D connexion store.
  2. we have solidworks 08 where i work. solidworks recomends a 2.00GHz c2d.
    i am planing on getting a 5600fire gl from newegg. http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16814195046

    i also plan on crossfire'ing it when it needs to be upgraded again.
    this is the mobo we plan on getting: http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16813186134
  3. I've never used autocad or solid works, but aren't they set up for a 64 bit OS?

    I'd also think a cheap quad would beat a good dual

    heres a thought; how about a multi cpu mobo. I pretty sure you can use just 1 CPU until you spring for a second.

    I'd also want a RAID 0, or at least a second HDD for easy backup.

    also, a retail burner usualy comes with a burning program were the OEM versions usualy dont, if thats a concern for you.

    I've also find I sometimes need a PS2 keyboard for working in the BIOS
  4. Ummm....

    Did you see what I posted to the OP about the "cheap" workstation cards??
    That $440 card is the same as a $77 2600XT with the exception of the drivers. You would be much better with a high end gaming card. Even if it is not soft modded to the Fire GL drivers it will still massively out perform teh V5600.
  5. that is realy weird. i have looked for months for info like this. why do they price them so high?? right now we are running solidworks08 on a pentium D, 1gb of ram, x600 radion and a 250gb 5200rpm hard drive. how much will it take to increase the perfomance?
  6. The cost increase pays for the optimized drivers.

    With the systems you list, I would get a more powerful CPU and 4Gb of RAM.
    The GPU is important but on a CAD station, you really need the RAM and CPU horsepower.
  7. aaa ok. one more quick queston. all this is in a dell precision 9100. would it be better to just build a new system with a 64-bit os or just upgrade the one we have?

    ps its like 4 years old.

    and where do you get mod'ed drivers? or is that necessary?
  8. You are going to have a next to impossible time upgrading the CPU on a Dell. You would be much better off upgrading your entire system.
  9. -Your work speed in CAD depends a lot on the monitor and what you see / intepret. I'd opt for a Lenovo L220x which is S-PVA.
    -CAD cards are pretty much eclipsed by the better gaming cards unless you are doing serious ray tracing and heavy 3D modeling like for multistory buildimngs and room walkthru's. Note, AutoCAD 2009 doesn't use GL drivers making the old CAD cards optimizations useless.
    -I'd opt for a more modern MoBo (i.e. X48) if the idea is to keep this system for a number of years.
    -I'd op for a faster HD than the outdated 7200.10 .... at least a 7200.11
  10. From what I understand, 64 bit on solidworks is very flakey right now. I figure I can go with the lowest common denominator and upgrade it later.
  11. OK Updated. I had to kill the razer and adjusted some stuff... Thanks for the recommendations.
    Anything else you guys would change?

    LIAN LI PC-A05B Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    Model #: PC-A05B $119.99 -$30.00 Instant $89.99
    GIGABYTE GA-P35-S3G LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    Model #: GA-P35-S3G $74.99 $74.99
    XFX PVT88PYSF4 GeForce 8800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
    Model #: PVT88PYSF4 $179.99 -$10.00 Instant $169.99
    PC Power & Cooling S610EPS 610W Continuous @ 40°C EPS12V Power Supply - Retail
    Model #: S610EPS $199.99 -$90.00 Instant $109.99
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600 - Retail
    Model #: BX80562Q6600 $214.99 $214.99
    Rosewill RCR-FD200 All-in-one USB 2.0 Black 3.5" Card Reader with 1.44MB Floppy Drive - Retail
    Model #: RCR-FD200 $34.99 -$3.00 Instant $31.99
    OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2P10664GK - Retail
    Model #: OCZ2P10664GK $119.99 $119.99
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3750330AS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    Model #: ST3750330AS $139.99 $139.99
    SAMSUNG 245BW Black 24" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor with Height Adjustment - Retail
    Model #: 245BW $459.99 -$20.00 Instant $439.99
    LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model DH-20A4P-04 - OEM
    Model #: DH-20A4P-04 $23.99 $23.99
    Microsoft Windows XP Professional With SP2C - OEM
    Model #: E85-05040 $139.99 -$10.00 Instant $129.99
    Subtotal: $1,545.89
  12. maybe Corsair Dominator for about the same price after rebate.

    the ram should run cooler, even w/o the cute little fan
  13. Getting really close now I think. I switched to the x38 chipset, downgraded to 500GB HD, and 800 Mhz ram.


    LIAN LI PC-A05B Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    Model #: PC-A05B $119.99 -$30.00 Instant $89.99
    ASUS P5E LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    Model #: P5E $224.99 $224.99
    XFX PVT88PYSF4 GeForce 8800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
    Model #: PVT88PYSF4 $179.99 -$10.00 Instant $169.99
    PC Power & Cooling S610EPS 610W Continuous @ 40°C EPS12V Power Supply - Retail
    Model #: S610EPS $199.99 -$90.00 Instant $109.99
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600 - Retail
    Model #: BX80562Q6600 $214.99 $214.99
    mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 996558 - Retail
    Model #: 996558 $78.99 $78.99
    Rosewill RCR-FD200 All-in-one USB 2.0 Black 3.5" Card Reader with 1.44MB Floppy Drive - Retail
    Model #: RCR-FD200 $34.99 -$3.00 Instant $31.99
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    Model #: ST3500320AS $94.99 $94.99
    SAMSUNG 245BW Black 24" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor with Height Adjustment - Retail
    Model #: 245BW $459.99 -$20.00 Instant $439.99
    LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model DH-20A4P-04 - OEM
    Model #: DH-20A4P-04 $23.99 $23.99
    Microsoft Windows XP Professional With SP2C - OEM
    Model #: E85-05040 $139.99 -$10.00 Instant $129.99
    Subtotal: $1,609.89
  14. why dont you go with a sata dvd drive?
  15. Nice catch! Thanks I am going to stop reposting configs, the config is the link to Newegg....

    https://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/Wishlist/PublicWishDetail.asp?WishListNumber=10359807&WishListTitle=System+1500
  16. I went back and forth on the hard drives... I finally settled on 500GB x2 in raid 0. I will recommend another HD in the future for back ups.
  17. ya i love my seagate 250gb 7200.11 hard drive.
  18. @OP:
    Here is a CAD build I did a while back for SolidWorks/MAYA/Inventor (~February 08)

    Q6600 (@3.1Ghz)
    P35-DS3L
    8600 (Hey, got it for ~$40 during sale ok! ;) ) More than enough to power CAD work
    750GB Seagate 7200.11
    Corsair 450
    Zalman CNPS9700
    Antec 900 (lol looks like a gaming build)
    3*2GB DDR2 800 (Corsair or OCZ, can't remember)
    XP x64

    Some DVD burner, card reader,etc.
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