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I am new to tom's Hardware and to computers as drafting tools

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February 2, 2009 4:08:46 PM

I thought I might be able to search my question below, but I am very new to computers as drafting tools. I head up a Landscape Architecture design office. I have been drawing very well by hand in every convention for about 35 years, but I can longer keep up with a computer's revision and 3D animation power. Time to catch up!

I am looking at an HP Work Station 6600 456 UT. This will run Autodesk's Landcad, Sketchup 7 Pro, Adobe Photoshop and perhaps a few other related programs. This computer will be stationed in my home.

I have questions about three components - which may spawn further discussion...do the three components below seem just adequate or do they have room to grow? I might add that I'm probably not willing to wait too long for images to build - I can be impatient here.

Video card/graphics - Nvidia Quadro FX 1700

Processor - Quadcore Intel Xeon 5440 2.83 GHz 2x6 MBLz cache 1333 MHz front bus

Memory - 4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM

As I review HP's workstations, they appear to come as is, ie no upgrades or changes within a particular model. I would prefer, I think, a more powerful video card (FX 3700 or 5600???). The jump in price is from $2,700 - to over $5,000...

Thank you

Michael





February 2, 2009 6:28:49 PM

The only CAD-related activity that puts any strain on the video card is rendering, but it still doesn't require much of a video card. It also depends on what OS you are using. AutoCAD at one time relied on OpenGL, but they are switching to DirectX. To make use of DirectX you need Vista, and DirectX allows it to use relatively modest graphics cards, low end by gaming standards. We still run WindowsXP and we run ATI FireGL cards, which are good for AutoCAD and Revit. You can read the forums on AUGI and on Autodesk.com for the latest in video card discussion.

There is no reason for the computer cost to jump that much by changing video cards, a good workstation card is the FireGL V3600 and it only costs around $200. HP's workstation level laptops can be ordered in different configurations so it might be possible to order their desktops the same way.

I have an absolute killer CAD workstation and we paid $1600 for it-
Dual Core E8500 at 3.8GHz, 4GB Ram, ATI FireGL V3600, WD Velociraptor, Zalman cooler, Antec case, etc. We run AutoCAD 2009 and Revit 2009.
February 2, 2009 7:15:05 PM

cadder said:
The only CAD-related activity that puts any strain on the video card is rendering, but it still doesn't require much of a video card. It also depends on what OS you are using. AutoCAD at one time relied on OpenGL, but they are switching to DirectX. To make use of DirectX you need Vista, and DirectX allows it to use relatively modest graphics cards, low end by gaming standards. We still run WindowsXP and we run ATI FireGL cards, which are good for AutoCAD and Revit. You can read the forums on AUGI and on Autodesk.com for the latest in video card discussion.

There is no reason for the computer cost to jump that much by changing video cards, a good workstation card is the FireGL V3600 and it only costs around $200. HP's workstation level laptops can be ordered in different configurations so it might be possible to order their desktops the same way.

I have an absolute killer CAD workstation and we paid $1600 for it-
Dual Core E8500 at 3.8GHz, 4GB Ram, ATI FireGL V3600, WD Velociraptor, Zalman cooler, Antec case, etc. We run AutoCAD 2009 and Revit 2009.



Okay, Thank you! I know Sketchup 7 Pro requires an openGL 1.5 or higher...so if AutoCAD is moving to DirectX do you see a compatability problem? I did email sketchup with a few questions and this will be a new one form them.

I'm not familier with Revit, but I'll check it out...can you share your computer brand - not sure if that is going against the rules here...I don't want to spend more than I have to.

Thanks again
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