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[New System Build] CAD, Revit and basic gaming

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May 30, 2009 11:04:12 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: in the next 2 months.

BUDGET RANGE: US$1150

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 2D AUTOCAD work, Revit for next years studies, general gaming.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: As Im from New Zealand I would be just getting parts numbers and buying locally.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I was told Intel are better processors for CAD work..

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION:
(e 1920x1080, or whatever is the best res for CAD.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I put together a list of items I think are sufficient, just aiming to get a better idea before sinking my money into it. Any help is muchly appreciated. This is the list I compiled:

INTEL CORE 2 QUAD Q8400 2.66GH
ATI RADEON HD4870 1GB GDDR5
Corsair 4GB (2x XMS2 2GB) PC-6400(800MHz) DDR
Samsung SH-S223F SATA 22x DVD-RW
Samsung 500GB SATAII 16MB 7200RPM HDD
Cooler Master CM 690 Black
ANTEC NeoPower 550 550W
SAMSUNG 23' 2333SW
GIGABYTE EP45-DS3L LGA775 FSB 1600MHz DDR2

May 30, 2009 2:37:06 PM

Good overall build you have there. I would try to upgrade the HDD to a 32mb cache model like the Western Digital Caviar Black 640gb if they are available...it will smoke that samsung you have listed.

Generally speaking, Antec, PC Power & Cooling, Corsair, OCZ are all good PSU manufacturers. However, I don't think that that neopower is 80+ certified. If you can find a good deal on it, it should adequately power your system.

You're going to want some DDR2 memory to run in dual channel--

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (for parts number...I asume you can't order from newegg).

Keep in mind you will be capping your usable memory if you have a 32-bit operating system.
May 31, 2009 9:14:22 AM

Cheers for the feedback. I managed to find the Caviar Black for $140 NZD which isn't too bad a price.

The Corsair 4GB is the RAM, which is comparible in price to the G-Skill. Does the MHz of the RAM make a huge difference when selecting modules? The sticks I have selected are the 800MHz ones, whereas the board can handle up to 1333MHz. Would I see a big gain between 800MHz to 1333MHz?

I decided to swap the Antec psu for the Corsair HX-620 620w psu. It was a little more expensive, but well worth the extra cost.

Do you think a system like this would get outdated quite quickly with the i7 becoming more popular now? The motherboard still has room to be upgraded from the list of specs I've decided on further down the track, so I would hope that it's got a life of at least 2-3 years.

I'll be looking at running XP x64 to utilise the RAM until I can get Windows 7 x64 when it comes out at the stores later this year.

My last question is in regards to the HD 4870 - I keep reading about Revit being fully utilised by Quadro or FireGL cards. Would I still see good results with rendering with the HD 4870, or would I be better off to buy a Quadro right from the start?
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May 31, 2009 3:30:27 PM

edhunter000 said:

My last question is in regards to the HD 4870 - I keep reading about Revit being fully utilised by Quadro or FireGL cards. Would I still see good results with rendering with the HD 4870, or would I be better off to buy a Quadro right from the start?



Rendering is 100% CPU based in Revit (maximum of 4 cores or CPU's), the graphics card will not affect the output. You will be fine without a Quadro card as far as Revit goes, so unless you are doing heavy 3D in ACAD I would not bother with a workstation graphics card.

May 31, 2009 6:59:52 PM

Quote:
The Corsair 4GB is the RAM, which is comparible in price to the G-Skill. Does the MHz of the RAM make a huge difference when selecting modules?

No. It only matters when you start to OC. Also keep the voltage in mind. The Corsair DDR2 800 usually need 2.0v. On the otherhand the GSkill PI DDR2 800 runs at 1.8v. Between the tw, go with the GSkill. Also if you can get 8GB RAM. Depending on how complex your 3D models will be it will benefit quite a lot and will allow you to use a RAMDisk,disable swap,etc.

Quote:
Do you think a system like this would get outdated quite quickly with the i7 becoming more popular now?

Sadly yes. If you can hold off on this till mid July or later you can get a i5 build that will perform 2-5x better than this build for your CAD work.
See: http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=357...

As for OS, XP x64 has very few drivers for printers,etc for it. Check if your printer,camera,etc has the XP x64 drivers. GPU,Motherboard,etc has XP x64 drivers. Also you can get Win 7 x64 RC and run it for free till 2010.

Note: I had problems (random crashes) running Autodesk Inventor 2009 Pro with Win 7 x64.
June 1, 2009 4:43:03 AM

Cheers for that indepth reply.

After doing some more research I found for an extra $360 NZD I have found I can build a healthy "bottomend" i7 rig.

Intel Core i7 920
ATI RADEON HD4870 1GB GDDR5
kingston valueram 4gb 1333mhz ddr3 non-ecc cl9
Samsung SH-S223F SATA 22x DVD-RW
Cooler Master CM 690 Black
SAMSUNG 23' 2333SW
Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R X58
Western Digital 640GB SATA 3 Gb/s 32MB Cache
Corsair 620W 120mm fan, Dual
Zalman ZM-F3 120mm Black Case Fan x 2

Im choosing the kingston ram as it runs at 1.5V and Intel recommends not to run ram at over 1.65V incase of damage to the cpu.

Im not too interested in overclocking the ram at all. So other than add an extra 4GB of ram towards the end of the year, this setup should run quite well?

Windows 7 x64 looks like a great idea. I currently have Win7 x86 running on my old p4 1.6 and it runs perfectly. I definitely will go with the 64bit for the i7.
!