I need to ask the question that has no easy answer, but here goes.
I plan on building a system for myself and I would like to do both CAD and games. All that I have read indicates so far that this is a fool's quest, however, please hear me out.
I have access to all of the high end Autodesk CAD tools (Inventor, 3D Studio Max, Maya) and would like to spend some time learning them. Because of this, I plan on purchasing a Quadro FX580 card (because of the budget I have).
The games I play are mostly simulation games like SIMS3. It is my understanding that they do not require cutting edge game graphics. In fact, what I have been able to find out (and there is not a lot written on this) is that these games rely much more on processor speed and memory than the 1st person shooter games.
The problem I have is that nothing is shown as to what type of game performance one could expect from a CAD graphics card. I know it would be poor compared to a game card, but It would still be helpful.
Does some comparison exist?
Initially I thought I would get a GeForce GTX 260 Card but because I think my graphics requirements are more skewed to the CAD side, I am leaning towards a Quadro FX580.
My worry is that if I do go with the FX580, will SIMS3 start up or will it come back and say I don't have a recognizable graphics card.
Any comments or opinions?
The system I am shooting for is an Intel i5 750 with 4GB of RAM to start.
Ok so you probably know the required hardware but im giving a link anyway http://www.thesims3.com/game/systemreq
I would think your best bet would be to get a motherboard with an onboard chip that is above minimun spec and then you can always default to using that to play Sims if the FX GPU is in fact totally unsurported as you fear it might be.
You don't need a Quadro card for CAD, while the top-end $1500 cards will out-perform gaming cards in CAD programs the FX580 is, frankly, crap. Its basically a 9500GT with a slightly different driver and a price hike, my advice would be to spend the money on a similarly priced gaming card.