Need help choosing parts for new CAD workstation

I am thinking of building a new system to run AutoCAD - Revit Architecture Suite 2011,
3dMax 2011, Autodesk ImageModeller and Photoshop CS5
This system will be strictly for work.
Budget is $2400 - $2800. Any suggestions as to choice of hardware would be welcome

I often handle large models over 100 mb

Never having used one, I don't know if a Quadro or Fire GL graphic card is worth the extra expense

My current system is a
Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.40GHz
Gigabyte X48-DQ6 motherboard
MSI N9600GT 512mb DDR3
8.00 GB of ram, @ 800mhz
2x Maxtor DiamondMax 21 SATA 320-GB HDD
Vista Ultimate x64
9 answers Last reply
More about need choosing parts workstation
  1. Actually, You will want to go with the 1GB version of the 460 and X58 with a 930(OC) or a 970 ... 6GB DDR3 will do but 12GB would be better.

    You will want at least a 23.5" diagonal LCD with at least 1920x1200 rez at <5ms

    A Spinpoint F3 (1TB) for rendering and an Intel G2 (80GB) for boot/apps.

    A Corsair 650Watt PSU and a HAF-922 case ... plus 120mm cooler (push-pull).

    Samsung SATA DVDR + one SATA cable (2 come with mobo).

    = Al =
  2. PS ... you need to fill out the sticky form ... some sort of budget target would help.

    ... add Win7-Pro64(OEM)

    = Al
  3. We just bought a 1/2 dozen cad machines for our office base on:

    1) CPU : i7/860, 8 gigabyte memory
    2) liquid cooled
    3) GPU : Dual gtx9800 video cards, able to run up to 4 monitors, most of us run 2-3 monitors all the time.
    4) PSU : 750W Coolmaster Silent pro
    5) DISK : dual 500Gigabyte configured as RAID 0 for speed
    6) OS : Win7/64 pro

    Note, the our goal was for performance while keeping it quiet for the office. I hate hearing all the noisy fans.

    This setup only cost about $1400

    Everybody likes the systems so far. They run ProE Wildfire just fine along with a boat load of other CAD programs we use. Also with the Nvidia cards can run CUDA code if the CAD programs support it.
  4. Thanks,

    My budget is $2400 - $2800, might be able to stretch to $3000,

    I won't be needing a monitor as I intend to continue using my old 19" LG

    until I can afford something better

  5. $2,500 (plus) budget ... for CAD, no less, ... and he's gonna "continue" using his (solitary)

    19" monitor ... ?! ...

    ... That's all I needed to hear ...

    = toodles = [:bilbat:1] [:bilbat:1]
  6. Dual 19" monitors, not solitary 19" monitor.
    When I need to, I have access to two 32" Samsung Flat panel HDTV's which I prefer to leave for my wife (watching DVDs) & sons (gaming). It helps to keep the peace around the house.

    As for the budget, I happen to live in a country where prices are almost double what they are in the US
    due to a crippling high interest rate in addition to high import duties.

    I could settle for an HP, Dell or Lenovo Workstation but I would have to pay 75% - 80% more than in the US,
    all without the benefit of customer support which is practically none existent over here.

    The same company offers customer support & service for HP, Dell, Acer & Lenovo. And by the way for Apple as well.
    As for leasing at 20% - 25% down payment and 35% - 40% interest rate that's a no go area.

    By the time I factor in cost of shipping and import duties it would be closer to $5800.
    So for me monitors are secondary. I need as much of that initial $2500 - $2800 to go towards the system it self.
    It will probably have to serve for a minimum five years, with some minor upgrades.

    (Now what wouldn't I give to be able to apply all that money to the system rather than to some dubious goverment taxes)
  7. Fair enough ... Dancing elephants removed.

    (your interest in mind ... ONLY)

    = Al =
  8. siliconvideo,

    Your set up seems like a good Idea to me, although I would change the PSU to 850W or even 1000W
    to be sure it would still be capable of handling any future upgrades for the next 4-5 years.

    What motherboard and also what liquid cooler do you have?

    Do you per chance run the 2010/2011 versions of AutoCad, Autocad Architecture or Revit Architecture among the
    "boat load of other CAD programs" You mentioned?

    How have the Dual gtx9800 video cards been performing?
  9. The drivers/support mean if CAD apps are mission critical peeps would go professional class GPUs for the most part
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