Workstation or Gaming PC?


I've been doing as much research on this site as I possibly can (extremely informative site by the way) trying to decide which build direction to go.

Landscape Design Student who uses AutoCAD heavily, but in terms of 3D design I am only experienced in Google Sketchup.

This computer will be geared towards two things;
1. Gaming (Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2)
2. Running AutoCAD, Google Sketchup and Photoshop, preferably all at once, dual monitored. Possibly more advanced 3D programs in the future as I become more familiar with them.

It has come to my understanding that an i7 930 with an x58 chipset and 6gb+ of RAM seems to be a fairly good standard for this type of set-up. The real debate is the graphics card... as usual from what I've read around here. Is it a wise investment to purchase the Quadro fx1800 over the GeForce line of cards for applications such as these? Or will my gaming suffer tremendously (I don't need the super intense perfect graphics, just prefer smooth gameplay).

In a perfect world I would love to create a workstation desktop specifically, with a laptop for the gaming end of things if mixing and matching truely is a poor choice.

Any insight into this would be amazingly appreciated... as well as a possible laptop guideline that could run these two games efficiently if the mix and match is a poor choice.

On a side note... in reality with a fx1800 card in a computer setup i briefly described above, how much would the graphics really suffer out of curiosity?

Thanks in advance,

5 answers Last reply
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  1. I'd get a GTX460, you will lose a lot of your gaming abilities with a fx1800, which by the way is only a midrange quadro card.

    I use AutoCad extensivly and Photoshop with my GTX 260s and don't have any problem.
  2. ^ yeah basically workstation cards are great at workstation stuff but suck at games. On the other hand gaming cards are decent at workstation stuff but also at games.
  3. Even with larger sketchup models that card will be plenty powerful enough? I currently have a laptop 2.2 ghz core 2 i believe... 2 gb ram and nvidia 7600 card. Slow as molasses in the winter once sketchup models hit a certain size :P
  4. Well for one you can't really use a laptop for that.... and a 7600 is in no comparison to a GTX460. Fermi cards are acutally pretty decent at workstation work.
  5. Agree with above posters, you will be fine with gaming card (it still can do 3D works/workstation), but workstation card can't do the otherwise... :)
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