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CAD system without 3D rendering

Last response: in Systems
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December 2, 2010 5:20:49 PM

I'm building an AutoCAD system for a colleague, and was wondering if anyone had any thoughts. My experience with graphics systems has mainly been in gaming so this is sort of new territory for me.

This will be for AutoCAD Architecture: complex 2D and 3D designs, but NO 3D rendering. The main concern is to make the AutoCAD viewport run as smoothly as possible during design (usually wireframe, sometimes shaded).

The plan so far:
Xeon W3680 (6-core 12MB 3.33GHz)
12GB RAM
Two Velociraptor 300GB HDDs in RAID0 (software RAID)
Quadro FX3800 graphics card
Two 24" Acer displays

I'd like any general input, but here are my two main questions:
- Would two less expensive cards in SLI/xFire perform better?
- Would an SSD be a better investment than the two Velociraptors? I'm just concerned cause of SSD's limited lifespan. They'd get written to alot here.

I'd appreciate any and all input from those who know about this stuff. Thanks!

More about : cad system rendering

a b B Homebuilt system
December 2, 2010 6:44:55 PM

Unless your colleague would very much value a 24 hour replacement service for your graphics card, the price of the Quaddro's isn't justified. You may as well just get a GTX 460 or something along those lines. You won't need anything particularly powerful if no 3D rendering is being done.

Why are you using Velociraptors? I know they are good but they are a bit overkill, you may as well go for two regular 1TB drives in RAID 1 for extra data security. You'll barely notice the difference in performance between the velociraptors and the regular 1TB's.

That being said, you may as well invest in an SSDs if you're wanting lightning fast performance when loading applications. A 120GB Sandforce Based SSD (OCZ Vertex II) with a 1TB storage drive will be excellent. TRIM support in the SSD will help keep the lifespan of the SSD as long as possible.
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