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2500k vs 2600k for CAD

Hey TH community,

I have been hunting different forums and sites for benchmarks but have been having trouble finding exact answers. I am an engineering major and do quite a bit of CAD work for class and even myself at times. It would be nice to use my personal computer to do hw instead of always going across campus to do what would only take about 5 minutes.

I want to know if the extra 100$ will be worth it for CAD work. I do occasional video editing and alot of photography stuff. Mainly use lightroom and photoshop. I also do a bit of rts type gaming but nothing extreme. I am gonna overclock some but nothing near 5 ghz probably, just a small boost like 4.3 or so.

People all say if your going to do alot of rendering and video work get the i7, but if your doing just gaming or web surfing get the i5. I know that CAD is short term memory intensive and gpu intensive (I dont have a quadro but I have a gtx 560ti and 16 Gb of RAM). I am asking because I really dont know what would be better for me in this this situation.

Thanks guys

ps. Some one is gonna bring up working on multiple CADs will be annoying but I have an SSD that I keep in my bag that I back up my CAD work to, so I dont need to worry about not having my work with me on different computers.
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  1. of course the i7.The work done faster should give you more time to do other things.Wouldnt you like more time?
    However yes cpu isnt that important, Ram and gpu would be more important but i suggest you go for the best build necessary.

    The best graphics cards for Cad are not the best gaming cards. That is not to say that any good gaming card will not run Autocad. It is all relative. Alot depends on the complexity of the drawings.
    You will want have lots of RAM so you really need 64bit OS.
  2. IMO,
    in other words yes the cpu isnt the most important however it would save you more time in the long run by getting some extra work done faster.
  3. -Ghnader- Thanks for the quick post. I understand the gaming cards are not really ment for CAD work, but I just cant shell out 600-1000 bucks for a quadro, especially if it gets less performance for gaming and video then starter nvidia cards.

    I have 16 Gb of 1600 mhz RAM at 9-9-9-24 timing. So RAM shouldn't be an issue for a while, I mean more would always be nicer but hey the voice of reason has to come through at some point haha.

    In you honest opinion do you think that I will be able to utilize all the features of the i7? I dont have a problem giving up a benjamin for performance but if my increase and over all gains will be marginal for what I am doing then why waste?
  4. Best answer
    So can you buy the quadro and forsake the i7 or you buy the i5 and still forsake the quadro?
    depends on the work.
  5. However but i myself do experience that rendering times could be faster on a better cpu..
  6. If you use mental ray for rendering the extra threads will help. But if your renders aren't even taking too long or if you just set it overnight then you could just get the i5. A 560 is plenty powerful, and the higher price of lower end quadro will be a loss in performance vs it.
  7. I am not planning on buying a quadro, I just am not planning on doing enough CAD qork in the future to make it worth it for me. That link was extremely helpful though. After reading up I dont think it will be worth it for me to pick up the i7. I'll leave it open for discussion, but I think that the i5 will be a better option overall for CAD, again at least in my case.
  8. preolt said:
    I am not planning on buying a quadro, I just am not planning on doing enough CAD qork in the future to make it worth it for me. That link was extremely helpful though. After reading up I dont think it will be worth it for me to pick up the i7. I'll leave it open for discussion, but I think that the i5 will be a better option overall for CAD, again at least in my case.

    Then the i5 it is.
    I did have an old pentium compared to my i7.Yes it did beat it however it wasnt a massive difference.
    The SB is great for rendering!
  9. Best answer selected by preolt.
  10. What CAD software do you use? A lot of the ones I use are single threading (except when rendering images, and FEM and CFD) so the i7 will give zero benefit. Unless you are certain the program can use all the cores, I'd recommend the i5. And gaming cards are plenty for most reasonable CAD models (and will look decent enough too).
  11. I second what EXT64 has said.

    If you have an old version of auto-cad then you wont get the benefit from the modern hardware due to the soft ware not knowing how to utilise it.

    Can i also suggest that IF you do a lot of rendering and 3D visual work there are third party software packages that are endorsed by autodesk that utilise the GPU for a massive increase in rendering power. As much as 20x!

    You don't need the most powerful card available, just one that is recognised by autodesk and supports CUDA.

    Below is a copied section of an email that I had written to an internal designer friend of mine. He also wanted to up his rendering speeds but couldn't afford the hardware upgrade. It maybe worth nothing to this discussion but cut and pasting doesn't take long so no harm done :D (not sure if the link to that software is still valid any-more but you get the picture)

    "Recently GPU’s (graphics cards) have been the center of a lot of talk, given their massive power over CPU’s for number crunching. We’re talking a factor of x20 here.

    People have been developing software to access and harness this power in general every day computing, and what they have created is something called CUDA for NVIDIA and Stream for ATI. You have an NVIDIA card so we will ignore the ATI bit.

    Below is an overview of what I am going on about and the good news is, since your precision laptop is sold from Dell as a mobile work station it will have a Quadro enabled card in it! 

    CUDA is NVIDIA’s parallel computing architecture that enables dramatic increases in computing performance by harnessing the power of the GPU (graphics processing unit).
    With millions of CUDA-enabled GPUs sold to date, software developers, scientists and researchers are finding broad-ranging uses for CUDA, including image and video processing, computational biology and chemistry, fluid dynamics simulation, CT image reconstruction, seismic analysis, ray tracing, and much more.
    Computing is evolving from "central processing" on the CPU to "co-processing" on the CPU and GPU. To enable this new computing paradigm, NVIDIA invented the CUDA parallel computing architecture that is now shipping in GeForce, ION, Quadro, and Tesla GPUs, representing a significant installed base for application developers.
    In the consumer market, nearly every major consumer video application has been, or will soon be, accelerated by CUDA, including products from Elemental Technologies, MotionDSP and LoiLo, Inc.
    CUDA has been enthusiastically received in the area of scientific research. For example, CUDA now accelerates AMBER, a molecular dynamics simulation program used by more than 60,000 researchers in academia and pharmaceutical companies worldwide to accelerate new drug discovery.
    In the financial market, Numerix and CompatibL announced CUDA support for a new counterparty risk application and achieved an 18X speedup. Numerix is used by nearly 400 financial institutions.
    An indicator of CUDA adoption is the ramp of the Tesla GPU for GPU computing. There are now more than 700 GPU clusters installed around the world at Fortune 500 companies ranging from Schlumberger and Chevron in the energy sector to BNP Paribas in banking.
    And with the recent launches of Microsoft Windows 7 and Apple Snow Leopard, GPU computing is going mainstream. In these new operating systems, the GPU will not only be the graphics processor, but also a general purpose parallel processor accessible to any application.
    After you have read that, follow this link to another part of NVIDIA that talks about some software called Gelato. This software as you will read is now completely free and is aimed exactly at people like yourself using 3ds max and Maya enable them to harness this new found computational power of their GPU’s.

    I would suggest in your free time and on something like an old visual you try this out. The link is"

    Lastly PLEASE get the i7, GPU or not. The hyper threading will pay for its self quickly

    Cheers :D
  12. Haphestus you agree with EXT64 but are telling me to get thei7? I am confused. Thanks for the link btw I have never used a program like that before. btw I use solid works for my personal computer and auto cad for class. It was just too expensive IMO to get auto Cad. Its ok though I am enjoying solid works, its just annoying some times with the relocation of different functions. I know that the program can do what I want it to do, just dont always know how to get to it haha.

    Back to the i7 though, why do you think it will pay off if most CAD work besides rendering images does not take advantage of hyper threading. Even the newer versions that do use hyper threading have diminishing returns on hyper threading verses real cores.
  13. Think about it this way, it's a 50% increase in price for ~10% best-case increase in speed. Also, some single-threaded software performs worse with hyper-threading on than with it off.
  14. FYI, I just paid $160 for a Quadro 600 to run Solidworks on my work machine. It seems to be doing fine and, as suggested, it runs better than a gaming card.
  15. ram1009 thanks, i didnt think you could pick up a brand new quality quadro for the much, grats mate. I think I will stick with my 560ti though, it is handling every thing I throw at it game wise, and whe nI use it with CAD it doesnt seem to be too shabby either. I will have to give CAD bechmarks when I get some free time. Should now that school is done.
  16. This topic has been closed by SAINT19
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