Gaming card for AutoCAD

Hi, I've got a lot of friends looking for a rig that can run AutoCAD comfortably at tight budgets (i.e. budgets that won't fit an FX5800)

My question is, how much do gaming cards help in AutoCAD rendering?

For example, how much faster will a Phenom II X4 955 BE in AutoCAD with a GTS 450 as compared to without it?

What about higher end cards like the GTX 560 Ti? How does it compare to a low-end Quadro like the FX 580? I've read that AutoCAD, which previously only supported OpenGL, now supports DirectX as well. This purportedly makes GeForce cards viable choices as well.

Also, what about Radeon cards? Is AutoCAD dependent on CUDA cores, thus effectively limiting viable gaming cards to GeForces? Or can Radeons be used as well?

Sorry for the questions, but I really am interested in learning about the significance of a gaming GPU for workstation apps like AutoCAD. Thanks :)
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  1. Virtually all modern gaming GPUs will run AutoCAD just fine. What a professional GPU brings to the table is optimized drivers that can take full advantage of the GPUs and targeted applications. This is true for both ATI/AMD and Nvidia based GPUs.

    So unless you REALLY need to go with a professional grade GPU, you can get by nicely with a gaming GPU in most cases.

    Good luck!
  2. Compared to a setup with only an IGP, can I expect a setup with a gaming card to be faster?

    If yes, why so? And how much faster will it be?
  3. Yes, your average gaming video card will be faster than your IGP. What IGP are you using now?

    What make/model of motherboard and power supply are you using now?
  4. Say, compared to an HD 4250, how much faster will a mid-level card like the GTS 450 be?
  5. jut703 said:
    Say, compared to an HD 4250, how much faster will a mid-level card like the GTS 450 be?

    TONS faster! Really leagues apart in levels of performance, so much that a direct comparison is meaningless.

    Make sure your power supply is up to the task and you should be good to go.
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