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Help on Autocad 3D & gaming build PC under budget of 750!

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July 5, 2011 5:24:57 PM

Hi all! I posted a quick question yesterday and got many great answers (previous post http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/308359-28-does-phenom... ), so I though I'd post the whole issue.
Some information: I live in CA, USA and I need either or both of SLi and Crossfirex (although I only need ONE Graphics card now)
I need a PC that can seemlessly work Autocad 3D (priority 1) and do some hardcore gaming (like med-high settings for BF3, max out all other games under that, probably Skyrim too :love:  )
I checked out all the other builds (great great threads and forum guys, seriously) but they aren't 100% compatible with my needs, so that's why I want to post this :)  Remember please that Autocad is the reason why I'm getting a new PC, so it has to max out on that in the least.
I posted on two previous forums but they weren't of much help, but I did manage to get my self a build. I'm going to leave off the monitor, keyboard and mouse for another time, because I know the monitor will take some time on its own haha.
My biggest issue is the 600-800 MAX budget, looking for something around 700 even though thats too much, but no point of buying a PC that will last me only a year right? In the end it would be more expensive to get the 600 over the 700. Also, i prefer pouring as much money as needed into the motherboard at expense of the other parts because it would be nice JUST to upgrade the PC after a couple of years instead of buying a WHOLE new one, correct me if I'm wrong please.

Thanks alot!


This is what i have so far, remove, change, add whatever is needed. The first and second aren't as important, I haven't experimented much on them yet, the third took like 4 hours though....

1 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

2 GIGABYTE P67A-D3-B3 DiabloTek Barebones Kit http://go.redirectingat.com/?id=525X486350&site=desktop...

I also have my own:

CPU : AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO : GIGABYTE GA-990XA-UD3 http://go.redirectingat.com/?id=525X486350&site=desktop...

DVD : Asus DVD burner $20 http://go.redirectingat.com/?id=525X486350&site=desktop...

GPU : Sapphire 6870 $175 *
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


PSU : XFX Core Edition PRO650W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM : G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1333 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE : Xigmatek Asgard $30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A total of 679 without shippin, windows, HDD, keyboard.(only need the shipping and keyboard) What do you think i also still have rebates. by the way, for newegg can I get ALL the rebates or just one?



I think it all really depends on whether or not its better to get the i5 vs the AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz. If you read the old post you will see that they managed to convince me with the Intel even if i pay more, but bulldozer changes everything or not?

BTW, I was told not to go with an ATI because they are good for gaming but are horrible for autocad?

<3
July 5, 2011 6:29:14 PM

The AMD build should work fine on a budget; I'd go with that or the i3-2100/i5-2400 and an H67 board so you can afford a good GPU.
Intel is crushing AMD in terms of performance, but AutoCAD is VERY GPU intensive. That said, a bad CPU can limit your rendering speed.

I don't know where people are getting information about AMD vs. Nvidia these days (I had someone straight up tell me AMD GPUs are bad for gaming last week, and they're rocking NVidia in games), but I'm pretty sure there isn't much of a difference.
I use AutoCAD 2012 and haven't had any issues with my 6950 2GB (not doing extreme designs though), and I checked the other day to see if AutoCAD benefits from CUDA but couldn't find anything substantial, so I'd say you're safe with AMD GPUs.

NVidia is technically buddy-buddy with AutoCAD, like AMD and SolidWorks, but both will work just fine.
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July 5, 2011 6:38:13 PM

boiler1990 said:
The AMD build should work fine on a budget; I'd go with that or the i3-2100/i5-2400 and an H67 board so you can afford a good GPU.
Intel is crushing AMD in terms of performance, but AutoCAD is VERY GPU intensive. That said, a bad CPU can limit your rendering speed.

I don't know where people are getting information about AMD vs. Nvidia these days (I had someone straight up tell me AMD GPUs are bad for gaming last week, and they're rocking NVidia in games), but I'm pretty sure there isn't much of a difference.
I use AutoCAD 2012 and haven't had any issues with my 6950 2GB (not doing extreme designs though), and I checked the other day to see if AutoCAD benefits from CUDA but couldn't find anything substantial, so I'd say you're safe with AMD GPUs.

NVidia is technically buddy-buddy with AutoCAD, like AMD and SolidWorks, but both will work just fine.



Great, I guess that means that AMD is still a viable option.

As for the H67, it has a max support of 1333 for the RAM, I was thinking of getting a higher one in case I needed to change it in the future. What do you think?
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July 5, 2011 6:47:56 PM

AMD is still an option, yes. I would get an AM3+ board if you go AMD so you can upgrade the CPU to bulldozer at some point. It most likely won't compete as well with the i5-2500 and up, but it should be better than the current chips out now.

1333 won't really affect your performance. Most kits we recommend here on Tom's are 1333 or 1600. You'll only see the difference when you go lower (i.e. 1066), and anything higher than 1866 provides a negligible performance increase.
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July 5, 2011 6:50:41 PM

boiler1990 said:
AMD is still an option, yes. I would get an AM3+ board if you go AMD so you can upgrade the CPU to bulldozer at some point. It most likely won't compete as well with the i5-2500 and up, but it should be better than the current chips out now.

1333 won't really affect your performance. Most kits we recommend here on Tom's are 1333 or 1600. You'll only see the difference when you go lower (i.e. 1066), and anything higher than 1866 provides a negligible performance increase.


Wow, even the bulldozer won't compete with the i5, and the x4 is worse :o  Why would i get an AMD over the intel then?
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July 5, 2011 7:08:56 PM

I guess it's hard to recommend AMD over Intel (the i5-2500K just blows everything away), but if budget is the key then AMD is the way to go. I doubt you'll be limited by your CPU, and OCing the X4 955 is pretty common, so you'd be able to find a lot of information on it.
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July 5, 2011 7:12:25 PM

boiler1990 said:
I guess it's hard to recommend AMD over Intel (the i5-2500K just blows everything away), but if budget is the key then AMD is the way to go. I doubt you'll be limited by your CPU, and OCing the X4 955 is pretty common, so you'd be able to find a lot of information on it.


You're absolutely correct, even if the i5 is much better than the X4, whats the point if i never reach 50% performance, but are you sure that I won't? I'm the type of guy that has an infinite amount of AI's running around in Garry's Mod and have BFBC2 playing with SC2 in a different tab, what do you think? And, as you said, the Autocad 3D uses the CPU extensively
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July 5, 2011 7:41:34 PM

What do you mean by Autocad 3D ??

3D Studio Max?

Civil Engineering?

GIS Mapping?

If this is your *Priority 1* I would suggest something on more of a workstation level with ECC RAMs ...

Asus M5A99X EVO AM3+ AMD 990X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3: $163

Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Unbuffered DDR3 1333: $120

If you need to save $60, a single 4GB stick of ECC memory will do.

If you are doing 3D Studio Max, the 955 will be fine --- but otherwise, snag a AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2GHz and a $30 after-market cooler. Ease that suckah up to 3.8GHz+ and your 'priorities' will run just dandy - LOL





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July 5, 2011 9:10:39 PM

Wisecracker said:
What do you mean by Autocad 3D ??

3D Studio Max?

Civil Engineering?

GIS Mapping?

If this is your *Priority 1* I would suggest something on more of a workstation level with ECC RAMs ...

Asus M5A99X EVO AM3+ AMD 990X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3: $163

Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Unbuffered DDR3 1333: $120

If you need to save $60, a single 4GB stick of ECC memory will do.

If you are doing 3D Studio Max, the 955 will be fine --- but otherwise, snag a AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2GHz and a $30 after-market cooler. Ease that suckah up to 3.8GHz+ and your 'priorities' will run just dandy - LOL


Lol. I don't really know what program exactly, but its some autocad in 3D. Its for my Dad. Some questions if I may, Whats ECC rams (and the normal rams name) and what do they differ from the normal ones. Will they still do games?
Also, whats the difference with the Asus motherboard you linked me and mine, other than the Esata and some extra slots? Like, is it more stable? upgradable? Also, i never overclocked from the BIOS before (or a CPU :) ), is it safe? Reliable?
Many thanks sir wisecracker :) 
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July 5, 2011 11:39:41 PM

ECC RAM is used for servers/professional workstations (often based on servers). No standard desktop board will support it, and it's expensive to build a true workstation.
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July 5, 2011 11:51:49 PM

boiler1990 said:
ECC RAM is used for servers/professional workstations (often based on servers). No standard desktop board will support it, and it's expensive to build a true workstation.


Yea, I dont think i will go with a workstation just because of the budget. Thanks though! Can you help me out with my other questions in the thread please
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July 6, 2011 12:41:41 AM

akkad said:
Lol. I don't really know what program exactly, but its some autocad in 3D. Its for my Dad. Some questions if I may, Whats ECC rams (and the normal rams name) and what do they differ from the normal ones. Will they still do games?
Also, whats the difference with the Asus motherboard you linked me and mine, other than the Esata and some extra slots? Like, is it more stable? upgradable? Also, i never overclocked from the BIOS before (or a CPU :) ), is it safe? Reliable?
Many thanks sir wisecracker :) 


ECC = Error Correcting Code. It is workstation/server memory used in business/professional computers. Asus supports ECC memory on AMD desktop motherboards. In your case, it is highly recommended.

When you compare the three applications cited above with your gaming ambitions they may seem the same, but they are not. That's why folks have talked about 'professional' video cards like the ATI/AMD Fire-series and the nVidia Quadros.

When you are gaming those fancy images are made of little polygons/triangles. When they go flashing by in gaming, the positioning and relationships of those polygons/triangles to each other really doesn't matter. Heck, some video drivers drop polygons/triangles to make things appear faster as you go by blazing at aliens. Missed polygons/triangles? No problem!

'Professional' applications are much different. They use exact vectors. When you zoom in and out on a professional drawing those vectors (defined by x,y coordinates in 2D, and x,y,z coordinates in 3D) maintain a perfect relationship to one another, whether your screen width represents 10 feet - or 10 miles. All points drawn must keep that exact vector relationship.

When you zoom in and out, your screen (or 'view-port' to the drawing) must be 'regenerated' -- that's why the video card is critical. All those x,y (& sometimes 3D z) points are constantly being recalculated, regenerated and redrawn.

There are times when that precision calculating might be 'nudged' a bit, and that's where ECC comes in -- it provides bit-correction when that precision calculating has a untimely blackout and regurgitates a 'bit' of craptastic data.

If you think about it, it makes good sense. If your vector drawing has tens of thousands of points and a single point is 1/10th off it doesn't seem like much ....

until you get 68,948 points away - LOL


boiler1990 said:
ECC RAM is used for servers/professional workstations (often based on servers). No standard desktop board will support it, and it's expensive to build a true workstation.



Bzzzzzz ... That would be incorrect.

That Asus desktop motherboard supports ECC memory, as does the integrated memory controller of the AMD Phenom processor.
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July 6, 2011 12:59:31 AM

Wisecracker said:
ECC = Error Correcting Code. It is workstation/server memory used in business/professional computers. Asus supports ECC memory on AMD desktop motherboards. In your case, it is highly recommended.

When you compare the three applications cited above with your gaming ambitions they may seem the same, but they are not. That's why folks have talked about 'professional' video cards like the ATI/AMD Fire-series and the nVidia Quadros.

When you are gaming those fancy images are made of little polygons/triangles. When they go flashing by in gaming, the positioning and relationships of those polygons/triangles to each other really doesn't matter. Heck, some video drivers drop polygons/triangles to make things appear faster as you go by blazing at aliens. Missed polygons/triangles? No problem!

'Professional' applications are much different. They use exact vectors. When you zoom in and out on a professional drawing those vectors (defined by x,y coordinates in 2D, and x,y,z coordinates in 3D) maintain a perfect relationship to one another, whether your screen width represents 10 feet - or 10 miles. All points drawn must keep that exact vector relationship.

When you zoom in and out, your screen (or 'view-port' to the drawing) must be 'regenerated' -- that's why the video card is critical. All those x,y (& sometimes 3D z) points are constantly being recalculated, regenerated and redrawn.

There are times when that precision calculating might be 'nudged' a bit, and that's where ECC comes in -- it provides bit-correction when that precision calculating has a untimely blackout and regurgitates a 'bit' of craptastic data.

If you think about it, it makes good sense. If your vector drawing has tens of thousands of points and a single point is 1/10th off it doesn't seem like much ....

until you get 68,948 points away - LOL





Bzzzzzz ... That would be incorrect.

That Asus desktop motherboard supports ECC memory, as does the integrated memory controller of the AMD Phenom processor.



Ahhh, all this seems to be somewhat overly complex. I appreciate all your help (seriously, I like learning new things, but I have spent days on this PC and I'm getting a little tired of all the experimenting :) ), but can you give me the bottom line. Do I need a workstation for autocad 3d? I doubt anything hardcore will be worked on it, at least for the time being. Do you know, by the way, whether learning autocad 3D will be beneficial financially in a way?
Your second quote was also useful, so my build (the third one) can work the ECC? Cause if all it takes is some extra cash for the ECC (and they play games?) I can do it.
Thanks :D 
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July 6, 2011 1:49:17 PM

akkad said:
Ahhh, all this seems to be somewhat overly complex. I appreciate all your help (seriously, I like learning new things, but I have spent days on this PC and I'm getting a little tired of all the experimenting :) ), but can you give me the bottom line.

Do I need a workstation for autocad 3d? YES!

I doubt anything hardcore will be worked on it, at least for the time being. Do you know, by the way, whether learning autocad 3D will be beneficial financially in a way? YES!

Your second quote was also useful, so my build (the third one) can work the ECC? Cause if all it takes is some extra cash for the ECC (and they play games?) I can do it. maybe ...

Thanks :D  You're welcome!



If your Dad (and you) are patient and follow the tutorials you may quickly pick up the basics -- from that point it's up to you guys as individuals. There are literally thousands of ways to do things and it can take years to master them all. As your level of proficiency increases, so does your value, whether you work for yourselves or someone else. Here's what I would do:

Get the Asus M5A99X 990X and a single stick of G.SKILL non-ECC 4GB 240 DDR3 1333 for $40. Learn the basics and make a decision whether you want to do CAD stuff. If you guys really dig it and are ready to go pro, sell the non-ECC stick and invest in ECC.

Otherwise --- your stuff looks great. That's a sweet deal on a really nice PSU. A fast HDD like the Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB would top things off nicely if you want an upgrade.

Looks like $550 before rebate ... or around $615 with the Spinpoint F3 HDD.






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