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Need help choosing i5-i7 processor for workstation

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February 15, 2012 12:25:20 PM

I am trying to create a spec list to build workstations for my office and im looking at processors. (We run AutoCAD architecture and Civil 3D)

we want a minimum of quad core 3ghz and im looking at the 3.3ghz core i5-2500. I'm trying to create an option sheet so i will probably also pick out an i7 to go for if the money is there.

Intel's processor line is sort of confusing, i understand that the "K" means its unlocked which we dont need so i can save the 20$ on that.
But what about on board graphics? We dont need it so I dont want to pay extra for a processor that has it (which the i5-2500 does) if i dont need to.

is there an easy way to narrow my search around things like this?
February 15, 2012 1:35:54 PM

A graphics card is an indispensable component so that the PC can give an output signal to the monitor.

Both i5 and i7 have an onboard graphics card which should be sufficient for any design program.

This is good news because you don't need to buy an external graphics card (aka discrete graphics) unless you plan on gaming.
February 15, 2012 1:42:15 PM

wouldn't having some sort of external graphics card be good to take some of the load away from the processor? AutoCAD is pretty processor heavy, especially AutoCAD Civil3D.
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February 15, 2012 1:52:29 PM

you will want a discrete card for running civil 3d on board graphics will feel slow and choppy when rendering 3d models

i would recommend you look into amd fire pro line of workstation graphics cards
a b à CPUs
February 15, 2012 2:02:03 PM

Intel did 'just' release some I5's that sit just below the 2500 that do not have built in graphics, so you could go for one of those, but they are probably rare and therefore carry a premium. A 2500 would be fine, you could use the onboard to run a second screen allowing the primary (rendering screen) to run off professional discrete graphics assuming that your software supports those cards. Or just don't use the internal graphics, trying to get away with not paying for that when you are going to have to go for pro discrete graphics (which are mostly the same as non pro discrete graphics) is looking at saving small whilst spending big.

Googling 'intel ark' allows you to get to here: http://ark.intel.com/products/family/59134/2nd-Generati... which shows the full i5 lineup. check whether hyperthreading is of any use to your software and then you'll know whether to consider i7's or not.
a c 122 à CPUs
February 15, 2012 3:52:32 PM

You could even go with an e3 1230 instead of an i7. You'll want a discrete card, not getting one for 3d work is nonsense. You won't even need integrated for multiple monitors, that's just extra power use and a discrete card will handle multiple already. As long is you don't use the igpu, it's inactive anyways so having it doesn't hurt as most cpus do have them. A total budget may help.
a b à CPUs
February 15, 2012 4:02:47 PM

have you seen how poorly nvidias card idle on dual screen setups, they are still drawing full power nearly.
a c 188 à CPUs
February 15, 2012 4:20:51 PM

The Intel® Xeon™ E3-1200s which work with C202, C204, or C206 chipsets (most likely you would look at something like the Intel Server Board S1200BTL). With the Intel Xeon E3-1200's the models that have a "0" on the end don't have the IGP and if they have a "5" on they end they have the IGP and it only works with boards that use the C206 chipset like the Asus P8B WS.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
a c 122 à CPUs
February 15, 2012 8:30:17 PM

Asrock actually states xeons on their p67 and z68 boards. Googling shows many other people using it on h67 and q67 as well as many other companies' boards not putting it on their official cpu support list.
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