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Sub-875$ CAD System

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January 23, 2012 5:37:33 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: This week or next week

Budget Range: sub 875$ Before Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: SolidWorks, AutoCAD, Microsoft Office, Watching movies, Surfing the net

Parts Not Required: Operating System (Windows 7 x64), Speakers.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Tigerdirect.ca

Country: Quebec, Canada

Parts Preferences: Wired keyboard and mouse (preferably Logitech), ASUS/Gigabyte/MSI Motherboard with USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0, Intel i7-2600k (?) , nVidia Quadro workstation graphics, 22” monitor, Mid-tower case, budget PSU, 8GB minimum DDR3 physical memory

Overclocking: Maybe (minor, if ever)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (thoughts on SLI workstation graphics?)

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050 or 1920x1080 or 1920x1200

Additional Comments: The build is for a mechanical engineering student. 875$ is the MAXIMUM, preferably less.
Also, found a used PNY Quadro FX4600 on Kijiji for 130$. Thoughts?

Thanks a lot
-Quik

More about : 875 cad system

January 23, 2012 5:52:01 PM

Quote:

Additional Comments: The build is for a mechanical engineering student. 875$ is the MAXIMUM, preferably less.
Also, found a used PNY Quadro FX4600 on Kijiji for 130$. Thoughts?


I'd really hesitate to buy a used video card because you don't know if it's been properly tested or not. The Quaddro is a good idea to have in a CAD system because it can draw the finer lines that the comparable gaming card doesn't. But you may not be able to fit a good Quaddro in your system with such a tight budget. Maybe get a low to mid end Fire Pro or an ATI 6870.

You don't need an i7-2600K and you certainly won't be able to fit it in your budget. Most Autodesk products don't have really hefty system requirements - I've been able to run ACAD 2012 and Revit on far less than what they recommend.

This is the system I use and it works great, no problems (don't have time to look up links and a few parts are discontinued, will edit later):

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912
PSU: Corsair TX750 (maybe drop to the CX600)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P
CPU: Intel Core i3-2120
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212+
RAM: 16GB Corsair XMS 3 1600MHz 1.6V
SSD: 64GB Crucial M4
HD: 1TB Samsung Spinpoint
Optical: LG BD-R Burner
Card Reader: A Tech Flash Technology Pro 55U
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 470 (sub Fire Pro V5400 or GTX 550TI)
Monitor: Acer H243H
OS: Windows 7 Pro
January 23, 2012 6:01:23 PM

Thanks for the reply g-unit.

I have to agree with you that for AutoCAD, the processor is not under heavy load, but on other applications like SolidWorks, I heard that the CPU and GPU both take a beating...

Other thing I really have to mention: This computer is not for me, I have never used AutoCAD,CATIA, MAYA or SolidWorks, so I have no idea of the impact the hardware can have on the software.


Thoughts?
Thanks again.
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January 23, 2012 6:14:45 PM

quicksand10 said:
Thanks for the reply g-unit.

I have to agree with you that for AutoCAD, the processor is not under heavy load, but on other applications like SolidWorks, I heard that the CPU and GPU both take a beating...

Other thing I really have to mention: This computer is not for me, I have never used AutoCAD,CATIA, MAYA or SolidWorks, so I have no idea of the impact the hardware can have on the software.


Thoughts?
Thanks again.


It really doesn't take much to power an ACAD system. I've never used any of the other programs so I can't help you there.

Even on heavy redraws both AutoCAD and Revit don't use the full processing power in SB or even the P55 and X58 systems on my network.
January 23, 2012 7:17:41 PM

Here's a rough build for you to consider, doesn't include a mouse or keyboard though, I'll leave that up to you or someone else to find. I'm also not entirely sure if that graphics card will do it or not, but I put a higher end one in to hold a place in the budget for one. Personally AutoCAD runs perfectly well on my system with a GTX 460. Anyways, I hope this along with the other suggestions helps you out!

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/40DB
Part price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/40DB/by_merchant

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($125.99 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($23.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($98.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($98.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card ($152.55 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($90.99 @ Adorama)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($26.97 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VE228H 21.5" Monitor ($141.80 @ B&H)
Total: $857.25
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2012-01-23 16:11 EST-0500)
January 23, 2012 8:49:16 PM

g-unit1111 said:
It really doesn't take much to power an ACAD system. I've never used any of the other programs so I can't help you there. Even on heavy redraws both AutoCAD and Revit don't use the full processing power in SB or even the P55 and X58 systems on my network.


AutoCAD can use all the processing power you can give it, but this is really a function of the size of drawings that you are working with. We work with medium size drawings everyday, and occasionally work with large ones. It can take several minutes just to open a file. (I get really tired of waiting for it.) And if you get into Revit then it is significantly slower than that. Redraws are really not a big deal, it is the regens and opening of files that takes the big amount of time.

Our fastest machines are a couple of years old now- built with i5-750 cpu's overclocked to about 3.6GHz, 8GB of ram, Win7-64bit. Several of the machines have ATI FireGL video cards, the newest one has a Nvidia Quadra which I think is a better card, and either of these is available for about $130. A gamer video card will work with 32bit Windows but we could not make them work with 64bit Windows due to insufficient drivers.

With the OP's tight budget the i3-2120 might be a good choice because it is a fast cpu but saves a good amount of money.
January 23, 2012 9:22:35 PM

cadder said:
AutoCAD can use all the processing power you can give it, but this is really a function of the size of drawings that you are working with. We work with medium size drawings everyday, and occasionally work with large ones. It can take several minutes just to open a file. (I get really tired of waiting for it.) And if you get into Revit then it is significantly slower than that. Redraws are really not a big deal, it is the regens and opening of files that takes the big amount of time.

Our fastest machines are a couple of years old now- built with i5-750 cpu's overclocked to about 3.6GHz, 8GB of ram, Win7-64bit. Several of the machines have ATI FireGL video cards, the newest one has a Nvidia Quadra which I think is a better card, and either of these is available for about $130. A gamer video card will work with 32bit Windows but we could not make them work with 64bit Windows due to insufficient drivers.

With the OP's tight budget the i3-2120 might be a good choice because it is a fast cpu but saves a good amount of money.


Where I work we have a wide variety of systems - everything from X58 to P55 to 775 to AM3 and everything in between. I'm the only Z68 system on the network (also the only SSD on the network :lol:  ), and I've noticed that even on huge files and heavy redraws my i3-2120 doesn't come close to using 80% of the CPU load. That would be an excellent choice for the money.

We don't use really expensive graphics cards here either - most either use older Fire Pros and a few use GTX 2xx and 4xx, and a couple use Radeon 6850s. You can get by with far less of a video card for sure, you might need the professional ones to see finer details but on such a tight budget a 6850 will work for now.
January 24, 2012 1:31:32 AM

Thanks everyone for the replies. Much appreciated and very helpful!

I sent a price check to my supplier and I will post again when I get my price lists :) 

January 26, 2012 7:51:30 PM

APEVIA X-ALIEN MX-ALIEN-BK/500
INTEL I5-2500K S1155 BX80623I52500K
ASUS P8Z68-M PRO S1155 ATX MB
Kingston HyperX KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX
SEAGATE ST500DM002 500G 3.5" SATA 6GB/S
LG GH24NS90 24X SATA DVDRW BLK
LOGITECH MK120 USB COMBO
LG W2243T-PF 22" 16:9 WIDE 30000:1 BLK
TP-LINK TL-WN951N WIRELESS PCI N ADAPTER

Price: $830 CAD + tax

Thoughts?

EDIT: Using an old BFG 8800GTS 320mb until there's more budget for a better card...

Thanks again.
February 2, 2012 7:49:24 PM

Hi everyone, I have another question after the news that the Intel i5-2550k was replacing the flagship i5-2500k.

Is it worth it, in my case, to go with the i5-2550k? Here's my price list for the CPUs I was considering (all in Canadian Dollars):

i5-2500k: 229$ (I was told the price would not change after the release of the i5-2550k)
i5-2550k: 249$ (ETA: 2-4 weeks)
i7-2600: 309$
i7-2600k: 336$

Also, another related question, as the new i5-2550k does not have an IGP, does this have any effect on the heat generated by the processor, considering that we will not be using onboard graphics? Or, because we're not using the IGP on the 2500k, there's no difference in processor heat generation?

Again, thanks a lot everyone. Much appreciated.
!