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AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011 and Mid-Gaming Build

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January 26, 2012 4:33:36 PM

Hey everyone,
I was told at my job that this is the place to go to for assistance with building a PC.

I am building a PC for practicing AutoCAD Civil 3D, SAP 2000 (which is a 3D Finite Element Analysis Program), practicing with Java SDKs (I know...people ask how did I manage to blend IT with civil engineering, but somehow I made it happen), and for some gaming, (nothing crazy but decent)

So far I have acquired the following:

Case: Cooler master CM 690 II advanced

Motherboard: ASUS P8 Z68-V GEN3

Memory: G. Skill Sniper DDR3 12800 4GB x 2

Processor: Intel Core i5 2500k 3.3Ghz Processor

Graphics Card: ???

Power Supply: ??? But I kind of have an idea.

OS: Windows 7 64 bit

I need assistance with the graphics card. I do not know much about them. I usually bought a used one from my college friends or a coworker whenever they did not need it on my old Dell PC.

I need a graphics card that is capable of 3D rendering and has multi-display capabilities.

I am using one 23" widescreen monitor to practice and the second monitor for watching tutorial videos or reading boards for assistance.

Budget:

Case: $120

Memory: I purchased it.

Processor: I purchased it.

Graphics Card: $200 - $300

Power Supply: $100

Many thanks in advance!
January 26, 2012 4:51:07 PM

Quote:
I need a graphics card that is capable of 3D rendering and has multi-display capabilities.


This will handle everything you need:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
Power Supply: ??? But I kind of have an idea.


You'll want at least a 700 - maybe 800 if you plan to Crossfire or overclock your 2500K.

Check out this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

One small suggestion though - the CM690II is quite a bit old now, I would suggest looking at a more modern case - one that has things like USB 3.0 and eSATA ports. My personal favorites right now are the Fractal Design Arc MIDI and the Corsair Carbide 400R.
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January 26, 2012 5:51:24 PM

Quote:
You'll want at least a 700 - maybe 800 if you plan to Crossfire or overclock your 2500K.

Check out this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817151087


The specs on this are perfect! I was looking at NVIDIAs the whole time and I was trying to venture into Radeon, but I do not know much about them. So Crossfire is Radeon's GPU solution?


Quote:
You'll want at least a 700 - maybe 800 if you plan to Crossfire or overclock your 2500K.

Check out this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817151087


That's a good price...I was looking for something that just hits $100 though. I will probably decide on this after a little shopping around to see if I can get something similar for a better deal.


Quote:
One small suggestion though - the CM690II is quite a bit old now, I would suggest looking at a more modern case - one that has things like USB 3.0 and eSATA ports. My personal favorites right now are the Fractal Design Arc MIDI and the Corsair Carbide 400R.


Yeah, I heard that the CM 690 II comes in a USB 3.0 version and with eSata ports. The Corsair Carbide 400R is not aesthetically pleasing, but the functionality is amazing and it is a bit smaller than the CM 690 II which is a plus.

Thanks again for your help!
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January 26, 2012 7:33:35 PM

The rendering puts you solidly in the nVidia camp ...... if it ain't nVidia, it ain't doing CUDA.

Unless you are doing extreme overclocking, I'd use the XFX Core Edition 850.....it gets 9.5 jonnyguru performance rating (same as the SeasonicX series and Corsair TX series) and costs ya just $90 after MIR ....

For case, I like the Corsair 500R .....

For gaming, Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

$ 170.00 6870 (434/701) $ 0.39 - $ 0.49
$ 220.00 6950 (479/751) $ 0.46 - $ 0.59
$ 240.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.50 - $ 0.63
$ 205.00 560 Ti (455/792) $ 0.45 - $ 0.52
$ 320.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.61 - $ 0.78
$ 215.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.43 - $ 0.50
$ 340.00 570 (524/873) $ 0.65 - $ 0.78
$ 500.00 580 (616/953) $ 0.81 - $ 1.05

The obvious standout here is the factory OC'd 560 which provides both CUDA for your rendering and a bit more ganingperformance than the factory OC'd 6950 while being a bit over 10% cheaper.
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January 26, 2012 7:47:42 PM

If you're gonna do AutoCAD, get the i7-2600k.
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January 26, 2012 8:54:21 PM

You didn't say if you are going 32bit or 64bit with the OS. We run AutoCAD and Revit, and have had problems getting decent video card drivers to go with 64bit OS. You can go on the Autodesk website and they will tell you what video cards are certified to work with their software and what cards are not, and generally only the ATI FireGL and Nvidia Quadro cards are certified. These can be found inexpensively but I don't know how well they will play games. We bought the Firegl and Quadro cards and had no more problems. If you are staying with 32bit OS then you can run autocad on any video card that will drive a monitor. I run Autocad and Revit just fine on my Dell laptop, and even through the internet with remote desktop.
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January 26, 2012 9:11:57 PM

cadder said:
You didn't say if you are going 32bit or 64bit with the OS. We run AutoCAD and Revit, and have had problems getting decent video card drivers to go with 64bit OS. You can go on the Autodesk website and they will tell you what video cards are certified to work with their software and what cards are not, and generally only the ATI FireGL and Nvidia Quadro cards are certified. These can be found inexpensively but I don't know how well they will play games. We bought the Firegl and Quadro cards and had no more problems. If you are staying with 32bit OS then you can run autocad on any video card that will drive a monitor. I run Autocad and Revit just fine on my Dell laptop, and even through the internet with remote desktop.


Thanks!

I was hoping to go with Windows 64 bit to utilize more than 4GB of memory, but if that is the case, I will return my memory and go with PC3 17000 DDR3 memory sticks.

I will check out the AutoCAD forums.
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January 26, 2012 9:39:01 PM

Quote:
For case, I like the Corsair 500R .....


I should've put the 500R instead of the 400R but both are amazing cases for the money. I really badly want an Arc MIDI though... :lol: 

Quote:
The specs on this are perfect! I was looking at NVIDIAs the whole time and I was trying to venture into Radeon, but I do not know much about them. So Crossfire is Radeon's GPU solution?


Yes - Crossfire is the Radeon equivalent of a dual GPU SLI setup. But where Radeon's biggest strengths are is with Eyefinity - setting up multiple displays on these cards is easier than it's ever been and you can run up to 3 monitors off one card.

Quote:
You didn't say if you are going 32bit or 64bit with the OS. We run AutoCAD and Revit, and have had problems getting decent video card drivers to go with 64bit OS. You can go on the Autodesk website and they will tell you what video cards are certified to work with their software and what cards are not, and generally only the ATI FireGL and Nvidia Quadro cards are certified. These can be found inexpensively but I don't know how well they will play games. We bought the Firegl and Quadro cards and had no more problems. If you are staying with 32bit OS then you can run autocad on any video card that will drive a monitor. I run Autocad and Revit just fine on my Dell laptop, and even through the internet with remote desktop.


I honestly haven't found that to be the case. Where I work we also run AutoCAD and Revit - only the Revit machines use Fire Pro cards, everything else runs a GTX or a Radeon card. Mine uses a GTX 470.
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January 27, 2012 12:05:10 AM

ferret mocha latte said:
I was hoping to go with Windows 64 bit to utilize more than 4GB of memory, but if that is the case, I will return my memory and go with PC3 17000 DDR3 memory sticks.



We have received some pretty large civil files from clients and not had any problems opening them with 4GB of ram. OTOH we receive large Revit files that I can't open on my workstation. In a learning environment, 32bit OS is fine. In a production environment it depends on what size projects you are working on.

Our experience with 64bit Win7 is from right at 2 years ago. Video card manufacturers might be better at providing good drivers these days, but I want to warn people to look out for this potential problem. It is a common fallacy that CAD needs a fancy video card but it really doesn't.
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