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New Build -(AutoCAD/Gaming Computer) need advice

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February 7, 2012 11:53:33 AM

Hello, I'm new to the site. I found this site a week or so ago and can't quit looking at all the information and overall help from the community on this site. Can't find that very many other places. But what im working with here as far as guidelines goes is. I want to build my own computer again its been years since I built my last one and needless to say technology has jumped leaps and bounds since then. But my career is AutoCAD engineer and although I have a work computer I would eventually like to take some of my work home and work on it. But the main purpose for this computer is just so I can build a computer again. I take great pride in building something myself and being able to show it off. The computer will also more than anything be used for gaming. I'm not an extreme gamer by any means but like to play games. I will also be using it for school as I'm about to finish up my Mechanical/Nuclear engineer degree. I'm just so far out of the loop that not exactly sure what would be the best route or grouping of parts to accomplish my school work,gaming, surfing the net (3 main ones) and then every now and then AutoCAD. When I decide to shell out $2000 for my own personal copy of AutoCAD 2012. Sorry for the novel just being my first post wanted to make sure I covered as many bases as possible. Last thing is for the monitor I would like one that would work well with pc gaming aswell as be able to hook up my ps3 to it and game with my ps3 on the monitor. Overall budget would be roughly $1500. I have been looking at the HAF series of cases or this one by thermaltake that I found yesterday. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Any help would be greatly appreciated.
February 7, 2012 12:21:29 PM

hmmmmm 2000 for AutoCad, 1500 for the rig and your preferences are in the order of school work, gaming surfing the net and then AutoCAD, with an emphasis on the first three...... WOW.....
I'd love to have a Bank/Employer that would finance my rig with the same interests in mind.....

Anyways, you ought to be looking for a good 6 to 8 core processor with a good high memory GPU. Tons of RAM and a really big monitor......
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February 7, 2012 12:21:59 PM

Nice case!
you def wanna go with a intel i5 2500k if you overclock, 2400 if not or higher if you need a better cpu with hyper-threading for AutoCAD.
that means you need a LGA 1155 board.
ddr3 1600 2x4gb ram kits are standard. after 1600 you dont get much performance boost in games.
for graphics i would get two 6950's or a single 7950/7970 depending on how much money you want to spend.
the tunique 120 extreme is one of the best heatsinks to get. its afordable/ in the top 5 intel heatsinks and its quiet.
this is a great SSD! http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
hope I helped!
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February 7, 2012 12:24:18 PM

And why would he use Windows 7 Home Premium??.....
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February 7, 2012 12:25:06 PM

$170 NZXT Switch 810
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$85 Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$300 Acer H274HLBMID Black 27" 5ms Full HD HDMI LED BackLight LCD Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$270 HIS IceQ X Turbo H695QNT2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$75 COOLER MASTER GX Series RS650-ACAAE3-US 650W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$47 Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$200 ASUS SABERTOOTH P67 (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$230 Intel Core i5-2500K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$120 CORSAIR H100 (CWCH100) Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$9 LOGISYS Computer CLK12BL2 12" DUAL COLD CATHODE KIT - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Subtotal: $1,385.91
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February 7, 2012 12:28:32 PM

@alvine... you know what the OP is going to do with the cold cathodes.... eh??
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February 7, 2012 12:31:19 PM

While the others are at it, I'd like to ask the OP if he's tried working on AutoCAD in a 3D or Virtual environment....?
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February 7, 2012 12:34:53 PM

alyoshka said:
And why would he use Windows 7 Home Premium??.....


Why wouldn't he use Home Premium? There is no network domain to join or legacy 32bit programs to run in compatability mode... ???
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February 7, 2012 12:39:26 PM

Wow Thank you everyone so far for all the help. Going to try and respond to these in order. But yes $2000 for AutocCAD 2012. Thats actually cheap since its just the upgrade version. I wish my company was paying for this too but this is just for my personal use and all coming out of my bank account. Yes I have used 3D features of autoCAD. I beginning to work more in 3D drawings with AutoCAD as I use to only use Pro-E and solidworks for 3D. The AutoCAD isn't a huge deal as will be a little ways down the road but is something I would really like to be able to accomplish with this rig. But since its a little down the road something that is easily upgradeable I guess is the best way to put it would be awesome too. Something that would meet my current needs and then when the time comes can make some upgrades to be able to handle the demand of 3D drawings with AutoCAD.
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February 7, 2012 12:41:03 PM

Also I have looked at that case but its a good looking case just not really my thing. I like the thermaltake one I posted and the HAF series. The HAF X is probably my next top pick in the way of a case.
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February 7, 2012 12:48:06 PM

I have 3 HAF's myself, but this particular case , the level 10GT has actually made very good use of the compartmental system without the High Air Flow base model and thereby eliminated the dust issues that I usually face....
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February 7, 2012 12:51:54 PM

idk why but people on Tom's always go overboard on PSU wattage....for a 570..your probably ok with a 650-750w

@alyoshka ...thermaltake is overpriced junk...(I would say its only my opinion but it is a common consesus among builders) ..and its ugly (my opinion ha). Im too lazy to find the benchmarks atm but they are bad performers on cooling, where as silverstone dominates.

Great Air cooling = Silverstone, antec, coolermaster

Great Water cooling = corsair, fractual design,

notables = befenix, zalman z9 plus

@twisted ...I'd suggest you read the first sticky in this topic...by answering all those questions you can help us a lot. You could live near a Microcenter and save yourself some money.
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February 7, 2012 12:54:11 PM

alyoshka said:
I have 3 HAF's myself, but this particular case , the level 10GT has actually made very good use of the compartmental system without the High Air Flow base model and thereby eliminated the dust issues that I usually face....



Positive Air flow / intake filters will help you a lot
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February 7, 2012 1:01:45 PM

Yeah, then I would have bought some other junk to make the rig dust free too....
Positive airflow eh ...Lol....
You'd better start buying cases and experimenting with them instead of looking a benches and stating stuff...
The Level 10 isn't meant for Fans as such... If you take a look at it' you'll see there aren't many places in it for fans... it's supposed to have quite a bit of thought to be put into what sort of a cooling solution you might want with a level 10.
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February 7, 2012 1:03:40 PM

Sorry about that and thank you for the suggestions again.



Approximate Purchase Date: next few weeks.

Budget Range: $1500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, school work, surfing the web, AutoCAD 2012

Parts Not Required:

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg

Country: US

Parts Preferences: no real preference. I've ran AMD and Intel

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Additional Comments: I like to have a window built in and quiet is always a plus but not a concern
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February 7, 2012 1:37:33 PM

alyoshka said:
Yeah, then I would have bought some other junk to make the rig dust free too....
Positive airflow eh ...Lol....
You'd better start buying cases and experimenting with them instead of looking a benches and stating stuff...
The Level 10 isn't meant for Fans as such... If you take a look at it' you'll see there aren't many places in it for fans... it's supposed to have quite a bit of thought to be put into what sort of a cooling solution you might want with a level 10.


Oh, you bought the case. Well no point in arguing with a dedicated owner. I still think it is very overpriced. Thermaltake has always been overpriced, and most of the time what people believe as functional add ons ends up being a hassle that clutters the case (not to mention the weight of their cases). There are many cases for 1/2 -3/4 the price of the lvl 10 that work just as well and have most of the same features (and tend to have better build quality).

To each his own though. Back on topic.

Cpu - Def. go with i5 2500k or i7 2600k...the Hyperthreading on the 2600k might be somewhat beneficial to you for autocad, but not for gaming etc.
Mobo - MSI/ASUS/Asrock/Gigabyte all make good boards.
Cpu cooler - the coolermaster hyper 212 is best price/performance ratio
harrdrive/ssd - stick with what sadams reccomended
gpu - 6950 is best price/performance ~$250 if you plan to spend over 300-350 here you might as well go for a 7950/7970
case- imo spend 80-150 on a case...you can find one in that range with all the features you could want. HAF series are very good and perform near the top in cooling. if dust is a concern get intake filters and research positive air flow.
memory - corsair xms / vengeance series is good ...1333 or 1600 ...anything over 1600 won't be ultilized by your cpu.
PSU - 650w if you plan on staying with single card. at least 850w if you plan on SLI with 6950's (i won't reccomend 750 b/c it would be a close call) XFX, corsair as reccomended earlier are good psu's

Monitor - my reccomendation would be dell ips u2311hm ..there good for gaming, have an ag coating, has tilt/swivel, and are very good for reading/designing.





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February 7, 2012 1:42:08 PM

alyoshka said:
@alvine... you know what the OP is going to do with the cold cathodes.... eh??

cold cathodes give you more fps in games DOOOOH
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Best solution

February 7, 2012 1:52:12 PM

nagol567 said:
if you need a better cpu with hyper-threading for AutoCAD.



AutoCAD is not multithreaded and won't use more than one core much less use hyperthreading. It will however make use of the fastest single core that you can get for it, and a fast disk system. In my experience with autocad I think an SSD is a good improvement for a system. It is very unusual to find drawings that AutoCAD won't run in 4GB of ram so more ram and 64bit OS is wasted on it. Also there might be AutoCAD add-ons that require 32bit to run, just depends on his particular industry. We have those things in our industry and our cad technicians that have 64 bit machines just can't use them. Also with the 64 bit OS he will likely have trouble getting drivers for that gaming video card that will work with autocad. He can go on Autodesk's website and check to see if that particular card is recommended or not. We could not get them to work on our 64-bit machines and had to go with ATI FireGL and Nvidia Quadro cards. There might be other programs used in his industry that can benefit from a 64-bit OS, there are in our industry and that is why some of our guys run 64-bit machines. There is this mystery that 3D drawings require more power but they don't because all drawings in autocad actually store 3D information but just view it in a 2D fashion. There is also frequent discussion here about rendering but that actually requires less horsepower than other autocad tasks and isn't a defining factor. Having enough speed to open the files is the big thing. We get data files from our clients upwards of 4MB and they sometimes take a minute or more to open on our overclocked Intel machines. Once opened they can be manipulated pretty quickly, but waiting for them to open really kills our productivity.
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February 7, 2012 1:52:24 PM

alvine said:
cold cathodes give you more fps in games DOOOOH


I like how you think sir. But seriously thank you for all your guys help. This maybe a pretty basic ? to the rest of you but to run dual monitors do you have to run 2 video cards? i"m guessing that would be the preferred way. I'm still doing my reasearch on crossfire and sli figuring out how that all works and cons and pros.
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February 7, 2012 1:56:25 PM

Twisted-1- said:
Thank you very much for your input.



No problem. The ASRock motherboard allows for SLI / CF and the PSU is sized to handle a pair of "large" GPUs. Overclock to 4.5GHz and enjoy...

Also, keep in mind case cooling. Be sure what ever solution you go with has an intake fan on the front and two exhaust fans in the rear / top.
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February 7, 2012 2:00:59 PM

Twisted-1- said:
This maybe a pretty basic ? to the rest of you but to run dual monitors do you have to run 2 video cards?


You can use two outputs on a single GPU to drive two monitors. This puts more strain on a single GPU, but at 1080 resolution the GPUs mentioned here should be fine.
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February 7, 2012 2:03:55 PM

Twisted-1- said:
to run dual monitors do you have to run 2 video cards?


Most video cards will come with multiple outputs and will normally handle at least 2 monitors, some will handle more than that. When shopping at newegg or wherever you can probably view photos of the cards and look for a photo that shows the end and shows the number and types of video outputs.
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February 7, 2012 2:07:56 PM

cadder said:
AutoCAD is not multithreaded and won't use more than one core much less use hyperthreading. It will however make use of the fastest single core that you can get for it, and a fast disk system. In my experience with autocad I think an SSD is a good improvement for a system. It is very unusual to find drawings that AutoCAD won't run in 4GB of ram so more ram and 64bit OS is wasted on it. Also there might be AutoCAD add-ons that require 32bit to run, just depends on his particular industry. We have those things in our industry and our cad technicians that have 64 bit machines just can't use them. Also with the 64 bit OS he will likely have trouble getting drivers for that gaming video card that will work with autocad. He can go on Autodesk's website and check to see if that particular card is recommended or not. We could not get them to work on our 64-bit machines and had to go with ATI FireGL and Nvidia Quadro cards. There might be other programs used in his industry that can benefit from a 64-bit OS, there are in our industry and that is why some of our guys run 64-bit machines. There is this mystery that 3D drawings require more power but they don't because all drawings in autocad actually store 3D information but just view it in a 2D fashion. There is also frequent discussion here about rendering but that actually requires less horsepower than other autocad tasks and isn't a defining factor. Having enough speed to open the files is the big thing. We get data files from our clients upwards of 4MB and they sometimes take a minute or more to open on our overclocked Intel machines. Once opened they can be manipulated pretty quickly, but waiting for them to open really kills our productivity.



good post...SSD would be benficial then..2600k is a no go I presume with this enlightened information...The only reason I suggest 64bit/8gb ram is for new games which are just recently needing this kind of performance...Battlefield 3 for example

but this might need to take this into consideration if using autocad...if so couldn't he have a seperate os for autocad?
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February 7, 2012 2:24:11 PM

Best answer selected by Twisted-1-.
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