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Recommend card for 3dCAD and gaming

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 31, 2011 10:03:16 PM

Hello,

Please recommend a discrete video card for my purposes.

I have the following build:
i5-2500K @4.6GHz
P8Z68-V Pro motherboard
8GB DDR3 RAM (1333)
7200 RPM HDD
650 Watt Antec Earthwatts PSU - 2 x 12v rails @38A each
no discrete video card - just using Intel's IG 3000

Primary use -
1. CAD machine
2. Gaming (a close 2nd)
3. General use

Budget - Preferably ~$200, but will go higher as allowed by my PSU, depending on what tier card will potentially solve my issue.
Overclock - maybe
SLI - maybe
NewEgg or Micro Center for parts
Displays - Using two displays, one (HDMI connector) @1920x1080, the other monitor (VGA) @1280x1024

Some specific requirements:

I run AutoCAD mostly on this machine, but I do intend to use it for gaming also - I find that the system doesn't break a sweat at all doing 2D; but when I engage in 3D viewing and manipulation of models, it does slow it up, not a whole lot, but enough to notice - for example, zooming in and out of a model is a little choppy. This "choppiness" occurs specifically when I am manipulating 3d models in model space, with the "conceptual" rendering setting engaged. When I switch it to 3D Wireframe, it does not have as much performance lag, leading me to believe that I need a more powerful graphics processor. I have tried a GT 430 that I had laying around, and this did not make any difference from the Intel HD 3000 - how high do I have to go up in the video card hierarchy to produce the results I am aiming for?

My question -Am I on the right track in assuming that the power of the graphics processor dictates this particular performance issue (performance lag when viewing model in conceptual rendering style), and if so, what moderately priced card would allow for seamless 3D design with small to moderately large files, using any/all the different basic rendering and viewing tricks integral to vanilla AutoCAD? Is the only answer to get a workstation card for this particular issue? If possible, I would like go with a gaming card, so I can also play games. Thanks.
December 31, 2011 10:35:40 PM

I know that gaming cards are built intentionally distinct from workstation cards, but is there not a gaming card (even a higher end one) that will overlap a little into workstation territory and produce the smooth drafting while manipulating rendered 3d models that I am seeking, yet also play games at a reasonable fps, etc.?
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a c 92 U Graphics card
December 31, 2011 10:43:20 PM

you should be able to buy a 560ti and run it will for both gaming and autoCAD. it might be slightly over budget but your psu will be able to handle it fine.
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December 31, 2011 11:01:59 PM

So, the high-end gaming card will improve performance on CAD applications, including 3D work, and REVIT, is what I gather, even though they are designed to be "different animals" than their workstation cousins.
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a c 92 U Graphics card
December 31, 2011 11:04:48 PM

yes, I would assume it would give you a boost.

the workstation cards are basically the same card with different drivers which help making things more efficient and stable instead of having all the power you can get for gaming.
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December 31, 2011 11:20:18 PM

Is there a replacement for the 560 ti on the horizon, or would it be a good buy right about now?
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December 31, 2011 11:30:34 PM

Best answer selected by ebalong.
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