Which high end desktop GPU ($800ish or less) is best for AutoCAD?


Alienware is refunding me my money after almost 2-1/2 years of owning their junk. So, I have $2,700 to spend on building a desktop.

Can I get some good opinions on what card is best to buy?

This is what I hqave in mind:
Nvidia GTX 580 or GTX 590,
ATI Radeon 7970 or the FirePro V7900.

I do not like the V7800 ( I use it at work, and it isn't all that great ). But then, my work computer is a Dell....That is probably the reason why right there!

I'll be using my new computer for mainly AutoCAD, some 3D modeling and online stuff.
I'll actually be doing a little bit of Inventor a Navisworks too.

I'm not a gamer, so no need to ask. :)

Yes, I know I may be doing an overkill on the GPU, but that money is available within the configuration I have; with the i7-3930K processor.

Thank you everyone in advance!!

10 answers Last reply
More about which high desktop 800ish less autocad
  1. By the is for AutoCAD 2012, and soon to be AutoCAD 2013 "JAWS".

    Thanks again!
  2. gtx 590 in those two it will be good and overkill in my opinion you should wait for kepler 600 nvidia series cards which will have more advance and new tech.:)
  3. lol alienware, alienware is for gaming, not cad :).

    I suggest Pro graphics since radeon and geforce are gaming cards. With budget like $800, I think it's worth it to go pro graphics instead of radeon and geforce :), others may differ though.
  4. omg.

    You don't like v7800?

    you won't like geforce for sure then.

    but, wait some time and next gen workstation cards will be released.
    or, wait for some time and buy next gen quadro, it will be better than firepro
  5. Actually, in the Alienware laptops I had, the ATI 4870s, 5870's & the 6990s all worked just fine with AutoCAD. It was the junky motherboards that where the issues. The Nvidia 580 I had in the latest laptop wasn't sa nice at the 6990 cards I had. I had dual cards for all of the laptops. Yes, I know. AutoCAD only uses one GPU, not dual. I got the second card free from Alienware...long story...stories actually.

    I can't really wait that long at all because I have clients that I need to do CAD work for. So, I pretty much need to buy what is out now or coming out in the next month.

    Maybe I should buy a card at Newegg...if I don't like it, I can return in and get a different one.....????

    I want to know why I would be buying the card that I decide to choose, and it's hard to do that without the experience of desktop GPUs. This is why I am asking for recommendations.

    Thanks all!!

  6. Gaming Boxes make excellent CAD boxes, and have given me much enjoyment over the years as I get to purchase hi end equipment for my business which does a dang fine job of gaming. I remember the guys at the local CAD training the facility complaining that the network administrator kept hunting the network for Doom.exe cause all the trainers used to stay late at the office and play after was a blast on those huge $3000 CRT's way back when. I suggested they rename the exe file to AutoCADbetatest.exe and problem with the network admin was solved :)

    Poorly trained tech support folks however, as well as much of the puter buying public, associate CAD only with with 3D rendering .... a very improper and unwise assumption.

    If ya using AutoCAD 12 and soon 13 (should receive our upgrades next month if past release schedules hold) for mostly 2D drafting, a GeForce card will serve ya just dandy. Historically, nVidia has held a significant advantage over AMD in this arena due mostly to ATI / AMD's driver issues


    When ya get to 3DMax, Maya and other apps, with a multi-purpose box, ya have a choice to make. First, consider whether ya will be using any CUDA plug ins cause if ya are, then it becomes solely nVidia's game. If the box will do 3D rendering for 6-8 hours a week and will also serve for leisure use and a few hours of gaming, then I'd definitely get a gaming card...... gaming cards do rendering a whole lot better than rendering cards do gaming.

    If this is going to be serious rendering box, where ya gonna invest well over 24 hours per week in serious rendering and spending over $450 on the card, then I'd lean towards a Quadro card. Not many CAD programs will utilize a 2nd GPU so investing in same would be pointless in this case.
  7. I like that office story jack, I agree with Sunk on this one. Kepler is looking promising. I mean Most Gaming cards do work in professional fields as well. I mean CUDA is is NVIDIA's workstations cards. Its in Gefore as well. Geforce is most affordable. so CUDA for less????
  8. Since you are familiar with the 580's and you need the cards now. I would go with the 590 2gb of vram to get you up and going then do the reserch on the quadro to see if it is what you want.

    Then do a trade in and get it or just buy another 590. The 590 is a dual core GPU. You might not need to get a second card. This is just my two cents worth and good luck to ya.
  9. cad for rendering? ...
  10. Thanks for the reply....thank you everyone for the replies matter in fact!

    This is NOT going to be a serious rendering machine at all. Just the normal 2D construction document/fabrication drawing system. I'll be doing 3D here and there. This is why I was saying that the cards will probably be overkill.....but the money is in my bidget. so why not go for it.
    I'm really leaning towards the V7900, but am not convinced yet. I don['t want to spend all of this money on a 7970, or a 580 or a 590 and find out it's not what I want. As long as the performance is great, I'm good. The V7800 at work just doesn't work well. It might be the computer though.

    I'm still a little bit confused on what to buy. If I will be spending $700 or so on a card, I want to make sure I know why I am buying what I am buying!

    Oh need to ever go with two GPUs.

    What Quadro card is equivalent to the AMD/ATI V7900? And then, which of those cards do you recommend and why?

    Thanks a bunch! I really appreciate any advice anyone can give!!


    I'm planning on buying from If I shouldn't, PLEASE tell me!! =)
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