College student trying to build first workstation/gamestation

I am a college student that is trying to build their first workstation desktop after using a laptop that was required by the university for my freshman year. The laptop, although it performs well, is sub par to what i need in terms of graphics, memory, and just power in general.

Let me start by saying I have a 2500 dollar budget. I am looking to set up this computer so that I can run programs like AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, Solid Works, and Revit without any hiccups or lag. I usually have trouble with my laptop because the computer's graphics card is...less than optimal. It will lag behind or have trouble running more than one of these programs at once which is starting to be a necessary thing for work and school. I am looking for any advice at all from full builds to just component suggestions because this is the first time I have ventured into this area of expertise.

I am also hoping that this desktop would also serve as a computer to use for gaming as well. So I don't know if that would mean any components would be different again any advice would be nice. I believe having 16 GB of ram, a terabyte HDD, dual monitors, and a higher end graphics card would be best. That way I won't have to clear memory space like I do now on my laptop, and the ram and the graphics card would allow me to run the programs I need to without issue, as well as run games like Battlefield 3 on max graphics settings.

tldr: $2500 budget. I aim aiming for a computer with dual monitors, top notch graphics card, 16 GB of ram, and a 1 TB hard drive. At least I think these would help.
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  1. 2500$ budjet for building a gaming pc/ multitask pc is perfect... what spending some extra cash comes down too in my oppinion, is what kind of monitors your want.
  2. ross620 said:
    2500$ budjet for building a gaming pc/ multitask pc is perfect... what spending some extra cash comes down too in my oppinion, is what kind of monitors your want.



    I honestly don't know what would be best for my purposes. I believe that a flat screen would be necessary however, my current desk location is relatively cramped for anything. However I would like to have one at least the size of the apple desktop computer for the larger viewing for work. I could render images at larger widths and just make working on larger projects easier.
  3. I am really puzzled at the need for such a build? if you are in school and your classes require you to have to use those programs why dont they have servers for you to use them on? same with your job. your job should have a computer for you. maybe i am just naive and when i was in school we where just ahead of the technology curve when it came to student computers.

    regardless, you are building a gaming desktop. those programs are not taxing at all. any gaming build will be fine for those programs.

    try and get a nvidia card and an intel cpu. both will be the best for all of those programs.
  4. cbrunnem said:
    I am really puzzled at the need for such a build? if you are in school and your classes require you to have to use those programs why dont they have servers for you to use them on? same with your job. your job should have a computer for you. maybe i am just naive and when i was in school we where just ahead of the technology curve when it came to student computers.

    regardless, you are building a gaming desktop. those programs are not taxing at all. any gaming build will be fine for those programs.

    try and get a nvidia card and an intel cpu. both will be the best for all of those programs.


    With my classes I have projects and homework that require the use of the software yes, however the university sells us a software package that we need essentially. Some programs are free others are not. The main issue being, we need to install them on our personal computers. My laptop CAN run them, just not at the speed where i can comfortably work without it freezing or causing frustrating issues with loading or locking up.

    With the coming semesters I was advised by my upperclassmen friends to upgrade to a workstation desktop, I am also trying to move towards PC gaming as opposed to console gaming because I don't really watch TV much anymore and barely at all when at university.
  5. Something like this:
    PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/pwoA
    Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/pwoA/by_merchant/
    Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/pwoA/benchmarks/

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive ($107.08 @ Amazon)
    Storage: OCZ Agility 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($93.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($354.98 @ Newegg)
    Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($66.96 @ NCIX US)
    Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($64.99 @ Newegg)
    Monitor: LG E2442V-BN 24.0" Monitor ($149.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $1191.96
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-26 00:38 EST-0500)
    Add monitorx2 cause you want two + windows 7 student = $20 +$150 (montor)
    total ~$1500
  6. 16 GB of ram won't be helpful. Neither will a 1TB hard drive.

    You want 8GB of 1600MHz ram with a low CAS latency, and then a couple SSDs - one for the operating system and programs, and one to use as a scratch drive for your work.

    Also, the size of the monitor doesn't have any effect on how wide you can render an image. A 17" 780p monitor will render just as large as a 24" one of the same resolution, but the 24" one will be larger and more pixilated. What you're looking for are three monitors with a resolution of 1920x1920. Anywhere from 22-24" would suffice.

    You then want an i7, which will help with the CAD programs. Then you have to decide if you want to play games in surround on three monitors, or just use one for gaming. If you want to use all three, get two GTX 670s. If you don't, just get a single one.
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