$1300 Workstation for CAD programs

Approximate Purchase Date: Likely next week

Budget Range: $1100-$1300

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Design programs(AutoCAD, solidworks, Chief Architect Premier, Mat lab, labview, little gaming, movies

Are you buying a monitor: 3 x monitors at least 21”

Parts to Upgrade: Everything except peripherals already got mouse, keyboard, headset, monitor and speakers.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg (free shipping expect cases), amazon (have prime membership), tiger direct

Location: Alaska

Parts Preferences: Cpu intel
Overclocking: no

SLI or Crossfire: maybe

Your Monitor Resolution:1920x1080

This is what I am looking at so far:
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 Mid Tower Computer Case - $55

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop - $239
Optic Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM

GPU: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 - $150

This can run three monitors, right?

PSU: CORSAIR Professional Series HX650 650W - $158
RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III - $85

HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM - $85

MOBO: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 - $220
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus - $30

Monitors: Acer S220HQLAbd Black 21.5" 5ms LED Backlight - $120 x 3

Total: $1382

Any recommendations for improving performance or reduce cost without hurting performance?
4 answers Last reply
More about 1300 workstation programs
  1. *bump* Anyone?
  2. All those look like solid choices to me.

    2D AutoCAD only really makes use of one core, but I would check out the multi-threaded support on the other software you listed - if you have flexibility in your budget, possibly consider an i7 with its 8 threads, but only if the potential difference in running the software compared to "only" 4 threads on the i5, seems worth the extra cost to you. The difference may be negligible, so in that case the i5 still kicks ass, just something to think about.

    I believe AMD cards can run more than 2 displays, provided there are enough ports on the back, and I think a gig should have enough muscle for 3, but doublecheck this. Nvidia cards I think will only run up to 2 displays (no matter how much VRAM you have), but I am not sure why - perhaps hamstrung drivers or something?

    The link to the SSD shows it is currently out of stock. For $15 more on Newegg, compare this one to the OCZ:


    Corsair "Silver" rated PSU, looks good, don't really need to bump up to the Gold AX (although, personally I love my AX).

    ...Just my 2 cents worth.

    Edit - I just noticed you weren't overclocking, so, since you are going to use a dedicated card (the K cpu's get a better version of Intel's integrated graphics), maybe look into a non-K 3570, (or 3770) and save a bit of money. Or maybe you think you might want to try overclocking in the future?
  3. Thanks for your input, ebalong. Yeah I'm putting this together for a friends and realized the slight differences in the CPU. I need to let him decide what he wants.

    A couple questions if you know

    Can you use the cpu-gpu (one monitor) with a discrete card like Nvidia (two monitor) to run three monitors?

    Are SSD the same as a regular HDD where you only have 90ish% of usable space from state size?
    This if the first time using a SSD.
  4. - I don't know of a way (it may be possible, but I haven't heard of it, maybe someone else has?) to use the integrated graphics and the discrete card simultaneously; as soon as I connect my discrete card, the motherboard's integrated display outputs are automatically incapacitated.

    - Yes, it is the same with SSD's the advertised size is not usually quite what you think, because of the way the bytes are added up by Windows, and also a little more of the "free" space is set aside for various things. My Samsung 830 128 GB is reported by Windows as "xx.x GB free of 119 GB", just like my 500 GB HDD says - "xx.x GB free of 465 GB"

    This explains some of it:

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