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Graphics Card for Architecture 3D Modeling

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 13, 2012 2:31:19 PM

I have a refurbished Lenovo ThinkCenter M91p (Small Form Factor desktop: SFF)

Specs:
Intel Core i7-2600 CPU @ 3.40 GHz
1TB HD
4gb Ram (4 slots for up to 16gb)
Intel HD Graphics (Integrated)
2 PCI and 1 PCIe slots are open (but it is a compact desktop so there is not to much head space)
The power supply is 240W, 85plus, auto-sensing

I use the Adobe CS, REVIT, AutoCAD, and Rhino. Currently, the graphics in Rhino are very slow making it difficult to use. I am looking to get a discrete graphics card and/or upgrade the RAM and Power Supply. The limiting factors are the smaller space inside and the small power supply. Also, I'm not looking to spend a ton of money...

Thanks
a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
September 13, 2012 5:21:11 PM

Your PC has good specs, but the PSU and SFF will crush your options for video cards. Even with a low wattage card like the radeon 6670 you will probably be overdrawing the PSU.

Best option would be to get a new case. Not sure how well a mobo from a sff PC fits in a standard atx case, though. You need at least a 400w PSU if you are going to buy a new one. Consider it the most important part in your build, because it is. Don't buy a shoddy one.

With a new case and PSU, I've heard nothing but praise for the 79xx series for workstation apps. I would suggest the pro line from Radeon but its really expensive. Might be worth it if time is money.
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a b ) Power supply
September 13, 2012 5:44:45 PM

bzunkeler said:
I have a refurbished Lenovo ThinkCenter M91p (Small Form Factor desktop: SFF)

Specs:
Intel Core i7-2600 CPU @ 3.40 GHz
1TB HD
4gb Ram (4 slots for up to 16gb)
Intel HD Graphics (Integrated)
2 PCI and 1 PCIe slots are open (but it is a compact desktop so there is not to much head space)
The power supply is 240W, 85plus, auto-sensing

I use the Adobe CS, REVIT, AutoCAD, and Rhino. Currently, the graphics in Rhino are very slow making it difficult to use. I am looking to get a discrete graphics card and/or upgrade the RAM and Power Supply. The limiting factors are the smaller space inside and the small power supply. Also, I'm not looking to spend a ton of money...

Thanks



IMHO, PSU is the last thing you want to scrimp on. Buy the highest wattage quality PSU you can afford. Visit your software vendor's websites and find a GPU common to all of their recommendations. If the board you select requires a new box then do that also.
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September 15, 2012 4:56:40 PM

Thanks for the responses.

I'll look into getting a better PSU (if there are any ideas for ones that would fit in the SFF that would be great).

As for the GPU, the "79xx series" is a little pricey for me right now (about the same price as the computer) so if there are any recommendations for a budget (~$150-$200 max) GPU that would work well for rendering 3D (specifically for architecture programs, I don't game. If there is even a difference) and could possibly fit in the SFF case. I would appreciate it.

In addition, if anyone knows if there would be any problem with fitting my motherboard in a standard size case. Let me know

Thanks
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