AutoCAD13 2D drafting workstation

Hi I would like advice on an Autocad13 workstation I would like to build. AutoCAD is predominatley a single threaded application. AutoCAD minimum system requirements for Windows 7 is a 3.0 ghz processor that supports SSE2 technology. Other programs used are mainly MS Word and Excel but AutoCAD is probably the most intense.

My priorities are as follows:

- Large hi-def monitor for drafting plans such as a 27" 2560X1440p monitor like the Dell U2713hm. Similar graphic perfomance as I am getting on my nVidia GeForce 6800 and 1680x1050p monitor as this has worked well for me. I really want good clarity and more viewing real estate for plan drafting with same performance as I have had. This is the main reason why I am upgrading to a new computer. Second is faster computer of course.

- Faster program load times. AutoCAD is a big file to load and takes a little over 1 minute to load on my Intel® Pentium® D Processor 820 (2M Cache, 2.80 GHz, 800 MHz FSB with 3GB of 2.90 GHz Ram.

- Energy efficient components to keep the electric bill down and help the earth! Would like to leave computer on at night and touch a button to have it come alive at start of workday.

- Other things that I would like, USB3, PCIe 3, and reliability. Infortunately the C204 chipset on the motherboard I have selected does not support USB3 so that is something I may have to give up if I want to go the C204 route. The C204 chipset is appealing to me because

- Things I do not want; overclocking, integrated graphics processor.

I need the most help on the motherboard and chipset selection. For processor and my price range I have narrowed the processor down to Intel's i7-3770 or the E3-1240 v2. I am considering the H77 chipset with the i7 and the C204 chipset with the E3.

Here is a possible build I am looking at that comes to about $2100 for hardware and $2400 with Windows 7 Pro 64 bit OS.

Here is build I am looking at that I have shared on newegg.

Any advice on other motherboards and chipsets would be great.

Thanks for your input.
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  1. Best answer
    I cant access your list, as I am not a new egg member, but my suggestion would be a gamer approach to your build, except minus a few components because you won't be over clocking. An i7 3770K (340 bucks) is great as you COULD overclock in the far future for longer lasting use, and since your not using a ton of threads its perfect as it has 4 true quad cores and 4 hyper threads. Those 8 threads will come in handy if you ever use 3D applications for design and so on. As for a motherboard, I would say go with the Z77 chipset as it gives you full tinkering options (some aren't just for over clocking) and you can get an ASROCK pro3 z77. Gaming boards are great for workstations as they are build to stand more extreme conditions and long use, and they are extremely stable. Since you will not be overclocking and gaming alot this board would be great and it uses PCI 3.0 and has USB 3.0 (but only back panel). Asus also makes Z77 boards a little more expensive (they start getting good around 150 bucks) and they are better supported with higher quality. Aim for one in the 150 to 200 dollar range with a LGA 1155 socket. As for RAM, make sure you get at least two modules for dual channel (double the bandwidth for memory access) and since you are doing alot of graphical design and I would presume multi tasking, then get 8GB at 1600 Mhz speed for great performance. This will be around 50 bucks. I would then go with a Radeon HD7870 graphics card (220 to 250 bucks) or a GTX 670 (320 or so). I would go with the HD7870 as it has open CL and alot of applications support GPU acceleration so the graphics card actually does alot of calculations for the program and it really speeds it up. However, autocad12 supports Nvidias physics technology and the GTX 670 is the second best scoring card for auto cad 2012, so although it is alot more, it is better for YOUR use and it will give amazing performance. As for a power supply, go for a 850 to 1000 watt psu and make sure it has 80plus bronze rating for efficiency at least, as it saves power. This will be anywhere from 100 to 130 dollars. The case is up to you, I would get a nice durable case for working areas and future upgrades, like the coolermaster HAF 932 (150). Then all you need is a hard drive, which I would recommend a 750 GB seagate momentus XT as it has 8GB of SSD in it as well to speed up commonly use files to SSD speeds (like autocad and boot files) and still gives you 750GB of normal storage for 130 bucks. Add another 100 and you can have a separate 2TB storage hard drive. To top this all off I would also grab a Noctua NH D14 cpu cooler for quiet operation and long lasting CPU life for years to come (100 bucks) and then throw in a DVD drive for 20 bucks. All in all with these suggestions and some specific parts, you are looking at about 1700 bucks without windows, 2000 with it, I hope this helps as it saves you 400 bucks :).
  2. corpinock2 thanks for your reply. Thats a good point that the gaming motherboards are extremely stable. I will check out some of your suggestions and get back to you. One option I was looking at was the i7-3770 with the ASUS P8Z77-V Pro and 8GB DDR3 1600 ram. About 40$ cheaper than the E3-1240 v2 on the ASUS P8B-M with 8GB DDR3 1600 unbuffered ECC ram that I put together on newegg.
  3. This topic has been moved from the section CPU & Components to section Systems by Mousemonkey
  4. Best answer selected by bchplyr.
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