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Graphics Card help for CAD! please help

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January 20, 2013 4:11:42 AM

Hello,

I am somewhat new to graphics cards and CAD and need some help. PLEASE HELP!!

Currently I run a CAD program for 3D modelling (making medical grade orthotics/prosthetics). Two programs run in the background, CopyCad and also PowerMill. The 'rendering' time and load time for using the programs is becoming painful to deal with. I am not about visual quality, I just want the speed to be as quick as possible. The size of the files are only about 10MB once completed, so they are not overly large. Some files can be as large as 80MB.

My work would take me half the time if I didn't have to wait for the computer/program to load. I do not really want spend $3k on a new computer just yet, but need to upgrade what I have as I believe I could make it significantly better with some advice.

The specs of my computer currently are:
Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q9500 2.83Ghz
Windows 7 32 Bit
3GB RAM
NVIDIA GEFORCE 210

I can easily upgrade the to 64 bit Windows and have 8GB RAM. But just need help with the graphics card. Would changing the graphics card to a NVIDIA Quadro 600 make a big difference? I have been told for the work I am doing I am best using a Quadro rather than a Geforce card. Also if you think a Quadro card is the way to go, would there be a big difference for me between a 600 and 2000?

PLEASE HELP!!

Regards,
Dean

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January 20, 2013 4:27:15 AM

Yes you should get quadro.it is made for workstation graphics.it would be huge difference from your currentg gt210.also you should get 8gb ramg.quadro 2000 is better than 600.but it depends on your pocket even 600would be good.
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January 20, 2013 5:01:18 AM

Upgrade to 64-bit Windows with 8GB of RAM.
What you really need is a "professional graphics card".
A professional graphic card will be a huge improvement for your CAD apps.

Take a look at both Nvidia Quadro and AMD FirePro series and select the best according to your budget since these cards are very costly.

Also, in case you also play games don't expect great performance in gaming.
These cards are NOT optimized for gaming-the same way that gaming graphics cards are not optimized for CAD apps.
But if your using your PC solely for professional work then investing in a professional graphic card will be worthwhile.
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January 20, 2013 7:33:51 AM

Thankyou very much for both replies. The NVIDIA cards are recommended by the software supplier, so I will go with the Quadro.

My last question then would be, would there be a noticable difference in speed of the rendering process between the 600 to 2000 models with the specs I have?

Regards
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January 20, 2013 2:49:49 PM

loopyboots said:
Hello,

I am somewhat new to graphics cards and CAD and need some help. PLEASE HELP!!

Currently I run a CAD program for 3D modelling (making medical grade orthotics/prosthetics). Two programs run in the background, CopyCad and also PowerMill. The 'rendering' time and load time for using the programs is becoming painful to deal with. I am not about visual quality, I just want the speed to be as quick as possible. The size of the files are only about 10MB once completed, so they are not overly large. Some files can be as large as 80MB.

My work would take me half the time if I didn't have to wait for the computer/program to load. I do not really want spend $3k on a new computer just yet, but need to upgrade what I have as I believe I could make it significantly better with some advice.

The specs of my computer currently are:
Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q9500 2.83Ghz
Windows 7 32 Bit
3GB RAM
NVIDIA GEFORCE 210

I can easily upgrade the to 64 bit Windows and have 8GB RAM. But just need help with the graphics card. Would changing the graphics card to a NVIDIA Quadro 600 make a big difference? I have been told for the work I am doing I am best using a Quadro rather than a Geforce card. Also if you think a Quadro card is the way to go, would there be a big difference for me between a 600 and 2000?

PLEASE HELP!!

Regards,
Dean

A quad core processor is the ticket. You will never get what you want from a dual core system.
Always choose a system "without" on board graphics. Have plenty of RAM...
The "best" gaming computer is also the "best" graphics computer.
You will probably have no problem with a good gaming graphics card. (not the cheap ones) It will be just about as good.
OR spend a lot more on a "pro" graphics card.
It's the processor, that is the key to speedy hi res graphics. Without a good processor, you are just wasting money trying to upgrade the graphics card.
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January 20, 2013 7:06:40 PM

Are you saying the processor I described above is not good enough? The Quad Core 2 2.83ghz?

I have one other option which is I have a Proliant HP ML350G6 Server only about 18months old.
It has an Intel Xeon CPU E5620 @ 2.4ghz.
SBS2008, running 64 bit O/S and 12GB Ram.
Could I put one of the Quadro graphics cards in there? Would it be better or worse then upgrading the initial computer I said to the Quadro 600 card?

I am not sure if these server computers can run decent graphics cards or if it is the smart way to do it. But I really have no idea, so any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Dean
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January 21, 2013 5:48:29 AM

_kaos_ said:
Upgrade to 64-bit Windows with 8GB of RAM.
What you really need is a "professional graphics card".
A professional graphic card will be a huge improvement for your CAD apps.

Take a look at both Nvidia Quadro and AMD FirePro series and select the best according to your budget since these cards are very costly.

Also, in case you also play games don't expect great performance in gaming.
These cards are NOT optimized for gaming-the same way that gaming graphics cards are not optimized for CAD apps.
But if your using your PC solely for professional work then investing in a professional graphic card will be worthwhile.


Hello again

UPDATE - so I upgraded to 64 Bit Windows, upgraded to 8GB RAM, added a QUADRO 600 graphics card and still the same. No real difference in terms of load time (when adding changed to the 3D model and generating CAM files).

Anyone other ideas/help?

Regards,
Dean
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January 21, 2013 7:32:52 AM

loopyboots said:
Hello again

UPDATE - so I upgraded to 64 Bit Windows, upgraded to 8GB RAM, added a QUADRO 600 graphics card and still the same. No real difference in terms of load time (when adding changed to the 3D model and generating CAM files).

Anyone other ideas/help?

Regards,
Dean

Did you update the drivers?
Don't rely on the ones from cd that came with the card. Download the latest from Nvidia
Also make sure you are using the 64-bit version said CAD software.
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January 21, 2013 8:00:13 AM

_kaos_ said:
Did you update the drivers?
Don't rely on the ones from cd that came with the card. Download the latest from Nvidia
Also make sure you are using the 64-bit version said CAD software.


Hi.

I just tried to update the driver and it said it is all up to date. So it wasn't that either.

Any other ideas?
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January 21, 2013 1:07:47 PM

loopyboots said:
Hi.

I just tried to update the driver and it said it is all up to date. So it wasn't that either.

Any other ideas?


Did you verify that you are using 64-bit version of that CAD/CAM app?
Open that app>run task manager>find the corresponding process in the process list. If it has a *32 in the name it is a 32-bit application e.g cadapp.exe*32

When you say "load time" are you referring to the time it takes to "open" a previously saved file?
That is bad reference for graphic card performance since it is actually your disk at fault. It takes time to load the file from the disk to memory. Switching to a SSD will help in this case.
Also I think generation of CAM files may be more CPU-intensive process than the GPU.

Instead, try rendering a model-preferably the most largest & complicated one you have- and then see if there is any difference in performance.
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January 22, 2013 12:25:47 AM

_kaos_ said:
Did you verify that you are using 64-bit version of that CAD/CAM app?
Open that app>run task manager>find the corresponding process in the process list. If it has a *32 in the name it is a 32-bit application e.g cadapp.exe*32

When you say "load time" are you referring to the time it takes to "open" a previously saved file?
That is bad reference for graphic card performance since it is actually your disk at fault. It takes time to load the file from the disk to memory. Switching to a SSD will help in this case.
Also I think generation of CAM files may be more CPU-intensive process than the GPU.

Instead, try rendering a model-preferably the most largest & complicated one you have- and then see if there is any difference in performance.


I had a look into this and called the developers and they said it is only a 32bit version. You are correct in saying when you look at the process list it has copycad.exe*32.

So I am not sure how I going to go here? Can you see there any way I could get this application running faster?

I will upgrade the whole computer if need be (Core i7, even SSD for the HDD) but I am not convinced I can get the program to run faster. Do you have any thoughts on this?

Regards,
Dean
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January 22, 2013 12:20:27 PM

loopyboots said:
I had a look into this and called the developers and they said it is only a 32bit version. You are correct in saying when you look at the process list it has copycad.exe*32.

So I am not sure how I going to go here? Can you see there any way I could get this application running faster?

I will upgrade the whole computer if need be (Core i7, even SSD for the HDD) but I am not convinced I can get the program to run faster. Do you have any thoughts on this?

Regards,
Dean

Have you tried rendering a model? Was there any performance gain?

The problem could be even more basic.
Have you connected the monitor to graphic card?
It could be that you actually connected it to motherboard so you are actually using the onboard graphics than the quadro.
Post a screenshot of GPU-Z

Have you set the system to use the PCI graphics instead of IGP in the BIOS?
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January 28, 2013 11:47:37 PM

Hi again.

Thanks for all the replies and apologies for my delay.

With some help of a friend, we installed an SSD HDD and increased the available ram to the software by 2GB which helped. Re-installed windows onto the SSD and everything is working smoother. Solved some of the long loading problems, but still there are some issues. More manageable now though.

The next step I will do is upgrade the CPU.

Regards,
Dean
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January 28, 2013 11:48:08 PM

Best answer selected by loopyboots.
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