Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

AutoCad workstation

Last response: in CPUs
Share
February 18, 2005 4:46:46 PM

hey guys! I'm asked to upgrade 6 AutoCad workstations for a company my relatives own. I'm not sure what they have, but they want an improvement

I think their running P4 3.0s with Radeon 9250s

I'm thinking I keep the 3.0s, pumped up the ram to like 2gbs, setup RAID for each computer, get a new videocard for them.

The problem is.. they're computer idiots, if anything happens.. then its a 1 hour drive for me. Once you setup RAID, will there be problems popping up once in a while? or can you just leave it running with no problem?

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy+119% Money Fanboy
GeForce 6800 Ultra--> The Way we thought FX 5800Ultra is meant to be played
THGC's resident Asian and nVboy :D 

More about : autocad workstation

February 18, 2005 4:51:37 PM

RAID shouldn't give any trouble if the setup is alright (cables, ventilation, power) but the chance of failure is higher because you use multiple drives. The main message is: get reliable hard drives.
February 18, 2005 4:58:52 PM

i see...I'm using the Diamondmax 10s right now...they don't work too bad....might just get them those

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy+119% Money Fanboy
GeForce 6800 Ultra--> The Way we thought FX 5800Ultra is meant to be played
THGC's resident Asian and nVboy :D 
Related resources
February 18, 2005 5:10:29 PM

Personally I don't like Maxtor drives. I like Western Digital and Seagate drives especially the versions which come with a 3 year warranty.
February 18, 2005 5:30:33 PM

I thinking building RAID 1 or those 0+1 or 1+0 things.. do on-board raid have those options? and how many hard drives would you need?

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy+119% Money Fanboy
GeForce 6800 Ultra--> The Way we thought FX 5800Ultra is meant to be played
THGC's resident Asian and nVboy :D 
February 18, 2005 5:53:04 PM

I believe some boards offer 0+1 functionality, however, RAID5 would be better.
RAID 5 needs 3 drives (I believe), RAID 0+1 at least 4.
February 18, 2005 9:39:01 PM

Whats that RIP BLOCK HEATER that you have in your sig all about?

READ THE STICKY AND WIN A PRIZE! ALL PRIZES CAN BE CLAIMED IN THE SECTION TITLED "THE OTHER"
February 18, 2005 11:17:37 PM

Four words - SCSI.
February 18, 2005 11:29:11 PM

I think you should identify the bottleneck first. For autocad, it shouldn't be the harddisks, if it is, add ram until it is no longer. IF they are getting lousy framerates, check out the videocard, and get a decent OpenGL rendering card. If its 3D rendering/shading, you might want to give them a dedicated rendering server/"farm" on which they can do the rendering.

I've not seen Autocad being very harddisk dependant very often, models just aren't that big (in disk size). Further more, real world benefit of ATA or SATA Raid is very, very low. SCSI is another story, but again, I doubt that will be the answer to their problem.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
February 19, 2005 12:22:55 AM

Ive had SCSI on the brian, but the prices :frown:

READ THE STICKY AND WIN A PRIZE! ALL PRIZES CAN BE CLAIMED IN THE SECTION TITLED "THE OTHER"
February 19, 2005 12:52:39 AM

I cant afford SCSI for me either. But for performance and longevity, it's hard to beat them. They are better at command queing as well.
They have a room at work with about 300 drives just sitting in boxes. They are never going to use them all. Too bad I'm so honest.
The way things work around here, I could probably do a favor for someone, and get a couple, but, that just seems wrong.
February 19, 2005 2:31:25 AM

okay let's just say i have to rebuilt 6 AutoCad stations
They're used to make models of building etc.
What should i use?

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy+119% Money Fanboy
GeForce 6800 Ultra--> The Way we thought FX 5800Ultra is meant to be played
THGC's resident Asian and nVboy :D 
February 19, 2005 3:56:12 AM

RAID 1 would give them reliability, which is extremely important for CAD workstations.
2 gigs of RAM is perfect, it is what I use.
I am using an ATI X800XT PE for vid and is great!

The P4 3.0 is fine, and Archetictual drawings do consume alot of RAM, 3D graphics and do hit the disk access quite a bit using database access and file access.

You could do without the RAID, but do not skimp on RAM or Video card.
As for RAID, I would either suggest the onboard RAID for 1 only if cost is issue, to upgrade I would go with a PCI-X RAID 5 or in my case I am going to the NetCell RAID <A HREF="http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite..." target="_new"> PATA </A> or <A HREF="http://www.bestpricedv.com/Detail/27314" target="_new"> SATA</A> card with 3 or 5 disks based on RAID 3.

<pre><font color=red>°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°`°¤o \\// o¤°`°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°
And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
February 19, 2005 5:01:56 PM

Quote:
RAID 0 would give them reliability

*cough*RAID 1*cough*

Otherwise, I agree with the rest of your recommendations.

Maxtor disgraces the six letters that make Matrox.
February 19, 2005 9:39:20 PM

>okay let's just say i have to rebuilt 6 AutoCad stations
>They're used to make models of building etc.
>What should i use?

I have to buy 6 cars for my company to replace the old ones. Which should I buy ?

Seriously, without knowing what they currently use, how well (or bad) they perform, what is the bottleneck (wireframe redraw/manipulations ? real time shading/rendering ? off line rendering ? Scripting/calcs ? loading the meshes ?), there is no sensible advice anyone can give. Well, maybe one, make sure your budget has room for a huge and good quality monitor.. and mouse :D 

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2005 2:35:42 AM

Quote:
Well, maybe one, make sure your budget has room for a huge and good quality monitor.. and mouse :D 

ROFL! Don't forget the keyboard and UPS...

__________________________________________________
:tongue: <font color=red>Have you read the FAQ? Searched for other posts on this topic?</font color=red>
February 20, 2005 6:32:04 AM

ya i got the specs now
they don't have 3d models but they have very large file and it takes forever to load them

they got P4 3.0 Prescotts with 512 (one socket) ram and Radeon 9250s...

suggestions please...

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy+119% Money Fanboy
GeForce 6800 Ultra--> The Way we thought FX 5800Ultra is meant to be played
THGC's resident Asian and nVboy :D 
February 20, 2005 7:43:01 AM

find out how big these files are on disk. If they are only some tens of MB, a RAID setup isnt gonna give them much of a boost. Find out their memory usage as well, how can we know how much they need ? 512 is not much in any case. A faster cpu is clearly not going to perform miracles ..

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
February 20, 2005 12:32:53 PM

He us keeping the CPU...

Two gigs of RAM I would say should be right for CAD, and the X800 is a good choice (comprimise) for graphics, unless your guys need high end, which does not seem they do. And I already gave my suggestion for RAID

<pre><font color=red>°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°`°¤o \\// o¤°`°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°
And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
February 20, 2005 6:15:11 PM

Two gigs as in 1024x2 (that's shiit expensive) or 512x4?

Right now i don't think I'll go raid just yet.

regarding videocard, is it really necessary to go for X800s? I'm thinking 6600GT is probably enough already.

From what i understand, they Cad drawing them are quite simple, it is just used to cut models using a lazer machine. However, they have to open up very large landscape or building drawing that are sent to them.

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy+119% Money Fanboy
GeForce 6800 Ultra--> The Way we thought FX 5800Ultra is meant to be played
THGC's resident Asian and nVboy :D 
February 20, 2005 6:38:28 PM

I am using 4x512, but I don't think you will get much benifit going from ATI 9250 to nVidea 6600's.

If CAD drawings are simple, then 1 gig RAM is enough, so is current video card.

I would hold off upgrading just for the sake of upgrading, till I could afford premium jumps.

You use CAD to make money, and I don't mind putting money into premium machine since I get returns.
That said, RAID 1, 3 or 5 is critical, since data reliability is where the money is, so I treat it as precious.

AutoCAD costs about 4-grand, My version of AutoCAD, Land Desktop w/Civil Design costs about 8-grand per seat. So 5-grand per workstation is reasonable. I bill out at $65 per hour for drafting.

<pre><font color=red>°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°`°¤o \\// o¤°`°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°
And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
February 20, 2005 7:11:33 PM

are Quadros or FireGLs good ideas? I'm talking about lowend to midend ones though

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy+119% Money Fanboy
GeForce 6800 Ultra--> The Way we thought FX 5800Ultra is meant to be played
THGC's resident Asian and nVboy :D 
February 21, 2005 12:55:24 PM

I used a Fire GL for years. It was a great CAD card with good quality graphics and openGL...
That being said, it sucked for games.

There is a premium charged for pro cards, and I find for the money a high end gaming graphics I get the best bang for the buck.
I am using the ATI X800XT PE and does cad 3D graphics great, and only cost $469, verses $1,000 for my Fire GL

<pre><font color=red>°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°`°¤o \\// o¤°`°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°
And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
February 21, 2005 10:55:05 PM

Here's a thought. Some CAD is multiprocessor, some is HT enabled. If the ver they are using is multi-processor, you should disable HT.
If I were you, first thing I would do is swap the 9250 for my 9600pro, and see what that does. Then I would grab some ram from one, and put it in another, to see what that does.
February 21, 2005 11:32:14 PM

hey what kind of cad work do you do?

does 2GB or 1GB of ram have a large difference?

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy+119% Money Fanboy
GeForce 6800 Ultra--> The Way we thought FX 5800Ultra is meant to be played
THGC's resident Asian and nVboy :D 
February 22, 2005 10:41:11 AM

I do mostly design of new subdivisions and land along with earthwork computations.
The most memory intensive comes from overlaying aerial photos (tif's) into CAD and geo-refrencing them.
Only then do I need the 2 gigs, for most of the other stuff I do, 1 gig is suffiecient.
Truthfully, a good quaility graphics and large good quality monitor makes the most difference in workstations.
So if you have somewhere around a 3GHz proc, 1 gig ram, 7200rmm drive, but an old video card and 17" monitor. I would want a video card and new 21" monitor, preferably LCD.

<pre><font color=red>°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°`°¤o \\// o¤°`°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°
And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
February 23, 2005 1:35:12 AM

okay I'm about to purchase some ram...here's a question

does latency matter in terms of CADing? or can i just get Corsair Value selects? Also, what can i use to test in terms of AutoCAD that can determine if there's a speed improvement?


RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy+119% Money Fanboy
GeForce 6800 Ultra--> The Way we thought FX 5800Ultra is meant to be played
THGC's resident Asian and nVboy :D 
February 23, 2005 11:55:51 AM

If you anr not going to play game on that machine, for 2D display, I would check the Matrox Parhelia. For 2D display, they cannot be beaten. Their triple head controller(3 displays at same time) is usefull for CAD, as one editor can be in one display, another for the perspective plan while the rendering can happen in the other.



-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
!