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Autocad Hardware recommendations running on XP

Posted on 2007-12-05
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Looking for any input on computer hardware specs for a machine I will be building with the primary use being Autocad.
My estimated price range for tower only is $1000-1500.
What kind of graphics card will provide the best performance? Is SLI for gamers only?
Will the user get any benefit by going quad-core over dual-core?
What about front side bus speed? I am looking at getting 4 GB RAM with 1066 FSB.

Any opinions from those who know would be greatly appreciated!

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Question by:autonator
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by:pheidius
pheidius earned 125 total points
ID: 20439344
Gaming cards and cad cards have different driver packages. Cad cards are very expensive though. You could spend your entire budget on one of them. A quadro fx4500
http://www.bizrate.com/graphicscards/pny-technologies-nvidia-quadro-fx-4500-512-mb-graphics-card--pid395047863/compareprices.html
That is probably one of the pricier ones so here is a list of certified cards.
http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/hc?siteID=123112&id=6711853&linkID=9240618&is_results=1&card_sel=&manufac=0&card=0&cert=0&d_stat=1&d_stat=2&prod=AutoCAD-R17.0&prod=AutoCAD-R17.1&os=1&os=2&os=256&os=512&os=2048

A good question, though, is will you be using the newest 2008 version. It is multi-processor aware but earlier versions weren't. In that sense this question isn't really answerable without knowing what version of autocad you will be using.
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by:autonator
ID: 20440017
We are currently working with AutoCAD 2007 but we will be moving to 2008 in the future. We would like to get the best performance for AutoCAD and I am looking for opinions on what components to focus the bulk of the budget on. I am trying to figure out things like: 1) 1 10k SATA drive and higher end video card or; 2) SATA RAID 0 with 2 10ks and slightly lower quality video card. A little indecisive and looking for opinions.

Thanks.
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pheidius earned 125 total points
ID: 20454690
Well, autocad 2007, while multithreaded, is still highly dependent on the gpu and its certified driver packages.  If you want rendering accuracy then just pick from that list an older certified card. As long as it is certified then an older card could save some money for the other goodies. Do not buy a gaming card, they are a horse of a different color.
http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/item?siteID=123112&id=2895328&linkID=9240617
"# Advanced users may want to set up a separate disk partition for the swap file, and increase the sector size to help minimize file fragmentation. " 
If your idea is to set up your swap file on the raid o then that would give you a good balance. Maybe put the boot drive on a little 36 or 75 gb raptor at that. They can be picked up for pretty cheap dollars now that the 150/s are out.
As the top of the lines certified graphics cards would eat almost all of your budget in one big gulp, I think the above would give you an accurate and fast balance for the buck.  
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by:autonator
ID: 31412958
Thanks for the comments. It gives me confidence in proceeding with the purchases that I have lined up.
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