I'm building a box to run AutoCAD and Revit for a custom home designer who used to use AutoCAD but has been out of the loop for several years. I've looked at Autodesk's hardware recommendations but it seems a bit generic for my preferences. I prefer buying and building components so I know what goes in to the box.
The types of projects he would be doing would be custom home designs in the 5K-20K sq ft range with renderings of different views. While $ is a consideration, it is more from the point of not wasting it. I will get him what he needs to get back up to speed.
The only parameters I have is that I prefer Intel CPUs; was also thinking an SSD hard drive would probably be better. Another question I have is video cards. What part does a high-end video card play in AutoCAD design? Is this mainly related to rendering?
Will probably use Windows 7 unless there is a compelling reason to go to 10.
An SSD will also help as they are far quicker than spindles, so I would go with the following spec:
Disk: They will need lots of storage. When you render anything the files are very big. If you get into high-res videos (4K these days) then you will just need even MORE disk. Hence the reason for normal mass storage. If money were no object 2TB SSD would be ideal!
Video: Yes, video rendering has a huge affect on work rate. You don't want a high-end gaming style card, you want a whole new breed: the Quadro class. There are 3 sub-classes but be warned they are seriously expensive.
You need to ask how big (resolution) the renders will be and what bit-depth. That will hone down the choice. I can't be more specific but look here:
Finally, backup. I would go with Drobo or Synology NAS solutions. The reason is clear: you've spent 49 hours rendering a video for a customer and your disk dies and you have no backup...
Both those brands offer high-quality backup solutions. Drobo is more pricey but is meant to be even more reliable than a standard NAS but they would say that.