Suggestions for a home CAD station build?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by MobileSuit, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. MobileSuit

    MobileSuit New Member

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    I want a computer that is actually able to run ProEngineer and open assemblies without crashing.

    3.0Ghz+ Pentium, Xenon, Core Due, Core 2 Duo, Quad core
    3+ GB ram
    500+ GB RAID 1
    and an OpenGL graphics card (ATI FireGL, NVidia Quadro?)

    I haven't built a computer in a long time so I don't know what is up with hardware specs. Should I buy some premade HP/Dell or build one myself?

    Will the OpenGL card make that much of a difference if the rest of the components meet the specs?
     
  2. CodeX

    CodeX Guest

    cheapest e-machines at warlmart should be fine, CAD isn't all that demanding.

    Now, if you are doing 3D modeling with textures and lighting THEN you need to worry about performance, but most CAD programs I've seen deal with relatively low poly count models and have no texturing/lighting whatsoever.
     
  3. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    An e-Machine from Wal-Mart? Seriously?

    He is right that 2D CAD isn't a big deal, but even if you get a cheap shell of a machine, you'll still want a fast hard drive and lots of memory and an nVidia Quadro graphics card to put in it. I work with this stuff on a regular basis and the biggest bottlenecks are loading the program into memory and rendering the linework in 3D in realtime.

    If you wanted to keep it simple, you could buy one of those barebones kits from TigerDirect and get an nVidia Quadro graphics card and a second hard drive matching the one that comes in the kit so you can set up a RAID1. That should get you going.
     
  4. sffitzge

    sffitzge New Member

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    I use ProE at school for 3D modeling and I can attest that going cheap is NOT what you want to do. ProE is embarrassingly slow on our "decent" dell setups at school which is very frustrating when you have to wait for the program to respond to an action you made 30 seconds ago...... it just makes even simple tasks take twice as long.

    I'd be interested in what you guys think a decent quad core setup would be for around $800-900 considering I want to build one myself and run programs like ProE and AutoCAD Civil 3D. I'm not looking to build a home entertainment center (wouldn't need it to play blu-ray dvds or anything like that, but allow for those upgrades in the future) just engineering software and perhaps some of the newer video games out on the market
     
  5. crontab

    crontab (uid = 0)

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  6. MobileSuit

    MobileSuit New Member

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    I knew going cheap wasn't the right route. I've crashed PCs with similar specs opening models in ProE. I probably won't made anything as complex as I did in school but I could easily made an assembly with a couple hundred parts.

    thanks for the advice guys, keep it coming if you have more.
     
  7. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    If you can swing it, get a motherboard that can use an AMD Opteron CPU, or an Intel Xeon if you're kinky like that. Server CPUs are better-built for that kind of work.
     
  8. OniMinion

    OniMinion ...recalls when this forum was actually about cars OT Supporter

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    I built a system for my father's company a few years ago and they use solid works a lot (similar program). I always looked at their web page for the best graphic card solution. Core i7 would be the best processor as it would speed up rendering greatly. Hell the 920 is 2x faster than the best quad core extreme at this - just because of the Hyper Threading. Lastly, makesure the graphic card is a "workstation" (you'll know because they are waaaayyyy more $$$$!!!!) I suggestion Nvidia.

    http://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/videocardtesting.html
     
  9. XR250rdr

    XR250rdr OT Supporter

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    Core i7 is faster, but not greatly so over a Core2Quad. Maybe 10-15% faster, no where near 100% faster. Enabling Hyper Threading only netted me maybe a 2% gain.
     
  10. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    I would say a C2Q Q6600 with 4GB of RAM is the LEAST machine you want for this kind of work. I'd have to agree that if it's at all feasible to your budget, get an Opteron/Xeon box to use. You'll thank yourself later if you do.
     

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