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JD April 14, 2012 09:56 AM

AutoCAD Architecture Build
Now I tend to consider myself fairly well versed in computer hardware, but I figure I'll get some opinions.

My brother is enrolled in an Architecture Technologist program at college and as such has to design various buildings in AutoCAD Architecture. Now he's reached a point where he has to do renderings in 3D too, which apparently runs too slow and makes it seemingly freeze, but it eventually completes.

Would buying a Quadro/FireGL video card assist in this do you think? Or should I look more at the CPU?

Right now he has the following (my old system):
  • Intel X3350 (aka Q9450)
  • Maximus Formula X38
  • 8GB DDR2-1066
  • HD5870
  • Seagate 7200.12 500GB
Conceivably, I could give him my current system of an i7 920 and 12GB of RAM and get myself a shiny new LGA2011, but I don't know if the CPU/platform would show much benefit.

What do you guys think?

moocow April 14, 2012 10:09 AM

Well if you can pair a Quadro with 920 rig, I think it will make a difference. However, may be you should repost it under AutoCAD's own forum. I wonder how much work can be off loaded to the GPU and would a Quadro be bottlenecked by an older platform such as the C2Q.

JD April 14, 2012 10:49 AM

It just seems there's mixed opinions on Quadro's true benefits. They're technically much slower cards compared to GeForce, and they cost an insane amount. I can't see anyone agreeing to dropping $1k on a Quadro. He can just suck it up and live with the slowness :haha:

These are really the only ones I'd consider even buying, the rest become stupidly expensive:
ATI FirePro V4800 1Gb DDR3 DVI 2XDISPLAYPORT PCI-E Workstation Video Card - Retail - ATI - 100-505606
NVIDIA Quadro 600 by PNY 1.0GB DDR3 PCI-E16 DVI Display Port Fermi Workstation Video Card - PNY Technologies Inc - VCQ600-PB

...but I somehow doubt either would help much. And then any gaming he wants to do would be seriously crippled. I'd have to find out if you can run one of those along side a "gaming" card as well.

ilya April 14, 2012 10:50 AM

I would check resource usage while rendering. If CPU/RAM aren't maxed out it could be just a platform issue. If GPU usage is high, a better workstation card could help.

JD April 14, 2012 03:38 PM

Resource wise, everything seems well below what I would have expected. Nothing is running 100%, so I'm not sure why it basically lags out (Windows actually says Not Responding) but it does eventually finish.

moocow April 15, 2012 12:44 AM

Does Autocad use scratch drive as an option like Adobe CS? It could be the HDD holding things up.

JD April 15, 2012 08:32 AM

Not that I can find at least, so I don't think that's it. Although it does go a fair bit quicker on my desktop with SSD/i7, but still doesn't use max resources on anything. Only around 10-20%.

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