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Recommend a GFX card for CAD applications?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Jakamoko, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Hi All - loooong time no post!!! :-)

    I'm wondering if you good folks could offer your advice and opinions on something please? As always, I apologise in advance if the same question has been asked 27 times this month already...

    I'm working on a machine for a client - a Dell Optiplex GX280, and the main requirement is that it gets an ace GFX card for CAD applications. It's got a PCI 16x slot, and I'm going to put 4Gb RAM in it (processor not yet identified, but it looks chunky, and is not in the budget for upgrade).

    So - what would you esteemed peeps recommend as being the best card for the job? I'm not closely in touch with latest hardware, or indeed standards, so I thought I'd ask a few friends who I know are!!

    Cheers in advance Guys..... :D

    EDIT: Just seen someone in another post getting chided for not putting all specs in the post .... mine are HERE
     
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  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    P4 for CAD ? Ditch it, get a new machine with decent GFX card, CAD workstations often have NVidia Quadros.
     
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  3. thelonegunman

    thelonegunman Bit Poster

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    If your budget has no limitations then a NVIDIA's Quadro FX 5800 is the way to go. also a good high end system would be an advantage:biggrin but im sure CAD can be done on a budget too.
     
  4. Toasty

    Toasty Byte Poster

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    Hi,

    as said you need a NVidia Quadro card for CAD work, you also need to think about going 64bit O/S and as much memory you can fit.

    One of our customers is a drawing office with Dell 64bit XP Pro pc's with 16GB memory and NVidia Quadro cards.

    Regards
     
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  5. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Thanks for taking the time to reply, chaps.

    Although I'm not restricted by budget in the sense that it's not my money I'm spending (ain't that the best? :biggrin), I'm restricted in that the client wants to work within what can be done on this system. So P4 it has to be - sorry, dmarsh :D

    I'm looking into the recommended card just now, and will put this to the client tomorrow. I presume I can still expect an acceptable performance with this card and the system described above?
     
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  6. UKDarkstar
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    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    I dealt with an SME engineering company for a number of years using Autocad and Mechanical Desktop.

    Always recommended PNY professional cards as they are optimised for the application as opposed to a high end gamer card that isn't.

    Have a look at : http://new.pny.com/Categories/ProfessionalGraphics.aspx?Category_ID=17

    If you contact them with the specifics the customer requires they'll tell you the best card.
     
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  7. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Hi Folks,

    Hope you don't mind me re-visiting this thread!

    Ok, reality check required on this one. The client has come back to me saying that the remaining budget on top of what I've already allocated to resources, now exclusively for the gfx card, is £150.

    So, I will now have a P4 machine, 4Gb RAM, and wondered if you could suggest what the 150 big ones could best be spent on?

    I realise it's a home-brew CAD machine we're now looking at, but sensible, constructive suggestions would be greatly appreciated :biggrin
     
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  8. UKDarkstar
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    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    I repeat what I said above - there should be a card within budget
     
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  9. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Hi Mate,

    If it's only £150 that allocated to the graphic's card, and it's only PCI not PCI express, then I would say this is the card for you. Just don't expect it to do alot. I also recommend the Quadro cards.

    See here.

    -Ken
     
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  10. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Thanks and apologies, UKDarkstar - I didn't expect them to cater for such a low budget after reading the link to the full-on Quadro originally suggested :)

    Cheers Ken, and all - I think we could be onto some sort of solution then.

    :thumbleft
     
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  11. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Just read back. Sorry Ken - it is PCI-e, so that should help. Thoughts on THIS CARD?

    Or THIS from Lenovo?
     
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  12. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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  13. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Thanks Ken - I guess it looks like case closed then. Appreciate yours and everyone's input (as always) :biggrin
     
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  14. UKDarkstar
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    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    The reason to use the PNY cards is that they are certified for CAD application use - see list of applications at bottom of page here : http://www3.pny.com/Communities/3DDesignDCC.aspx

    The card comparision table can be found here : http://www3.pny.com/QuadroPDFs/QuadroLineCard.pdf

    And there's an entry level card for sub-£100 : http://www.misco.co.uk/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=291000

    I worked with an engineering company providing their support and equipment for over 6 years. They had a large CAD department with several engineers drawing there so I really do recommend the PNY cards. Other may not be optimised for CAD etc. even if they have the same chipset.
     
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  15. UKDarkstar
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    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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  16. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Cheers - even more to think about!! Much obliged again :D
     
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  17. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    If you can spring for £10 more, you can get the PNY version of the card here :)

    -Ken
     
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  18. UKDarkstar
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    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Just a thought but if you're in the business as it were then should you not be buying from trade contacts ? That way it's up to you what margin you add on and can adjust to fit the client's budget.

    From memory, you can get PNY from Ingram Micro, Computer2000 and Spire Technology but these will all be trade only (you can have cash with order account with them).

    HTH

    (Sorry to be pushing PNY but I did a heck of a lot of research for my customer who was rather fussy about their CAD machine performance - every trade adviser I spoke to said PNY was the way to go)
     
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  19. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    So are you saying the 256Mb PNY Quadro would be better for purpose than the 512Mb Lenovo Quadro card (linked previously)? :blink
     
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  20. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    ooh, late entry from Ken may have nailed it. You guys' advice has really been superb. I'm very much grateful to you (and every one else) :biggrin
     
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