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Desktop for Rendering & CAD Programs


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#1 bjamessuchy

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 07:45 PM

I've browsed around these forums and can't really find anything that I'm looking for. My goal with my next computer is to minimize cost and maximize performance, so I'm going with a Desktop. I don't know what to look for when browsing the specs of the ones for sale. The programs it is most important the computer be able to run well are AutoCAD, Illustrator, Photoshop, Sketchup, and 3d rendering programs like Rhino or 3ds Max.

I recently read somewhere that "gaming" computers are not necessarily the best bet for running software like this, I don't know if it's true. I know that I will need to have a "good" processor, a "good" amount of RAM, a "good" cpu speed, and a "good" graphics card. The problem is, I don't know what is "good" for these specs for the programs I need and what's overkill. I guess basically I need something "powerful" for cheap. My current laptop, an HP Pavilion, runs all of these programs comfortably (most of the time). I believe it has an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB Ram, and some NVidia GEforce 8 or 9 series processor. I feel like going with a desktop I can get way more power for less cost (the aforementioned laptop was $1800 in 2008).

Hard drive size is not very important, and I would prefer to get something smaller if its cheaper. I would like to spend under $800, the smallest amount of money the best. I thought this one looked good, it was suggested in another thread: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883155176&nm_mc=AFC-Bleeping&cm_mmc=AFC-Bleeping-_-NA-_-NA-_-NA

But I'm wondering if there isn't something better out there that doesn't come with a mouse and keyboard and 1TB hard drive, I don't need any of those things.

Anyone have any advice? Or better yet links to where to buy desktops like this?

Edited by bjamessuchy, 24 July 2011 - 07:49 PM.


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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 07:54 PM

800 dollars wont get you anywhere near the level of desktop that would be required for a Workstation. Increase it to about 1800.

You will need a very fast video card, a lot of RAM, Multicore Processor, and a lot of cooling.

#3 bjamessuchy

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 08:01 PM

Well then I guess my goal will be to match the power of my laptop. If a laptop from 2008 cost $1800 at that time, then there is no reason why a Desktop in 2011 could not at least match that performance for far less. Maybe I overstated the "power" I need....I only need something that is better than a run-of-the-mill $400 off the shelf computer. I do not need something that will in the end cost $1800. A lot of these computers I'm looking at have 12GB memory....this is something I would classify as "overkill"....

This will be for classwork, not professional work.

Edited by bjamessuchy, 24 July 2011 - 08:03 PM.


#4 cryptodan

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 08:07 PM

You should take into consideration that classwork is professional work, and your end result is your grade which is your pay. I wouldn't settle for minimum grade hardware.

#5 bjamessuchy

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 08:21 PM

It would be easy for me to locate a "good" computer if I had that much money to throw around. Unfortunately I do not, which is precisely why I have asked for help in identifying the most cost-effective desktop.

I would consider the lower end of something I will pay for to have the same specs as my current laptop, which thus far has not had major hiccups when it comes to processing the graphics I need.
I would consider the upper end of what I will pay to flatly be $800.00.

My goal is to come as close to that $800 as possible, with the desktop having superior specs to my current laptop.

#6 cryptodan

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 08:30 PM

http://www.dell.com/us/p/studio-xps-9100/pd that one is right up your alley then.

#7 Blaze413

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 10:57 PM

Would u be interested in building yes own desktop? Or r u set to buying a pre-built? For $800 I think u would be better off building ure own

#8 killerx525

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 12:38 AM

When building your own desktop you can focus on a specific part that you want fork out more money on.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
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#9 killerx525

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 12:30 AM

AMD opens a path to upgrade the processor in the future.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#10 synergy513

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 04:51 PM

sometimes the publishers of programs like those will recommend specs on their websites. if those publishers start recommending platform bundles (i.e. DeLL or SUN microsystems.-RED FLAG). they are prolly in collusion to maximize fund extraction. which is not in your interest, but a billion+ a year business is virtually limitless for their hardware budgets. i think you will definitely need to be reading up on your video cards (gpu) and the power supply specs that are needed to fully optimize your graphics performance. of course the 64 bit OS is a plus. also, if a desktop is what you are seeking. what about your monitor? i think those apps do perform better with a monitor suited for their demands but you may get by with a cheapo $80 display as long as your gpu is decent. i am fairly certain you can get a system that is a few years older that can run those apps for under $800 . hell sometimes if you play the game, you can find a business looking to unload high end 3 year old hardware to make room for their new hardware cheap because of recycling. my desktop system is from 2006 and withstood a few upgrades (430w power supply $40 and nvidia gEforce 210 gpu $40) and i run illustrator and corel draw without a drag, and my os is xp sp1, i think xp is 32 bit, not sure.

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#11 Baltboy

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 10:22 PM

The problem I see is two fold. First a video card for CAD and 3D rendering can run from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. While you could use a standard gaming card you will spend the same amount of money and in the end have less performance for the applications you are planning on using. Second CAD files and #D file are HUGE you can eat up a lot of space very quickly so a 1 TB drive I would consider a minimum. The $800 just will not cut it. I would say a decent workstation would run you about $1400-1500 if you build it yourself and you already have the OS. If not then I say Cryptodan hit it on the head ....$1800. Keep in mind a truly professional workstation would run you several thousand dollars.
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#12 dif

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:12 AM

You need a dedicated graphics card designed for autocad/photoshop etc.

Look at the FireGL/Quadro cards. NOT consumer gaming cards.




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