The most popular Computer Aided Design (or CAD) software in the world is probably AutoDesk’s AutoCAD. Really, with AutoCAD, you’ll only be limited by your hardware, especially when working with complex designs. But with a seemingly endless number of component options to pick from, which should you choose for configuring the best AutoCAD Computer possible? Read on as we break down the options.
AutoCAD applications, whether they’re 2D designs or 3D models, are almost exclusively single threaded, meaning the application runs on a single processing core and does not take advantage of multiple cores or threads. For this reason, we recommend a fast core speed, lower core count processor like a Core i7 rather than a Xeon for AutoCAD. Purchasing a high core count workstation for AutoCAD will simply be a waste of money.
The GPU you choose depends on your specific AutoCAD applications. For 2D design, you’ll get by just fine with an entry level Quadro or Geforce card. For rendering of 3D models however, we recommend a mid-range Quadro like the P2000.
AutoCAD isn’t a memory hog like some other design applications (I’m looking at you Adobe Creative Cloud) may be, but it’s important to not ignore RAM completely. 16GB of quality DDR4 RAM is enough for most CAD users, but power users should definitely see a benefit from upgrading to 32GB. For most users, ECC is not necessary.
We’ve long been singing the praises of solid state drives on this blog, mainly for their overall responsiveness and boot times. An SSD may not speed up design or render times directly, but it will make your system feel faster overall. The Crucial MX300 or even Samsung 960 Pro if you budget allows are worth the investment. Highly recommended!
Still confused? Learn more about AutoCAD here or contact one of our product experts at 804-419-0900 for assistance.