Question Budget graphics for basic CAD work?

wdb1966

Diamond Member
Jul 2, 2001
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A coworker wants assistance building a new system for basic tasks and some purely educational CAD software.

What budget graphics solution would work well for this application?

The CPU, board, etc, have not been chosen so I figured the graphics would be the best starting point.

Thanks in advance for your input.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
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937
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CAD / Autodesk stuff, is not really GPU sensitive. In fact it's also relatively minimally threaded to boot.

Google 'Puget AutoCAD recommended' to get a great summary on this.

Basically you want a decently high performance per core, and good memory and storage performance. Beyond that, a really fast quad core would blow away a 16 core that was slower per core in terms of AutoCAD, and iGPU is going to do just as well as with a $1k card outside of extremely specialized scenarios.
 

wdb1966

Diamond Member
Jul 2, 2001
5,381
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So an AMD APU or faster Intel quad core with a decent IGPU would be fine for that?

That’s likely the most intensive thing he will use it for...CAD, documents, internet, video, etc.

He is an older guy and not into gaming at all so I just want to spec something that will do what he needs for some time and not be too expensive.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,481
937
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Sounds good yes. For that kind of work, the difference between an i3-9100 and an i9 9900 is very minimal. And the i3s are quad cores now. Basically look for an Intel 9th gen i3 or better, or an AMD Ryzen 3000 series, and that will be excellent for the guy.
 
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moonbogg

Diamond Member
Jan 8, 2011
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The CAD programs are mostly single threaded (unless doing a CPU based rendering within those programs), be it 2D Autocad work or 3D Solidworks/Inventor. Any half decent gaming GPU will do just fine for any of it. The only exception is if you want the fancy reflections and lighting in Solidworks or Inventor, then you need a Quadro or comparable AMD workstation card for the supported drivers. It's a filthy scam though so don't spend the money on those. You pay hundreds (or thousands) more just for some stupid reflections and they could easily enable those reflections in gaming cards, but guess what? They don't (for obvious reasons).
 

RLGL

Golden Member
Jan 8, 2013
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then you need a Quadro or comparable AMD workstation card for the supported drivers. It's a filthy scam though so don't spend the money on those. You pay hundreds (or thousands) more just for some stupid reflections and they could easily enable those reflections in gaming cards, but guess what? They don't (for obvious reasons).
You do NOT need a high end card, What is required is a high end rendering program. any cad programs can run on an Nvidia 1050ti or higher. Beware some of these cad programs do not like Intel or AMD graphics.
 

moonbogg

Diamond Member
Jan 8, 2011
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You do NOT need a high end card, What is required is a high end rendering program. any cad programs can run on an Nvidia 1050ti or higher. Beware some of these cad programs do not like Intel or AMD graphics.
I advised him correctly. You need certified or tested workstation graphics drivers to use Real-time shading features.
 

wdb1966

Diamond Member
Jul 2, 2001
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Thanks guys, looking at a refurb GTX 1050 for the project, along with an i3 9100f.

Should fit the bill nicely.
 
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Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,481
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Thanks guys, looking at a refurb GTX 1050 for the project, along with an i3 9100f.

Should fit the bill nicely.
That will make for an excellent combo for the purpose, that will be icy cool running and quiet. Don't forget a little m.2 nVME boot drive :)
 

Dribble

Golden Member
Aug 9, 2005
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I would also recommend getting a cheap Nvidia card, they have by far the best support, followed by Intel then AMD.
 

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