Drafting Graphics Cards

Telinar

Member
Feb 15, 2002
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Hey. Anyone know what kind of graphics cards are required to run drafting programs such as AutoCad? Also, does anyone know where to get them?

If I were to build a computer for drafting, would there be any difference I need to consider other than the graphics card?

Thanks in advance!
 

jbond04

Senior member
Oct 18, 2000
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Telinar, I use AutoCAD a ton... At work, I use it for architectural drafting (both 2D and 3D). At school, I use it for technical drafting and 3D part modeling, and at home, I use it for both. All three of my workstations use different graphics cards, and, to tell you the truth, I can't tell the difference between any of them. I think that a fast main processor with lots of RAM is far more important than the graphics card for AutoCAD work, simply because AutoCAD's HEIDI display driver is plenty fast with a normal graphics card. Your GeForce3 Ti200 should be plenty for a graphics card. And it looks like you have more than enough RAM, and a fast processor to boot.

What kind of work do you do in AutoCAD? 2D or 3D? And is your display performance holding you back? My workstations at school and at work both use integrated graphics and are running Pentium III processors. (My new computer for college that I use at home is a little different story...check the link on my signature ;))

I would say, unless you have money to burn, or you are working with models/scenes that have HUGE polygon counts (200,000+), then you won't notice a difference with an expensive workstation graphics card.


-Scott Fehringer
-Roseburg High School Drafting
-4th Place Winner---Technical Drafting at the National SkillsUSA/VICA Championship
 

TheBlindMan

Member
Jun 8, 2001
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If you're talking 2D drafting, any current card will way more than suffice. At work I have an older ATi, with a Rage II GPU, no more than 16Mb of memory (on the card) and I've never had a graphics issue (and I'll work with 3 instances of CAD open at once!).
If it's a gaming system you've got no worries (if it can handle games then it can definately handle CAD). If you're putting a system together as a drafting station I would recommend an ATi card only because ATi typically has better 2D graphics than Nvidia. It doesn't need to be expensive either, an original Radeon (32Mb or the VE) or even an older Rage will do great.

Now 3D is rendering is a different beast of which I can not offer any informed advice.

 

Mingon

Diamond Member
Apr 2, 2000
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I used nvdia card (tnt - geforceddr - gefmx - gef2 - gef2ultra - geforce 4) for quite sometime running acad 200x and proe, never had a problem with performance or 2D.
 

Plester

Diamond Member
Nov 12, 1999
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buy a $45 visiontek gts-v and turn it into a quadro 2 - takes 2 minutes if you know how to solder and have an iron w/ a small tip.
 

jbond04

Senior member
Oct 18, 2000
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He doesn't even need that... AutoCAD users know what I'm talking about. You really don't need a fast graphics card at all. Just as long as it doesn't produce any on-screen artifacts (like the crosshairs leaving trails), it's perfect. Any modern graphics card is more than enough (like Telinar's GeForce3 Ti200). It's just too bad that Telinar seems to not exist, otherwise I might be able to help him a little more. ;)
 

Telinar

Member
Feb 15, 2002
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Hey. Wow thanks for the helpful comments, everyone. Sorry about not returning to this post until now. I have been busy recently.

Anyway, I am actually going to be building the computer that will run AutoCAD. I don't do AutoCAD work myself so I wasn't sure about what I would need. I know the computer will be used primarily for 2D drawings. I have already ordered a GeForce 2 MX400 for the computer. Hopefully that will suffice. I was confused by the expensive 2k graphics cards and also nVidia's $300+ Quadros. Anyway, I went to look at a sample computer that was already being used to run AutoCAD for the guy I am building the computer for and it only had a TNT2, so I figured that I would be fine with a GeForce2. It's a shame I didn't check back with this post, I could've figured out the exact same thing sooner.

Thanks again for all the advice.
 

Gregor1C

Member
Jun 25, 2002
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Hey I would jump on this Nvida band wagon if we were talking about games, but I have found the ATI Radeon cards have a better 2D image.

But if you really want the best 2D image go for a Matrox 550 (or 450 is ok). That card also has the best textures in 3D. But it is not as fast as either the ATI or Nvida lines. If you can afford $300+ for your card get the New Matrox Parhelia, but I am sure the Matrox 550 will serve all your Cad need very well.;)
 

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