Which Pro Graphics Card & Build, A little help please


Junior Member
Aug 10, 2012
I would like some assistance and suggestions on a new computer I intend to build. This will be used strictly for business applications and participate in a small network.

I run AutoCad and AutoCad Architecture, currently on 2013 but upgrade every year. (Autocad Architecture is the 3D version of AutoCad). We do mainly 2D AutoCad. I use AutoCad 2D a majority of the time but also have need for several other programs to be open at one time. I also frequently have numerous AutoCad windows open at once, (2 - 8 or more) either looking at several drawing files or working on several drawing files at once, lots of switching back and forth. Our drawing files are almost always ones where 2 to 4 drawings are referenced into the main drawing file. I always have Outlook open, do a fair amount of emailing, and the Trend Micro anti virus is also always running. In addition, I could have a word processor, spreadsheet, adobe acrobat, and another program or two open, plus internet explorer looking at manuf. websites for information. We are trying to head towards more 3D work, with AutoCad Architecture, but do very little today. We do some rendering but typically try to set that up to run overnight. When we do have something to render in 3D, we usually are rushed for time. I'm not highly concerned about rendering time right now. Much more concerned about viewing models in 3D, panning, zooming, drawing, etc. We have used Accurender for rendering out models but are looking to switch to just using AutoCad Architecture for that.

AutoCad runs single threaded, maybe they might catch on in the future and make it multi threaded but AutoDesk is, well, they just do their own thing as they have a monopoly.

I am looking at, but haven't purchased:
Asus X79 Pro Motherboard, Socket 2011
Intel i7 3930K @ stock 3.2 Ghz
16 GB GSkill Ripjaws X Series, CL9Q 12800, (4 x 4)
WD Caviar Black 500GB HDD, SATA 6 GB/s, (May run 2 as Mirro Raid 1 for redundancy, to avoid downtime, yes I know I take a hit on speed)
Corsair HX750 Power Supply, or similar.
Monitor: Current 24" Dell @ 1920 X 1080 eIPS panel
Windows 7 64 Bit
We don't overclock, just run at stock, typical business, can't/don't tolerate potential for problems.

I'm planning to use this for about a 3 years, but depends upon the economy, technology, etc. 5 years at the very outside.

I've started to look into SSD for caching only but I'm not up on that technology yet, and I'm not sure if the X79 chipset and controllers on the motherboard support the SSD as a cache, or if I would need a separate controller. (a little help here too would be appreciated)

We utilize a File Server for storage of files and backup of files. Programs are all local to the computer workstations.

As for the Professional Graphics Card, I'm really trying to decide, and hence need your opinions/assistance, if I will utilize Nvidia Quadro 4000 versus 2000, or whether AMD FirePro 7800 or 5800. I'm leaning towards Nvidia as I have been using their FX cards, (Have a FX3700 in current computer and it's been ok, but sometimes quirky), AutoCad used to recommend Nvidia and their website only states a 2000 card, but the old adage has seemed to always be to buy as much graphics cards as you can. I'm not sure that applies anymore. NVidia and AutoDesk are having a tiff, AutoCad won't let Nvidia write the drivers the way they want if AutoCad certifies the hardware but thats a whole other issue. The cost of the 4000 is about $749.99, the 7800 about $620.00, the 2000 is $399.00 and the 5800 about about $369.00. Prices fluctuate a bit. The real issues get down to whether my work will need the 4000/7800 and utilize it, or do I only need the 2000/5800. What good is being able to go 200 mph, if I can only get 100 mph out of the programs, etc.

Cost is an issue but don't want to be pennywise and pound foolish. If the pricier cards speed up my work then it's worth it. It is not in the budget to head to the Quadro 5000 cost, almost 2X as much as 4000, likewise with AMD. The total I have estimated thus far is generally about $1,800 to $2,000.00 by the time I get a case, DVD burner, etc.

Sorry this is so long, but wanted to be thorough to get good comments back please.
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Golden Member
Jul 31, 2010
Sorry, I know nothing about these professional cards :(

But what you really want is an ssd. Crucial M4 or Samsung 830. Preferably even 2, one for os + apps and one for work. Sadly caching doesn't work on X79.


Diamond Member
Nov 19, 2011
Nvidia Quadro FX series is a nice card, one of my clients is using an FX 4600 and they have drivers specifically for AutoCAD work, really nifty.


Diamond Member
Mar 29, 2010
I would recommend the quadro 4000.But make sure you have proper cooling as this thing runs hot.


Diamond Member
Jul 31, 2007
We run ACA 2013 and REVIT 2013 daily with a bit of 3dsMAX work thrown in.

As far as graphics cards go the biggest help with 3d work in ACA & Revit is a large frame buffer. I would get the cheapest card with the most memory that is on the Autocad approved list.

Why are you buying the K processor if you're not going to OC it?


Junior Member
Aug 10, 2012
Thanks for the heads up, and whichever setup I get, I will make sure we have proper cooling.

We will obtain the AutoCad drivers, if we can, that is one main reason to use a professional card. However, AutoDesk isn't allowing NVidia to write the driver they want to for their cards lately for some reason. I don't have the whole story.

I find I have basically 3 choices with the Socket 2011, X79 chipset, the i7-3960X 3.3Ghz is too expensive at about $1,000.00, the i7-3820 is quad core, 3.6 Ghz, (Turbo 3.8GHz), 10MB L3 cache, the i7-3930K is 3.2 Ghz, (Turbo 3.8Ghz) 12MB L3 cache, price difference about $200.00, so more cache, same turbo speed for both, and less than 10% difference in speed, but 2 more cores which I was thinking, (and I could be wrong, but hoping more cores mean faster multi tasking).