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Thread: Need SCREAMING fast Graphics Card for (AutoCAD 2018) 2D work

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    Question Need SCREAMING fast Graphics Card for (AutoCAD 2018) 2D work

    OK... It's 2018, and Autodesk still has us hamstrung when it comes to full utilization of all the multi-core, multi-thread CPU's out there. That said, I'm ordering a new box built for 2-D, and I think I'll go with an i7, 4-core CPU, overclocked to 4.5-4.8 mhz, SSD drives and a generous amount of RAM. But what about a butt-kicking graphics card? I will utilize two 30" monitors max., but sometimes have 4 large 2-D drawing files open at once, and multi viewports on at least some of them. I want my box waiting on ME, and not the other way around. Who among you esteemed members of CAD geekdom can suggest a really fast 2D-optimized GA that won't bottleneck my buzz? Thanks in advance!

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    Default Re: Need SCREAMING fast Graphics Card for (AutoCAD 2018) 2D work

    What is your budget?

    Perhaps the NVIDIA P4000, although personally I think it's a bit overkill.
    R.K. McSwain | CAD Panacea |

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    Default Re: Need SCREAMING fast Graphics Card for (AutoCAD 2018) 2D work

    Quote Originally Posted by rkmcswain View Post
    What is your budget?

    Perhaps the NVIDIA P4000, although personally I think it's a bit overkill.
    That one is within the budget. I'll give it a closer look. Thanks!

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    Default Re: Need SCREAMING fast Graphics Card for (AutoCAD 2018) 2D work

    If you're on an enterprise account with Dell or HP, that P4000 is pretty much as good as you're going to get for the cost. The P5000/6000 won't give you any real benefits for CAD work.

    Of course, at this point for performance you're looking more at good data representation and management rather than hardware. XREFs, layer freeze/thaw (rather than on/off), respectable file-sizes, annotation scale and DGN linetype stripping, and process automation will all give better results than throwing more money (or RAM, or cores) at the problem.
    If you are going to fly by the seat of your pants, expect friction burns.
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    Default Re: Need SCREAMING fast Graphics Card for (AutoCAD 2018) 2D work

    Quote Originally Posted by dgorsman View Post
    Of course, at this point for performance you're looking more at good data representation and management rather than hardware. XREFs, layer freeze/thaw (rather than on/off), respectable file-sizes, annotation scale and DGN linetype stripping, and process automation will all give better results than throwing more money (or RAM, or cores) at the problem.
    Yes, I try to do as much as I can with these, but I work within framework files provided by numerous clients, each with their own standards and conventions, and my added work is returned to them for continuations and distribution, so I can't strip out much of the glut that they have piled in as part of their work flow. About the best that I can do is make certain that my hardware doesn't slow me down any further, particularly with pans, regens and MANY viewports and page layouts.

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    Default Re: Need SCREAMING fast Graphics Card for (AutoCAD 2018) 2D work

    I'm in the same boat right now, but playing with a lower budget.
    The choices I'm looking at are the NVIDIA GTX 1080, the NVIDIA GTX 1070ti, and the NVIDIA P2000.

    So far, the best sites I've found for generic test scores and comparisons are:
    https://technical.city/en/video/rating#result307
    and
    https://www.videocardbenchmark.net/index.php

    Where I did this comparison:
    https://www.videocardbenchmark.net/c...cmp%5B%5D=3502

    With what was said earlier about A2k19 still having no "multi" this, that, and everything else...
    Wouldn't the best "2D CAD Card" still be the one with the best Passmark 2D score???


    I've been buying video cards for CAD since the 3Dlabs VX-1 and the ELSA GLoria III and have always used "workstation" cards, but these GTX 1080 and 1070ti are looking decent.
    I can been shown the error in my ways though.

    Right now, for my budget, I'm still leaning toward the M2000.

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    Default Re: Need SCREAMING fast Graphics Card for (AutoCAD 2018) 2D work

    "Speed tests" should always be taken with a small mountain of salt. They don't accurately replicate most CAD activity.

    If you're in the market for a GTX 1080 or 1070 Ti, that's definitely *not* in a "lower budget" range. Unless you're doing GPU rendering with them you're unlikely to see much benefit from those devices.
    If you are going to fly by the seat of your pants, expect friction burns.
    Some say beauty is in the eye of the Beholder... perhaps so, but I've only seen the disintegration beam.
    Everyone else being wrong is not the same thing as being right.

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    Default Re: Need SCREAMING fast Graphics Card for (AutoCAD 2018) 2D work

    Hi dgorsman,

    I have done some looking into this topic. In our CAD group we run AutoCAD 2013 Civil 3D in 2D mode. I have found, similar to what others have posted, that AutoCAD really only uses 1 cpu thread at a time. So for the cpu I would get the chip with the fastest single threaded performance. Currently I believe it is the i7-8700k. This chip is also 6core/12threads so it is pretty good as well for multi-threaded workloads. From what I have read, the i7-8700k can be realistically overclocked to 4.8-5.0 GHz.

    As for the gpu, I think you may be headed down the wrong path with buying a high end card. I did some testing on my machine and in our 2D CAD workloads the graphics card is barely used at all. I have tried doing my CAD work with hardware acceleration turned on and turned off and noticed no difference in performance. The cpu however is running 1 thread at 100%. What I suspect happens is that in a 2D workflow, is that a gpu can render the 2D lines quite easily. However, the CPU struggles to handle all the blocks and xref's with AutoCAD's legacy code.

    If others have have input and experience with AutoCAD and gpu use I would love to hear it. This is just what I have found in my specific use case. I would recommend using a utility like GPU-Z to monitor your gpu usage while you are working in your drawings. (Make sure to turn hardware acceleration on, otherwise AutoCAD will not use the gpu at all.) If your machine is heavily using your gpu then buying a high end card makes sense. If your machine is barely using the gpu, then a low end card is will save you a ton of money for no loss in performance. My guess is that you will be best served with a super fast cpu and super fast storage to load/unload all the AutoCAD files and blocks.

    Hopefully this helps.

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    Default Re: Need SCREAMING fast Graphics Card for (AutoCAD 2018) 2D work

    I am running AutoCAD 2019 with an Nvidia Quadro 2200. Processor is Intel Xenon 3.40GHz,48.0GB RAM Memory, Windows 7 Pro. The only time it slows down is when I am drawing in 3D and the file starts getting large. 2D drawing runs pretty good, even with a very large file.

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    Default Re: Need SCREAMING fast Graphics Card for (AutoCAD 2018) 2D work

    Quote Originally Posted by Greene.N596376 View Post
    Hi dgorsman,

    I have done some looking into this topic. In our CAD group we run AutoCAD 2013 Civil 3D in 2D mode. I have found, similar to what others have posted, that AutoCAD really only uses 1 cpu thread at a time. So for the cpu I would get the chip with the fastest single threaded performance. Currently I believe it is the i7-8700k. This chip is also 6core/12threads so it is pretty good as well for multi-threaded workloads. From what I have read, the i7-8700k can be realistically overclocked to 4.8-5.0 GHz.

    As for the gpu, I think you may be headed down the wrong path with buying a high end card. I did some testing on my machine and in our 2D CAD workloads the graphics card is barely used at all. I have tried doing my CAD work with hardware acceleration turned on and turned off and noticed no difference in performance. The cpu however is running 1 thread at 100%. What I suspect happens is that in a 2D workflow, is that a gpu can render the 2D lines quite easily. However, the CPU struggles to handle all the blocks and xref's with AutoCAD's legacy code.

    If others have have input and experience with AutoCAD and gpu use I would love to hear it. This is just what I have found in my specific use case. I would recommend using a utility like GPU-Z to monitor your gpu usage while you are working in your drawings. (Make sure to turn hardware acceleration on, otherwise AutoCAD will not use the gpu at all.) If your machine is heavily using your gpu then buying a high end card makes sense. If your machine is barely using the gpu, then a low end card is will save you a ton of money for no loss in performance. My guess is that you will be best served with a super fast cpu and super fast storage to load/unload all the AutoCAD files and blocks.

    Hopefully this helps.
    Do you use other utilities to monitor resource usage, or simply Window's Task Manager? I was hoping to find a way to get all the metrics (CPU, GPU, RAM, storage, network) on one screen, and recording data until I press stop for my own testing.

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