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Thread: AutoCAD 2008 and Civil 3D Hardware Requirements?

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    Default AutoCAD 2008 and Civil 3D Hardware Requirements?

    We are going to be upgrading to Auto CAD 2008 and hopefully Civil 3D 2008 and are wondering what we need for our computers to affectively run these programs. Autodesk lists minimum requirements, but we would like to know what would make us most effective. Currently we have several different work stations and they all have different stats. We are using AutoCAD 2007 and not all the computers can run it efficiently. We will be buying some new computers and want to get what is most beneficial. We want/need to start using more of the GIS applications. If anyone could make recommendations on RAM, Processors, Graphic Cards, and Hard drives I would really appreciate it.

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    I could stop if I wanted to ekubaskie's Avatar
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    Default Re: AutoCAD 2008 and Civil 3D Hardware Requirements?

    When it comes to graphics cards, get the fastest card your budget allows but not one that isn't listed as "supported" on Autodesk's supported graphics hardware list ("certified" isn't necessary, but if you do a lot of rendering you might think more that way):

    http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet...linkID=9240618

    CPU: Core 2 Duos or Athlon64 X2s, highest numbers you can afford.

    RAM is really cheap right now, so stuff in all you can. 4G anyway - you can't use more (or even not quite all of the 4G) without going to 64-bit Windows - but Civil 3D has no 64-bit version yet.

    Hard Drives: 2 - a fast one (system) and a big one (data). NOT a single drive with system and data partitions.

    I'd plug in a couple 19" to 21" LCD displays, too - but not widescreens with less than 1024 vertical.

    I run Civil 3D 2008 nicely on an Athlon 64 X2 6000+ (Intel CPU equivalent = Core 2 Duo 6600) with 4G 800MHz RAM, nVidia 7900-based vid, aWD Raptor as a system drive (fast access time for a lot of small transfers), and a 320G SATA 300 data drive (fast transfer for fewer but larger files), and 2 19" (1280x1024) LCD displays.

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    Unhappy Re: AutoCAD 2008 and Civil 3D Hardware Requirements?

    All I can say is wow. For us that would be a beast of a machine. I would love it because it would make doing the GIS stuff so much nicer. The problem is that is so not in my budget.
    What about? (This is currently my starting point, trying to work from here.)

    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 (1.8 GHz)
    Graphics card: 256 MB PCIx16 nVidia Quadro FX3500
    Memory: 2GB, 667MHz

    What do you guys use that much machinery for?

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    Default Re: AutoCAD 2008 and Civil 3D Hardware Requirements?

    If you can't have 2 large monitors then go for the largest wide-screen one that you can.
    John B

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    Default Re: AutoCAD 2008 and Civil 3D Hardware Requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by lroth
    All I can say is wow. For us that would be a beast of a machine....
    What do you guys use that much machinery for?
    For Civil 3D, that's _not_ a beast. for anything more substantive than simple site work, C3D really requires hardware and operating systems that don't exist yet. The program is a beast, and absolutely requires either the best box you can put together, or a lot of patience. (It would be a good idea to give all the C3D developers at Adesk a P-III 800Mhz box, and force them to develop on that so they can learn efficiency in resource usage.

    I might disagree with getting over 2Gb of RAM, better IMHO to spend that on fast video and fast SATA hard drives. One system, one swap, and two striped for data. Especially fast supported video.
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    Unhappy Re: AutoCAD 2008 and Civil 3D Hardware Requirements?

    My problem is I am stuck in a $2,000 budget and not allowed to have them built for us. My company wants to do like they have always done and buy from HP. I could do a $2,000 budget if I could build it myself. I even know a local company that builds CAD machines, that could do it for a reasonable price. I figure if I can find out the best components I could do better in my selections.

    Are you guys using the GIS aspects of the Civil 3D?

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    Default Re: AutoCAD 2008 and Civil 3D Hardware Requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by lroth
    My problem is I am stuck in a $2,000 budget and not allowed to have them built for us. My company wants to do like they have always done and buy from HP. I could do a $2,000 budget if I could build it myself. I even know a local company that builds CAD machines, that could do it for a reasonable price. I figure if I can find out the best components I could do better in my selections.

    Are you guys using the GIS aspects of the Civil 3D?
    My company is the same way about HP, and they won't let us go AMD either. The AMD box is my personal system, and with today's CPU & RAM prices, $2,000 is enough to build one including the dual 19" LCDs.

    And yes, I do use the GIS functions. They've almost reached the point of being production-usable! If they'd just get transparent theming to print I could even use it instead of ESRI.

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    Default Re: AutoCAD 2008 and Civil 3D Hardware Requirements?

    Keep watching HP for specials. We just picked up some HP xw4400's for $2000 each. Unfortunately that deal ended July 31.

    Core 2 Duo 2.67 E6700 4MB Cache
    1066 MHz FSB
    2GB of RAM
    160 GB SATA 7200 rpm
    NVIDIA Quadro FX1500/256MB
    16X DVD

    I realize that you can get faster computers and I wish we did. But, like you, we are on a budget. We bought 28 of those computers so every $100 saved on a system is $2800 less we have to shell out.

    I have recently seen several people claiming that HD performance is critical to C3D. I will be testing different HD configurations to see what kind of improvements we see. However, it will be close to a year before we buy more computers so I probably won't run the tests anytime soon.
    Jeff Paulsen

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    Smile Re: AutoCAD 2008 and Civil 3D Hardware Requirements?

    Thank you for the information. I was looking at Autodesks system requirements and I know that normally when they say minimum they mean minimum. I was just trying to find a better starting point. I have been reading that a better graphics card may help as well as a faster/better hardrive. The other systems people have been recommending have been nice, but just not realistic for our company.

    Thanks

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