AutoCAD 2013/2014/2015

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Active Contributor
Ixath
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎12-05-2011
Message 1 of 8 (1,546 Views)

How do video cards interact with AutoCAD 2013?

1546 Views, 7 Replies
02-28-2013 08:40 AM
I'm confused about the differences between OpenGL and Direct3D in regards to AutoCAD 2013.
What aspects of AutoCAD perform better using OpenGL? What perform better using D3D? I'm primarily interested in information on my specific case (below) but some more general knowledge about it all would help a lot of people. Autodesk Support gave me the answer that I've heard everywhere else, "More is better" but couldn't provide any specifics or any real technical information.
What matters most when switching tabs, rotating views, zooming, doing 3d rotates, etc? What improvements, if any, are we going to see in a 4gb vs a 2gb card?
System Info:
- We use dual monitors:  AutoCAD on one and Navis on the other.
- All other system specs (except video card, which I'm confused about) are adequate or better than necessary for the tasks at hand.
- No other software will be used on the machines aside from internet browsers and Office/Excel.
- Our current machines have almost no performance issues inside Navis, so the new ones should be fine as well. I'm still interested in knowing if it better utilizes OpenGL or D3D, or if it doesn't matter at all.
In AutoCAD:
- We work with large models (hospital sized buildings) full of 3d objects.
- We use 2-4 viewports in modelspace (depends on the person).
- All viewports are in wireframe mode. One is a plan view and the remaning viewports are in one of the isometric views.
- Assume the drawings have an entire floors worth of geometry on them. All the architectural stuff (walls etc), pipe (mechanical, plumbing, fire prot.), all the duct work, all the structural, electrical, and whatever I left off.
- We use the Hidden view mode when plotting, but we never model or interact with the viewport at all once it's set to hidden.
- We don't apply textures or lighting or anything of the sort to anything.
- We never render anything.
With the above information, are there any specific features we should be looking for on a graphics card? Are there features that are more important than others? Would a D3D or OpenGL card benefit us more? What role are the amount of CUDA cores going to play? I'm not looking for specific card recommendations.. just as much knowledge as I can get.
Thank you in advance!
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JGerth
Posts: 1,950
Registered: ‎12-05-2005
Message 2 of 8 (1,523 Views)

Re: How do video cards interact with AutoCAD 2013?

02-28-2013 10:32 AM in reply to: Ixath

IIRC AutoCAD makes no use of OpenGL at all, nor does it take any advantage of Cuda/GPU processing.  I don't use Navis - so no info on that.

Active Contributor
Ixath
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎12-05-2011
Message 3 of 8 (1,511 Views)

Re: How do video cards interact with AutoCAD 2013?

02-28-2013 11:17 AM in reply to: JGerth

Thanks for the response. That confuses me a bit more then. If a user doesn't need the extremely precise calculations offered by the higher end Quadro / Firepro cards, what makes them (supposedly?) such powerhouses?

 

Why would I ever buy a Quadro 5000 (or, hell, a 6000) over a GTX680 (or a GTX690, or a Titan) if I -DON'T- require the precision? My company is still buying Quadro 2000s in their new machines because they see the word "Quadro" and the price and assume that it's going to out perform all of the non-Quadro cards out there. And in doing so, we end up getting 7200rpm drives instead of SSDs because they're trying to stay on a budget :/

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dgorsman
Posts: 5,104
Registered: ‎10-12-2006
Message 4 of 8 (1,509 Views)

Re: How do video cards interact with AutoCAD 2013?

02-28-2013 11:20 AM in reply to: JGerth

Navisworks still uses OpenGL, and its mandatory for the 3D features, but as you've seen will use a D3D card reasonably well.  I don't think either program makes deliberate use of CUDA or other internal nVidia technology aside from whats internal to the interface.

 

There are so many interacting factors (motherboard, CPU, RAM, video card, software, meatware, work processes, etc.) that its very difficult to provide any sort of hard and fast specs or recommendations on "Use X" or "Don't use Y".  Different people will have a different definition of "better performance" and each will have a different set up scenario such that one user will see a "huge difference" between a 2 GB and 4 GB card while another will see only a "huge waste of money".

----------------------------------
If you are going to fly by the seat of your pants, expect friction burns.
Adopt. Adapt. Overcome. Or be overcome.
A good question will be halfway to a good answer.


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dgorsman
Posts: 5,104
Registered: ‎10-12-2006
Message 5 of 8 (1,508 Views)

Re: How do video cards interact with AutoCAD 2013?

02-28-2013 11:23 AM in reply to: Ixath

I'm not certain "precision" is the correct word.  Any such calculations are carried out by the software (we measure with the program, not on the screen).  More calculations, more parallel calculations, more RAM, certainly.

 

There is *zero* justification on getting the high-end Quadro series for CAD work.  They are for visualization/entertainment software like Maya and 3DSMAX.

----------------------------------
If you are going to fly by the seat of your pants, expect friction burns.
Adopt. Adapt. Overcome. Or be overcome.
A good question will be halfway to a good answer.


*Expert Elite*
JGerth
Posts: 1,950
Registered: ‎12-05-2005
Message 6 of 8 (1,505 Views)

Re: How do video cards interact with AutoCAD 2013?

02-28-2013 11:26 AM in reply to: Ixath

Ixath wrote:

...Why would I ever buy a Quadro 5000 (or, hell, a 6000) over a GTX680 (or a GTX690, or a Titan) if I -DON'T- require the precision? My company is still buying Quadro 2000s in their new machines because they see the word "Quadro" and the price and assume that it's going to out perform all of the non-Quadro cards out there. And in doing so, we end up getting 7200rpm drives instead of SSDs because they're trying to stay on a budget :/



And that's the answer -- give somethign a high price, and a 'workstation' brand  and management will buy into the myth

Valued Contributor
autocad.phil
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎01-22-2010
Message 7 of 8 (1,492 Views)

Re: How do video cards interact with AutoCAD 2013?

02-28-2013 12:14 PM in reply to: Ixath

Those fancy "high-end" video cards have the ECC memory/controller while the commercial/consumer type cards do not have it.  The ECC stuff will auto-correct dots/numbers/errors that we won't see because it rarely happens... but eventually in some billions of cycles it will pop up one or two:smileyhappy:  Most people don't care about it and can happily use the normal type everyday.  However in some critical applications or certain industries, they've gotta have/use these video cards with ECC.

--
Autodesk Product Design Suite Standard 2014 with subscription to 2016 | AutoCAD WS | was ACLT 2000, ACLT 2010, PRDSS 2013 and others
Active Contributor
Ixath
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎12-05-2011
Message 8 of 8 (1,380 Views)

Re: How do video cards interact with AutoCAD 2013?

03-14-2013 10:19 AM in reply to: Ixath

It boggles my mind that there is so little actual data out there about this kind of stuff.. Or maybe there is and I'm just not smart enough to interpret it correctly. I guess it's tough to do benchmarks since there are so many different ways people use the software. It's still really surprising that there isn't more available though.. there are so many posts from 2 or 3.. even 6 or 7 years ago.. asking very similar questions.

 

Thank you guys once again for the replies. Much appreciated!

 

Ixath

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