Getting a new PC. Any recomendations on PC requirments going from 32 to 64 bit? other than Cads general reguirments. Looking for a machine that is lighting fast. Video card, Grafics cards, Memory RAM anything? thanks
I would at the least double the minimum requirements for RAM from Autodesk's minimum requirements to run Civil3D. A solid state hard drive is a great upgrade to make your system wicked fast if you can afford it. Look for a video card with a certified driver, to save you from minor graphics issues.
A lot depends on your price point. And if you are buying a finished box or assembling it yourself.
Look at posters signatures to get a feel for what people are running. I don't have any problems with my current setup. Granted I don't work on huge developments anymore thanks to the current economy.
Some general points:
Most important thing is your CPU... I still like the i7-2600 (go with the i7-2600K if you want to overclock)... Great performance for a cheap price. The i5-2500 is close behind. The new i7-3960X is the absolute king of performance right now, but not sure it's worth the price, compared to the i7-2600. There are a few other neat options if you're looking at a laptop, such as the i7-2860QM I got in my latest laptop (works as well as my i7-2600 desktop), or the even-better i7-2960XM (although this latter option will decrease your battery life significantly over an i7-2860QM, with not a whole lot of difference in perceived performance).
If you get a laptop, make SURE it can do 1920x1080 resolution. It can be a 15" screen, as long as you have decent eyesight, but make sure it can do that 1920x1080 resolution.
Try to get 16GB of RAM. 8GB minimum (or 12GB if you go with an older tri-channel i7 like the i7-960 or i7-980). Any more is probably a waste of money, unless you are working on some REALLY REALLY BIG models (far larger than the average C3D user).
SSD for primary hard drive can make a huge difference. And the prices are becoming more-reasonable... Just don't get a cheap SSD. Shoot for something like an Intel.... SSDs are DEFINITELY not all created equally, and the Intels seem to be leading the pack. And I highly recommend SSDs for laptops - they improve battery life, as well as performance in C3D. And they're QUIET. And can help you avoid the need for a laptop cooler (laptop CPUs are notorious for cutting down to slower clock speeds if they get too hot, which can require you to have a laptop cooling pad in order to avoid constant CPU slow-downs -- SSDs run cooler than mechanical hard drives, which helps keep your whole laptop cooler).
And of course, Windows7 x64. Don't even consider anything else as far as OS.
My setup seems to work just fine even with a xeon processor
Yes, Xeons work, they're just more expensive while providing no additional value for C3D.
The Xeons also typically lag behind the i7/i5 in terms of performance (for C3D, anyway). What Intel does is introduce the latest technology in i7/i5 (and even i3). These chips tend to preceed the Xeons in CPU speed and performance. Then in their next round of development, they put that tech into Xeons. The Xeons are more-complicated, supporting more RAM than the i7/i5, and multiple CPUs, which are not supported for the i7/i5.
However, most i7/i5 chips these days (especially the 2nd Gen) support up to 32GB of RAM, and more than 16GB RAM yields very low results for most users of C3D. There are a FEW who might notice a difference between 16GB and 32GB, but not many. (At least as of C3D 2012.) So there's not a lot of value there. And of course, since C3D doesn't support multiple cores for the most part, let alone multiple CPUs, the mult-CPU functionality yields you nothing.
And at any one time, the latest Xeon chip tends to lag in CPU speed behind the fastest i7 chip. Yet the i7 is typically less-expensive. And since CPU speed is the most-important thing in C3D performance, and C3D can only use a single core for almost all operations, you gain by shooting for the fastest i7. Especially considering the MMU (Memory Management Unit) improvements in the 2nd-Gen i7/i5/i3 series, which a large part of why a 2nd-Gen i7 running at 3GHz will significantly outperform a 1st-Gen i7 running at 3GHz. "Turbo Boost" helps, too... That lets your CPU ramp-up the CPU speed of the core that's running C3D, since the other cores aren't being used.
There are other applications where Xeon chips (especially two Xeon chips in a multi-processor system) can be an advantage. But C3D is not one of them.
Thanks for this - interesting
"FireGL/Quadros are a waste of money for C3D"
mmmm... Recommend your graphics card NVIDIA Geforce, and believe that quality is less than one NVIDIA Quadro.
I understand that the NVIDIA Geforce are engineered for video games, and NVIDIA Quadro for CAD
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