AutoCAD Civil 3D General Discussion

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Valued Mentor
engrtech
Posts: 702
Registered: ‎05-05-2008
Message 11 of 16 (559 Views)

Re: Upgrading PC, Civil 3D Requirments

02-14-2012 06:15 AM in reply to: arturopolanco

I use a Quadro 2000, but that's not really for C3Ds use. I use 3ds Max and Photoshop CS5.5 and those programs actually use the Quadro drivers.  Unless you're doing a lot of real time 3d viewing of your civil projects, most of the time your viewport(s) are in the 2d wireframe mode, which the Quadros don't do any better than a typical game card.

 

I have a Crucial M4 256GB SSD (Do not go with any Sandforce SSDs as they have problems right now.) as my main drive and a 600 GB 10k RPM HDD that has all my drawings.  Windows 7 64-bit is a must have. I only have 6GB of RAM and that seems to be perfectly fine for all that I do.  Even working in 3ds Max with a scene with over a million polygons I never see the virtual memory get above 5GB and I rarely get into projects that large.  If I was getting a new machine, I'd go with 8GB of RAM, but I'm fine with the 6GB I have now.  

 

As Sinc said, Xeons just for C3D aren't worth the money. I used to use dual Xeons, but the clock speed on them is usually slower than the i7s and that is the driving factor for C3D.  Xeons have a larger cache usually, but that still doesn't help with C3D much not to mention the cost of Xeons.

Infrastructure Design Suite Premium 2014
Civil 3D 2014 x64
Testing IDSP 2015
Windows 7 64-bit
6GB RAM
*Expert Elite*
arturopolanco
Posts: 407
Registered: ‎08-22-2010
Message 12 of 16 (553 Views)

Re: Upgrading PC, Civil 3D Requirments

02-14-2012 06:28 AM in reply to: engrtech
understand
*Expert Elite*
Sinc
Posts: 6,207
Registered: ‎11-18-2006
Message 13 of 16 (532 Views)

Re: Upgrading PC, Civil 3D Requirments

02-14-2012 06:14 PM in reply to: engrtech

And just to be clear, you can't simply compare clock speeds, which is why I've been confused for years why Autodesk's minimum specs simply say "3GHz or faster" while simultaneously recommending an Intel P4.

 

Each generation of chips has made significant advancements in technology.  This often goes on a "tick-tock" sort of schedule...  One year is a major jump in many respects, the next is refinements on that process, then a major jump, then refinements....  As an example, Intel came out with the original Core stuff, then made major improvements in the Core2.  Then they jumped to the Core i7/i5/i3, and made major improvements in the 2nd Gen Core i7/i5/3 (aka "Sandy Bridge").  We should now be hitting another "tick"...

 

Comparing CPU speed between chips from different generations makes no sense.  Each "tick", CPU speeds slow down (as does power usage), yet performance goes up.  Each "tock", they improve the sundry other elements that prevent the new CPU speed from being utilized to the fullest extent.  So a 3.0 GHz P4 would be a "tick".  After the P4, they went to the P4 Extreme (tock), then the Core (tick), then the Core2 (tock), then the i7/i5/i3 (tick), then the 2nd Gen i7/i5/i3 (tock)....  (OK, I know this is a simplification, and CPU experts will argue details, but hopefully this is a simple guideline that is understandable to people who aren't CPU experts...  I freely admit that I'm doing this from memory, and I didn't really research all the details, but I hope I got the gist right.)

 

That's why you can't compare CPU speed amongst the different chips.  A 3.0 GHz P4 would be considered "pathetic" for C3D performance these days.  (Here's one of the exceptions...  The P4 Extreme mostly ramped-up CPU speed, rather than make significant other improvements, so a P4 Extreme would probably have higher clock speeds.)  Then a 3.0 GHz Core would perform much better (although as another exception, I'm not sure they ever hit that high a clock speed with the original Core systems).  Then a 3.0GHz Core2 will perform better than anything yet mentioned, by a signficant margin.  A 3.0GHz Corei7 is way better.  And a 3.0GHz 2nd-Gen Corei7 is significantly better than that, largely due to the improved memory management.  By contrast, 2.8GHz Core 2 can deliver "OK" performance, despite the fact that it's below Autodesk's 3.0GHz recommended minimum requirements, and will deliver FAR BETTER performance than the "pathetic" 3.0 GHz P4.

 

All of these statements are qualified by the fact that C3D is a single-threaded app (for the most part).  Should it ever start using multiple cores to a significant extent, all this goes out the window, and it becomes a new ball game.

Sinc
*Expert Elite*
Sinc
Posts: 6,207
Registered: ‎11-18-2006
Message 14 of 16 (529 Views)

Re: Upgrading PC, Civil 3D Requirments

02-14-2012 06:21 PM in reply to: engrtech

engrtech wrote:

I use a Quadro 2000, but that's not really for C3Ds use. I use 3ds Max and Photoshop CS5.5 and those programs actually use the Quadro drivers.  Unless you're doing a lot of real time 3d viewing of your civil projects, most of the time your viewport(s) are in the 2d wireframe mode, which the Quadros don't do any better than a typical game card.




Exactly.  That's why Quadros are such a waste of money for most C3D users.  The cost is SO much more for similar 2D performance, and at least in my experience, most C3D users only work in 2D-Wireframe mode, only occassionally using the 3D view modes to check details (such as accuracy of topos).

 

If you are using software other than C3D, such as 3DS Max, you may have different concerns.  But if all you do is use C3D, you can get faster 2D-Wireframe performance with a much-cheaper GeForce 500-series than with a more-expensive Quadro.  And you still get decent 3D performance, unless you are working with REALLY big models.

Sinc
Active Contributor
wedzisi
Posts: 32
Registered: ‎09-14-2010
Message 15 of 16 (418 Views)

Re: Upgrading PC, Civil 3D Requirments

04-24-2012 12:01 AM in reply to: Sinc

What about ASUS G74SX Gaming Notebook for C3d

Intel®  Core™ i7  2630QM  Processor

Intel® HM65 Express Chipset

DDR3 1333 MHz SDRAM, 4 x SO-DIMM socket 16 G SDRAM

NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 560M with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM

2.5" SATA 750GB / 7200rpm 

2.5" SATA 160GB  SSD

Distinguished Mentor
rl_jackson
Posts: 700
Registered: ‎01-20-2008
Message 16 of 16 (402 Views)

Re: Upgrading PC, Civil 3D Requirments

04-24-2012 05:36 AM in reply to: engrtech

That should work fine, however there are some new Intel chips being released near the end of the week (supposedly) and you may want to wait on you purchase as this may cause the prices to drop on 2nd gen. i7 cores.

C3D12-13
Win7x64 6gb

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