It looks like technology has caught up on us with newer versions of AutoCAD. At the moment, we use Nvidia Quadro 600 / Nvidia NVS 300 on two machines and running both AutoCAD 2014 and 2015.
I visited the Autodesk's hardware recommended page, but it seems to be old since there are still some at 256MB of memory on the list, though I imputed AutoCAD 2014 and Windows 7 (64Bit).
With graphics acceleration in mind, what would you recommend for a more smoother use of AutoCAD?
What price range are you looking at and are you doing mostly 2D? 3D? Solid models?
If you are doing mostly 2D work, the Quadro 600 should be more than sufficient and you may not see any advantage in spending more. If you are doing 3D including some rendering, you'll probably push the limits of the 600. Although most people seem to be set on nvidia, I much prefer the AMD Firepro cards. I had used a Quadro 600 up until about 3 years ago (and an FX1500 and an FX540 and a 380 before that), so I had been using nvidia for well over a decade. Then I tried an ATI Firepro V5800 and was shocked at how much better everything looked (all programs, all colors, all graphics were far superior) and how well AutoCAD ran. I have since built a whole new system and kept the one with the V5800 as a spare. The new system has an AMD Firepro W5000 and it is great for 2D and 3D Autocad, Revit and Rhino. I highly recommend them.
Don't get too caught up on Autodesks recommendations because they don't retest every card every time new drivers come out and most of their tests are outdated. And be sure you do not use a Windows Aero theme - it is well documented that Aero themes do not play well with AutoCAD often resulting in a jumpy cursor.
Firstly, thanks for your great information.
Actually, I use the Quadro 600 and have tried the new driver. The other AutoCAD users have the Quadro NVS 300. I had to remove the latest drive and revert to the mid 2013 driver to be better.
I brought up looking for a different graphics card just to put a bandage on a wond without treatment. I feel Autodesk and graphic card makers are not communicaiton enough. I and other heay AutoCAD users in the office seem to have a commond denominator, the Layer Manager. It looks like when we hover the coursor over the manager, the cursor wheel just chuns and chuns and chuns. With the newest driver, it is even worse. The older driver is bearable. By the way, was are using vanilla AutoCAD 2014 & 15.
Interesting you brought using windows Aero theme. I have always used the Widows Classic theme until recently just to add some 'spice' on the desktop. Maybe, I'll try the classic theme again.
stevev0983, thanks for your replay.
My feelings about drivers is that "if it isn't broke, don't fix it". I'm using an AMD driver that is 9 months old now even though they have issued 3 newer ones since this one, this one works great so there is no sense in changing it. I am using plain vanilla ACAD 2013 and I see no such oddities when using the layer manager. It looks the same as any other pop up dialogue box, so that sounds like something is wrong. I was locked into a "suite" subscription and Autodesk would not let me downgrade to just AutoCAD since that is really all I use. So I dropped the subscription for now and am still using 2013 (which I have no problems with) - I'll upgrade next time they change the dwg format which will probably be 2016. So I can't speak for 2014 or 2015, but I have friends who use it and have no such problems. And if it changes based on drivers, it would be logical to assume that the driver is the problem. Did you ever have a driver that worked? If so, maybe you can go back to that one.
One of the known problems with Aero themes is that all of a sudden your cursor will get jumpy in AutoCAD. It kind of looks like you have the snap turned on. When I built my new system (intel i5-3570k with 32gb ram) I decided to try an Aero theme and sure enough the jumpy cursor showed up. I did notice that if I simply hover my mouse over the bottom right hand corner of the taskbar and let it show the desktop for 5-10 seconds, the jumpy cursor goes away when I go back to Autocad. So now I decided to keep the Aero theme and just hover over to the desktop when it happens. It happens maybe 2-3 times per day, so I can live with it.
THe NVS cards were never really intended for heavy CAD work. They are called "workstation" cards but at the time the word meant something different than it does now.
There's also some work processes involved in video performance e.g. even with a hideously expensive video card AutoCAD and associated vertical products will struggle trying to navigate around in 3D realistic visual style with a modest sized model. AutoCAD was never designed to operate that way, a legacy of its Swiss Army Knife history.
I changed my desktop theme to Windows Classic and things seem to be fine (not sure yet). I have not had any other issues I used to have.
Though this them is boring, but it's worth the 'smoothness' in working with my computer. So far, since the past week, it's been going well. We'll see how it goes.
Thanks for all your thoughts and ideas.