yup - now Inventor is programmed with DirectX in mind instead of OpenGL a great place to start is with a good gaming pc. It's all pretty similar (apart from the garish case-designs you seem to get with gaming pcs) - fast gpu, ssd boot drive, quick i5 or i7 cpu, fast ram, a decent motherboard and a good psu to handle it all.
It's a very clever and great move of Autodesk to move from expensive specialized graphics cards to cheaper gaming cards, meaning a far cheaper pc is needed, but it's very rarely touted - whether it's a desire to not annoy the graphics-cards vendors by no longer needing to to push their higher-cost workstation cards or just that professional businesses may not be happy buying a pc with "gaming" in the title...
As for AutoCAD - honestly couldn't say for a like-for-life comparison due to moving from AutoCAD and MDT ages ago, but when I need to use it I've not had any problems (with a gaming card), which isn't a surprise as it's also DirectX now too... I think some AutoCAD hardware ppl still push the workstation cards, but whether it's a real need or just tradition, not sure - the cynic in me thinks that anyone with any hand in the hardware market will always "suggest" the workstation cards as there must be more profit with them compared to the massive market of gaming cards, with their prices constantly going down trying to undercut each other.
just spotted this post about it from this year: http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/AutoCAD-2012/OpenGL-
What'sthe PSU have to do with it! I have GTX590's in my office machine and my home machine. They require four above-board power connectors to supply power to the card. The GTX590 is basically two GPU's on a single card. It takes more power for the graphics card than the four SSD drives in RAID0.
It's interesting though that Autodesk neither recommends nor certifies any gaming-type cards on their hardware web site: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/syscert?id=18
I'm not saying I don't believe they'd work, just noting the information. You'd think they'd be more in support of it on their recommendations if they're going to bake the support into the software.
Autodesk has quite doing hardware certifications for Inventor. As long as the drivers are Microsoft Certified, is all they are concerned about now.
What'sthe PSU have to do with it!
If the system is built assuming a low-powered gpu (low-mid quadro) then it might only have something like a 350W psu, so slap in a GTX590 which probably really needs a 600W psu and you're going to have problems...
read this for info about DirectX:
We got a load of info out of Autodesk when they were proposing the change from OpenGL years ago but since then they seem very limited with suggestions for supported cards.
at the end of the day, if the drivers are WHQL certified then they "should" work with Inventor, within the DirectX environment. Obviously, if you use any other software which is OpenGL (SolidWorks) then there could be a desire for a more OpenGL-friendly gpu...
What most people do not consider is maintaining the operation of your hardware. What happens if your card breaks and you need to get a replacement fast?
Under normal conditions you have to send your card back to the manufacturer and they try to repair the card and eventually you´ll get it back after 4 weeks.
So you start stacking up video cards for this?
What happens if there is a driver bug which makes working with your application (Inventor in this case) impossible?
With Quadro´s or FIreGL´s the drivers will be fixed after a short time cause they are certified workstation cards and they have to be fixed for these applications.
With Gaming cards it´s the other way around, if there is a bug with a game they will fix it in a short period probably.
Fixing driver issues for gaming cards in use with CAD applications not so much.
If you have a dell or HP workstation they will replace your hardware in like 2 days if something goes wrong.
What suits your business best is your own choice, if you have a lot of time and there are no deadlines a gaming card prolly works fine.
But I wouldn´t recommend it for a company that needs to rely on their workforce to be operable.
All the best
there's no denying that the after-sales service is probably better with a workstation card than a gaming card - personally have never had a problem serious enough to bother going through the process (or trivial enough to be happy to be without a machine for a couple days)... If it's a driver issue then roll back - but with DirectX as long as the drivers are WHQL certified then they should work fine - certainly have better reliability with drivers now we're on DirectX than I did with OpenGL (on both workstation and gaming cards). If the issue is hardware-related and the graphics card needs to be replaced then we generally don't have the time to leave a pc non-productive for 2 days (1 day of problems and the 2nd day to receive a replacement) - we can obtain a replacement card from a local pc component vendor then it's fixed within the same day...
There's been recent "gaming v workstation" topics on here (which also became Nvidia v ATI) that show gaming cards are quicker than workstation within Inventor. So, it could be argued that they're more productive and make better sense for ROI calculations. If you're concerned about warranty replacement times then factor in the cost of a 2nd gaming card after say a year and I'm sure it'll still work out cheaper than the expensive workstation cards.
But, I'm also happy to question statements that workstation cards are more reliable than gaming cards - how on earth do hardware vendors justify that? The number of youngsters playing games or leaving their pcs downloading whatever 24/7 - how many of these machines that are never switched off are running gaming cards? If companies like EVGA are offering 3 year warranties on gaming cards, knowing they're possibly going to be overclocked and left running for very long periods - how are these gaming cards a reliability concern?
sure, at the end of the day, everything will die at some point in time, so it's arguable that the most productive card is desirable for most businesses
I use a quadro 2000 card wih xeon 3.4 GHz, and checked the GPU usage with GPU-Z and it never went abouve 20...
when I rotating huge assy, or panning idw..strange...