So AutoDesk Inventor has an educational program allowing me to get the program for educational use more or less free. I'm kind of pushing for a computer upgrade as mine is 5 years old, however I know that better things are coming out all the time causing me to wait. Normally playing the latest game is my exuse to buy new hardware, and it is defently that time again. But my interest is moving more to microcontrollers and working with robotics, so games are pushed back for now.
Aside from that I want to know the opinions of my current hardware in resepct to running Inventor. So far making small parts doesn't make me want to bash my keyboard with wait times or crashes, which is nice. What I am trying to figure out is where will my hardware really start to limit me in Inventor to the point I would benifit me to finally spend the $2000 I have planned for a new system. I did speak with some of the techs at my local electronics store. They would have me buying a ASUS P9X79-PRO plus INTEL i7-3820 with a PNY Quadro 600. I recently found out that Inventor uses direct X making the Quadro a very expensive price to performance choice.
CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E6550 @ 2.33GHz (overclocked to 3.06)
RAM: 4GB DDR 800 (slightly overclocked, can't recall the numbers)
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti
MotherBoard: ASUS p5n-e sli
OS: Windows 7 64-Bit
HDD: Primary Western Digital 500GB 7200RPM (Similar to the Caviar Blue)
Thank you for reading.
That's not a bad system for Inventor. I'm not very familiar with GPU's, but I would say your overall limiting factor with that set up would be RAM. I would add another 4GB and that will probably handle anything you would do as a learning project.
A note on multiple cores: Inventor can only utilize one core for modeling, so getting a six core beast is a waste.
It depends on what you intend to do with your system - as Mike says it's not a bad system. If your models aren't too complex, it should work fine. I would stay with what you have until it becomes a challenge to work with and then upgrade.
Here are the specs for my home system:
ASUS P5N-E SLI
Intel Core2 Duo E8400 @ 3.00 GHz
8 GB RAM
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1GB
Ordinary 7200 RPM HDDs
As you can see, there are some similarites between our systems. I have been running Inventor 2011 and then 2012 on this system for a couple of years now, and it has been great. It has handled everything I've thrown at it, including creating full detail and assembly drawings for two different 3000-4000 part assemblies, and multiple rendering projects (using both Inventor studio and Showcase). I've been very pleased with the performance.
As Mike said, modeling in Inventor doesn't utilize multiple cores, so the way to get better performance from Inventor is to get as fast a CPU as you can find (or afford). But rendering uses as many cores as you have, so if you plan to do much of that, then the more cores you have the faster it will complete the work. So, there are certainly more considerations when choosing a multi-core processor (you mentioned gaming, for instance), and having more cores than what Inventor can use while modeling won't cause any problems.
If you are planning on doing medium-to-largish assemblies, then probably the cheapest and easiest way to get more from your system would be to add more RAM.
Thank you for answering my question. Glad to know that upgrading for inventor isn't really all that needed. I'm still so new to the program I don't know of any good ways to run it through its paces. Plus it seems when ever I talk to someone who is suppose to know their stuff in regards to computers they want me buying this insane system. I'm all for buying an insane system since computer hardware is a hobby of mine and I would love to have the latest stuff to play around with. The flip side is the longer I can prolong any upgrades the more money I can put away for that stupidly overpowered system that service no purpose other than that I think it is cool then repeat in another 5+ years.
With a 64 bit O/S, 4Gb of memory would be the same as 3Gb of memory on a 32 bit O/S. Increase your memory would be the best bet at this time.