Working with CAD a lot ? Need a workstation which suits ? Sometimes there’s no point just throwing money at the most expensive options of workstation when you do not require extremely high specifications. But how would you know what is the best workstation for value & but yet be sufficient for work and project needs ? Where is that sweet point of balance where your workstation will be a productivity ninja which runs smoothly & efficiently but yet not compromise your budget? Do not let yourself be uninformed or be oblivious to the needs of the CAD tool & the suited workstation, and allow no computer salesman to con you into buying the most expensive just so they can obtain a high commission. Here at ASt, we work with CAD software of various kinds & we’d like to say we might probably be able to give our two cents worth of workstation purchase advises. But even more so, we believe in educating, and so we’ve summarised the necessities of a workstation & how it’ll play a part in your CAD works. Read on to gain an overview to better make an informed decision. This blogpost is to help you in giving the relevant basics of workstation, as a general knowledge,
Check out this neat little poster first to have the first four need-to-knows aspects of a workstation for CAD works.
Want to know a little bit more or gain an understanding about Hardware specifications & how it suits your CAD work ? Read on our series to know more.
First up we have;
Processor -Cores and Threads
Most processors these days have a minimum of four cores .The higher-end Intel i7 has 6 cores, Ryzen commonly has 8 cores, & the Xeons/Threadripper having over 12 cores or more.
Simple 3D modeling & drafting software (i.e. AutoCAD) is usually single threaded, requiring only one core to perform tasks.
More cores allow multiple simultaneous operations & hence faster processing + beneficial for simulation or rendering software (i.e. Inventor, FEA software).
A standard consumer grade quad–core processor with hyperthreading or SMT, is sufficient for most light to medium CAD workflows with a good return of investment.
Next up we have;
RAM or physical memory installed in your PC influences the number of & size of concurrent programs + datasets you can have running at a time.
or 2D CAD workflows, 8GB RAM is minimumly required & for 3D CAD applications, 16GB RAM is minimumly required.
More RAM allow running more programs at once & open bigger datasets, but don’t misunderstand that it makes the computer run faster in every department.
RAM must be matched for compatibility with the CPU. RAM can be classified as DDR3/DDR4 and has a frequency rating in Megahertz.
There are currently two main types of hard drives commercially available; solid state drive(SSD) and hard disk drive(HDD).
HDD contains a metal disk drive platter & they store + read data on their magnetic surface rotating at high speed, resulting to clunky, noisy, slower & less reliable (from moving parts).
SSD has no moving parts, is more compact, almost silent, reliable & has faster data transfer rate. SSDs are separated into SATA (600mb/s data transfer rate) or PCIe (2500mb/s) based on the communication bus they use. Most high-end systems are now default equipped with an SSD boot drive .
Graphics Card (GPU)
There is a misunderstanding that CAD’s demanding graphical workflows require powerful graphics cards (GPU). For example, Autodesk CAD applications graphics engine is heavily CPU dependent.
Performance increases when CPU clock speed is increased, with little reliance on GPU. Many CAD applications use the CPU for calculating what’s displayed on the screen, with the GPU mostly being used for storing texture information in the video memory on the card (VRAM).
Most Autodesk CAD applications support both the gaming (GeForce & Radeon) and professional (Quadro & Radeon Pro WX/FirePro) graphics cards. As a rule for CAD, ensure the GPU has at least 4GB VRAM.
And there you go, wasn’t too hard was it ? Just the basics of each aspect for a CAD.
Did you know that we provide Hardware – Laptops + Workstations for HP, DELL & LENOVO, to provide you with a complete technological solution with CAD software (Autodesk, Bluebeam Revu) that we already offer. Want to know a little bit more or gain an understanding about Hardware specifications & how it suits your CAD work ? Read on our series to know more. For purchase enquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 672 888.