View Full Version : CADD Desktop Advice

07-25-2006, 04:18 AM
One of my guys at work has a son who's attending Georgia Tech as a mechanical engineering student...he's currently using a Toshiba laptop (sorry I don't have any of the specs on it except that it's running winxp) and has found that when using CADD software the laptop seems to get overwhelmed and overheated

He's decided that he'd rather switch back to a desktop and wanted to know what kind of computer to get - if you'll notice I haven't specified between a pc or a mac

I had suggested that he probably wanted to stay with a pentium and to opt for either winxp home or pro but stay away from winxp media center

He's going to be using CADD software as well as a heavy-duty 3-d rendering software (I don't remember the name of it)

If anyone has any suggestions I'd greatly appreciate it - of course it would be lovely if someone had a suggestion for a shelf model that would be fantastic :) but a customized brand would be fine too

Thanks for your help!

07-25-2006, 04:53 AM
Chances are the software will be designed for Windows. If he gets a new system it will be the ram that decides how the program runs. The more ram the better. XP Pro would probably be best, media center would be okay to. I'm going to guess the other software he will be using is likely CATIA. I've installed CATIA on my laptop and it does take time for it to start up but once running it seems to be okay. I have 512mb of ram. I say at least 1GB should allow it the software to run better but if he intends on running both programs at the same time then expect system performance to slow down. When it comes to 3D rendering Alienware tends to be okay but Dell bought out Alienware so I'm not to sure how well they will be now. Hopefully their quality won't change. The computer he gets also depends on how much cash he is willing to shelve out.

07-25-2006, 04:56 AM
I shoulda thunk to ask you first *chuckles*

thanks aero

while I can't say that money is no object it would need to be a machine that he wouldn't have to update for the rest of school (2 years)

I also heard on the radio this morning that ATI was getting bought out by someone so should there be concern about the video card?

07-25-2006, 05:08 AM
Nvidia graphics cards are probably best. At school, we bought a super computer, it has 1 Terabyte of storage, 4GB of ram even though Windows can only support a little over 3.5. Nvidia Quadra graphics card. Two 19 inche flatscreen lcd monitors. I haven't heard about ATI being bought out. Where did you hear this? Do you remember who was going to buy it out? Depends on who the buyer is in order to decide whether you should be concerned or not. I've had my laptop for about 4years not and as long as you keep it update with drivers and stuff, clean of spyware, it will last you a while. Storage is my main issue. I would like to get more ram in the future since my laptop is now out of warranty. As a college student though, a Dell might be okay as they have that warranty for accidents just in case the laptop is dropped or something like that.

07-25-2006, 05:26 AM
If AMD's shareholders approve the $5.4 billion purchase of ATI Technologies, AMD will become the largest maker of standalone graphics chips on the planet and one of the largest producers of integrated chipsets. It may also give AMD early access to Intel product plans.


this was the closest article that I could find to what I had heard this morning - I had heard it on 970 WFLA - all that I remembered was that it involved ATI and $5.5 billion

07-25-2006, 05:47 AM
This could be a good thing as AMD already makes pretty decent processors. I still recommend an nvidia graphics card for 3d rendering.

07-25-2006, 05:59 AM
so an off-the-cuff recommendation from you would be...

at least 1 gig ram
at least 250 hdd (or 2nd drive)
nvidia graphics card
winxp pro (media center is ok too)
possibly dell laptop because of the "accident" warranty

so basicly a shelf system would be ok if it has the nvidia graphics card

sounds good to me :)

forgot to ask if that would be a pentium or amd?
thanks aero :)

07-25-2006, 10:21 AM
250 might be a bit excessive. If he intends on having music, movies, and a lot of games then maybe. Might as well get the media center edition. The processor really won't matter but if its a laptop then AMD Mobile might be best.

07-26-2006, 05:01 AM
Got two laptops here. As weird as it might sound, after some tests with Auto Cad, it seemed Pentium M(1.73GHz) was performing better than AMD 64(2200Mhz). So I think the video card was making the difference there. Also to note, pentium seemed to be hotter.

I guess if 512 RAM, and 128Mb video memory work fine on a laptop, they should also do the trick on a desktop. As far as the hard drive goes, it will depend on how he plans to use the computer.

07-27-2006, 03:58 AM
AMD-ATI deal