Evatech Computers is a 100% Australian owned & operated custom PC provider, specialising in gaming, workstation, and home office PCs tailored and built to order to suit clients' exact needs and budgets.
Covering Autodesk AutoCAD, Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Inventor, and SOLIDWORKS, there is certain hardware that you'll want to consider for your machine. While a powerful and fast PC can be costly, we know that buying something that is not equipped for the task will end up being more frustrating and costly in the long run, so take your time and get it right!
With CPUs there are two main specifications that define how it is likely to perform:
Whether a CPU with higher frequency or higher core count is better for a particular use case depends on how well a program is designed to take advantage of multiple CPU cores.
In Autodesk AutoCAD, Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Inventor, and modelling in SOLIDWORKS most of the tasks are single threaded meaning a processor with a high frequency is an optimal choice. With currently available CPUs in mind, Intel's i7 is a great choice, or for those with more budget available Intel's i9 is of course a higher performing option. Autodesk's software does not seem to benefit from more than a few cores, so a CPU with a high core count is not necessarily a better choice.
With regards to simulation in SOLIDWORKS, clock speed is still important but simulation workloads will scale with increased CPU cores, and can benefit from more system RAM too. Because of this, Intel's Xeon, or AMD's Threadripper PRO CPUs can be considered, but if this is a small portion of the work you do then a consumer-grade CPU will still perform quite well at a substantially lower cost.
Keep in mind that while RAM requirements can vary per application, Windows itself and any background applications will use up varying amounts of RAM, so if you are the type to have a lot of programs running at once as part of your workflow, you will want to factor this in to some extent.
|Assembly size||Less than 500MB||500MB - 1.25GB||1.25GB - 3GB|
We still recommend using a professional class GPU from Nvidia as opposed to the GeForce range. While mainstream GeForce cards will usually get better performance per dollar, the downside is they are not officially certified for use in professional environments. As such, we highly recommend sticking with a Quadro/professional series card to ensure you can get full support from software publishers should you ever encounter an issue you need assistance with.
Sadly, in the relatively small market that Australia is - we do not always get the full choice when it comes to models Nvidia offers. We offer what is somewhat readily available at any given time, if you have any questions just contact us!
The GPU will be responsible for displaying the 2D and 3D models on screen, with only 3D models requiring anything more than a basic GPU so if you only work with 2D models you would be better served by spending more on a faster CPU, RAM, or SSD.
As typically expected, the faster the GPU the better the performance you get - however, it seems there is little to no benefit to using anything greater than a mid-range Nvidia professional card, such as the RTX A4000 which for some users may already be overkill. AutoCAD is also light on VRAM usage, so there's little reason to chase after cards with lots of VRAM.
The GPU is solely responsible for displaying the model on screen. Whilst more powerful GPUs can allow the model to be drawn at higher FPS (frames per second) when zooming, rotating, or panning, the GPU requirements for Revit are relatively low.
For most, the mid-range Nvidia professional card like the RTX A4000 will be more than enough. If you intend on using a GPU-based rendering engine within Revit you can consider the more powerful RTX A5000 or A6000, or potentially multiple GPUs.
The GPU will be the key component to offering performance in terms of frames per second to your 3D models and assemblies, with higher performing GPUs being capable of higher FPS.
In general, Nvidia's professional RTX A4000 is a great choice for small and medium assemblies. If you work with large assemblies, you can consider the RTX A5000, with the top-end RTX A6000 being overkill for all but the largest projects.
Before Solidworks 2019 there was little performance difference between the range of Quadro GPUs except at the very high end. Thankfully however, there is now a new feature: "Enhanced graphics performance" which when enabled has the GPU takes on much more of the work involved when displaying parts & assemblies. This also leads to a much greater difference in frame rates across the Quadro GPUs.
With the goal of smooth frame rates (30 frames per second or more), our recommendation is as per the table below:
|Assembly size||1080p (1920x1080)||4K (3840x2160)|
|Small (less than 1 million triangles)||Nvidia T600 or higher||RTX A2000 or higher|
|Medium (more than 1 million triangles)||RTX A2000 or higher||RTX A4000 or higher|
|Large (more than 10 million triangles)||RTX A4000 or higher||RTX A5000 or higher|
With the CPU, RAM, & GPU often taking so much of the focus when it comes to configuring a PC for CAD, the storage configuration can get left out, or is an afterthought when most of the budget is already spent... this can be a huge and costly mistake! If the storage is not able to keep up with the CPU, RAM, & GPU - it will create a bottleneck and then it will not matter how fast or capable other hardware is.
There are a few main types of storage options on offer today, and they all have their pros and cons, so it makes sense to know & understand them, and often use a combination of storage drives in the video editing PC.
For professional CAD work, we encourage a two-drive setup with the capacity and type of each depending on your desired budget and performance level.
External drives are a cause for concern as they are known to contribute to performance and stability issues. External drives should therefore only be used to move data to the PC - then work on it - and move it back onto an external drive if needed, but you should not be working directly from an external drive.
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