Best Workstation For AutoCAD
Autodesk AutoCAD was first introduced to the world way back in 1982, but despite its age, it’s relevancy and popularity are still incredibly strong with professionals worldwide. The user-friendly interface and powerful features have made it an industry-leading tool for 2D design workflows and more recently has introduced powerful 3D design capabilities to expand its scope/appeal to new markets and users.
If you are new to Autodesk AutoCAD or an experienced engineer, having the right computer is essential for getting the most out the application to maximise your productivity and ensure a consistent, smooth experience. In this article, we explore all the very latest technologies available to create the perfect AutoCAD Workstation that delivers excellent performance while offering exceptional value for money.
What is the best processor for Autodesk AutoCAD?
Whether you primarily work with 2D or 3D designs within AutoCAD, fast clock speeds are essential. AutoCAD is mainly a single-threaded application and as such will not make use of the high numbers of cores and threads common in the high-end processors available on the market today.
To maximise your Workstations performance and budgetwe recommend selecting from the Intel Core i7 or i9 range of processors or the latest AMD Ryzen 7 or 9 processors. Both these ranges offer users incredible value for money and the very best clock speeds available today, making them the stand out choices for AutoCAD users.
If you are pushing into 3D design workflows and are planning on CPU rendering your designs, then more cores and threads will benefit you. CPU rendering is a multi-threaded process and benefits substantially from additional cores and threads. In this scenario, we recommend the AMD Ryzen 9 Workstations for lighter rendering workloads and AMD Ryzen Threadripper for heavier rendering users. For multi-threaded workflows in applications such as rendering in AutoCAD. We recommend AMD based workstation over Intel. AMD Ryzen offers more cores and threads, better value for money and still maintains high clock speeds that comfortably handle your 2D and 3D design workloads.
Should you buy Intel Xeon Based Workstation for AutoCAD?
Intel Xeon was traditionally the go-to processor for Workstations due to its professional features and strong reliability. In recent years however Intel and AMD’s consumer processors have come on dramatically and from our experience reliability is so close to the Xeon processors we cannot justify the additional cost. Furthermore, for AutoCAD use the additional features such as ECC memory support is not necessary and the stronger frequencies often found with Intel Core and AMD Ryzen processors benefit AutoCAD users far more.
What is the best graphics card for Autodesk AutoCAD?
2D design work is not hugely demanding on your Workstations graphics cards. We do recommend using a professional graphics card to guarantee a stable and reliable platform. Autodesk Independently System Vendor (ISV) certify the NVIDIA Quadro range of graphics cards to maximise system compatibility and reliability. Quadro’s drivers are also highly optimised to run Autodesk products, ensuring the very best performance possible for end-users.
Therefore, we recommend a low to mid-range NVIDIA Quadro graphics card with at least 2GB VRAM for 2D workflows. If you plan on working on 3D models or use another 3D design application such as Autodesk Inventor, we would recommend a 5GB+ NVIDIA Quadro graphics card.
How much memory do I need for Autodesk AutoCAD?
Autodesk is not very demanding on system memory and can work on as little as 8GB. We recommend, however, that users configure their Workstations with at least 16GB. Users often have more applications installed than just AutoCAD and the increase to 16GB ensures your system has the resources it needs as well as headroom for the future.
Having too much memory offers no performance gain and can quickly use up large proportions of budgets, but having too little can severely impact the performance of the system. If you plan on working on extremely large projects or use other applications that have higher memory requirements, then rest assure all Workstation Specialists systems are compatible with at least 32-64GB.
Best Storage Configuration for AutoCAD?
Storage drives have become more complicated with many different technologies and form factors now available on the market. We aim to make the choices simple.
Solid State Drives (SSD) technology are extremely quick and the best place to install your applications, active project files and operating system. SSD’s guarantee fast boot time and smooth/responsive workflows. If you have the budget, NVMe SSD’s are currently the fastest on the market although a SATA based SSD is perfectly suitable for a high-performance AutoCAD Workstation.
We would also recommend a secondary traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD) for long-term bulk storage because they offer by far the best bang for your buck. If you can stretch your budget to a secondary SSD for long term storage, this would offer the very best performance possible.