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CAD Workstation Upgrade - Help needed


New member
Hi All,

This is my first post on this forum and i'm hoping that some of you out there are more experienced than I am with suitable hardware choices for CAD workstations. I am in desperate need of an upgrade as I am using a vastly outdated machine with sub standard components.

I undertake CAD work as a side line to my main employment so I do need to be conservative with my cash, however I do want to make sure that I have a machine that is not going to crash/hang/struggle to display entities etc etc which is what I am currently dealing with. Consequently I don't really have a budget as such, but am hoping not to exceed £1k.

My main CAD package that I will use is Autocad MEP 2015. This will mostly be used to create 3D ventilation and plant layouts to high end residential homes, consisting of on average 3 to 4 floor levels, with a virtual model of the building and floor levels also. My current thoughts on what to purchase are as follows:

Processor - Intel Xeon E5-1620 V3 Quad Core 3.5GHz - £242.99
Heatsink - Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo - £29.99
RAM - Corsair Vengeance LPX 2133MHz (4x8GB) DDR4 2133 - £174.99
Graphics Card - AMD Firepro W4100 2Gb GDDR5 - £134.99
Motherboard - Asus X99-A (Intel X99) - £200.00
Power Supply - Corsair RM 650X - £82.99
Primary HDD - Solid State 120gb - Already Owned
Secondary Hard drives - 2x Sata 500gb WD Seagate - Already Owned

Ive looked at the minimum recommended system requirements on the AutoCAD website for MEP 2015 and tried to base this on that, but also to overspec a bit so it lasts a fair while. Any comments that you can offer as to where I can either save money or where I would perhaps need to invest more that whats specced would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance


Your spec looks pretty solid. You have a robust Xeon processor and dedicated 3D graphics card in there - which are always my main starting points. I used to build my own machines but can't be bothered to worry about board and component compatibility or cooling any more. We just use Dells - where these issues have already been resolved and maybe add RAM as this is always cheaper from people like Crucial.

I generally say go for the highest spec processor you can afford, ideally the best graphics card as well - RAM and HDs are easy to add to later provided the case allows.