Must Have Components of a CAD Workstation
Your CAD workstation has to perform well, or you risk some real problems with that next job. Selecting the right one is absolutely essential, but what should you look for as you shop? These tips can help.
• Solid Processing Core: Almost everything you do is going to be subject to the speed at which your core operates, so this has to be your biggest priority. It will define the level of performance your machine is able to give, and unlike other components, it’s fairly hard to upgrade unless you want to replace the entire motherboard, so purchase a core architecture that you’re happy with. A quad-core is the absolute minimum you should consider. As far as the Intel/AMD debate, you should be happy with either for CAD applications.
• Strong RAM: If your core is the single most important aspect of your workstation, your available RAM has to be the second big priority. You may be tempted to skimp here, because it can be much cheaper if you do, but more is always better. The bonus here, though, is that if you need to skimp because of price so you can get a stronger core, you can always add RAM at a later date. If you can afford it, go with at least 8GB.
• Hard Drive Power: You’re not going to be doing much without a good hard drive, too, and you have two basic options – the standard hard drive and a solid-state drive (or SSD). Which is right for you? It depends a bit on your budget. Standard hard drives are good, but for CAD machines that need high amounts of data on an ongoing basis, SSD technology really is a better investment.
• Graphics Card: NVIDIA Quadro for extreme performance and NVIDIA GTX for high performance and great value.
As you search for the ideal machine to meet your needs, take a look at our Computer Planet catalog. With a full set of options to help you get the best possible CAD workstation, you’ll find a number of fantastic choices available.