Workstation for CAD with good audio-card.

Sofa-loafer

Active Member
Not been here for years, but theres nowhere better for advice...

I have a budget of upto £850 - 900.
I hope someone more plugged-in to the PC scene can help point me toward a bargain or two.
I currently use a Thinkpad but its not windows 11 ready and its time to upgrade so...

I'm seeking a workstation style pc, (desktop prefered but laptop if it's a steal).
I have Benq 32" QHD monitor and logitech MX master accessories, so just the business end of things.

Not sure about processors but I guess an i7 as a minimum?
I have my system attached to large amp so want quality audio-card capability?
I'm not a heavy pc gamer but do require heavy-duty CAD capable graphics card. (Solid Edge - Solid Works)
Sadly I need cd rom drive for old software.
A 500 SSD (minimum) hd plus floating connections for plugging in multiple old HHD's to collect old data from everywhere.
8Gb of RAM minimum.
Lots of usb connectivity req plus dual hdmi monitor setup as a basic requirement.

Help!

Thanks.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I think you'll struggle for that budget. The kicker will be the graphics card. A half decent Quaddro or even prosumer card is probably about half your budget before you start building.

Suggest you look at i5 rather than i7 and consider 2 drives, 1 for programs and OS, and the 2nd for data. This will bring about speed improvements that will equal or exceed the speed boost from the processor upgrade.
 

Sofa-loafer

Active Member
Thanks noise. I've only just decided to upgrade, so thanks for your thinking.

I'm so far out of the builder/buyer loop, its great to get barometer reading from those in the know.

Incidentally, I could up my budget a little, I'm looking for the sweet spot really. Which generation i7 & i5 is 'bang for buck' right now?

Thanks.
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
Ryzen is better for most applications it seems
As for a CD Drive, just buy a USB one.
GPU will be expensive (if you can get one)
 

Sofa-loafer

Active Member
Ryzen is better for most applications it seems
As for a CD Drive, just buy a USB one.
GPU will be expensive (if you can get one)
Ryzen better? I'd best seek a comparison review somewhere.
Ahh, yes. USB plug n play a good call on ROM. Noted.
Yes, things are taking a while to open up... I can wait I guess. Trawling the net like its 1999. Ha.
 

Sofa-loafer

Active Member
Yuk. Poor timing to research a new PC, Covid & Brexit has well & truly landed, it seems Mid range Ryzen kit is rare, like hens teeth...

Does anyone know if there's still good value to had, if I were to buy a higher spec PC this weekend? Despite the shortage? Perhaps £1250 - 1300 bracket? Are there any 'goldilocks' just-right systems in this price range? No worries. I'll dig deeper.
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
Yuk. Poor timing to research a new PC, Covid & Brexit has well & truly landed, it seems Mid range Ryzen kit is rare, like hens teeth...

Does anyone know if there's still good value to had, if I were to buy a higher spec PC this weekend? Despite the shortage? Perhaps £1250 - 1300 bracket? Are there any 'goldilocks' just-right systems in this price range? No worries. I'll dig deeper.
Keep an eye on hot UK deals. If you are interested in a laptop this is a great spec for the price. Dell G15 15.6 inch FHD 120Hz i5-10200H RTX 3050 8GB 256SSD (Ubuntu) Gaming Laptop, £551.09 with code at Dell - hotukdeals
You can pick a Windows 10 key up for about £10
 

Sofa-loafer

Active Member
Thanks D.

Having put the beer down, I'm thinking Ray-Tracing is vital for my upgraded caD system. The RTX 3060Ti looks promising or even the 3070?
Has anyone used these cards for rendering #SolidEdge or #SolidWorks assembly files (or similar)?
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
What sort of work are you doing? Unless you are modelling complex structures with complex lighting and then wanting to manipulate the view as smooth video in real time, quite modest video cards will do a great job.

I used to design exhibition stands and experiential displays using a few cad tools including Solidworks. I was using a high end workstation with twin Xeon processors, 16gb ram, 3 Ssds and a high end Quaddro graphics card, so everything was silky smooth, even at high frame rates and with all rendering options maxxed out. However, if I needed to visit clients I used an MSI i7 gaming laptop with an NVIDIA 950m chipset. It was still pretty smooth and only needed a few options reducing to give a really good render. Key to speed was having 2 drives and 16gb ram again, as this reduced drive access time - a major bottle neck if the design cannot be fully accommodated in the available memory.

Watching the sales girls try to run the designs on their laptops was very funny. One of them insisted on having a copy of the software we used for the larger events so that she could edit the designs at client meetings without needing me to attend, but her laptop was a typical low end business device with integrated graphics, single quite slow HD and limited ram. Watching the screen update about once every 4 seconds was painful for everyone involved.

Don't get me started on her general lack of spacial awareness. We did a lot of vehicle events and the client always booked too small a space and wanted to squeeze too many cars onto it. I built accurate models of all the cars with spacers to show how much room was needed to get the doors open etc. But quite often she would come back with the cars overlapping, let alone the spacers... "But I've promised the client it will all fit " was the plaintive cry...
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
Thanks D.

Having put the beer down, I'm thinking Ray-Tracing is vital for my upgraded caD system. The RTX 3060Ti looks promising or even the 3070?
Has anyone used these cards for rendering #SolidEdge or #SolidWorks assembly files (or similar)?
The issue is getting one, and the price. You'll pay at least £500 (unless you can get an FE model) for the 3060ti, which leaves little for the rest of the system.
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member

Sofa-loafer

Active Member
Looks like a great system. I'm tempted!

Will get back to you both. Working away. Thanks for the assistance. Looking forward to prices dropping over the next few weeks...
 
Last edited:

Sofa-loafer

Active Member
Ok, work put this build on the back burner, but now I have a spare day!

Prices aren't great but when do you jump in?
My budget is now £1500 - £2000 as I'm looking to invest in an all rounder, rather then upgrade my Xbox, I'm going back to PC gaming... :) so I've upped the budget spend!

I'm looking for a 5 to 7 year PC build, so an all PCIe 4.0 system. Built for mid-weight 3D CAD, Home Office, 1440p/4k Gaming, act as home server/Media Centre, with tasteful aRGB lighting, a good all-rounder, a multitasking, video editing, blender, adobe using work horse with raid1 storage 2 x ssd, (with already owned QNAP as raid backup). A daily driver that needs to be extremely responsive as a media centre as well as a rendering monster... and 3 year warranties are good to have.

Prob R7 5600 or 5800x?
RTX 3070?
Rog Strix X570E - as require home studio Audio quality, all PCIe 4.0 lanes, plus wifi etc only 2 NVMe/M.2 slots
16GB 3600 Mhz RAM RGB?
2 x 1tb M.2 NVMe - for quick access system plus games storage? *Is there a better way to do this?
Water Cooler? or huge fan?


Cases: Looking at Be Quiet 500DX (Budget) or a toss between Corsair400D & new Fractal Torrent.

Can anyone tune or optimise my thinking here? so it's not hacked together by a toe-dipping hopeful!

Ta.
 
Last edited:

Delvey

Distinguished Member
Ok, work put this build on the back burner, but now I have a spare day!

Prices aren't great but when do you jump in?
My budget is now £1500 - £2000 as I'm looking to invest in an all rounder, rather then upgrade my Xbox, I'm going back to PC gaming... :) so I've upped the budget spend!

I'm looking for a 5 to 7 year PC build, so an all PCIe 4.0 system. Built for mid-weight 3D CAD, Home Office, 1440p/4k Gaming, act as home server/Media Centre, with tasteful aRGB lighting, a good all-rounder, a multitasking, video editing, blender, adobe using work horse with raid1 storage 2 x ssd, (with already owned QNAP as raid backup). A daily driver that needs to be extremely responsive as a media centre as well as a rendering monster... and 3 year warranties are good to have.

Prob R7 5600 or 5800x?
RTX 3070?
Rog Strix X570E - as require home studio Audio quality, all PCIe 4.0 lanes, plus wifi etc only 2 NVMe/M.2 slots
16GB 3600 Mhz RAM RGB?
2 x 1tb M.2 NVMe - for quick access system plus games storage? *Is there a better way to do this?
Water Cooler? or huge fan?


Cases: Looking at Be Quiet 500DX (Budget) or a toss between Corsair400D & new Fractal Torrent.

Can anyone tune or optimise my thinking here? so it's not hacked together by a toe-dipping hopeful!

Ta.
To realistcily get a 3 series card, pre-built is the best way.
For £2000 you maybe able to get a 3080. Keep an eye on hotukdeals
Something like this:
Or
1629917772579.png
 

Sofa-loafer

Active Member
To realistcily get a 3 series card, pre-built is the best way.
For £2000 you maybe able to get a 3080. Keep an eye on hotukdeals
Something like this:
Or
View attachment 1560521
Yes, thanks. I've been lurking on the Sarden threads.

Do you know anything about Palicomp builds? They've quoted a couple of system ideas I've had & seem quite competitive. Any experience with them?
 

The latest video from AVForums

AVForums Movies Podcast: We review Dune and ask which is the best decade for horror movies?
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom