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Old 01-20-2016, 05:56 AM
chrislandy chrislandy is online now
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Workstation graphics cards

I know there are a few CAD users out there so....

OK so the time has come to upgrade the graphics card on my workstation.

I've currently got an AMD Firepro V5700 which has been great until now. AMD no longer support it (it's 5ish+ years old), it doesn't support 4k monitors, win10 drivers are not available and it's no longer certified for the software I use, mainly AutoCAD 2016 and Revit 2016, it's likely that when I upgrade to 2017 in a couple of months that it will get a little worse.

So far I've really liked the AMD Firepro workstation cards and will probably stick with them but tech has moved on so much in 5 years that I don't know what I need to look at anymore.

Requirements will be:
Autodesk certified drivers for REVIT and AUTOCAD
Dual 4k monitors with possible upgrade to 3 later
Win 10pro compatible but Win7pro support (while I check all the other software I use is compatible! - some are WinXP but just about works on Win7pro)
Budget - not sure yet but prolly around 300ish, (so $400-500) less if possible as this is an unexpected upgrade, more if necessary.


Thoughts?

Last edited by chrislandy; 01-20-2016 at 06:01 AM. Reason: wrong currency!
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2016, 09:40 AM
Shaun R's Avatar
Shaun R Shaun R is offline
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AMD FirePro W5100 or NVidia K2200 if you decide to switch. Both are 4gb cards and support at least 4 screens. Both are also on the Win10 list.
W2100 will save you some money if you're planning on upgrading in the future. I would probably lean towards a better card now then swap it into your new system.
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:20 AM
chrislandy chrislandy is online now
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The W5100 did peak my interest, someone has recommended a non workstation card, GTX970 based but as it's a gaming card I'm a little dubious.
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:16 AM
Shaun R's Avatar
Shaun R Shaun R is offline
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Go ISV certified if you plan on using any support from Autodesk. Gaming cards are for high refresh applications, they can work but not the best solution.
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Old 01-21-2016, 09:28 AM
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I asked a couple of my senior level designers and this is what I got back...

Some desktop options depending on usage, like 3D or visualization etc

Mid level system:
Intel Xeon Processor E5-1620 v3
AMD FirePro W5100 with 4GB GDDR5 memory. Can run up to 4 4K displays
Memory
16GB, 1866MHz, DDR3, ECC
Hard Drive
1TB 3.5inch Serial ATA (7.200 Rpm) Hard Drive

High end for Revit:
Intel Xeon E5-1650 v3
NVIDIA Quadro M4000 with 8GB GDDR5. Can run up to 4 4K displays
Memory
16GB, 1866MHz, DDR3, ECC
Hard Drive
1TB 3.5-inch Serial-ATA (7,200 RPM) Hard Drive

I tried to respond yesterday but the site was down.
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Old 01-21-2016, 09:48 AM
chrislandy chrislandy is online now
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Great, thanks.

I think I'll be going the W5100 route.

My current box is an i7 clocked to 3.2GHz, 16gb 1600MHz ram and a 256Mb SSD, all files are run off the network. The SSD made so much difference it's unbelievable. AutoCAD and Revit start up in less than 15s and are pretty stable, probably 1 crash every couple of months.

The largest revit files I use are about 50Mb so in the grand scheme of revit files, not large, but large enough.
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:09 PM
BudmanV24 BudmanV24 is offline
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Whatever you do, I'd snag one off ebay. I've always gotten my workstation cards off there, one year old or so for a fraction of new. The price drop is astounding.
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Old 01-22-2016, 03:45 PM
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PurdueSkier PurdueSkier is offline
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So I am a cadd user but I rely on a close IT friend from a previous firm I worked for. This is what he says

I don't have too much experience with purchasing the Workstation line of video cards. Certainly you or your friend would want to keep using these models (AMD FirePro or Nvidia Quadro series.)

I don't think you're going to be comfortable with a $500 card if you expect it to run 2+ monitors at 4K. You'd need to upgrade to the Quadro M4000 or FirePro W7000 at a minimum to maintain these resolutions at 60hz. These cards are at the $800 range. Again, i'm no expert on workstation cards but when you look at the comparison models both brands don't even talk about 4K resolutions until this series of chipsets.

We're using Quadro K620's at KH but are only utilizing 2x @ 1080p. This is a significantly lower performance card than the ones detailed above. Some of our older models are using FirePro 5900's.

Both FirePro and Quadro series have Autodesk certified drivers for at least 4 years from the card manufacturer date.
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  #9  
Old 01-22-2016, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislandy View Post
I know there are a few CAD users out there so....

OK so the time has come to upgrade the graphics card on my workstation.

I've currently got an AMD Firepro V5700 which has been great until now. AMD no longer support it (it's 5ish+ years old), it doesn't support 4k monitors, win10 drivers are not available and it's no longer certified for the software I use, mainly AutoCAD 2016 and Revit 2016, it's likely that when I upgrade to 2017 in a couple of months that it will get a little worse.

So far I've really liked the AMD Firepro workstation cards and will probably stick with them but tech has moved on so much in 5 years that I don't know what I need to look at anymore.

Requirements will be:
Autodesk certified drivers for REVIT and AUTOCAD
Dual 4k monitors with possible upgrade to 3 later
Win 10pro compatible but Win7pro support (while I check all the other software I use is compatible! - some are WinXP but just about works on Win7pro)
Budget - not sure yet but prolly around 300ish, (so $400-500) less if possible as this is an unexpected upgrade, more if necessary.


Thoughts?
What are you designing? TT member The Legend is an MC service manager and he's training for SolidWorks- is that something you could use?
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  #10  
Old 01-23-2016, 06:36 AM
chrislandy chrislandy is online now
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From what I've read, the W5100 supports 3x 4k monitors via displayport 1.2a ?

I'm a structural engineer so it's mainly building models up to 4 levels, my main software is Revit and AutoCAD but I have used solidworks a little on side projects (temp/trial licencing). I use the render options on revit quite a lot and it allows real time rendered rotation, which my current card has a few issues with as it's completely out of date now.

I'm oldskool when it comes to drafting (I started on AutoCAD R12 - well actually the drawing board!) so I use keystrokes more than ribbons/buttons so the larger the model workspace the better

The W7100 is over double the cost this side of the water so it's a bit of a push to justify the finance that one!
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