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Completely OT but CAD graphics card thoughts?

Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 2:01 am
by chrislandy
Being a Structural Engineer I'm pretty graphics heavy on the graphics cards, so the time has come to upgrade the graphics card on my workstation. I know there are a few people who use 3D modelling on here so maybe I can tap the grey matter?

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/$400-500, less if possible as this is an unexpected upgrade, more if necessary.


Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:04 pm
I've always used Nvidia Quadro graphics in my workstations, both desktop and laptop. They were the first to have certified drivers for SolidWorks, but I think AMD has caught up lately.


Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:58 am
by chrislandy
I've been guided towards the AMD W5100 and the NVIDIA GTX970 cards, the AMD is a certified workstation card but the other is a gaming card which gives me a little apprehension.

according to autodesk it now runs on directX-11 and shader 5.0 and have been told this is what the gaming cards run on so they don't need to be certified anymore? whereas they used to run on opengl ? and needed specialist W/S cards. I understand solidworks still needs certified cards to get the best out of it though - I don't use it very often now at all and mainly use autodesk products so I'm torn. I've always used W/S cards. This is my bread and butter so instability costs me money and time.