Best computer configuration for a CAD learner?

What is the best value for money computer configuration for a CAD learner.
Which are the definitely HAVE's and DON'T's.

NOTE: The person is more like a student and not a professional so he can't spend $'s on very classy, high end stuff.

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8 Answers

For $600-$1000

CPU: i3-2130 (If you can afford it get the i5-2500K) The i3 is $60 cheaper but the i5 has 2 more cores and can be overclocked. Keep in mind the CPU speed is the most important factor for most CAD applications so it pays not to skimp on the processor.

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68, The Z68 motherboard can take advantage of Intel Smart Response to use the SSD to increase the read/write speeds of a tradition, high capacity hard drive.

RAM: 8GB DDR3 1600, Brand doesn't really matter but I prefer Mushkin or Corsair.

GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6770, I am recommending a Gaming card because in the $150 range you are better off with the flexibility the gaming card offers. Stay away from NVIDIA GeForce cards as they do not play nice with SolidWorks or other CAD applications (If you really want a dedicated CAD card get a ATI FirePro V4800 1GB)

SSD: OCZ Solid 3 60GB, SATA III 6Gb/s. For the price you can't get any faster. Up to 500 MB/s Read, up to 450 MB/s Write for under $100.

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB, 6Gb/s. Unfortunately the price of HDDs has gone up due to the flooding in Thailand.

Power Supply: 500W-600W, Leaves room for upgrades without having to invest in a new PSU. Stick with name brand (Corsair, CoolerMaster, Thermaltake, OCZ) Modular PSU is nice but not necessary.

Case: Antec Three Hundred, Cheap, good cooling, well built.

OS: Windows 7 64bit

Hope this helps! If you have any other questions feel free to shoot me an email.

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For around 22k in India I bought the following config just 4 months ago!!
i3 2100, intel dh61ww motherboard, 2gb ddr3 RAM, 500gb hard disk and ATI Radeon hd 5670 GDDR5 1gb.
It works nicely for solidworks, but slowwws down for keyshot renderings.
And all hardware prices have gone up nw!
And I agree wid Scott about ATI being better than NVIDIA!!

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Hi Pranav
Scott Bruins is the man to ask about that kind of stuff on GrabCAD
he is a computer wizard with all the information you ever need to know....

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must hv's
*good processing power and ram (core i3 will do f9 with 4GB ram)
*good graphics card (any entry level that software recommended)
*screen size also matters
*good power supply
*OS should be 64bit
these r essential thing....

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well i'm a learner and my configuration is...
Asus P5Q-VM G45
Asus ENGTS 450 SLI
Core 2 Duo 2.93 GHz LGA775
Samsung B2230 22"
Segate 1TB + 2 x Segate 500GB...
Windows XP Professional SP3 x86

Well my stuff works fine... and even the games works great....

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i have :

intel i 7
nvida graphics - can't remember spec
4gb ram
17 inch hd screen with 19 inch external monitor
3d connexion mouse
logitech mx laser mouse

had this a couple of years and cost me around £1500 in a laptop. desktop is usually cheaper.

Where you looking to buy from?

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bhai mera 1 saal pehle 48000 ka pada tha... ab tu khud dekh le ki ek saal mein kaafi price down ho gya hoga!!

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A used hp xw6400 or Dell precision 490, dual Xeon 5160 CPU's and an nvidia quadro fx3500 graphics card. I have the hp with 6gb memory and find it performs well on small to medium sized models with autodesk inventor.

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