AutoCAD Workstation FAQ
Q: Does having more CPU cores improve AutoCAD performance?
A: Drafting in AutoCAD is not able to utilize more than a handful of cores. We have found that a CPU with the highest operating frequency will give you the best overall performance for general modeling tasks. Intel's mainstream Core i7 8700K currently offers the highest single-core clock speed, so that is our go-to recommendation.
Q: Do I need to use a Quadro card or is GeForce OK?
A: Autodesk only certifies AutoCAD to run on a short list of tested video cards, which are primarily Quadro models. We have not found any major performance difference between GeForce and Quadro cards in our limited testing, but we do advise following Autodesk's guidelines so that if you have any problems and need their support you won't be stopped by having an uncertified card.
Q: How much system RAM do I need?
A: The amount of RAM you need is going to depend on the complexity of your projects, but in general 4GB is the absolute minimum for AutoCAD. Our computers don't even offer options that low, though, and most users will be better off with at least 8 or even 16GB of RAM. If you run other applications alongside AutoCAD, consider their needs as well.
Q: Will a solid-state drive help me?
A: Yes! SSDs are much faster than traditional hard drives and in many cases can give a noticeable decrease in the time it takes to open and save files. Even without that, though, SSDs greatly improve the overall responsiveness of a computer - and since CAD files are usually not very large, even a mid-size SSD should have plenty of capacity.
Q: Do I need a Xeon CPU?
A: In the past, Xeon CPUs were more robust than their Core-series counterparts. Today, however, there is very little functional difference between the two Intel product families for workstations. Xeons models are not available with as high of clock speeds, though, and since impacts AutoCAD performance we recommend sticking with a Core series CPU.
Q: Should I get an overclocked system?
A: In general, we do not recommend overclocking for any professional workstation. Typically, the modest performance gains are not worth the downsides associated with overclocking which can include instability, shorter hardware lifespan, and potential data inaccuracies.
Q: Will these systems work for other design software?
A: Yes! Most modeling applications have very similar system requirements, so these workstations should also be excellent for almost any CAD, design, or architecture program. In fact, our recommended systems for AutoCAD, Inventor, Revit, and Solidworks are all similar for this very reason.
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