$1,000 Revit/CAD System Recommendation?

Hola, I've come to check that my recommendations for a friend's build are correct for his needs or if some changes are in order. He will likely be doing a decent amount of gaming with the more resource intensive titles, so it would be nice if it could keep up or at the least be upgraded easily if needed. Mostly though, he needs a system that will perform well with CAD/Autodesk/Revit programs.

He's currently using a laptop with an i5 and says it isn't a pleasant experience on either end. I'm not sure the make or model but I doubt it's high end. He's looking to build a system with a $1,000 CAD budget so I put together this list for him. I priced it on NCIX for $1001.54 CAD before shipping but I don't know how to link it so I made a Newegg wishlist. :D


Of course this leaves him with the option of SLI if he finds it necesarry and I've already strongly recommened making an SSD a priority upgrade when he can afford it. Other than that I think this should work for him, but I don't have experience with CAD software and I'm not sure what it will really benefit from or not. So, I have a few questions but please enlighten me if I'm not aware of some key factor(s).

  1. First, is Intel the way to go or would a cheaper AMD with physical cores produce better results?
  2. Also, is a socket 1155 the way to go or is 2011 better and even possible within the budget?
  3. Will RAM capacity, speed, frequency, timings, etc. make a noticable impact?
  4. Will the GPU be utilized and would it be better to focus on that than the CPU?



 Edit: Just got an answer on the laptop model... /sigh... just... here it is!

Macbook Pro i5

Model Number A1278

Socket 2011 isn't suitable for that budget - if he had $1600, it would be easy. If he isn't using that much storage, you could get a 120/128GB SSD instead, as that would provide much faster speeds, but wouldn't really be noticable in the game. Personally, I would go with an AMD 7870; it should give you a bit more bang for your buck. Other than that, if you did use an AMD (such as an 8350) you would save enough money to be able to get an even better GPU, like a 7950.

Yeah, I initially recommened the 7870 as I'm fairly certain it would, in both instances, perform better for the cost. After I mentioned the benefit of CUDA though, he decided to go with the 660. I'm not convinced it's a healthy trade off but he seemed set on it. I am curious though to know if it will make much of a difference. After all, even in a laptop I would expect an i5 to perform reasonable but he claims its molasses. I'm assuming its more likely a botteneck, but it could just as easily be with the RAM as the GPU.

lol, cad is more single threaded than minecraft.... cuda will only help in 3d rendering... ram will help, as will using an ssd as the working drive.

get 16 gigs of ram, an i5-3570k, gtx660 or 7850, and a 256 gig ssd

I agree with Commissar. I'm a designer/drafter at an Architecture firm, and I use CAD and Revit all day. Stick with Intel instead of AMD for the speed per core.

For modelling, the more RAM, the better. 16 gigs is the MINIMUM you should be getting for a Revit machine. A medium model eats about 11 gigs of RAM easily. Get lower latency RAM if you can. 

That being said, you can get the 2600k at Canada Computers for $299 right now. Take the extra 30 bucks out of the processor and put it into better RAM sticks @ CL9 or lower. The G.Skill Ares sticks are in around that range.

Ahhh... great info! Thank you guys!

So then I'm guessing his problem with the laptop is that he's only running with 4GBs of RAM and its probably shite to boot. Between that, the low clock of the CPU, and the likely 5400-5900 RPM HDD it's no wonder he's having such a hard time with it.

In that case I'm gunna rework the build with a 3570k and focus on higher quality RAM. I'm gunna go for 2 x 8GB DIMMS as that will allow him to upgrade to 32GBs in the future if he finds it necessary. After all, I'm not sure its going to be a long term focus for him but it needs to be viable if it is. I'm gunna stay with the 1600 as I'm reading that single threaded processes likely won't utilize the higher speeds. Correct me if I'm wrong please!

Other than that I think an SSD is the only other thing to look into, but I'm not sure anything over 120GBs is going to fit in the budget. Would an SSD Caching be viable or would he be better off with the full bandwidth of a lower capacity drive?

One more note... will the Hyper 212 be suffecient for a decent overclock? And if he went with it, would it be worth the money to upgrade in the future to something like an H100?



Edit: Updated list, overall $999.52 CAD on NCIX atm! Only off by 48¢!!


it looks good, he can always add an ssd later. the hyper 212 evo should be fine, as long as your not planning on going over 3.8ghz oc

I believe that if you really want to overclock you shouldnt get an H100. Im not sure but i think you can get about the same performance with one of those noctua air coolers.
(anyone please correct me if im wrong.)

Have you seen the size of those things though? Not that the H100 is small but they both perform about the same from what I've seen and they're around the same price. Idk... I guess I'm just a bit predisposed to water cooling solutions.