Low end(?) work PC

I have copyshop near a few universities and I have a bunch of printers and plotters for architecture and civil engineering students. 

I need to make a new PC. What kind of performance do I need for programs like CAD, Corel, Photoshop and so on?

Keep in mind that often students come with files that are 200 MB large (they're still learning) and it takes too long to work with them on my aging PC and it's affecting my business (time is money).

Note that it's not my plotters or printers or the connection that is slow here, it's the PC. I need to quickly be able to convert the large CAD files to PDF so I can print them (plotters and printers don't like big files)

I was thinking of getting an AMD APU and some High end RAM, but I'm unsure. Do I even need 8 GB of 1866 RAM? Or is 4 GB enough for picture editing and if so, should I use 32-bit Windows? Should I just buy an FX-4100 or an i3 and a dedicated GPU?

I don't plan to be playing any games whatsover, I already have a PC for that. Also, no video editing. Only picture editing and conversion. Are these CPU or GPU bound? So many questions...

for picture/video editing (or anything really) speed doesn't matter you can have 1333 and you will get near the same performance as 3 ghz ram. What you need is a strong processor and lots of ram i'd recommend 3770k for your purposes with googles of ram. start with 16 and go from there 16 should be more than plenty for anything you will likely be doing until you get into the uber high end stuff then you'll likely need 32 or more.

So I need regular RAM not VRAM? What about a GPU?

I Agree with rollymaster you need a fast cpu and lots of ram ]. but id like to mention that for most of that stuff a really nice GPU is as important, an APU will not do. I have an AMD gpu in my PC and they dont work well with most editing software. you need an nvidia card for fast editing (sadly for me)

To sum up: -fast cpu (i5 and i7 either one)

-lots of ram (8-16GB)

-nvidia graphics card with cuda (660ti or 670 should do the job)


6670 is still a hell of a beast.

Around $500.

$500???? i have a 6870 used that i got for $130 and im in Australia (only mention that cos everything here is more pricey)

The complete build is $500. My bad, I should've seperated those two sentences/phrases.

Have a look at a intel xenon with Hyper-Threading something like a Xeon E3-1230 V2 and a cheap nvidia card for the cuda core's no reason to buy amd for that kind of work.

I was not aware that a gpu was so important. Thank you Darkog. I would recommend going with any nvidia graphics card 650 or above or the new 700 series cards. Avoid amd as much as possible although if it works for editing then go for it however don't use amd for gaming they're not good.

A Xeon or a an i7 or even an i5 is a bit of an overkill for me. Remember, I'm running a business here and I need to go as cheep as posible. I only need to access the files and print them and occasionally convert them to lower size files for plotting.

Would an A10-5800k be a good choice over the FX-4300 and an HD 6670?

EDIT: I don't intend to use it for gaming. At all. Ever.

You may find this site helpfull in comparing cpu's for the work your going to be useing them in http://www.anandtech.com

Do you need to store large amounts of data on the PC for long periods of time? If not then I can put together a build with an SSD.

No, not really. I was thinking of buying two cheapest HDD and making a Raid 1 so if one fails (students bring in lot of viruses) I can switch to the other one.

I'll need enough memory for Corel DRAW, AutoCAD and Office. A few other programs, but all small.

EDIT: I don't think an SSD would help, as most students bring in USB sticks and I print directly from them.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/17JZI What do you think of this build? The NVIDIA card will let you take advantage of CUDA, the low CAS latency RAM helps with editing, and the i3 CPU is a dual core but it has hyperthreading. All in a small microATX form factor.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/17K3b New build without SSD.

The i3-2100 has hyperthreading? I didn't know that. So it has 4 threads right? Like the AMD A10.

Will the i3-2100 outperform the FX-4100 or the A10-5800k? (the A10 is only 10 bucks more)

According to Anandtech's office productivity benchmarks the Intel is the way to go. And yes it has 4 threads.

Could I use my old HD 6850 with this? (and buy myself a better GPU) Are the CUDA cores really that important?

The CUDA cores aren't that important, the 6850 would be a lot faster than the 650. Buy yourself a nice GPU (;