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Looking for graphics card & processor recommendations

Question asked by 1-Q4ZHV8 on Mar 18, 2010
Latest reply on Apr 16, 2010 by Gary Wolfe

After talking with our VAR, I am looking into getting some new CAD stations for our Manufacturing Engineers.  The main tasks will be designing machining and assembly fixtures.  Assemblies will usually be 100 parts or less.  The some of product we design the fixtures around have surfaces and get a little more complicated than blocks with holes in them.

 

We are currently using Solidworks 2009 and Smarteam.  These computers also need to perform daily email, Word, Excel, etc. tasks.

 

We are locked into Dell.  I'm not looking for the hottest thing out there today, just a nicely capable machine.  No FEA or Flow usage.

 

The recommendation was:

-Precision 5500

-Win7 64 bit

-8gb ram min

-Nvidia Quadro FX3500

 

The two major remaining questions are which processor and which video card.

 

The processor range is quite great as far as speed.  I don't want to break the bank, but I want something capable.  At what speed do diminishing returns really start to kick in?

 

The FX3500 video card seems a bit old and isn't available on through the Dell site anymore.  Appears to be superseded by the FX3800.  Is that a good choice or are there other Nvidia cards to look at?

 

Right now we are currently using Dell Percision 360, 2.8Ghz Pentium 4 processor, 4gb ram, and Nvidia FX500 video cards.  I'm hoping for a mind boggling increase in productiviy as I spend a lot of time waiting and slow going today.

 

Thanks for any input.

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