AnsweredAssumed Answered

Need help choosing a Graphics card

Question asked by Joshua Koch on Aug 24, 2011
Latest reply on Aug 24, 2011 by Joshua Koch

Ive been using Solidworks, Catia, AutoCad, Inventor, and others for about 6 years, and ive been running those on a currently 7 year old dell inspiron 1501 laptop.  My current laptop is so old and slow i can only have one of these programs loaded into it at a time.


I finally am getting together enough cash to build a future proof system that i can use for light gaming and mostly drafting and rendering.


This is the build I was thinking of so far.


  1. Evga Classified SR-2 motherboard
  2. Xigmatek Elysium Case
  3. 2 - 60gb SSD's in RAID0 off the two SATAIII connections for the OS and Solidworks...should read and write at about 1gb/sec
  4. 2 - Antec kuhler 620's for the CPU's
  5. 2 - G. Skill Ripsaw 24gb DDR3 RAM at 1600MHz
  6. LITE-ON blueray, dvd, cd writer and reader
  7. Classified SR-2 1200W continous power supply
  8. 2 - Intel Xeon E5645 Processors OC to 3.6 GHz
  9. 2 - WD 1 terabyte HDD in RAID0 for everything else


My hang up is on the graphics card, ive been trying to read forums and alot of the ansers are 2 or 3 years old and graphics cards have made huge leaps over the past couple of years.  I am also hearing different views that Gaming Graphic cards wont work well with solidworks, but i do not want to spend alot of money on qquatro cards or firepro cards especially since they dont do gaming well at all.  I have 4 cards im trying to choose from and I have a couple of factors to my decision:


  1. I plan on starting conservtley and then expanding to 4 cards total eventually since the SR-2 has 4 16X slots not only for better graphics but for the processing power each card will provide.  So either I can get 4 consertive cards if they will run everything really well or i can get 4 high quality cards.  i dont know which one equals out to a couple of workstation cards
  2. Price
  3. Value
  4. I plan on soft-modding these so I can run real-view in Solidworks
  5. How well they will run cad programs
  6. how well they will run games
  7. the fact that i dont want a workstation card
  8. future proofing


The 4 cards im trying to choose from are:


  1. 2- XFX 6950 2GB GDDR5 in crossfire total of $550
  2. EVGA Geforce GTX 580 3072MB GDDR5 $590
  3. EVGA Geforce GTX 590 3072MB GDDR5 $730
  4. XFX Radeon HD 6990 4GB GDDR5 $730


Any help or advice that could be given on this would be very much appreciated, Im going to be building this systemm in a few weeks and im not sure what card will be best for the future to me choices 1 and 2 are pratically the same and if i had to have my pick between 3 and 4 i would choose the 6990 because i could run solidworks on 5 monitors in eyefinity mode.  thats what i mean by value and future proofing, not a lot of other cards could run 5 displays if i wanted to do that someday or maybe 3 monitors and a 3D projector, I dont know at this point thats why I want help with this choice from the Solidworks community.


Thank you very much


-Joshua Koch