Recommended Hardware Specs for Success

November 6, 2020 Ryan Wunderlich

You are ready to buy a new computer for your CAD workstations, and are confused or unsure what the best setups are for what you do.  You've looked at the Autodesk website, and have looked at their minimum specifications, but don't see a recommended or ideal one.  Here's a list of what I have put together for specs based on my own experience and usage:

  • Fastest Intel i7, Intel i9, or AMD processor you can afford (Minimum 3.0 GHz or higher) – Quad core or more if you have the budget (more cores is not necessarily faster, as most Autodesk Software is primarily single core/single thread)  The faster the processor, the better the performance will be.  (I generally steer away form Xeon processors, those have Server architecture and are generally not faster than a consumer processor)
  • 16 GB of RAM minimum, 8 GB might be okay for LT applications and Viewers, but as a minimum 16 GB.  You will want 32 GB or more if you are working with large models or animations
  • 4 GB dedicated Workstation class Video Card as a bare minimum (NVidia Quadro or AMD FirePro), You can probably make out fine with 2GB for most LT applications, but more is better, and it must be Workstation class – gaming cards will not cut it for performance.  When possible I recommend 6 GB or more, especially if you are rendering or handling large models or data sets.
  • If you can afford one, I highly recommend an SSD (Solid State Drive) as your primary drive (generally at 250 or 500 Gigabytes).  This will speed up the applications and operating system significantly, and since the cost has been coming down and the reliability is going up, it's an excellent way to get the most out of your machine.

So, in short, know your budget and start with the processor first, and then the graphics card.  For most machines you can add RAM later for less, so start with 16 GB, and if you still have the budget after those items, get the SSD.

About the Author

Ryan Wunderlich

Sr. Technical Support Specialist<br><br>An AutoCAD Certified Professional, Ryan is responsible for taking client cases and assisting with issues with the software - everything from regular glitches to software deployments and whatever else goes wrong. He's proficient in AutoCAD (including customization), VBA, LISP, and Civil 3D.

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