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Thread: ok PC-Pros, I need advice......

  1. #1
    Senior Member ~Patrick~'s Avatar
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    ok PC-Pros, I need advice......

    Heres the deal. I have my own business I run from the house. I do residential design and currently have several contractors that are repeat customers. I am running AutoCAD 2004 and Sketchup. When I do 3d modeling my computer sounds like a lawnmower in two feet of grass. It realllly bogs down. Currently running 80G HDD, AMD Athlon 2400+ 2GHz with 512 MB RAM + a 256 and 128 thumb drive I use to transport info. Windows XP. nVidia GeForce-4 MX440 64MB DDR AGP 8X

    My motherboard is ABit NF7 nForce2 ULTRA. Could I upgrade the processor or is it not worth it?

    #1 what graphics card could give me a significant improvement? Needs to handle dual 19" Optiquest View Sonics.

    #2 I wanted to get a lap top to be more mobile. Is it possible to get in a laptop what I have in my pc?

    T-10 complete
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    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO HOO' what a ride!"

  2. #2
    Real quick - before the real pros show up - I think the quickest and most immediate improvement would be more ram - max it out!

  3. #3
    Senior Member McDuff's Avatar
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    All you need is more memory. The noise is your hard drive being hit hard. What happens is with a memory intensive program, you run out of memory and then the program will start "storing" data on a "swap" file in the HD. Then whenver you do anything like panning or zooming the program has to retrieve this data and store "old" data everytime. This is affectionately called thrashing.

    Max out your memory slots before spending on anything else.

    Yes you can get that kind of setup in a laptop, any of the namebrand guys will have these.

    "Rather be ridin' than rollin'"

  4. #4
    If it was me I would upgrade the motherboard to something that could support up to 3GB of DDR2 RAM. Should You be able to afford it, I would also get pci express and a 256MB DDR2 PCI express graphics card(pci express = 16x compared to AGP 8x), otherwise which ever top of the line ATI or Nvidia Redeon graphics card out with 256MB DDR2 RAM AGP graphics card will work. I would also either go for an AMD 64bit processor or equivilant Intel 3.2Ghz P4 with Hyper Threading. I would avoid things such as celeron, and semperon. The dumbed down processors for the eccinomicaly minded email checkers.
    Trying to keep up when doing CAD and 3D Graphics rendering is difficult at best with the frequency at which they release new products. Trying to make an Okay system perform by applying bandaids always costs more in the end when you run out of bandaids and have to purchase or build a whole new system.
    Depending on cost I would even consider switching platforms from Windows based PC's to something a little more robust in the area of CAD and 3D rendering and look into a kick ass duel G5. In the end it all comes down to cost but the more you can sink into a top of the line system the more profesional you yourself look and the work quality reflects the high end equipment.


  5. #5
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    On first glance I would say video card would be the best bang for the buck, the GeForce-4 is a whimpy chipset compared to what is around today. I would think that your average ~$200 card would run circles around it, going up towards the high-end cards would make it look silly. Then looking at the rest of the hardware, you may find that the processor, HD, etc. are kind of slow as well. For about $1K you can have a smoking system with cutting edge tech to replace it. Check out the Dell 8400, research the options, and buy it when there are those 35% off coupons floating around. You will find that is the best bang for the buck in the computer world. Laptop wise, with the new Nvidia 6800Go mobile chipset that came out, a laptop is right up there with top end desktops (depending on clock speed setup by the laptop maker), so the days of laptops lagging behind desktop performance are over.

  6. #6
    I would consider switching to a macintosh. I am a web deseign student and run numerous high end graphics software with no problem. I have just recently switched from windows becouse my windows computer would get bogged down if I opened numerous applications. I believe a G4 PowerBook (laptop) would work great for you.

    Dave

  7. #7
    Senior Member ~Patrick~'s Avatar
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    anybody have an opinion of this?

    Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe nVidia Socket 939 Motherboard and 2 Asus GeForce 6600 GT Video Card

    found here at Tiger Dirrect

    T-10 complete
    10/08/01
    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO HOO' what a ride!"

  8. #8
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    Your running AutoCAD w half a gig and 64meg on your video. Whatever you do, you need more Ram; AutoCAD is the biggest hog I know of.

    You can add speed by increasing the memory on your video card. Get 512 ddr on you video card and a gig of ddr on your MB. Processor should be fine, if not you can take the video card and ddr ram with you. How fast is your HD? Less than 7200 get another

    Laptops are usually much more expensive to get close to the ability of a desktop.

  9. #9
    Patrick: It looks like "What's in the Box" totals $639.99, which seems a little high. Are you locked into building your own PC? I suggest that you do some more price comparisons, and I do like TigerDirect and NewEgg. I'll let other members chime in with their suggestions/opinions.

    http://www.fatal1ty.com/fat_store/

    http://www.alienware.com/main.aspx

    http://www.voodoopc.com/

    Since I use voice rec. I'll look for a good deal on an HP with an AMD 64 with the HyperTransport Technology or settle for a Dell with the Pentium Prescott.

    PN

  10. #10
    Patrick, I would reiterate what others have said: add more RAM and update your video card. Also, switch to a SATA drive if you're using an IDE interface.

    To help speed up the swapping, split your drive into two partitions: one for regular use and the other for exclusive swap use. Make the swap partition the first one [with respect to starting sector, not boot order].

    -Steven
    ...like a diamond, in the rough

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