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Spec me a CAD/CAM PC for £900?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by MiSJAH, 7 Mar 2019.

  1. MiSJAH

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 30 Nov 2013

    Posts: 1,466

    Location: UK

    As per the title. A mate needs a CAD/CAM desktop with Win 10 and a keyboard. Work has given him a £900 budget.

    What's the best he can get for the money?

    Cheers.
     
  2. Armageus

    Don

    Joined: 19 May 2012

    Posts: 11,563

    Location: Spalding, Lincolnshire

    Why not a laptop?

    Could get a decent used laptop with quadro card for that I imagine - Dell precision or similar
     
  3. MiSJAH

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 30 Nov 2013

    Posts: 1,466

    Location: UK

    Employers preference.
     
  4. MiSJAH

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 30 Nov 2013

    Posts: 1,466

    Location: UK

    This is what I am looking at so far:

    Ryzen 7 2700 3.2 GHz 8-Core Processor
    Alpenföhn - BEN NEVIS 56 CFM CPU Cooler
    MSI - X470 GAMING PLUS ATX AM4 Motherboard
    Team - Vulcan 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory
    Western Digital - Blue 500 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
    Western Digital - Caviar Blue 1 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
    PowerColor - Radeon RX 580 8 GB Video Card
    Phanteks - Eclipse P300 Tempered Glass (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case
    Microsoft - Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit
    Logitech - K120 - UK Layout Wired Standard Keyboard

    Total including VAT and delivery is £887.21

    Any better suggestions?

    Thanks.
     
  5. Danny75

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 26 Aug 2013

    Posts: 8,056

    Already got PSU?

    Would be good to squeeze 16GB RAM in. Maybe if they have back-up at work he can ditch the 1TB mech.

    Seen a GTX 1060 6GB going for £189.99 which may be better than equivalent AMD for this purpose if apps benefit from CUDA. Plus less power.

    Ryzen 7 2700 3.2 GHz 8-Core Processor
    Cryorig M9a 48.4CFM CPU Cooler
    MSI - B450M Mortar Micro ATX AM4 motherboard
    Kingston - Predator 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 memory
    Western Digital - Blue 500 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
    Western Digital - Caviar Blue 1 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
    MSI - GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 6 GB GT OCV1 Video Card
    Fractal Design - Define Mini C Micro-ATX Mid Tower Case
    Microsoft - Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit
    Logitech - K120 - UK Layout Wired Standard Keyboard
    Corsair - TXM Gold 550 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply

    Total including VAT and delivery is £931.04

    Bit over but includes PSU and 16GB RAM, still keeping 1TB mech drive. No need for 550W but lesser wattage options weren't as good for the money. There are cheaper micro-ATX cases than that Fractal as well. And a bit cheaper 16GB 3000MHz RAM.

    Re: motherboard, Buildzoid thinks best budget micro-ATX choice if wanting to overclock a Ryzen 2700.
     
    Last edited: 8 Mar 2019
  6. MiSJAH

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 30 Nov 2013

    Posts: 1,466

    Location: UK

    Great stuff, thanks.

    Just been told storage will come from a NAS so only a small boot drive required.
     
  7. Danny75

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 26 Aug 2013

    Posts: 8,056

    Good news. And no problem, mate.
     
  8. gthlm

    Gangster

    Joined: 12 Jan 2012

    Posts: 107

    Location: Aberdeenshire

    Which cadcam software specifically?

    There is a lot of varying gpu support in this field. Many work fine on a non-workstation card, many do not.
     
  9. MiSJAH

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 30 Nov 2013

    Posts: 1,466

    Location: UK

    Fusion 360 is the main software they use.
     
  10. gthlm

    Gangster

    Joined: 12 Jan 2012

    Posts: 107

    Location: Aberdeenshire

    Fusion 360 is lightweight as far as cadcam goes. Uses DirectX (assuming you're going to be running Windows; OGL on Linux/OSX) for the viewport so it tends to work fine on gaming cards in all rendering modes.

    For general use the build you're looking at will work fine.

    One word of caution - for mission critical applications like cam, if you're using a consumer platform with non-ECC memory don't push for very fast memory clocks and timings. Stability and reliability is paramount, and random non-reproducable memory errors are something that I've experienced quite a lot on DDR4 platforms when pushing over 3000Mhz, even when the system has sailed through stress testing for hours.
     
  11. Finners

    Mobster

    Joined: 27 Mar 2009

    Posts: 2,593

    Quick google seems to say that fusion 360 and well all CAd systems really dont make use of multiple cores as the math that is actually being run in the background is hard to break up and needs to be calculated in order. I would say you need to be aiming for clockspeed over core count so current intel i5 or even an i3 would give much better results
     
  12. Danny75

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 26 Aug 2013

    Posts: 8,056

    This could definitely be looked at, if the other CAM, not CAD, stuff, wouldn't benefit from multi-cores either.

    Not all i5s and i3s would give better results though. Ryzen 2600/2600X/2700/2700X now match Intel Coffee single core where clockspeed is the same.
     
  13. gthlm

    Gangster

    Joined: 12 Jan 2012

    Posts: 107

    Location: Aberdeenshire

    I'd say that's pretty much legacy information. It certainly used to be true, but it's getting less so.

    Core usage is very much not a black and white thing in the cadcam world. Some softwares are better at it than others, and some functions are much friendlier to parallel processing than others.

    For the most part however, you can expect to see four cores getting loaded up most of the time, some functions will peg one core, and some functions will max the entire cpu.

    On the cam side, some toolpath strategies can take a long time to calculate on complex models, and some of them can be multithreaded quite effectively. Others are stuck on a single thread.

    IO bandwidth is a big deal on certain tasks as well, and the Ryzen platform has a huge advantage over low end intel cpus there.

    Ryzen is a strong platform for this kind of work. I don't like the idea of using non-ECC memory in a machine generating cam data, but Fusion 360 is very much on the low end as well and lots of people are using it on consumer level hardware.