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Budget CAD/Drawing Desktop

benckend

9 months ago

I'm looking at building a desktop primarily for architectural drawing and light CAD use. No heavy multi-tasking projects. I don't intend for this machine to be used for gaming at all. Some of the pertinent build requirements are listed below.

Budget: $500 USD.

This is for the machine only with no peripherals. Honestly, lower is better if possible. I'm not sure what kind of requirements I need but looking at the software I'll be using, it doesn't seem extremely high so I'm optimistic.

Use: CAD software/drawing and file conversions

Peripherals: None.

Don't worry about including a monitor or anything!

Operating System: Windows 10

Don't be worried about including this in the price. I'll probably just not activate a Windows 10 license for free.

I realize it may be cheaper to buy a pre-built machine. If you think so I'd love to hear your recommendations. I've just heard people had good luck with putting saving some money by building. Thanks in advance. I really appreciate any help I can get.

Comments

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU *AMD - Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5 GHz Quad-Core Processor $91.99 @ Walmart
Motherboard Asus - PRIME B450M-A/CSM Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard $79.99 @ B&H
Memory Team - Vulcan 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory $59.99 @ Newegg
Storage Mushkin - Source 500 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $55.99 @ Newegg
Case Thermaltake - Versa H15 MicroATX Mid Tower Case $38.70 @ Amazon
Power Supply Corsair - CX (2017) 450 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $39.99 @ Amazon
Operating System *Microsoft - Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit $99.49 @ SuperBiiz
Case Fan Thermaltake - CL-F011-PL12BL-A 40.99 CFM 120mm Fan $5.49 @ SuperBiiz
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $471.63
*Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-03-03 20:17 EST-0500
  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you so much! I was really curious to see if I needed a separate GPU or if AMD's internal processors would be enough. That definitely saves some money. I appreciate the part list.

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, those iGPUs are just about (Vega 11) or nearly as good (Vega 8) as good as an entry level GPU, so you should be fine there.

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

I realize it may be cheaper to buy a pre-built machine. If you think so I'd love to hear your recommendations.

For this budget your money will go a lot further with a refurbished Dell/HP workstation.... And you won't have to pirate windows to hit your budget target.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAC0F7E15121&ignorebbr=1

There's a computer for $340 that includes a legit windows 10 pro license and sufficient hardware for the intended use. The GPU is even a quadro so it's fully qualified for use in almost any professional CAD app you might want to run.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAC0F7E16934&ignorebbr=1

Bump up to $430 for a very fast quad core Haswell Xeon and a quadro K4000.

Double the RAM for another $40: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAC0F7E16599&ignorebbr=1

A Quad core hyperthreaded haswell E3 xeon with a K4000 and 32GB RAM will smoke anything you can build for under $500 that includes a legit windows license.

I mean really, this sub-$500 refurb will offer more performance than a lot of people use in real professional CAD environments. Tons of people out in the professional world running something that would be roughly on par with that $340 refurb and getting by pretty well.

These Dell Precision workstation class machines are actually very good quality rigs that often last a decade or more even in tough environments. They are built like tanks. Heavy rugged cases, very high quality motherboards and components, intelligent internals. These are not the el-cheapo Dell's you may have seen competing in the race to the bottom at department stores, going up against eMachines and Gateway computers of old. These are machines built to rugged standards that were very expensive new. Biggest customer of these machines is Government, the place with the printing presses.... No expense spared for this line of computers.

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow! Thanks. I'll definitely look into the refurbished market. Never thought to consider them. I really appreciate it!

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