Description

Drafting PC AutoCAD & 3D modeling / Architectural Visualisation.

This is a Silent 3D Modeling & Drafting Workstation. Will be predominantly running Autodesk AutoCAD 2016 and occasionally doing 3D modeling and rendering in SketchUP Pro & V-Ray. It will also have Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop.

In order to keep the build silent all case fans have been upgraded to Noctua NF-F12's replacing the Fractal Design 120mm fans included, and the stock CPU cooler was upgraded to the Noctua NF-U12S. The sound dampening material helps keep the noise levels down also.

CPU

The Xeon E3-1241v3 is a pretty powerful CPU for the Price. It is essentially an i7 without the on-board graphics and gets a slightly better score than the i7 4790.

RAM

I went with 16GB DDR3 1600MHz (2x 8GB Dimms) to leave room for upgrading to 32GB in the future if needed.

Motherboard

Asus Z97M-Plus is a very reliable MB and gives room to upgrade to the i7 4790K in the future and still allow for overclocking.

Storage

Samsung 250GB 850 EVO for Windows & Applications. Very fast Boot times!!! WD Red 1TB for Dropbox and Mass storage. My client wanted to prioritize high reliability when it came to storage hence the RED Drives. I would however usually recommend WD Black Drives due to the great performance. The Fractal Design Define Mini has plenty of spare HDD slots so adding more drives in the future will not be a problem.

GPU

The Quadro K2200 was a bit pricey for the performance but it was a requirement from the client and AutoCAD will love it. If I had my way I'd have put a GTX 970 for around the same money. It is however very quiet so it does help in the silence department

Chasis

The Fractal Design Define Mini is a beautiful mATX case and has great silent properties. The Client wanted it to be microATX and it came down to either this case or the Corsair Carbide 88R. The Define Mini won out on both looks and silence although it is around 3x the price. the case has plenty of upgrade potential in the future and lots of cable management options which makes airflow fairly good.

PSU

The Corsair CS550M is a very good PSU for the Price. It's Semi-Modular so great for Cable Management and it's 80+ Gold should provide nice clean efficient power without adding too much heat. I would have liked to have used the SeaSonic 520W 80+ Platinum Fanless PSU, but it was out of budget and the Corsair PSU Shouldn't be too loud.

Cooling

I've decided to go for a positive air pressure setup with 2x Noctua NF-F12 intakes at the front and 1 NF-F12 exhaust at the rear. If I need any more cooling I have the two spare Fractal design Case fans to add if needed but I doubt overheating will be an issue with this build.

Part Reviews

CPU

Amazing CPU easy to force into constantly running at 3.9Ghz with Asus Z97M-Plus. And then minor overclocked base clock to 103mhz bumps it to 4.0GHz stable.

Storage

Very fast boot times. Amazing drive.

Power Supply

Great PSU. The Modular Cables are great for cable management but I wish the 24pin connector had all black Cables.

Comments

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

which program do you use for 3d modeling?

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm using AutoCAD 2016 & SketchUp Pro 2016.

SketchUp won't have very much improvement with the Quadro but AutoCAD really loves it.

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

I love 3d modeling, man! Why don't you show me some of your finished proyects?

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Finally someone who actually uses a quadro for modeling. How does it perform?

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

It's doing really well... I Love it.

Price to performance wise a GTX card would do just as well. But the Professional drivers / Software support are very welcome. Because silence was a factor in this build also the Quadro's are very quiet even running at 100% load.

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build man, looks like a good workstation! :) You don't see as many of these around here, especially with a workstation card.

BTW, I have a question concerning the Quadro cards. I'm planning to build myself a workstation for digital painting and a bit of 3d, under Linux. Would the pricier Quadros have any benefit if I'm primarily using 2d programs like Photoshop (or Krita, rather, in Linux) and only making rough models for painting-over in 3d? Would the answer change if got deeper into 3d? As I understand Quadro vs. Geforce is a bit complex because the Geforce cards give you much more power for the same price, but the Quadro have better drivers and features for pro applications. So I'm a bit confused over this, LOL.

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Hi Sagittarius-A-Star, Thanks for your kind words. I personally wouldn't recommend a quadro for your situation. The only reason is that most 2d and an increasing number of 3d applications are no longer favouring the more expensive quadro's, the exception being some CAD systems. I would recommend getting a newish GeForce card, something like the 960 would be enough for nearly anything you through at it in a professional workload.

Price to performance, GeForce will usually win.

I hope this is helpful.

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you for your answer! Sorry for the late reply, I didn't check back here for a while. It's great to know that I don't need a Quadro for my workload. I noticed that Quadros cost much more for any particular performance point, and they aren't good for games. If the 2d applications I use don't even favor Quadros over Geforce, there is no reason not to go with a good Geforce.

Thanks again, this was very helpful. I won't have much trouble picking parts for my first build now. :-)

  • 41 months ago
  • 2 points

Very helpful thread! To the OP, would you say the same about GeForce vs. Quadro for CATIA and ABAQUS? I am planning to build a workstation that I can game on too (Fallout 4, CS GO, GTA V) Thanks! +1 for a workstation, I wish there were more of these around on here!

  • 41 months ago
  • 3 points

Hi saudjhassan, I don't have experience with Catia & Abaqus specifically but if Solidworks is anything to go by, I would definitely recommend a workstation GPU. In Solidworks, in nearly every benchmark a Quadro K620 outperforms a Titan X!

I would recommend: Quadro K620 for 1080P screen and smaller models (1.5million triangles MAX) and K2200 or M4000 for larger models or 4K screen.

AMD firepro should also be OK. I don't have experience with them though.

CPU With regards to the CPU, I know that Solidworks doesn't benefit that greatly from large core count so I would recommend an i7 6700K or similar.

RAM Rule of thumb: 5GB + 20x (filesize of the assembly you want to work with) for example if you want to work with assemblies of 250MB then you'll need 10GB of RAM. The speed of the RAM won't effect performance that much.

As I said before I'm not specifically familiar with those two programs. but often the underlying graphics engines are reused within the same company.

I hope this is helpful. Anthony