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Solidworks CAD Build

by dominic.vrolijks


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

Sept. 21, 2014

Date Built

Sept. 20, 2014

CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

38.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

92.0° C


This is my first build in more than 15 years.

I'm going to use this machine for running Solidworks CAD doing mechanical design.

I've tried to specify this machine for fast processing and data transfer to maximise the CAD productivity.

I didn't realise the case came with 2 fans, so the system has 5 fans in total. It still runs very quiet though, partly due to the SSD. I'm running 2 SSD's, one for the OS & Program files & the other for local data storage. This should maximise data transfer speed for large CAD files. I might replace the included fans with better ones, but I don't expect this system to get very hot. The graphics card is relatively small and specialised for CAD applications. I couldn't afford a better one yet, and this card is ok for what I need. I paid $216 for the Leadtek Nvidia Quadro K600. There is a big jump in price to the next spec Quadro card.

Start up is really fast. I haven't got everything installed yet but when I do I'll run some benchmarking on Solidworks.

The ASUS wifi adapter was easy enough to install, but it wasn't clear what the MAC address was, and it took a while to track this down so I could add it to my network allowed list of devices.

Comments Sorted by:

StonerAardvark 1 point 49 months ago

Nice build, that PSU is a bit overkill, though. I would have gone for a smaller capacity 80+ Gold, maybe modular.

dominic.vrolijks submitter 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

Thanks StonerAardvark, I spent a long time doing my research and looking at off the shelf systems that are about $1500 more than I spent. I chose this power supply because it was good value and so I can expand the system later with another HDD and upgraded graphics card.

StonerAardvark 1 point 49 months ago

Ah that makes sense now.

milesknight 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

I'm going to make a computer for my mom just on a much cheaper scale ($850). She will be using CAD just not for mechanical designs. (shes an architect)

dominic.vrolijks submitter 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

milesknight, do your research on the program your mother uses. Architectural programs are more like graphic design programs in their system requirements. She may be better off using a mac, as some architectural programs have better driver support and stability on mac's. Check the software requirements for certified graphics cards, a lower spec graphics card with proper driver support will be better than a costly card that isn't supported. Also, get some quotes for a dedicated system from a hardware partner and then use that as a guide to construct your own system. Also, the prices I have listed are what I paid in Australia. We pay a massive premium for technology here for reasons I don't understand.

milesknight 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

I did a little research and sadly the program she uses don't run on Mac. Although the recommended system requirements did seem a little strange An Intel Xeon or AMD Athlon 64, but only 2 gigs of RAM. but maybe im just not used to what ever might need to be the stronger components. Anyways thanks for the tips!

dominic.vrolijks submitter 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

2 Gig would be enough to launch the program & maybe open some files, but it will probably run out of ram really quickly and start using the swap space. Most programs like this will see some productivity loss until you give it at least 8 Gig of ram. Ideally I would have liked to have used 32gb, but this is only really necessary for me with data sets larger than 1 GB. Most of the datasets I work with are less than this so I shouldn't experience too much loss in productivity.

milesknight 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

I was going for 16 gigs.

leonccyiu 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

How is the 3d connexion mouse?

dominic.vrolijks submitter 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

Hi Leon, I can't live with out it. Not having it is like having my left hand cut off. If you do any type of 3D design work then I would highly recommend it.

leonccyiu 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

Sounds like its a bionic organ of yours now :) I don't do any 3d design work, it's a bit pricey for me to try for fun, but it looks so cool, I can imagine being on google earth on a projector with the wireless 3d connexion