A new PC (mostly) for CAD under $900?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by johnbro23, Feb 4, 2005.

  1. johnbro23 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #1
    This architecture firm downtown offered me a job if I send in a portfolio of the work I've done (drawings and CAD stuff). I'm a junior in High School and I want to be an architect, so this is a huge oppurtunity for me. My old computer can't handle the programs I'm trying to use, so I'm trying to convince my parents to buy a new PC. I think I'm close to convincing them.

    I can't spend more than $900 (or so), and I need one thats good for CAD programs (AutoCad, Architectural Desktop, and 3ds Max). I don't want it to be ****** for games, but I'm not too concerned about that. I also want a 19+ inch display that would be included in the $800.

    Do you think I should go with Dell? Which model? Or would you suggest another company? And if so, what model?

    Hopefully I can get some help from MacRumors, even though its not a PC forum. Do you know of any PC forums?
     
  2. Mav451 macrumors 68000

    Mav451

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Location:
    Maryland
    #2
    I'd suggest you post this in [H]ardforums or PCPer, but you may be ridiculed if you are a newbie.

    Do you have a friend, an experienced PC builder who can help you build one? B/c $900 (including a 19" monitor) will have to be a self-built, otherwise you are buying into last year's technology with that budget.

    If you are going to go with a 19" LCD, and you can't build it yourself, the options are much more limited (e.g. Dell). LCDs add $300-400 easily to the cost of a setup, so I would strongly consider the option of building one yourself if you want to be using a PC with this year's technology.
     
  3. Timelessblur macrumors 65816

    Timelessblur

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    #3
    Autocad is going to run you over 300 bucks for the student verson of it. Just figure I would warn you. Autocad is around 3k for retail
     
  4. johnbro23 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #4
    Well I don't need the fastest stuff. I just need to get my work done (and not go crazy in the process). I'm definitely getting a gig of ram. I looked at Dell.com and found this one. Its decent:

    Dell 4700
    3GHz P4 HT
    1 GB (2X15) (how many slots does it have?)
    80GB HD
    19"CRT
    128MB Video
    Integrated sound (should I upgrade for $20?)
    Basic everything else

    $926

    Do you think thats an OK system? Or should I "degrade" something that I don't need?
     
  5. johnbro23 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #5
    I got stuff from my teacher. Its probably illegal, but I'm definitely not going turn it down if its offered to me.
     
  6. andypress macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    #6
    I would check out dells small business, because a workstation gfx card would be much better suited, although more expensive.
     
  7. cmvsm macrumors 6502a

    cmvsm

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    #7
    Seems to me that you could build a better system for about $700 and another $200 on a good flat screen 19" CRT.
     
  8. johnbro23 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #8
    Are you talking about leterally building a system? Because I can't do that. Theres no way the parents would approve, especially since they're paying for half.
     
  9. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #9
    Why are you asking about building a PC/Windows system on a Mac forum?
     
  10. believo macrumors regular

    believo

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #10


    I am a draftsman at an architecture firm. We do not own a machine over 500 mhz or one with over 512mb RAM. We run autocad and even some 3D programs fine. People tend to over-estimate the amount of power they actually need so I'd say your more than fine with that system. hope that helps
     
  11. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #11
    Hey, occasionally I need advice about Wintel stuff. The people here are generally a good resource for either. I would hope that I could get information about PCs without having to join a whole new forum.

    I happen to be bi-platform as well since stupid AutoDesk won't port AutoCad to OS X.
     
  12. edwardlanti macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Location:
    new york city
    #12
    hey i have this pc that i built myself if you are interested, i dont use it no more cause i just bought PB.


    1.AMD XP 2500 512K 333MHZ
    2.ASUS motherboard A7N8X - DELUXE
    3.Rams DDR 512MB PC3200
    4.Maxtor Serial ATA hard drive 120gigs
    5.ATI Radeon 9600SE AGP 4X
    6.Sony CD/RW 52x24x52x
    7.computer case 868B Mid Tower 420w http://www.computernyc.com/912silatxmid.html
    8.Sony 17" monitor model# HMD-A240R
    10.Logitech MX™700 Cordless Optical Mouse
    11.Logitech Internet Navigator™ Keyboard http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/productlist/US/EN,crid=2157
    12.Logitech clicksmart 510 webcam
     
  13. Timelessblur macrumors 65816

    Timelessblur

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    #13
    I can tell you right now that the computer you put up is not going to cut it at some archtechal schools (mine being one of them. they require some very high laptops and run some programs that that comptuer will be stuggily on.) I dont remeber the name of it off the top of my head since I am an civilling engineering student and drop archtechure off my degree plan really fast but I have seen some of there software and they push mordern computer pretty hard.
     
  14. johnbro23 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #14
    Thanks for all your comments.

    To the person asking why I asked this in a Mac forum, I said in my original post that I didn't know of any PC forums and I asked if anyone knows of any. I'm still waiting for a suggestion.

    I just told my parents about the PC I picked out. They say they want to wait til April, since my mom's going on a cruise and I'm sure there's some other reasons. But I really need this now, because the architecture firm said that I should turn in my portfolio by April or March. I really hope they change their mind and let me get it sooner.
     
  15. fedora macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    #15
    Carn't you get a student version of vectorworks/renderworks 11 Industry collection (in the UK it's costs about £140, so probably below $250 in the US) and run it on the emac in your sig. It watermarks your renders but i'm sure the company would understand this. It runs fine on my old powermac G4 with 1 gig of ram and a 32 meg vidio card (When i run it on my powermac G5 I only notice a change in performance when i use renderworks).
     
  16. Timelessblur macrumors 65816

    Timelessblur

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    #16
    Well there is one limition to any stundent copy of one of these programs or no legit copy of these programs. None of the work may be used for profectional use and the work is not valid work. For that you must have a fully legit copy.
     
  17. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #17

    Check out www.xpbargains.com to see if there are any money-off coupons. Also, if you decide to build your own, http://www.anandtech.com/guides/ has some good guides to building in different price ranges.
     
  18. johnbro23 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #18
    Well if I can't say its legit from my home PC, I can just say I did it in school.

    I've tried Vectorworks out, its a LOT different than other CAD programs. I couldn't even get started its so confusing.

    Thanks for the cupon link. I'm trying to figure this site out... do they give you the actual cupon number? Or are they just telling you about good deals?
     
  19. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #19
    It depends - for instance, if you're interested in a Dell, you click on the Dell Home or Dell Biz links, and it will tell you about current Dell promotions, and may also have a coupon code that takes the place of the promotion on the website, so a 15%-off promotion on the Dell site could be replaced by a 30%-off coupon from xpbargains.

    If you /are/ looking at a Dell (I have to say now, despite all this talk about Dell, I don't really recommend them - they are disposible computers that are more likely to cost you in the long run if you include the grief they'll cause you, but with care one should last you a couple of years anyway), most people don't seem to realise that you can also buy from the Dell business sections, so you should check out the whole site, not just "Home and Home Office", for better deals.
     
  20. Timelessblur macrumors 65816

    Timelessblur

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    #20

    Again you have the same limitions because it is an educational verson of the program. It is ment for learning only for profectional work it has to be done a full retail copy.
     

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