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

johnbro23

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 12, 2004
770
0
Pittsburgh, PA
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?
 

Mav451

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2003
1,657
1
Maryland
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.
 
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Timelessblur

macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2004
1,086
0
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
 
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johnbro23

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 12, 2004
770
0
Pittsburgh, PA
Mav451 said:
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.
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?
 
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johnbro23

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 12, 2004
770
0
Pittsburgh, PA
Timelessblur said:
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
I got stuff from my teacher. Its probably illegal, but I'm definitely not going turn it down if its offered to me.
 
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andypress

macrumors regular
Jun 19, 2003
197
0
Buffalo, NY
I would check out dells small business, because a workstation gfx card would be much better suited, although more expensive.
 
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cmvsm

macrumors 6502a
Nov 12, 2004
784
0
Seems to me that you could build a better system for about $700 and another $200 on a good flat screen 19" CRT.
 
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johnbro23

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 12, 2004
770
0
Pittsburgh, PA
cmvsm said:
Seems to me that you could build a better system for about $700 and another $200 on a good flat screen 19" CRT.
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.
 
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Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,089
4
Sol III - Terra
johnbro23 said:
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.
Why are you asking about building a PC/Windows system on a Mac forum?
 
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believo

macrumors regular
May 21, 2004
161
0
Los Angeles, CA
johnbro23 said:
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?


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
 
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mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
3,681
665
Colly-fornia
Bear said:
Why are you asking about building a PC/Windows system on a Mac forum?
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.
 
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edwardlanti

macrumors regular
Jan 14, 2005
109
6
new york city
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
 
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Timelessblur

macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2004
1,086
0
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.
 
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johnbro23

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 12, 2004
770
0
Pittsburgh, PA
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.
 
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fedora

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2004
68
0
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).
 
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Timelessblur

macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2004
1,086
0
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.
 
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plinden

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
3,968
3
johnbro23 said:
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?

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.
 
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johnbro23

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 12, 2004
770
0
Pittsburgh, PA
Timelessblur said:
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.
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.

plinden said:
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.
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?
 
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plinden

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
3,968
3
johnbro23 said:
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?
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.
 
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Timelessblur

macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2004
1,086
0
johnbro23 said:
Well if I can't say its legit from my home PC, I can just say I did it in school.

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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