Budget Desktop for Inventor CAD

Since a laptop thread got me thinking about it, I’m posting a quick desktop build to demonstrate how inexpensively you can run CAD on a desktop PC.

Ryzen 3 3200G processor ($95)
8 GB (2x4GB) G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR2400 Memory ($44)
Crucial 500 GB M.2 SSD ($70)
MSI PRO B450M Micro ATX Motherboard ($75)
Rosewill Micro ATX case ($41)
Thermaltake Smart 430W power supply ($38)

That’s a $363 desktop box that runs Inventor very nicely. The one I run at home is really similar to that build. I’ve thrown a lot of decent sized robot models at it, and it handles them very well. The Vega 8 graphics with the Ryzen cards get the job done. I really like Ryzen 3 at its price point when its integrated graphics (better than Intel’s) are taken into account.


Used HP Z series workstations a couple generations back can be a great value too. I’d recommend looking into Z420 and Z230 lines. They were available with a wide variety of configurations, but often they were pretty well spec’d for media companies.

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Inventor likes VRAM on the video card, and can definitely soak up regular RAM as well. Would be worth the money to jump up to a 3100 or 3300x (Inventor is largely single threaded) and 16GB of RAM. Total system cost should be ~$500 with a 3300X, 16GB RAM, and a RX570 with 8GB of VRAM. Would be a substantially faster machine for not much more money.

Alternately - you can do a very similar build to yours in the AsRock A300 Deskmini and have a tiny form factor. ~$150 for the barebones, add RAM/CPU/SSD. Price comes out to ~$350 with the same specs, and it’s a 6.1" x 6.1" x 3.15" box.


I was always a fan of Z8X0 series but yeah they are always good values

Cross posting from the laptop thread:

You really one a one (maybe two) core CPU with the highest clock speed you can find for CAD. Any more cores just go to waste.