computer shopping

I’m shopping for computer parts to upgrade/build my son’s machine, looking to be able to run inventor 10 (and 11?) reasonably well, on a budget.

My guess is that a full featured cpu running at least 2.6 g, 1 g ram, and a half decent video card should do it.

Are there any specific things I should look for? hyperthreading, ddr2, agp/pci-E, etc?

I generally try to get a lot of bang for the buck, meaning I’m cheap and won’t spend much more than $100 on a cpu, or $50 or so on a mobo, etc.

I think a bigger monitor is in the plan too, is 18" lcd sufficient?

thanks for any experienced suggestions!

use, or

wait untill next week when AMD releases their socket AM2 Motherboards, and CPU’s, u should get one of the lower end models, seeming that if you need to upgrade the system within at least the next three years, your good to go with the DDR2 and everything, i think TigerDirect has a deal sometimes on 2GB DDR2 memory for like $120. go for a 300GB hard drive which you can find at CompUSA for like $100. um… video card… look on the three websites listed above, i would go for nothing less than a NVidia GeForce 7300

Now, for the software, how are you going to take care of that… Make Bill Gates ritcher than he already is by buying a XP Pro Disk for $130 (or something close to that)… or go underground

I know there was a inkjet printer on sale at target for like $20, and a mediocar 19" LCD for $120 on TigerDirect.

Look around, you never know what you can find

All the rest of your ideas seem sufficient for cadding, but with the monitor it really does come down to bigger being better. The larger the screen, the easier it is to see what you’re working on, especially with large assemblies. I use a 19" Flat panel at work and home but would prefer something larger.

Also, do your homework on a site like CNET and then buy from somewhere cheaper like New Egg if you’re trying to save some loot.

Your ram and cpu sound fine. Autodesk has a list of certified hardware on their website. I would explore that information. Used to be that nvidia video cards were the only ones certified with ATI causing lots of problems. Not sure if that is still the case. I run a low end nvidia with no problems. XP Pro is also recommended. You can never have enough monitor space but with an 18", one can get by. Better would be a dual monitor solution. If you had an old 15" laying around, I would get a dual monitor capable video board. It’s nice to keep tool and history palettes on a separate monitor. They eat up a lot of space. Or, just spring for a 30" wide screen ;o)…l_41_ghz_cores/


I was bored, so I went on New Egg and selected parts for what I’d would use for a new, lowish budget CAD machine. This doesn’t include a monitor, total price is in the lower 800s, but the processor could be downgraded to an Athlon 64 3000+ for $180 savings. (The 3000+ is still nice, my brother’s computer has one and it can play Quake 4 with nice amounts of effects with no problems) Anyway, Here goes.

DFI DAGF ATX Socket-939 Motherboard $82.00
BUFFALO Select 2GB Dual Channel RAM $146.99
eVGA Geforce 7600GS 256MB PCI Express x16 video card $114.99
ASPIRE X-Dreamer II ATX midtower case w/ PSU $56.99
NEC multipurpose DVD/CD burner $33.99
Western Digital Raptor 36.7 GB 10,000 rpm SATA hard drive $101.99
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Dual Core $297.00

That might be a bit out of your price range, but various parts (RAM, proc, hard drive, video card) could be downgraded a bit.

Don’t forget a good case with good venting and lots of fans to keep everything cool. Also make sure the power supply in the case you have or get is sufficient for the power usage of your devices. Too many times issues with heat and cooling and speed is due to lack of power, wattage wise. More power usage creates more heat within the case. Get Multiple hard drives too and if you get a mother board with raid would be a very good idea too to make things redundant and faster.


i have a 14" lcd, and it works well enough. In terms of running the program though, my computer has a terrible processor but i am able to speed it up by using sufficient virtual memory on my harddrive. It still lags a small amount, but it still surprises me how well it runs on this ancient technology.

I recently just built a computer locally and kept it relatively cheap. I bot parts from a local store called " Cheap Guys Computers " they were consistantly very competetive with online prices and often cheaper so it was just easiest to buy all parts from there. Plus they have in store warranty on all parts for a year, so if something breaks I can bother them without having to deal with a manufacturer. ( Of course parts still have extended manufacturing warranties )

I’m not exactly sure what your doing but my new comp is able to run pretty much everything with no problem at all. IE. Inventor, excel, autocad all and a very graphic intensive video game at the same time. ( I built it last week with help from Mike Walker )

Specs are:
Asus Mother Board A8V-ESE
AMD 64BIT 939 3000 Processor
Geforce 6600 256 Mb
200 Gig SATA Harddrive
1 gig of ram
Decent Standard Case
Dvd-RW 16x

From what I understand one of the biggest things that you don’t want to skimp on is the motherboard. If you plan on upgrading later you gotta have a good mobo that has an upgradeable chip series and plenty of expandable pci/ram slots.

My comp cost me $720 and its pretty decent you can always go cheaper or a little bit more depends on what you want to spend.

Specs. for my new 300 dollar computer.

Pentium 4 2.8Ghz “Northwood”
Matsonic Ms9277c mobo
1gig ddr memory, pc3200
100 GB Seagate HD
Bio hazard 2 case (Lots of LEDs, makes me happy :P)
ATI radeon 9550 256
liteon dvd-rw
c-media 7.1 surround PCI sound card.
a webcam,
Realdigital wireless keyboard and mouse

My source was GEEKS.COM

I built this over 15 months

Total $825.00

AMD Athlon 64 3000+($150)
Chaintech Socket 939 Motherboard($70)
1GB Ram (2x512MB)($120)
XBLADE Case with 420 Watt PSU($50)
160GB 7200RPM Hard drive($30)
DVD Burnier (Generic)($40)
XFX NVidia FX5600XT 128MB AGP($60)
Wireless Mouse Compaq ($7)
CA 2.1 Speaker System ($8)
Compaq Pro Media Keyboard ($20)
56K Modem (Generic)(Free)
Floppy Drive (Sony) (Free)
Windows XP Pro Corprate w/Office Pro (Free)
Samsung 17" LCD Monitor ($250)
Microsoft Fingerprint Reader ($10)

I will speak only to the video card. The CAD lab at our high school runs ATI FireGl v3100 (I think 3100 is right, I am going from memory here, but I know it’s FireGl), but anyway, the FireGl’s seemed to be able to handle the processing on Inventor and 3Ds. At first the computers were slow, but I investigated and discovered that the computers were running at 256 MB standard ram, so I deduced that it was probably not the video cards causing the slowdown. Plus, I know that the FireGl’s are supported by Autodesk Inventor. Anybody else who has had experience with ATI FireGl’s, please contribute your opinion on them.

Well, it’s most likely the kind of chip that’s in your system. I’m not sure what kind you need but if you have a gaming chip, it won’t be able to run the program likes its supposed to be runned. I’m not too knowledgable on computers specifics, this was just what another autodeskl profesional told me. When ever you open huge assemblies things may disappear as you rotate them.

Unless you are running a very, very large assembly with a lot of textures, the video card noted won’t be the big bottle neck. A video card is only heavily taxed when you start adding all kinds of fancy textures and such. If you are working on an assembly complex enough to slow down the computer during a rotate, you could probably stand to supress some components.

The two most important factors in creating a pleasant Inventor experience are RAM amount/quality and monitor size and quality. Inventor, for me, is faster and more stable in direct proportion to the amount of RAM it has access to.

Worry about getting the latest and greatest CPU, video card, hard drives and such after you can afford at least 1 gigabyte of quality RAM and a 19 inch or larger monitor.

Luckily, these days you don’t need to sell a family member to afford a good CADing system. You can make or buy a perfectly capable machine for under $1000, if you’re only concern is Inventor. Don’t be afraid to by the last generation of components to save some money. Computers 12 months ago could still run Inventor, after all.

You can’t go wrong with dual monitors if you have the capability. I find them quite useful, and I recommend it.