AutoCAD is a commercial computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting software application. Developed and marketed by Autodesk. AutoCAD is used across a wide range of industries, by architects, project managers, engineers, graphic designers, and many other professionals.
Selecting the number of processing cores in your workstation is critical. 2D design and 3D modeling within the software relies primarily on a single processor core. Since the clockspeed of that core determines performance more than any other variable, a workstation with less cores (but higher clockspeed) is ideal. Therefore we recommend a 4- to 8-core processor with a base clockspeed of 3.0GHz and above.
In general, 3-6GB of RAM per CPU core is recommended. For example, if you select a single 12-core processor, 32GB will suffice for basic tasks or 64GB for more demanding workloads.
If you select a 4-core processor and are working mostly with 2D models, we recommend at least 16GB RAM, but ideally 32GB RAM.
If you select a 6- or 8-core processor and 3D modeling plays a large part in your workflow, 32GB RAM is most common. 64GB is recommended if your designs / projects are very large.
We recommend a solid-state drive (SSD) for the operating system, software and project files.
Majority of CAD workstations are fine with one 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB NVMe SSD.
If your CAD projects are extremely large and you want to maximize performance, we recommend two SSDs:
- Primary Drive: NVMe SSD for the operating system and applications
- Secondary Drive: NVMe SSD for active projects; a dedicated SSD will offer optimal performance
For long term storage, backup, or infrequently accessed files, we recommend a 2TB or 4TB SATA SSD. If you require larger storage, you can also go with a 4TB to 18TB hard drive.
M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD performs at ~2500MB/s
2.5-inch SATA SSD performs at ~500MB/s
3.5-inch SATA Hard Drive performs at ~250MB/s
Autodesk recommends the professional series NVIDIA Quadro. According to the benchmark results, these are the ideal graphics cards.
1st (best): Quadro RTX 4000 8GB
2nd: Quadro P4000 8GB
3rd: Quadro P2000 5GB
4th: Quadro P1000 4GB
The HP Z8 G4 Workstation is recommended if you would like dual processors and/or multiple high performance graphics cards.
The HP Z6 G4 Workstation is recommended if you would like to start with a single high-end processor and single high-performance graphics card with the potential of upgrading in the future. With the Z6 G4, you can add a second matching processor and double the memory using the optional second processor riser. The power supply will also support two mid-range graphics cards.
The HP Z4 G4 Workstation is recommended for majority of workflows. Since Intel now produces single Core i9 and Xeon processors with up to 18-cores and high clock speed, there is no need for dual processors unless you will have heavy CPU rendering or intensive tasks demanding more than 18-cores. Also, the HP Z4 G4 has an optional 1000W power supply that will support the most powerful graphics cards inluding the GeForce RTX 3080 and Quadro RTX A5000.