Extreme budget prebuilt rig for graphic design/CAD, no video editing


Dec 30, 2012
$1,000 is my absolute max budget. I tried to get away with $700 but I can't seem to find anything north of i3 and integrated graphics that is worth shooting. Keep in mind I say this like I know what I'm talking about. I don't. I'm in the software/development/marketing end of things. Hardware is my nemesis.

I can't build my own so I either need a big name system or a custom build from a trustworthy source that offers a warranty. I've had a few gaming laptops built by Xotic in Omaha and they were terrific. No problems and amazing service. But they don't really do what I need now.

I own a tiny little tech company and I've started to get into GIMP, Photoshop, Illustrator, Inkscape, Tinkercad, Blender, etc. I will soon have access to a 3D printer so I want to be able to do some 3D modeling. I'm not ever going to do video editing or any kind of animation with 3D. I've read and read and read about the differences between graphics cards and PSU's and CPU's ad infinitum. But this just isn't my realm. I don't want to make a huge mistake and buy something that I'll regret 6 months from now because I didn't know one thing about a widget that I didn't know existed.

Do I go for an overstock or entry level workstation from Dell, HP, Lenovo et al? Something that has upgrade options? Is it possible to get a home or regular work PC to do what I need to do? From the many threads I've read on here, I think that answer is no. Everyone seems to indicate that to do any kind of hard core graphics work I need a powerful PSU with a kicka$$ graphics card. And those just aren't found in the consumer market. Or am I missing something?

I'm not looking to reinvent the wheel. I'll make compromises here and there where I can. But I don't want to start the thing up and have it bog down when I try to create a piece of jewelry in CAD or whatnot. I will also note that what I am doing in CAD will be small. Small enough to be 3D printed. No car modeling or houses or worlds for an unknown planet.

I'll shut up now. And thank anyone in advance who can offer advice or a link to a previous thread I may have missed. And please remember that I don't have the option of building this myself or having it built locally. But if you do have a custom shop that you've dealt with in the past that you can recommend I am more than happy to hear it. But the warranty is a must have.


Oct 29, 2011
hello techGravy, I'm also a 3d modeler / artist & looking for rock-solid, reliable [quality warranty] system under $ 1000. I have worked in 3d production over the years & as designer & sculpture so I sent you a note (in the PM's / Private Messages, check there) as i did not want to clog-up your thread here with lots of 3d-printing & modeling talk.

Due to disabled health issues, I also cannot build my own, thus I am considering a solid pre-built from a top, small, quality-oriented company such as Puget or AVAdirect, but they're warranty & quality is *SO* good that the prices are too high for me, at least for now.