Help! Looking to build a computer for AutoCad/Pro/e usage


May 12, 2008
Hello everyone,
I need some advice on building a computer for AutoCAD and Pro/E uses .. It would probably
run on AutoCAD 2007 , however my budget is low , around $700 and I would leave some room for the monitor.

This computer will be solely run on either those two program, I guess running XP would be ideal? I think
x64 on Quad core is out of question, over budget?

thanks in advance!


Dec 27, 2007
if you just want a computer for cad, then you can get pretty much any computer. i have autocad 2007 and i don't think that it benefits my phenom 9500. i got the phenom because of the rendering i need to do in max. this means that you can get away with almost any cpu. hell even my old laptop with amd +3700 ran cad without a glitch. building it yourself can save you money but you can also buy some preconfigured ones at bb or cc or microcenter. i suppose it depends on what you personally want to do, build your own or get something else. youre not limited by needing something specific. any cpu, gpu will do. just get like 2 gb of ram, since it's cheap.

a nice way to spend some money would be into a 64bit OS. if it's just simple files of autocad like a 2d construction documents, you don't even need 64bit. 64it will only benefit you if you use larger files. otherwise stick with xp 32bit.


Jan 14, 2010
I disagree with the other response. This very night I had to bring home an extremely l large DWG because my quad core Dell at work can't plot a PDF (DWF, PLT.....) correctly from the file and routinely crashes when I trim or pedit. when I bring these troubled DWGs home to my machine I built a year ago I has no problem. I was looking at this forum to find out if there is one component more responsible for good cad performance that the others.

My machine:
* Processor: Intel Q9450 Core 2 Quad 333x8
* Motherboard: Gigabyte X48-DQ6
* Memory: Mushkin XP2 Redline 8000 4 x 2GB 5-5-5-12
* Video Cards: 2 Visiontek HD 4870 (Xfire)
* Power Supply: Zalman 1Kw Modular power supply
* Hard Drive: 1 Tb 7500 rpm sata hard drive
* Optical Drive: LG 20x DVD+/-RW
* OS: Windows Vista Ultimate Edition
* Case: Antec 1200, Zalman 9700 cpu fan, and two more fans that the case didn't come with
* And don't forget 4Gb thumb drive used for "speed up my system" (bogus vista thing)

I don't think you need all these things to run extreme Acad. I think cpu, mb, and system ram are the most important to cad


Jan 14, 2010
Running Pro/Engineer is akin to saying 'driving a vehicle'. Are you commuting to the train station or flying to the moon? That decision comes from what you'll be doing with the software. Regardless, I disagree with the poster who put up the specs for a gaming PC.

Since my experience is with Pro, I'll stick to that. You should start with the list PTC puts out for compatible and qualified hardware, especially if this is your day job. You're not going to need state-of-the-art gaming hardware to run Pro/E or Mechanica.

The cynic in me says if you can afford a legal seat of Pro, you should be able to afford a system > $700 to drive it (unless you're a student with the free version).

If you're doing parts and basic assemblies (< 10 parts), no rendering, you may hit your target. Get a quad core system if you can afford it, dual core if you can't. You'll be fine with 2 GB of RAM and love the x64 XP operating system. Video overhead is the first thing you'll hit, so put your extra money towards that.

If you're starting with much larger assemblies (> 20 parts), then throw more money at RAM, and all of a sudden that IA64 processor starts helping you out.

If you're now onto simulation, complex surface geometries, or FEA -- now's when the processor comes into play. Once loaded, the solid models are really held in graphics and system memory -- only when you start getting fancy with surfaces and the like will you long for a faster processor.

Honestly, if you're worried about cost, remember you can always throttle Pro/E down through options. Level of detail, absolute accuracy, CPU's to use -- they're all options to tweak.

Last thing I would recommend is a FAST hard drive. Don't skimp here, because no matter how much RAM you put in, Pro still likes to swap to the disk.

Hope that helps -- I've been doing this for a while if you need more advice. Stay away from Vista and Windows 7 like the plague.