Question Please spec me a computer!

Jul 16, 2019
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Hi,

I need a windows computer that is capable of running the following programs at the same time without issues.

AutoCAD (newest version)
Sketch up 2017 - googles 3D modeling program - could be graphically heavy at times
OpenStudio and EnergyPlus - this consists of numerically heavy simulations - processing speed is key here.
Adobe Pro or bluebeam
Microsoft Word
Microsoft Excel
plus any typical business use programs that may be used throughout the day.

Ideally I would be able to do this with a laptop and docking station, such that at the office I can utilize multiple monitors easily and I can take my laptop home if needed. If it is not easy to reach these requirements with a laptop, I would be fine with a proper desktop computer. A compact desktop computer could be an option also.

Please help spec a unit that you would use for this! I feel like the numerical simulations is the most crucial component of my list. Please stick to mid range/high range options, no need to make a budget solution for this. If there are off-the-shelf options that works best for me.
Thanks!

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP
Budget Range: $2000 CAD ($1500 USD)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Most--> Energy model simulations, CAD software, 3D modeling, Microsoft office programs <-- Least
Parts Not Required:
Preferred Website(s) for Parts:
none
Country: Canada
Parts Preferences:
Overclocking:
No
SLI or Crossfire:
Monitor Resolution:
Good enough for 3D modeling programs!
Additional Comments: Off the shelf products is much better for me than building the unit myself.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
 
Last edited:

ConanLock

Notable
May 22, 2019
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You want a PC with at least 32GB of RAM at 3000MHz.
For the CPU, high core count will be key... Either: Ryzen 7 3700x, Ryzen 7 3800x, Ryzen 9 3900x, i7 9700k, i9 9900k. For you, either the i9 or the Ryzen 9 will be best.
For the GPU, you will want at least a GTX 1660Ti, RTX 2060, RX 5700 or Vega 56. You won't need top of the range, but better will still be better.
Also having an NVME SSD will be helpful.
 
Since you won't be gaming and your use case is AutoCad and adobe programs. These programs will make better use of Intel's architecture and single core performance.
https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/learn-explore/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/Support-for-multi-core-processors-with-AutoCAD.html
This is a rare exception where purchasing an Intel Hex core without hyperthreading will be just as good as an Intel chip with hyperthreading and better than the higher end AMD Ryzen chips with 8/16+ cores/threads.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDV7aA6arVo&t=19s

Let me know if you agree, as i'm not familiar with numerical simulation. What kind of case design are you looking for?
 
Jul 16, 2019
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Parallel cores would be important for the reason that I hope to be capable of running simultaneous simulations. Or If I have 1 large simulation, I can split it into X pieces and run each piece in parallel and have it compiled post process.
 

ConanLock

Notable
May 22, 2019
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Parallel cores would be important for the reason that I hope to be capable of running simultaneous simulations. Or If I have 1 large simulation, I can split it into X pieces and run each piece in parallel and have it compiled post process.
Yes, that is why the CPUs I suggested where 8c/16t or above. It will mean you can run all of the programs you wanted to at the same time.
 
Jul 16, 2019
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Yes, that is why the CPUs I suggested where 8c/16t or above. It will mean you can run all of the programs you wanted to at the same time.
Yes, thanks.

I have a dell desktop that is available for use. If this is not sufficient I will upgrade with some of the recommendations you gave.

What do you think of this?

Model: Inspiron 3668
Type: 64 bit
Processor: Intel Core i7-7700 CPU @ 3.60 GHz, 360 Mhz, 4 cores, 8 logical processors
RAM: 16 gb
 

ConanLock

Notable
May 22, 2019
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The CPU is only 4 cores, and the RAM will probably limit you somewhat. If the motherboard supports I7 9700, then upgrade the CPU, as well as at least double RAM. Also, does it have a GPU?

I know you said you don't want to make a PC yourself, but if you did consider it, these are what you should think about:
https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/tfvMBb
Or
https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/KN6w9J
Alternatively, cut back on GPU and storage:
https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/Nt3xnH
Or
https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/7spTsZ

Whether or not you making one is worth it depends on how much the PC you said costs and how much the upgrades to it would cost too.
 

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