Autocad Hardware Recommendation

Hi all
It's that time when I must finally look at replacing the trusty RM machines
bought in 2004.
These have been excellent, but unfortunately RM no longer sell to business
users (only education).
So can anyone recommend hardware please?
Required to run AutoCad 2011 mainly 2D, some minor 3D, usual Office Apps
Specifically interested in processor type and RAM suggestions.
Also recommendations on flat screens.
Budget will be approx £1200 for the box.
£200-300 for the screen.
I am looking for a decent spec that will stand 5 years of use and M$ Office
updates etc.
PS Wot's with all the sales spam?
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It all depends on the type of drawings you do, their complexity and even your workflow. I use autocad 2007 to do some work on civil engineering projects, mainly structural design, and I tend to separate each project in half a dozen independent documents (or less) mainly to make it possible do some collaborative work (otherwise I don't believe it would work).
For this sort of work (it also includes a bit of 3D) an old AMD Athlon X2 4000 with 2GB of DDR2 RAM and a low-end built-in NVIDIA graphics card handes everything just fine. I'm talking about a 4 year old system that went for around 300 euros at the time.
So my guess is that pretty much any desktop computer with a multi-core CPU that is sold at the moment (except those based on Intel Atom, of course) will be able to handle autocad 2011 without any problems. Adding to this, I believe that the bulk of the processing needs are those which are handled by graphics cards.
So, in short, pretty much any cheap desktop with a modern multi-core processor, even low-end ones, will handle things quite nicely. Slap in a low to mid-range graphics card and I believe you won't have any issues with your setup.
Therefore, spending 1200 on a system to do CAD work with autoCAD is way too much kit than it is needed. The sort of hardware that goes for that much tends to pack enough computational power to run modern computer games, which means rendering highly detailed cinematic 3D scenes, in real time and with a high frame rate. You only need a fraction of that work to use autocad. The days when you needed a "workstation" to handle CAD, spreadsheets and even structural analysis programs are, thankfully, long gone.
Hope this helps, Rui Maciel
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Rui Maciel

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