Comments Invited - Hardware for Acad 2005/6

Hi all
Yes I know Autodesk issue minimum recommendations on this issue but:
Over the last 2-3 years we have been buying RM machines for CAD use and they
have been solidly built and reliable thus far. RM are no longer selling into the CAD market, so I'm told, and intend to concentrate solely on the education sector. My Acad reseller is going down the Dell route. I am aware of the sort of standard Dell supply, having recently purchased 16 PCs for general office use. I would prefer something a bit more solid for the CAD users.
Can anyone recommend an alternative UK supplier for the CAD PC? Spec for mid range I see as:
P4 3.2GHz 1Gb RAM 200Gb HD (not too important due to server storage of files) 256Mb Graphics card 100/1000 NIC
It will largely be running Acad2005 with upto 6 drawings open (say 6Mb total max) with Outlook open constantly also. All work is in model space.
What are the thoughts on display types? Is anyone out there using flat screens for CAD? If so any experiences good/bad? Recommendation for good flat screen and spec please?
Thanks in anticipation
Phil
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TheScullster wrote:

this is a one seat operation. but I STILL have a few opinions for whatever you can get from them.
I build my own computers, and need to get preformance cheap. this new box I am still "testing", but I think it will be a real workhorse. it's an ASUS K8N( cut and paste from Belarc Advisor )
1.60 gigahertz AMD Pentium 4 (translates to AMD Sempron 2800) 64 kilobyte primary memory cache 256 kilobyte secondary memory cache
NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440 with AGP8X [Display adapter] CNA 17TFT LCD MNT [Monitor] (18.2"vis, March 2001)
512 ram
WHAT I THINK I HAVE LEARNED IS THAT THE FRONT SIDE BUS SPEED WAS A BOTTLENECK FOR ME.
my answer to many issues was to look for the 800 spec on the front side bus. faster processors and more ram do not live up to expectations if the FSB won't deliver those speeds.
and I think your chipset is vital. I have had good luck with nVidia chipsets, this one being the best I've owned and it's not top of the line. just nForce 3
manufacturers? I hear good things and bad things, and I believe most of it. I think they buy thier motherboards in bulk and sometimes they have a lot of real stinkers to unload. that make sense?
hope it helps.
roy
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"roy" wrote:

snip..........
Thanks Roy it all makes sense. I am in the fortunate position where I can spec a decent machine, but don't want to spend for spendings sake.
Yes the machines bought so far have 800MHz FSB.
My main point of concern is the move to LCD screens. Our CAD supplier is going down the Dell route and specifying a "value" panel! Usually, the term "value" suggests the cheap side of average quality. I have enquired of Dell directly and they have put forward "Wide aspect ultra sharp" version (more s obviously). Don't really have a clue what spec's what if truth be known!
The specs for flat panels are a bit of a minefield so I was looking also for opinions on flat panels for CAD use. I know they look all fine and dandy on the living room wall playing DVDs, but what are they like up close?
Any further comments appreciated
Phil
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TheScullster wrote:

I am staring at a CORNEA MP704 - it was $300 2 or 3 years ago. monitors are extremely important, and I am low budget. this (cheap?) flat screen LCD has lived up to all expectations. you need to be comfortable with the resolution. I run at 1280 x 1024 true color. no real eye strain. but we don't do rendering (yet).
I think LCD is the best way to go, and also that the actual screens are pretty equal across a wide price range. back when I was shopping last, all the actual SCREENS were the same MFG, just a different name on the corner. things may have changed. (but I seriously doubt it)
HEY! if you are buying in a quantity that could get their attention, have them send you a sample of the product.
best of luck to you.
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"roy" wrote:
snip

Thanks again Roy Can't see them sending us trial screens, we only have 4 to buy at the moment! The link below made for interesting reading though:
http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,110483,00.asp
Phil
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thanks, that was a good read.
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