How to configure your workstation for AutoCAD
AutoCAD was originally developed by Autodesk as a simple CAD editor for creating technical drawings. At present, the program has extensive 3D functions for modeling objects for mechanical engineers, designers and architects. Following is our hardware recommendation:
Single Thread Processor
When choosing the right CPU, two factors play an important role. The frequency (MHz) influences how many operations a single CPU core can perform per second. 2 The number of CPU cores indicates how many physical CPU cores are present within a CPU. Whether a higher frequency or a higher number of cores is more advantageous depends on the development of the CAD program. The question is: Is my program able to use multiple CPU cores? The CAD system AutoCAD is a frequency-bound application and uses a processor core to create drawings. To improve CPU performance, we recommend that you deactivate the Hyper-Threading Mode setting in the BIOS. Starting with AutoCAD 2016, a second processor core is integrated for regeneration. We recommend a workstation optimized for single-thread workflows with a Xeon quad-core processor with a high MHz clock rate from 3.5 GHz.
The size and complexity of your AutoCAD models determine the size of your memory. AutoCAD uses approximately 75% of the memory provided on the system when loading or saving a drawing. For 2D drawings we recommend an Autocad workstation with 16 GB RAM. However, if you are dealing with very large 3D models and renderings or have a large number of files open at the same time, you may consider upgrading to 32GB or more. Due to the fact that most users typically have more programs than AutoCAD running on their system, we recommend a workstation with 32GB of RAM and eight memory banks. Make sure that four memory channels are equipped with identical RAM. Ideally, four additional free memory banks are available for your RAM upgrade. We recommend the use of ECC memory modules. The Error Correcting Code Memory (ECC RAM) automatically corrects memory errors in the background and thus prevents a serious system crash. An absolute must-have for all professional users in design, development, simulation or modeling.
The ultimate graphics card for 2D or 3D models
The faster the graphics card, the better the performance in terms of frames per second. Nvidia Geforce graphics cards seem to be a good option due to the good price-performance ratio. Unfortunately, Geforce cards are not officially certified for use in AutoCAD by Autodesk. If you have a support contract with AutoCAD, we strongly advise you to use certified graphics cards from AMD or Nvidia. AutoCAD denies support if you are not using a certified graphics card. AutoCAD provides you with optimized graphics card drivers for each version. For AutoCAD 2019 we recommend a nVidia quadro or an AMD Radeon Pro graphic card with 4GB compatible with DirectX 11.
Ultimate performance with SSD
Round off your system with a high-performance solid state disk. Choose an SSD with fast access rates. We recommend using a M.2 SSD from Samsung Model 960 Pro in storage sizes from 500 GB to 2 TB. By using an M.2 SSD you are able to transmit data rates of up to 4GB per second. This corresponds to a 7-fold increase in performance compared to SATA hard disks.
Increase AutoCAD performanceMake sure that the latest driver for your AutoCAD program is installed. AutoDesk Updates (ServicePacks) are available for download at regular time intervals.
Delete the graphic cache regularly. The command *CACHEMAXFILES* deletes the AutoCAD graphic cache.
Activate the hardware acceleration in your AutoCAD program. If your graphics card supports Open GL, you will increase the graphics performance and the productivity of your workflow with 3D models will improve significantly.
Use certified graphics card drivers for your AutoCAD program.
New features in AutoCAD 2020
50% time saving when installing on SSD hard disks
Shorter storage times
New modern design, significant contrast improvement and sharper symbols
2D: Better stability, more detailed playback and better performance
faster 3D navigation
Direct comparison of two versions of a drawing in the current window (DWG comparison)
Support for high-resolution screens, viewing designs on 4K resolution displays