How to configure your workstation for AutoCAD Civil 3D
The CAD software AutoCAD Civil 3D was developed by AUTODESK for civil engineers, urban planners and landscape planners involved in infrastructure development. With AutoCAD Civil 3D, surveyors for civil engineering are able to display height information of objects in 3D.
Which CPU is right for AutoCAD Civil 3D?
Xeon processors have been in powerful workstation standard for years. Intel Xeon CPUs are preferably used in combination with ECC memory for high-precision calculations. AutoCAD Civil 3D is particularly comfortable with high-frequency single Xeon CPUs with quad or six-core processors from 3 GHz. Another advantage of Intel Xeon processors is the use of stable ECC (Error Correcting Code) RAM.
In order to achieve optimal performance in AutoCAD Civil 3D, memory plays an important part. Go for ECC modules with automatic error correction. Standard is at least 16GB RAM. In the future we recommend using 32GB RAM with the same memory bank usage. Pay attention to the use of high-quality brand memory and use the DUAL channel with a symmetrical assembly of the modules. The Dual Channel mode offers you the best performance. The requirements for a Dual Channel mode are the paired distribution of the RAM modules in each of the memory channels (module pair), the identical capacity of the modules (8GB, 16GB or 32GB modules), the identical DRAM technology of the module pairs and the identical DRAM bus width of the DRAM modules used. For more demanding tasks, 64 GB RAM is the better choice.
Optimal 3D graphic card for AutoCAD Civil 3D
In order to work optimally with two or more screens, we recommend using an nvidia Quadro M4000 with 8GB GDDR5 memory, Open GL 4.5 and DirectX 12 as an introduction. When selecting your graphics card, make sure that the graphics chip and graphics memory have a high clock frequency. For larger rendering tasks, graphics cards such as an NVidia Quadro P4000 with 1792 CudaCores, a Quadro RTX4000 with 8GB GDDR6 or a Quadro P5000 with 2560 CudaCores, Open GL 4.5 and DirectX12 are the better choice. As alternative to NVIDIA we can recommend the following graphics cards from AMD: AMD Radeon Pro WX7100 with 8GB GDDR5 and WX9100 with 16GB HBM2 memory technology (High-Bandwidth Memory) and 769 GFlops maximum speed with double precision (FP64). If you intend to use other CAD programs, make sure that the selected graphics card is certified for it.
Speed advantage hard disk
From our experience we can recommend SSD hard disks without reservation. Use a solid state hard disk with 250-500 GB for your operating system and CAD software. You can store your data on the server or a NAS system. A significantly faster data access can be achieved via the PCIe / NWMe interface with M.2 SSD hard disks.
Two 24 inch displays are standard for CAD applications. We recommend the HP Z24n with the optimal resolution for AutoCAD Civil 3D of 1920 x 1080 or 1920 x 1200 pixels. 4K displays with a resolution of 3940 x 2160 pixels are supported from AutoCAD 2017.1, but still deliver unsatisfactory results in many areas.