Since early August, Cadalyst.com has been running a poll asking users, “What type of computer do you use primarily for CAD-related work?” As this post went live, 905 people had voted.
As every user knows, CAD software isn’t your standard PC software. It takes some horsepower to work with these heavy-duty programs. Add 3D rendering, design analysis, or other high-end tools, and you’ve got to have a machine with some muscle behind it. So we aren’t too surprised that our poll results show that desktop professional workstations are, so far, the most common among our readership (37%). The standard desktop PC is a close second (35%).
Mobile workstations (11%) and standard PC notebooks (8%) are making a respectable showing in our poll. Mobile computers offer a great deal of flexibility, especially for those who travel, and in recent years have evolved to offer power that’s comparable to that of a desktop system. However, that mobility comes at a price. Whether opting for a mobile workstation or standard PC notebook, the user can expect to pay a premium for mobility. This may be the greatest factor behind most companies’ decisions to opt for desktop systems.
Last, but just as intriguing, is the number of Mac users (7%) who have responded. Mac OS owns about 10.7% of overall PC market share as of summer 2011, according to research firm Gartner. However, fewer Mac-based software solutions are available for the Mac user vs. the PC user — in fact, AutoCAD for Mac was absent from the market for nearly two decades until its reintroduction
last year — which likely explains the nearly 4% lower adoption rate indicated by our poll. As Mac continues to grow in popularity and software developers continue to introduce more Mac-based CAD products, this number will no doubt increase.
So, what type of computer are you using for CAD? Are you part of the desktop crowd, going mobile, or having a Mac attack? It’s not too late to chime in. Vote today!
Test your powers of prediction and comment below on any hardware trends you see in the CAD world!