Home > Operating Systems, Workstations > The Best Hardware Configuration for AutoCAD 2013, Part 3: Review Recommended Hardware

The Best Hardware Configuration for AutoCAD 2013, Part 3: Review Recommended Hardware

October 24, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments
AutoCAD 2013

AutoCAD 2013

As I mentioned before, you will be better served if you treat the recommended specifications as the minimum requirements. So let’s say you have determined that you need new hardware to run AutoCAD 2013. How do you pick the proper hardware?

Autodesk, like many software vendors, has lists of certified hardware. These certifications are there to ensure users that AutoCAD 2013 will work properly when using that hardware. Autodesk has provided a list of video cards and other equipment that they promise will work. Does it mean that it will be fast? No. But they do promise it will work properly.

Independent Software Vendor Certification

Autodesk and other vendors have established cooperation with several hardware vendors to certify that the workstations you purchase will run their software. These are called ISV Certifications. ISV stands for Independent Software Vendors. If you were to purchase a workstation from Dell, HP or Lenovo (for example), they will have systems that have ISV Certifications. That means the hardware manufacturer (HP, Dell, Lenovo) has sent a workstation to Autodesk for testing. Autodesk runs the workstation through the paces and says, yes, this will properly run AutoCAD. This is important because not all computer components are created equally, nor are all components created to run CAD software.

Autodesk has a website where you can go and look at individual components, or look at full workstations to help find the system that is right for you.

ISV Certification is typically only done with workstations. Workstations are not your typical PCs. Workstations are made for durability, long-term use in harsh environments, and for high precision work. They are industrial strength machines. They will cost more, but users will find that they have less downtime, less “lag” and overall better performance. Workstations guarantee that the machine you purchase has a minimum set of requirements for video cards, processing power and storage requirements. If you are running CAD software every day, you really should be running a workstation.

Find the Right Workstation for You

How do you pick the workstation you need?

  1. Make sure it is certified by Autodesk for AutoCAD 2013.
  2. Determine your budget.
  3. Then take a look at what each vendor has to offer.

Next we’ll talk about individual hardware components to focus on.

Author: Brian Benton

  1. Luisa
    January 16, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    great article.. choosing the right cad drafting workstation is a personalized experience

  2. December 13, 2014 at 6:51 am

    Excellent article. Thank you for sharing. Do you believe the station really needs to be certified?

    • December 16, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      Jason, thanks very much for your positive feedback.

      Regarding ISV certification, you could configure a “white box” that you build from scratch exactly the same as an ISV-certified model and technically the two systems should perform the same — and you’ll likely save some money. However, when you opt for a certified machine, you get the assurance that it has been extensively tested — by the hardware vendor as well as the software vendor that is certifying it — to support CAD applications. You also typically get an extended warranty (three years is common) and tech support. If you are considering a branded computer (HP, Dell, Lenovo, BOXX) that is not ISV certified, take a closer look. If the vendor hasn’t sought out ISV certification for that model, that could be a clue that it’s not optimized for your CAD software.

  1. October 24, 2012 at 8:43 pm
  2. October 31, 2012 at 6:37 pm
  3. January 7, 2015 at 8:50 am

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