Computer Tweaks to Boost CAD Performance

CAD puts heavy demands on a PC's processor, memory, display, and storage devices. Here are recommendations for hardware add-ons and software settings that can help keep your computer from bogging down. March 21, 2006

Question
Iíve seen suggestions on ways to tweak the PC to optimize the performance of AutoCAD. I would like to get all machines in my department tweaked as best as possible. We do not all have the same systems. So for AutoCAD 2006, is there anything in particular that can be tweaked and what should be tweaked on each machine, or what hardware specs do you need to know to better answer what to tweak? We are doing both 2D and 3D, but are not doing any rendering.

Forum Responses
(CAD Forum)
From contributor L:
At minimum, get an nvidia quadro fx 1400 vid card. After installing the card, go into the properties of the card (driver settings) and look for open gl, then look for the setting for vertical synch and set it to always off. Then in ACAD, in tools, options, system tab, go into the button for the properties od the display and in the bottom right corner, set it to open gl. This will give you very serious performance. Make sure all the boxes have at least 1 gig of ram. If you hear the hard drive running after a while, then close ACAD and restart. You need to do this because you are caching the data to hard drive because you have run out of ram. I have tried the fastest scsi drives on the market and it makes no difference. Yes, you can start ACAD a bit faster, but a faster drive means almost nothing. Once you start caching files to the drive, no matter haw fast it is, it will be as if ACAD is standing still. CPU, hyperthreading turned off. Vid card, open glv-synch off and matched settings to use open gl in ACAD. RAM. That's 90% of it right there.