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Hardware and OS Priorities (Windows PCs)
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* September 10, 2009, 11:48:01 AM
I am new, and surprised at how few posts I find here (and in IMSI knowledgebase) on hardware and OS optimization, both as to speed and stability. I have several questions, which require some thought - but I believe that the responses might be widely appreciated. 

I have purchased TC v16 Pro Architectural at an attractive price as a student, and have not yet decided on what to load it. I tinker with hardware and have flexibility within a limited budget. I am at present mostly concerned about TC operation rather than a hardware upgrade path as I will likely get a nicer system early next year. I think I am learning from the few posts I have found that: TC16Pro uses only a single core; that it does not need a high-end graphics card; that it might or might not have problems with Vista - especially 64-bit Vista.

I addressed a question about likely Windows-7 compatibility to IMSI support and received the following response, which is appreciated (as I barely expected a reply) but to me somewhat inscrutable:

QUOTE: TurboCAD v16 doesn't support work under Windows 7 operating system. However it’s quite possible that TurboCAD 16 will run without serious issues on Windows 7. But I’m not sure that the next patch for TC v16 will be compatible with Windows 7. - Ksenia Novitskaya ENDQUOTE

As to the lack of multicore support, does that imply that I would do better to use an older but fast (3.2 to 3.7 GHz) single core system? Does it suggest that dual core systems might be good, considering that other processes are likely running even in a relatively dedicated system, but that quad core would be of limited incremental benefit? What about the impact of possibly improved speed or efficiency in newer RAM arrangements? Maybe a fast dual-core with fast RAM would be best?

What about the O/S? Does anyone have better expectations that the koan I cited about likely W-7 support? Should I avoid Vista 64? New systems available to me generally are sold with Vista but with downgrade to XP (mostly limited to Dell) or with upgrade to W-7, but not both; I do not have any extra 64-bit XP OS, so I might have to buy that separately. I assume that other O/S version limitations (home/pro/ultimate/etc) should be of no serious impact on the TC performance.

As to RAM, I could remain under 4GB with 32-bit XP, but would go higher if it would be likely to buy me anything substantial in performance (implying 64-bit OS of course). I would plan to maximize RAM performance within MB & CPU limitations, but would probably not want to overclock.

As to the graphics card comments I am unclear whether this suggests that the card is relatively inconsequential or simply that a card optimized for gaming is not particularly advantageous? Is anything substantial to be gained by applying a hack to convert to Quadro-type card functionality? Will modern integrated graphics in a cheap commercial i7 system be adequate if allocated ample RAM? 

I have also bought but not yet loaded student Adobe InDesign CS-4 suite. If one platform system might be reasonably optimal for both softwares within the limitations of budget - ie, the cheapest of commercial i7 systems as maximum - I might spring for that; otherwise, I will probably hack something together for now and upgrade to a new system early next year. I will probably reserve one system for graphics educational work. (My understanding is that XP support for commercial i7 systems has limitations, and that I would do better to select an i7 system that comes with XP downgrade rather than one which comes with W-7 upgrade and expect to downgrade it myself.)

I would very greatly appreciate any advice on the relative importance of the CPU speed and core support, the O/S type and bit support, the RAM amount and speed, and the graphics card - and any guesses about Windows 7 support. I believe that informed advice about optimization and likely problems or instabilities in these areas will be of interest to many readers.


* September 10, 2009, 01:21:19 PM
May be worth exploring. TC functions well with Xp in my opinion. If your  going with W7. Windows Virtual PC may be a choice looking into. But require system requirements to work with Xp software . It will NOT work with W7 Basic it will work 32 bit & 64 bit.


Even a mistake may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement Henry Ford
If I have ever made any valuable discoveries it has been owing more to patient attention than to any other talent Isaac Newton
I have not failed Ive just found 10,000 ways that won't work Thomas Edison

* September 14, 2009, 06:34:15 PM
Well, I am not generating a lot of feedback, am I? I have tentatively decided to go with an Intel i5 system as the best price-performance within my budget, seeing that the software apparently doesn't care much for hyperthreading. I am thinking that it will work well enough with TC even if that uses only one core, and that it will give pretty good support for more aggressive softwares.

Sure wish I had some advice on the O/S, though - and RAM requirements for sample documents. Even whether TC really works reliably with Vista 32-bit or 64-bit. I am beginning to think that either people who use TurboCad16 actually use it so much that they don't have time to yak about tuning the carburetor - or that no one actually uses it. 


* September 14, 2009, 10:46:56 PM
Did you check out this post?
I'm still using XP (even on my new machines - I set up one with Vista and just didn't like it), so I can't say how it works with Vista. There are some posts about Vista and 64bit in the old forum, maybe you want to check that out.


Kurt Zingg
TurboCAD Pro 6.2 - 16.2 Mec, TC-CAM 3.5

* October 02, 2009, 07:11:52 AM
My workstation is highend CAD

dual Intel E5430 Xeon CPUs (8 cores)
16GB of RAM
LSI Logic MegaRAID 8708EM2 SAS/SATA cached RAID controller
RAID 1: Seagate Savvio 146GB 10K SAS drives
Single: Seagate Savvio 146GB 10K SAS drives for 24GB paging file
Vista x64 Ultimate

TurboCAD Deluxe 16
Adobe Photoshop CS4 x64
Adobe Lightroom 2.3 x64

I have been building workstations and servers since 1982.  Most companies don't certify an application to run on a new OS till its fully released.   Windows 7 will probably support your applications.   However, if its a production workstation or server, don't upgrade your OS till you are ready or dual boot Vista and Windows 7.   

If you want a multi-core, 64-bit CAD application: AutoCAD is your best choice.  I can handle 8 cores, 128GB of RAM, mulitple GPU cores for rendering.   I build these workstations: $10K+ 

If you want a 64-bit CAD application that can handle 4GB+ of RAM for complex projects, AutoCAD. 

I am designing a 3D Home Entertainment Center.  Layer 0 is background so I can remove the empty shelf spaces.   I have about 20 layers.   So far, rendering is a split second.   

Most highend CAD or A/V applications like Photoshop CS4, use the GPU of the video card for rendering.   I talked with Adobe about using multi-GPU rendering.  It is not exactly available but the video card hardware on my 4850x2 makes it look like one huge GPU on the two cores.  A pair of them is 4 GPU cores, so in Crossfire, it looks like the two video card and four cores as one huge video card.   CS4 does use 4 cores and 16GB of RAM.   I can process 25-30 10MP RAW to JPGs per minute.  The SAS RAID helps with this. 

You can't have cheap and high performance on CAD or A/V.  For a student computer, get a decent 2.4 GHz quad core CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 7200 RPM SATA drives.   TurboCAD will be fine.   Once you are no longer a student, all student software has to be uninstalled by the EULA.