Well, for my circa 2004 Xeon, every type of program has run fine - MS Office, Acrobat, Firefox, Visio, PagePlus, Quicken, as well as DesignCAD, various dwg converters, atomic clock sync, everything.
So then dual-core chips don't speed up TCAD, since it only uses one core, is this our consensus ? What makes the biggest difference appears to be the more evolved architectures inside the core, which can supercede clock speed. Makes sense, right ?
Conclusion - in searching for the best Precision 490, the newest processor family will be the most desirable, with the fastest FSB. Clock speed doesn't have to be absolutely the fastest. RAM could go to 4GB, so other apps have some room to run concurrently, and maybe even a ramdisk. Haha, do we still have those ?
Graphics card, 256Mb would be OK, again, more would be good for other apps, and Redway.
Here's an idea - IMSI could sell machines optimized for TurboCAD ! Don't know if they want to get into the hardware business, but they sure have a large installed base. Are you listening IMSI ? A small commission will be fine . . .