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Optimal Hardware for Bricscad

I am contemplating building a new desktop computer.  Of the programs I run, Bricscad requires the most resources to run.  That is not to say Bricscad requires a lot, I am actually running it on a very underpowered system compared to bleeding edge technology.  What made me consider a newer, more powerful computer is that I recently created a length of 3D screw thread using the spiral command (new in V14) that I could not actually use (create a 2d view from the model, either in V13 or V14).  Apparently, it was just too much for my underpowered hardware.  Before everyone points out the built in screw threads in Briscad, please note that the particular thread I use is not available and that the threads that are produced are representations of threads, not actual threads.  I need actual 3/4-24 and 3/4-27 threads.

The main point of this post is that I would like to know from other Bricscad users what hardware has worked best for them. I know I could build a gaming type system and Bricscad would probably fly on it, but I am not a gamer and don't want to spend maximum money on a system. Other than the obvious benefit of a large amount of RAM, I was mainly thinking that the right graphics card might have the greatest impact but maybe somebody else found out that the processor or motherboard chipset also had a large impact.  All suggestions would be appreciated, including the right amount of memory.


Comments

  •  My main work are in 2D (but large) drawings and also 3D in AX3000 (HVAC - Ventilation part). I used before Windows machine e.g. Toshiba NB, 4GB, ATI gfx, W7 and all works as I need. Now I'm using MacBook Pro 15-inch, Mid 2012, i7 2,6 GHz, 8GB. Run BricsCad over Parallels with alocated only 2GB RAM and have any problem (maybe only if I have opened more then 15-20 DWG - but over 10 MB each). Try also BootCamp and it run much more quickly. Try also disable buildin nVidia gfx and run only at HD4000 and performance is also good.

    I think, BricsCAD is more polite to HW resources than AutoCAD. And on old HW run v13 well, but e.g. AutoCad 2010 not ran very quickly.
  • @ Eric
    Are you sure your problems with modeling a thread had something to do with a lack of resources?
    I bet not: after playing a little with sweeps along a helix, I ran into all kinds of problems, but running out of memory was clearly not one of them.
    If modeling operations take very long to complete, it hints in my experience to a problem in the data or the ACIS-kernel, that cannot be solved by throwing more resources at it. I am currently using a Macbook 6.1 with 4GB (under ubuntu), which is comfortable for my needs.
    Sure, for bigger 3d projects, more RAM and computing power is advisable, but I would not expect miracles. Also, unless you want to embellish your models with high-res textures, you won't need a high-end graphics card. Just my personal opinion, of course.
  •  3D threads can bring any system to its knees if they are detailed and used extensively enough.  In general, you model until you realize you did too much, and then the next time you know how much your system will handle.

    I have a Toshiba Satellite P745, with an Intel Core i5-2410M 2.3Ghz and its Intel integrated HD 3000 graphics.  It is brought to its knees any time I activate3D graphics mode or real-time shading. This is regardless of the complexity of the model, or shading mode.  It is simply not compatible with 3D modeling with BricsCAD.

    -Joe
  • Yes, the hardware accelerated graphics (provided by redway) is IMO the Achilles heel of BricsCAD. For windows, they at least have a driver matrix (http://www.redway3d.com/pages/GPUList.php), but it doesn't really help in finding out which graphics cards are well supported. For Linux there is simply nothing at all. However, as far as I understand, nvidia cards still offer the best likelihood of working flawlessly.
  • @ Joe: According to the link in Knut's post 'Intel(R) HD Graphics Family / 3000' is supported. Have you tried the listed driver?
  • I have already spoken with tech support at Bricsys and I have reached a dead end.  I already had the most recent driver, which is version 8.15.10.2353.  

    I don't know what list of drivers you are referring to. Can you link to it?

    Perhaps there is an older version of the driver I should try.

    -Joe
  •  Roy, I realize that I didin't fully understand what you were saying.  Is the http://www.redway3d.com/pages/GPUList.php list a list of drivers supported by BricsCAD?  I was confused, since I didn't know what or who Redway3D was.

    I normally used an automatic video driver update check that is built into my Toshiba system. But, apparently it does not truely try to give you the latest version. Perhaps it is just the latest that Toshiba has checked out.

    Anyway, the chart in the link refers to some numbers that I am guessing about what they refer to, and since I found some comparable numbers on my video system information, it seems that the version they offer is newer.  So I just gave it a try. But, the install fails, saying, "This computer does not meet the minimum requirements for installing the software".

    There are no instructions on the Redway web site, nor are there any with the driver I downloaded from them.

    I appreciate your advice on this, and would like to do more 3D, since I did purchase a version of BricsCAD that should be able to do a lot more 3D.

    -Joe
  • Can I ask why some seem to use laptops instead of a desktop?

    Is it portability, good screen quality for size, good value, or some less apparent reason?

  •  My motivation for a laptop is for portability, since I am currently working from my home and need to occasionally take my work to the company's office.  I really just use it 99% of the time like it were a desktop unit.  I have it set up so I can see its screen, plus I use a separate large monitor.

    For 2D work, it really is more than adequate, since that really doesn't need much processing power to handle.  But, as soon as you start rotating a 3D object around, the rules change, and you need a good video card to handle it.

    -Joe
  • I was going to use the Redway GPU list (http://www.redway3d.com/pages/GPUList.php) to determine the suitability of new computers. Judging by Joe's experience it is not entirely reliable. You can have a computer with a GPU that is supported according to the list and still be unable to do 3D modelling in BricsCAD.
  • Hmm... If I look at the BricsCAD system requirements (http://www.bricsys.com/common/knowledge/topic.jsp?id=65) the list of supported GPU's is much shorter than the Redway list. Although you are referred to the Redway list. Until now I have assumed this to mean that the whole Redway list applied to BricsCAD, but that is probably(?) not the case.
  • I am trying to determine a suitable spec for a desktop/workstation pc upgrade, and i also find the BricsCAD graphics requirements confusing.
    For good graphics performance and OpenGL capability on BricsCAD, legacy AutoCAD, structural analysis, Photomodeler etc we need a separate graphics card.

    The Redway list is fairly complete and includes most higher graphics cards.

    However, the BricsCAD list only includes
    - Nvidia GeForce cards which are not good on OpenGL and which do not have ECC memory.  Nvidia Quadro etc are not mentioned.
    - ATX cards which have historically had weaknesses with CAD applications.
    - The rather old Intel GMA 4000 series that was replaced by the HD series in 2010.  The GMA series only support very old versions of OpenGL.

    Maybe the BricsCAD list is out of date. 
    Has anyone had recent experience of Nvidia Quadro 2000 or 4000 on BricsCAD ? 
    We do lots of 3D modelling with basic shading, mostly engineering structures, but we seldom use rendering.
  • I'm running V14 with a Quadro 2000M (mobile) in a Lenovo W520 that's a couple of years old now. Works well. Lately, mostly working in "modeling" style on simple fixtures -- equipment foundations, enclosures, that sort of thing. Not much rendering, just the occasional pretty picture for PowerPoint presentations
  • 3D on laptops is rather a problem.
    if the laptop is connected to the AC outlet, and power save is disabled then usual not complex 3D  works.

    But if you plan big detailed 3D drawings, then a laptop is sure not the choise to go.
    Simply cause the mobile chips in a laptop are all in fact crippled versions cause they are made to work with battery mode so save as much power as possible.
    Een connected to the AC outlet, still rather poor performances.


    Fluent 3D asks in het first place hardware acceleration  from the video card.
    Second, a fast single core cpu , multi core is ok but many 3D kernels can only run on a single core.
    Multi core just allows allows  certain parts of a cad program (programming sections like lisp, vba) excecuted on another cpu.

    The intel cpu's are faster then amd cpu's , but that doesn't mean that a 3D cad computer can not be based on amd.
    But choose a fast version like FX 8350 (8 core 4Ghz)

    Ram: minimum 4GB, better 8GB

    Video is another story.
    The nvidia Tesla is for many way too expensive but a quadro 2000 or k2000 with 384 cuda cores (around 500 euro)
    gives enough power and 2GB ram is ok. Quadro series have drivers specific for 3D CAD.

    A consumer videa card: beware not all support openGL and expect more problems driver related.
    Other then that, a modern fast consumer videocard  ou of the high series of Nvidia and amd work fine but driver related not so good.
  • I am trying to determine a suitable spec for a desktop/workstation pc upgrade, and i also find the BricsCAD graphics requirements confusing.
    For good graphics performance and OpenGL capability on BricsCAD, legacy AutoCAD, structural analysis, Photomodeler etc we need a separate graphics card.

    The Redway list is fairly complete and includes most higher graphics cards.

    However, the BricsCAD list only includes
    - Nvidia GeForce cards which are not good on OpenGL and which do not have ECC memory.  Nvidia Quadro etc are not mentioned.
    - ATX cards which have historically had weaknesses with CAD applications.
    - The rather old Intel GMA 4000 series that was replaced by the HD series in 2010.  The GMA series only support very old versions of OpenGL.

    Maybe the BricsCAD list is out of date. 
    Has anyone had recent experience of Nvidia Quadro 2000 or 4000 on BricsCAD ? 
    We do lots of 3D modelling with basic shading, mostly engineering structures, but we seldom use rendering.


    Hi,
    I would think the GMA 4000 is a mistake on Bricsys page and they mean Intel Graphics 4000, which is the one used in Ivy Bridge chips. I didn't test this though. I just tested Sandy Bridge Intel Graphics 3000 under Linux - this graphics card is not accelerated.

    I agree with AMD cards being a bit flaky with CAD and other applications - it's good hardware with medicore driver.

    By  not listing Quadro and FirePro lines of graphics card, it doesn't mean the won't work. I think it means they will work as good as GTX cards. Quadro cards only work better in certain applications, because their drivers are optimized for those applications (AutoCAD, 3DS Max, Pro-Engineer, CATIA,...). I've never seen a mention,  that NVIDIA's Quadro drivers would be optimized for Redway  or Bricscad, which means Quadro will work just as good as GTX card.

    Why is ECC memory in graphics card important for 3D work? I can understand it's important for compute, but I've never heard why it would be useful for 3D graphics.

    Tom
  • The debate of cheap GTX versus expensive Quadro has been debated in many forums.
    For pixel images used in gaming and DirectX the GTX is an obvious choice.
    For calculating polygonal faces from a mesh or solids model, the Quadro performance is superior.
    There are some OpenGL features (some transparency and rendering) that are only supported on Quadro.
    Many of the legacy and older and high-end CAD softwares are considered work much better on Quadro.

    I am new to BricsCAD with Redway.  And it appears the official BricsCAD hardware documention is a little old.

    So my reason for posing this question is to understand whether the 3x to 5x extra cost of Quadro over similar spec GTX is justified in the opinion of those BricsCAD users who do 3d CAD but seldom do renderings.  Do these users have driver problems with the GTX cards that only support lower versions of OpenGL ?

    @Tom
    Why is ECC memory in graphics card important for 3D work ? 
    I understand this is because of the CUDA concept which allows an application (CAD or structural etc) to use the GPU on the graphics card to do processing and get the job done quicker.  But I suspect very little engineering software is coded to use this.  (Most CAD and engineering software still only runs on single CPU core anyway (but multi threaded) except when doing things like printing and add-ons, as Stefaan says)  Some specialised simulation software uses CUDA and then ECC is important.  So maybe for us ordinary CAD/engineering users the CUDA concept is just a sales gimmick and ECC memory is not useful.
  • The debate of cheap GTX versus expensive Quadro has been debated in many forums.
    For pixel images used in gaming and DirectX the GTX is an obvious choice.
    For calculating polygonal faces from a mesh or solids model, the Quadro performance is superior.
    There are some OpenGL features (some transparency and rendering) that are only supported on Quadro.
    Many of the legacy and older and high-end CAD softwares are considered work much better on Quadro.

    I am new to BricsCAD with Redway.  And it appears the official BricsCAD hardware documention is a little old.

    So my reason for posing this question is to understand whether the 3x to 5x extra cost of Quadro over similar spec GTX is justified in the opinion of those BricsCAD users who do 3d CAD but seldom do renderings.  Do these users have driver problems with the GTX cards that only support lower versions of OpenGL ?

    @Tom
    Why is ECC memory in graphics card important for 3D work ? 
    I understand this is because of the CUDA concept which allows an application (CAD or structural etc) to use the GPU on the graphics card to do processing and get the job done quicker.  But I suspect very little engineering software is coded to use this.  (Most CAD and engineering software still only runs on single CPU core anyway (but multi threaded) except when doing things like printing and add-ons, as Stefaan says)  Some specialised simulation software uses CUDA and then ECC is important.  So maybe for us ordinary CAD/engineering users the CUDA concept is just a sales gimmick and ECC memory is not useful.


    I see from the forums here, that lot of people use GFX cards with BricsCAD. It would be interesting to hear from someone who has tried both GTX and Quadro cards with BricsCAD, because otherwise it's hard to judge. Maybe some of the developers could tell us, if there's difference.

    I think your point with ECC memory is valid, it's only important for compute. Few flipped bits don't matter when showing graphics on the screen.

    Tom
  • My system isn't optimal, and I don't work as a professional draftsperson, but I use an ASUS P9X79 Deluxe board with 32 G of RAM,  a 256 G PCIe SS HD, a Seagate 4 T drive that Bricscad is installed on, a Gigabyte AMD Radeon 7900 series graphics card, driving an ASUS PB278 monitor... and it works really well.   It's fairly fast.  I can download and edit a 50 M 3D tunnel drawing for editing in just a few seconds.

    Dik
  • ECC was important when SD-ram was not so stable yet.

    But the hardware manufacturers can make stable DDR memory.

    If You get a error like app caused a xxxx error at address yyyy can mean that it's memory related.

    memtest is a good test environment for non ECC ram.

    ECC is importent for servers running 24/24

  • Hi Richard. I have just installed version 15. I have an NVIDIA Quadro FX 1800 that worked with AutoCAD really well. The large 3D model I have made with AutoCAD doesn't render while orbiting as quick in BricsCAD. I don't think BricsCAD is using the Quadro card processor. Not that I have investigated yet. Dallas


    I am trying to determine a suitable spec for a desktop/workstation pc upgrade, and i also find the BricsCAD graphics requirements confusing.
    For good graphics performance and OpenGL capability on BricsCAD, legacy AutoCAD, structural analysis, Photomodeler etc we need a separate graphics card.

    The Redway list is fairly complete and includes most higher graphics cards.

    However, the BricsCAD list only includes
    - Nvidia GeForce cards which are not good on OpenGL and which do not have ECC memory.  Nvidia Quadro etc are not mentioned.
    - ATX cards which have historically had weaknesses with CAD applications.
    - The rather old Intel GMA 4000 series that was replaced by the HD series in 2010.  The GMA series only support very old versions of OpenGL.

    Maybe the BricsCAD list is out of date. 
    Has anyone had recent experience of Nvidia Quadro 2000 or 4000 on BricsCAD ? 
    We do lots of 3D modelling with basic shading, mostly engineering structures, but we seldom use rendering.
This discussion has been closed.
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