I am just looking into upgrading my cadd system. Jumping up from dacad 11 to 14. Also I am going to replace my 2005 hp computer. I do have other graphics programs like Corel Draw, 3d max and Autocad 2001. I like the AMD processors like the Phenom II x 6 but is this over kill? Am I better off just putting a little extra money into system memory or graphics card? Also which is better I see some mother boards have on board graphics with 512 shared memory. Is it still better to have a add on video card with the 512 on board? Heres the system that I was thinking about. A ASROCK motherboard with available memory slots for 32mb of memory, 8 megs of ddr3 memory, 1 terabyte HD, ATI Radeon HD 6670 graphics card with 1 gig memory. Dual 19" LCD monitors. System cost about $500 ( already have the monitors). New operating system - windows 7. Any thoughts?
With Win7 you need 2GB of RAM just to boot the system, so 4GB is a minimum you would want to have. I'd say go for 6 or 8GB. And 1GB or more on the video car is good for 3D things, like SketchUp. A 6 core CPU is plenty, but good to have considering things like antivirus etc. running in the background. And I'd get a card with 2 DVI outputs, for sure.
The AMD chips are no longer in the higher performance category -- the Intel i5 or i7 quad core CPU's are much faster than even the 6 core AMD's. You are probably right that today's machines are not limited by their CPU's, but the Intel i3, i5 and i7 are the best performers in their categories, by a large margin.