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Posted: 7/21/2008 5:54:31 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:54:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:56:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:58:22 PM EDT
NVIDIA Quadro series
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:00:13 PM EDT
From what I understand, any newer Nvidia Quadro or ATI Fire card is designed to do this exactly, but workstation graphics were extremely pricey last time I checked.

I use AutoCad on occasion as well as Rhino3d and I run two Nvidia supeclocked 8800GT's. When I render 3D it is extremely fast, but I'm not talking about very complex renderings.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:03:29 PM EDT
I'll throw out my experience.

I used a Matrox TripleHead2Go with 3 Samsung 915N LCDs. This was connected to an Nvidia 8800GTX with... um... 768mb I believe.

I had no problem running 3DStudio Max spanning all monitors... or 3DSMax and other programs on different screens.

Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:17:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:18:49 PM EDT
Well it's going to be an Nvidia or an ATI workstation/CAD card.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:19:56 PM EDT
If you do buy an Nvidia based card definitely go EVGA. As Reiko said they are great, and if you find the card lacking they have a step up program for 90 days that lets you trade up for your full purchase price worth of credit.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:44:26 PM EDT
Unless you are doing some truly absurd 3d surface modeling with AutoCAD (in which case you're either an idiot or insane), just about any card with two outputs made today will be perfectly adequate.

There's some myth out there that anything with the word CAD in it must require the latest and greatest equipment to run. It simply isn't true. The graphical end of autoCAD hasn't gotten anymore complex in the last decade and people ran it just fine back then. AutoCAD probably places lower demands on your graphics card then the latest Excel or Word.

If you were running Inventor, Solidworks or some other parametric 3d modeling software with assemblies over 100 parts and lots of textures, then sure, go for a more expensive card. But for AutoCAD? It's about the least graphically intense program you can find. Something along the lines of a 100 dollar card will never even blink running AutoCAD across two big displays.

A CAD workstation typically has two bottlenecks- processor speed and memory and AutoCAD simply isn't complex enough to tax even a modest system by todays standards. I run Inventor v10 all day on a box with integrated graphics and if I ever hit a slow down it's because I ran out of memory, not graphics processing. I need to try to orbit a big assembly with transparency on before it chugs.

Invest in more RAM, cpu speed/cores before you drop a lot of money on a video card that will never really be used.

Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:47:47 PM EDT
Yep. Nothing AutoCAD is asking the system to do (99.9% of the time) is going to come close to taxing the GPU.

Multicore CPU and lots of RAM are your best investment if you really want to sink money into hardware just for AutoCAD benefits.

If you were doing game development work, in something like Maya or 3ds Max, there are developer cards that feature specific driver optimization, extra RAM for the video card, and specialized pipelines to better display and process work in modeling and development software.

AutoCAD doesn't need the latest and greatest video board.
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