Factors to Consider When Building a CAD Workstation on a Budget

If you’re a professional who works on 3D modeling and design and want to build a powerful workstation computer for AutoCAD, SolidWorks, 3D animations and other graphics software, then the good news is that it is possible. A decent CAD workstation can be quite pricey, because it requires specialist and often expensive components that are usually priced much higher compared to regular, or even gaming PC components. However, by selecting the right components and shopping around for good deals, you can easily build a CAD workstation PC on a budget. Some of the main things to focus on include:


The CPU or processor is the main component of any PC no matter what you are using it for. For Solidworks Workstation Laptops and PCs running AutoCAD, it’s important to ensure that you choose a processor that is up to the task. For general use and even some gaming applications, you can usually have an average processor that will work just fine. However, for CAD software programs such as SolidWorks, you will need a very powerful processor, so this should be the component that you allocate the majority of your budget to.


For a CAD workstation setup, you will need to have at least 16GB of memory to work with software like AutoCAD and SolidWorks. This is another component that is worth allocating more of your budget to as the more RAM, the better for multi-tasking and running demanding applications and software without your computer getting slow and sluggish. Choose high-quality memory that offers excellent performance for the apps that you need. It’s a good idea to go for RAM that supports overclocking.

Graphics Card

The graphics card is one of the most important components of your CAD workstation PC. While there are lots of dedicated graphics cards out there that are designed with gamers in mind, it might be best to steer clear of these as despite the fact that they are powerful, they are not always enough for CAD applications. Ideally, you should go for a workstation graphics card that is designed for use with CAD software like SolidWorks.


The best option for a CAD workstation PC is a solid state drive (SSD) as this will allow for faster loading of 3D models and all the other processing involved in CAD software. It’s a good idea to choose the best SSD you can find for your budget; ideally, a gaming SSD is a good choice for CAD as they tend to be very reliable along with offering high performance.

Power Supply

Finally, you will need to get a decent power supply to get the most from your workstation PC. There are lots of good budget power supplies on the market that will work quite well. Opt for one that offers a quiet PSU and various connectors for your graphics card and other components.

Running CAD software such as SolidWorks requires a very powerful PC, which doesn’t always come cheap. The good news is that by shopping around and looking for deals on the components you need, you can build a powerful workstation on a budget.