The 5 Best Graphics Cards for CAD in 2021 (AutoCAD and Solidworks Compatible)

Video cards are a must if a person is into graphics heavy tasks. Video cards are better known as graphics cards or GPU (Graphics processing Unit) to the tech enthusiasts. And for the people that need to work with Cad on a daily basis, a powerful Video card is a must.

CAD is widely used by professionals such as architects, structure designers, drafters and artists to create precise diagrams and figures of their desired objects and structures. So if you want to create unbelievably detailed figures, a video card is a must.

But can’t a person run CAD without a video card? Technically, anyone can use CAD on any kind of video card. But the process would take way too long ( More than a couple of hours in certain cases trust me). And you’d have to sacrifice the quality of your output significantly.

So to separate the best from the rest,, you’d have to make sure of a couple of things. First of all is the video card for regular purposes or for creative purpose? How many CUDA cores are there? How much RAM does the video card have?

You also might want to keep in mind that at the moment there’s a GPU shortage going on, so the prices might be higher than usual.

Seems confusing? Don’t worry! In today’s article we’ll be discussing all that and much more as we take a look at the best video cards for CAD! Let’s begin!

#1. ASUS TUF Gaming NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 OC Edition

ASUS TUF Gaming NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060

From tons of overpriced GPUs, the one that seemed to provide utmost value while still being decently priced is the ASUS TUF Gaming NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 OC Edition. Despite being a relatively new release, this GPU is both powerful enough and perfect to use for CAD.

The first thing to mention about the ASUS RTX 3060 is its architecture. It uses Ampere Streaming Multiprocessors. These multiprocessors allow the GPU to be one of the fastest and efficient GPUs at the moment. This Ampere SM provides twice as much FP32 and power efficiency.

If you’re a 1st GEN RT core user then you’d be delighted as the RTX3060 has 2nd gen RT cores. And these RT cores give out twice the performance of the 1st gen ones. On top of this they also provide shading and concurrent RT for a much better user experience. The ASUS RTX 3060 also has over 3500 cuda cores.

This GPU comes with 12GB of fast DDR6 RAM. So whatever task you do on your CAD, be  sure it will be as smooth as it gets. The ports are diversified too as you’ll find PCIe 4.0, HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4a.

The RTX 3060 has a great cooling system with the Axial-Tech Fan Design. Thanks to this the users will find themselves more fan blades and a reversed rotational direction for the center fan. It also supports up to 8K resolution!

The only thing to worry about is the surging price due to shortage, other than that it’s a stunning GPU at a great price. And the best value for money GPU.

Pros

  • Ampere SM provides twice as much FP32 and power efficiency then its predecessors.
  • The 2nd gen RT cores give out twice the performance of the 1st gen ones.
  • Diverse port options with PCIe 4.0, HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4a.
  • It has a great cooling system with the Axial-Tech Fan Design.
  • Supports 8K resolution.
  • The 12GB fast DDR6 RAM ensures a superfast performance section.
  • Military grade design and structure.

Cons

  • The prices might vary due to GPU shortage.

#2. EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 XC

EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 XC

Now if you want something a bit cheap but unwilling to compromise much on the performance then the EVGA GeForce RTX 2070XC is what you’re after. This GPU provides decent performance along with a stunning design.

The EVGA RTX2070 comes with a decent Boost clock of 1710 MHz. The memory clock is effective up to 14000MHz. It also has 8GB of fast GDDR6 RAM along with 2304 Cuda cores.The memory operates on a 256 bit width. So there’s no doubt that anyone can perform any sort of CAD task with this GPU.

This GPU won’t have overheating issues thanks to the Dual HDB fan. These fans operate low and slow so you won’t hear any stuttering or thud noises while running it. It also comes with a tuning utility that allows the users to overclock to the full potential of the GPU. It also comes with 3 years of warranty.

The EVGA RTX 2070 XC offers adjustable RGB and the build quality is strong. The Platepunch design of the GPU enhances the baseplate’s contact with the heatsink and components. The heatsinks provide better heat dissipation thanks to wider finn area and an L shaped architecture.

However, it needs 550W power supply to run. And that might be a bit costly in the long run.

Pros

  • A decent Boost clock of 1710 MHz.
  • The memory clock is effective up to 14000MHz.
  • 8GB of fast GDDR6 RAM and it operates in 256 bit width.
  • Up to 2304 CUDA cores.
  • Up to 3 years of warranty.
  • Adjustable RGB and strong build quality.
  • Dual HDB fan and a great heatsink makes heat dissipation easier.

Cons

  • Needs 550W power supply to run and that can be costly.

#3. Asus GeForce GTX 1660 Super

Asus GeForce GTX 1660 Super Overclocked 6GB Dual-Fan

Tired of all the High-end GPUs? Well we got a couple of budget options too. For the first option we’ll be presenting you with the Asus GeForce GTX 1660 Super. This mid-range GPU has some solid performance and the price is reasonable too.

For a good GPU you’ll need a good architecture to be present. And the Asus GTX1660S comes with a great architecture to back it up. It has the award-winning NVIDIA Turing architecture. This GPU also has a dedicated hardware encoder.

This GPU comes with 6GB GDDR6 RAM and 1408 CUDA cores. So performance is a section which can’t be debated. It also has an auto-extreme technology that allows the GPU to run 15% faster and 2.5% longer at the same time. And the GPU Tweak II can be used for  system monitoring, thermal controls, and intuitive performance tweaking.

The ASUS 1660S comes with an axial fan design. Because of the design, the longer fan blades and the unique barrier ring increases air pressure. It also has a dual fan design which provides double the airflow while still being 3x quiet.

The only notable nitpick here is the issue of price. Though it is a mid-range GPU, the price is still a bit higher. So think about that while going for this GPU.

Pros

  • It has the award-winning NVIDIA Turing architecture.
  • Comes with a dedicated hardware encoder.
  • Fast 6GB GDDR6 RAM and 1408 CUDA cores.
  • The dual fan design provides double the airflow while still being 3x quiet.
  • The auto-extreme technology allows the GPU to run 15% faster and 2.5% longer.
  • The GPU Tweak II can be used for system monitoring, thermal controls, and intuitive performance tweaking.

Cons

  • Despite being a mid-range option, the price is relatively expensive.

#4. Asus TUF Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 Super

Asus TUF Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 Super Overclocked 4GB

Want an even cheaper option? We got one for you. It’s the Asus TUF GeForce GTX 1650 Super. While it’s a lot cheaper than the other Video cards on this list, the performance is decent.

The Asus 1650S is powered by the NVIDIA Turing Architecture. It has a boost clock speed of up to 1800 MHz. The memory capacity is decent at 4GB DDR6. It also has 1280 CUDA cores which is quite decent.

The build quality of this GPU is quite sturdy. It has a Protective back plate which provides reliability. It also has gone through TUF compatibility testing which ensures all of the components of the video card are working flawlessly. It also has IP5X dust resistance which provides better durability.

This Video card uses auto-extreme technology. This technology pushes the GPU to perform at max capacity while still being reliable. Meanwhile the DirectCU III copper heatpipes make direct contact with the die for better cooling.

The only thing to say here is that it is the minimum GPU you should go for. Anything lesser than this might not perform CAD tasks smoothly.

Pros

  • Powered by the NVIDIA Turing Architecture.
  • A boost clock speed of up to 1800 MHz.
  • A decent 4GB DDR6 RAM.
  • Up to 1280 Cuda cores.
  • Sturdy GPU with a protective backplate.
  • The IP5X dust resistance provides better durability.
  • The DirectCU III copper heatpipes make direct contact with the die for better cooling.

Cons

  • Not as powerful as other video cards.

#5. MSI RX 580 Armor

MSI VGA Graphic Cards RX 580 ARMOR 8G OC

Another Budget option that you can pick up is the MSI RX580 Armor. This is particularly good for those that aren’t a fan of the Nvidia GPUs. The build quality is great and the performance is on par with the 1660 super.

Pros

  • Boost / Base Core Clock: 1366 MHz
  • Video Memory: 8GB GDDR5. Form Factor: Plug-in Card
  • Memory Interface: 256-bit; Bus: PCI-Express 3.0 x16
  • Recommended psu is 500 watt. Core name is polaris 20 xtx. Directx version support is 12. Opengl version support is 4.5

Cons

  • None that we could find!

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