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Revit & AutoCAD LT Workstation - Build or Buy?


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I am currently working my notice period and will be going to a place that hasn't quite made the jump to Revit. They know it is coming and have got consultants to do a development (all Resi) but they want to make sure Revit is going to win the race in the UK before they jump (I told them Revit has already won, but they need some convincing!)


So I don't lose my hard won Revit skills (as slight as they are :) ) I am going to get a years desktop subscription to Revit LT and start taking on some private work again in the evenings and weekends. To this I need to replace my 1st generation i7 Dell. I used to build my own machines but have heard recently to do it properly you pay more than getting someone like HP to do it for you. I have found this machine on HP's UK page HP Z420 Workstation - HP Store UK


Basically it is a Xeon E5-1620 v2 3.7 Ghz with 10mb cache

8GB Ram

7200 1TB Sata

Onboard graphics.


I have already established adding memory and graphics cards at HPs prices will cost me £80-£100 more than upgrading myself and I was thinking about pulling my SATA-2 (or 3) SSD from my current box. I am thinking 16MB minimum memory upgrade and an Asus GTX 760 2GB for a shade under £200 rather than a Quadro K2000 for over double that.


Alternatively do I build from scratch, in which case do I go for the i7 4790 4ghz?


I will only be modelling using Revit LT and occasionally AutoCAD LT (no rendering to speak of) and very occasionally playing World of Tanks! My old machine will be relegated to a media centre.


Any comments gratefully received.

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I too used to build my machines from scratch but decided the cost benifits weren't worth the effort. I did buy a Dell but that had such limited expansion possibilites I felt restricted.


My last machine was bought as a self build kit from Novotec. I specified what I wanted (from their range) and they were very helpful. A few hours was spend screwing it all together and I've not had any major problems. Novotec aren't the only people doing kits but they are the only ones I can remember ATM.

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Thanks Dave. I have since checked out Ebuyer for prices. Main problem is I have no idea of what motherboard I need so I don't strangle all the good components I want to add!

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Revit is processor/RAM/HDD intense. Best bang for the buck is to get the best processor your budget allows, so the i7 you spec'd is just fine. 32GB RAM and a high performance SSD (500GB minimum).


As far as graphics cards go, you can check out this thread here:



This has a ton ton ton of info and is constantly updated. The member "iru69" is an I.T. brainiac and probably one of the most intelligent guys on the graphics card subject. I think he's affiliated with graphics hardware in some way.


Also another really awesome thread is the (un)official Revit Benchmark test:



Download these files and run it yourself, and match the results with those who've already posted their results. You'll be surprised that the guys with dual video cards don't do as well as you might think, but RAM, fast SSD and proc power is where it's at. All benchmark results post the specified hardware so you can get a nice comparison.


Hope this helps! :)

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Thanks Tannar.


Just been to the site Dave recommended and one that a guy on RFO mentioned and I can get a fair spec machine with that i7, 16GB 1600 (the fastest the CPU can really handle, I understand) 512GB SSD (Photo's, Films etc go on the media pc) GEforce GTX 750 or 760 for around £1200 which is about affordable without reducing my social budget too much.

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Thanks for the input guys this is what I've gone for (be nice, I can't change it now!)




550W PSU







LG 29UM65 IPS MONITOR (I have a small desk at home and can't fit decent sized monitors side by side, plus it is in my lounge so I want ti to look a little bit nice!)


The monitor put me about a ton over my budget so including VAT I'm shelling out about £1500. The bluray is a bit ostentatious but I'm going to swap it with the DVD writer in my media PC so I don't have to turn my PS3 on to watch films (or probably ever again :cry: .)

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  • 2 weeks later...

i have just gone through this exercise, but for works desktops. we got HP Z420 Xeon 3.7ghz 16gb ram and a Quadpro K2000 GPU. runs like a charm. the bonus is the 3 year next day on site warrenty that comes standard from HP.


look into HP Renew Stock. its basically refurbed by HP, come with the same warrenty but a hell of alot cheaper. my laptop a Zbook is renew stock and it looks and runs like brand new. if i didnt know it was refurbed i wouldnt have been able to tell.

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look into HP Renew Stock. its basically refurbed by HP, come with the same warrenty but a hell of alot cheaper.
I believe you're referring to the HP Business Outlet which is all their refurb products, which is here: http://www.hp.com/sbso/buspurchase_refurbished.html


I love that outlet. I get their stock list daily via email. Only thing is I believe it's USA only, but haven't looked to see if there's a UK equivalent.

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TBH i dont know, my CAD reseller obtained the hardware for me. but i can confirm that this is avaliable in the UK. google renew stock (im on a mobile)

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