AutoCAD 2013 is a very CPU-intensive application and it makes sense that it takes advantage of every possible CPU core. This is not a CPU-based benchmark, so since there is absolutely no load on any specific GPU, we will look at the overall performance with the only factor being the number of CPU cores. In our testing, the X79 platform with 7200 RPM SAS drives consistently performed better than the Z77 platform with the same configuration, and with the same CPU.
With AutoCAD 2013, you can edit large drawings, produce PDF types of files or export as a DWG or DXF file. You can also print documents. All of these processes require RAM and CPU, so it is no surprise that video card play a larger part in any program like AutoCAD. Performance-wise, the X79 platform does not completely dominate the Z77 platform. NVIDIA has it’s version of AutoCAD 2013, but it is an older version and we have used it for our posts around NVIDIA’s Driver Concepts. This NVIDIA version of AutoCAD 2013 came in 17th in our diagram and has a very small platform. The total packages of the two NVIDIA cards seem to provide the best performance, just beyond the DVI Express card. The DXGI hardware, as seen in our AMD testing, also greatly affected the performance of AutoCAD 2013.
The most important aspect of the NVIDIA card in relation to AutoCAD 2013 is the Memory Interface. First and foremost AutoCAD 2013 required a minimum of 4 GB RAM. Second, the AutoCAD 2013 requires a PCI-E x4 interface for a maximum of 64 GB RAM. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 does not have half of the available Virtual Memory so it was not viable for our testing.
For AMD based systems, FX-8120E and FX-9590 are a pair of 5000 series cards and they have the same memory specifications. The difference in the performance is due to the drivers that come preinstalled on the system. This system only runs a stock AMD Catalyst driver, whereas a system with the HIS Radeon HD 7970 will run the AMD Catalyst 13.2 beta driver. d2c66b5586