Ho Ho Ho! #Free Holiday Give Away #CAD NVIDIA GeForce Video Card


I bought an extra video card awhile back as a back up and luckily have never had the need to use it as my cards have all performed flawlessly. So I am giving it away while it is still relatively useful, especially to those of you who are tweaking old systems to extract the most performance possible before being forced to upgrade.


It’s amazing how far video card technology has gone. This particular card sports Dual-Link DVI_I, VGA, HDTV + TV Out ports. This is an 8400 GS model and it requires a PCI Express mid height slot.

There are an unprecedented number of people out there working with older systems as the poor economy has impacted the number who can afford upgrades. Not everyone working in CAD has the latest and greatest cutting edge technology at their fingertips, yet almost everyone can do something to improve the speed and quality of their system performance. This card, while not spectacular, will decrease redraw times using almost any CAD program, but AutoCAD in particular. I’d say this video card is optimized for versions 2002 to 2010. The best match is probably with Version 2008.

Old System Tune Up Tips

If you have a system older than 2008, there are three things you should focus on:

1. Upgrade to a Solid State Device (SSD) technology drive. This is the single, most dramatic upgrade you can experience immediately. Depending on the size, this will cost between $80 to $200. The sweet spot is a 256 GB SSD drive at under $180. In an older system, you probably have a SATA II interface. Don’t worry. Buy SATA III as it is backwards compatible, and you will be able to reuse the same drive when you upgrade your system.

2. Upgrade your Operating System (OS) and max out your RAM. Upgrading to Windows 7 or XP 64-bit alone, especially if you’re upgrading from 32-bit Windows Vista (yuck!) alone, will speed and stabilize your system. It will also allow you to break the 3.5 GB memory barrier. Do not install more memory than 3.5 GB of RAM, as 32-bit OS’es can’t take advantage of RAM beyond that point. Chances are you have 1, 2 or 4 GB of RAM and your computer’s motherboard can most likely handle 8 GB. Upgrading your OS will probably cost over $100, but the ability to use more RAM can justify the cost. RAM prices continue to drop. However, it’s surprising how the new and fast RAM is a lot cheaper than the old type you probably need! It can be expensive to buy old memory. Shop for it carefully through eBay or Craigslist. If you’re patient and diligent, you will find bargains. Perhaps you can inherit some from a friend who upgrades, but don’t count on it.

3. Upgrade video card and other key components. In the case of CAD workstations, a great video card may outrank and outdo the performance improvement from the SSD, OS and RAM upgrades above. This is particularly true if you do a lot of 3D editing, such as 3D modeling, and you need to view relatively large and complex scenes. In fact, it is a joy to use Navisworks coupled with a great video card to navigate around a 3D model. It feels like running a video game!

How to Win

I will send this new, unused, in the original box, video card, free, to the person who submits the best tip related to CAD video performance, judged by the number of “Likes” received on the LinkedIn group posts by midnight December 31, 2012. There will be free shipment to the continental US only, so if you are outside of this area, you can still get the card if you have your own shipping account, can pick it up or make alternative shipment arrangements with me. Please note, I don’t have any connection to NVIDIA, though like most users, really enjoy using their products and often recommend them to my clients. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

To win you must post your comment here: http://lnkd.in/sPPMEv

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