If you are reading this, you plan to work in AutoCAD or have already been working in it for a while and are frustrated by the performance of your current computer. AutoCAD is a demanding application created by Autodesk to help engineers, architects, and other professionals to create 2D and 3D models. What this means for you is that it is a GPU intensive program that also requires a CPU with fast cores. So, what is the best CPU for AutoCAD?
The best CPU for AutoCAD is the one that gets the job done. This can be something more budget-oriented or it can be a high-end CPU that can compute whatever you throw at it. By reading this you will know which CPU to get that will serve you well.
Best CPU For AutoCAD
- Best Balance: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X.
- Runner-Up: Intel Core i7-10700K.
- Best Mid-Range: AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT.
- Best Budget: AMD Ryzen 3 3100.
- Best APU Under $60: AMD Athlon 3000G.
What You Want to Look For
Since AutoCAD is mostly doing graphical rendering, the graphics card is the part that you should spend the most money on. It is also good to have a fast SSD for AutoCAD. But the CPU is almost as important as the GPU, especially in the less GPU bound 2D modeling tasks. You can get away with a cheaper CPU for 2D, though. However, AutoCAD behaves in much of the same way as a video game does because it favors fast cores over the number of cores and threads.
If you have a CPU with more cores and threads, your computer can run many operations simultaneously. But since you will be doing mostly one thing at a time in AutoCAD, the core count is not the most important thing, but it is a nice bonus. Plus, if you have a good CPU, you can have your browser or something else running in the background without sacrificing too much performance.
You should also remember that if you have a good graphics card, you need a good CPU to go with it. If your CPU can’t keep up, it will be a CPU bottleneck, which is not something that you want to have. In case you don’t know what a bottleneck is, it is when a component inside your computer is much slower than the other, i.e. when you have a fast and new graphics card paired with an old and slow CPU. Having the right balance between the two is desirable.
So, the best CPU for AutoCAD would be one with very fast cores. An AMD Ryzen 7 (or Intel Core i7, to an extent) strikes the best balance between cost, core speed, and has many cores as a nice extra. Stepping down to a Ryzen 5 or even Ryzen 3 is also a viable option if you want to save a bit of money without sacrificing performance by a lot. Here is a list that will help you pick the best CPU for AutoCAD.
Top 5 Best CPU For AutoCAD
|RANK||PRODUCT IMAGE||PRODUCT NAME||SCORE||PRICE|
|1||AMD Ryzen 7 3700X||9.9 ✓||Check Current Price|
|2||Intel Core i7-10700K||9.7 ✓||Check Current Price|
|3||AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT||9.6 ✓||Check Current Price|
|4||AMD Ryzen 3 3100||9.6 ✓||Check Current Price|
|5||AMD Athlon 3000G||9.6 ✓||Check Current Price|
1- Best Balance – AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
The Ryzen 7 3700X is an 8-core, 16-thread CPU that comes with a gorgeous RGB Wraith Prism stock cooler. AMD has been killing it lately with their amazing Ryzen CPUs. If you have a decent graphics card already and want to have a CPU that will work well with it, the Ryzen 7 3700X is an amazing choice. It will not bottleneck even the fastest graphics cards out there.
The CPU has a clock speed of 3.6 GHz, but it boosts up to 4.4 GHz. It is built on the 7 nm architecture, so don’t get confused by the slightly slower speeds if you compare it to the Intel 10700K. The performance between the two is very similar in AutoCAD and most other tasks, but the Ryzen one is usually much cheaper.
The Ryzen 7 3700X has great clock speeds and amazing value. If you like to use your computer for other productivity tasks or gaming in addition to AutoCAD, you just can’t go wrong with this CPU. Ryzen CPUs also have an advantage over Intel in terms of motherboard compatibility. Almost all AM4 sockets (B450 or better) can support the Ryzen 7 3700X. You can find slightly older motherboards for cheaper but note that they need a BIOS update. And the CPU is overclockable.
If you already have an AM4 motherboard, all you need to do is install the latest BIOS by following the manufacturer’s instructions and you are good to go with this CPU. The Wraith Prism cooler is not only stylish but also very good at keeping the Ryzen 7 3700X at reasonable temps. All in all, this CPU is one of the best that you can get for AutoCAD.
2- Runner-Up – Intel Core i7-10700K
This chip from Intel has Intel’s incredible Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0, which allows the chip to reach up to 5.1 GHz. As mentioned previously, core speed is more important than the number of cores, but this chip does not compromise on anything. It has 8 cores and 16 threads while still reaching very high boost clock speeds. You can also overclock if you like.
Remember that despite the much higher boost clock over the Ryzen 7 3700X, it does not mean much. That is because Ryzen is built on the 7 nm process, whereas the i7-10700K is built on the 14 nm. This means that the Ryzen has more transistors, resulting in better performance. And the RAM speed on Ryzen chips makes a huge difference, but on Intel, it does not mean anything.
Despite all that, if you have to have an Intel CPU, the i7-10700K is not a bad choice at all. It outperforms the Ryzen 7 3700X in single-threaded tasks, which is why it beats the Ryzen in most games. This means that if you do not care about the price, the i7-10700K will be the best CPU for AutoCAD. But if you want to save some money without losing too much performance, the following CPU might be of more interest.
3- Best Mid-Range – AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT
This CPU is a beast for under $250. It performs as good as the Ryzen 7 3700X at a slightly lower price point. This is because the 3600XT has a higher base and boost clock. It runs at 3.8 GHz, but boosts up to 4.5 GHz, making it slightly faster than the 3700X. The only caveat is that the 3600XT has 6 cores and 12 threads, down from the 8 and 16 that the 3700X has.
This does not mean much to you if you only use your computer for AutoCAD and gaming, but it is not insignificant in multithreaded workloads, such as Cinebench, 7-Zip File Manager, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, and Blender. If you do anything that can utilize more cores, then paying the slightly higher price is a no-brainer. Nonetheless, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT is the best CPU for AutoCAD because of its great price-to-performance ratio, i.e. it is the best value CPU.
The Ryzen 5 3600XT supports PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards, which is great if you have a newer graphics card that can utilize the higher bandwidth of the new generation PCIe. Something like an RTX 3070 paired with this CPU strikes an amazing balance. All in all, this is the best CPU for AutoCAD and gaming that you can get without going overkill.
4- Best Budget – AMD Ryzen 3 3100
Here is another great CPU from AMD. As you can see, there is a theme going on. AMD has been dominating for the past year, making Intel a tough sell. The Ryzen 3 3100 is a 4-core, 8-thread CPU that brings some serious performance to the table. It has a base clock of 3.6 GHz and a boost clock of up to 3.9 GHz. The CPU has a TDP of only 65W, making it very easy to cool. The Wraith Stealth stock cooler will do a great job. You can even overclock on it as long as you do not push it too hard.
Yes, overclocking on a stock cooler has been made possible by AMD. And you should use the overclocking capabilities that this chip has. It is one of the main reasons why it is a much better value chip than the i3-10100. This chip can be clocked to 4.4 GHz without too much trouble, making it the best CPU for AutoCAD by far at this price point.
The slightly faster Ryzen 3 3300X is also a good choice, especially if you do not plan to overclock yourself because it boosts up to 4.3 GHz out of the box. But since it is a bit more expensive and does not deliver significantly better performance over an overclocked Ryzen 3 3100, it provides slightly less value. But let’s go back to the Ryzen 3 3100 now. Even though it has only 4 cores and 8 threads, it performs very well in AutoCAD as it is a single-threaded task.
If you are planning to build a cheap yet powerful computer, the Ryzen 3 3100 will be the best CPU for AutoCAD. You cannot go wrong with this CPU. It can be found under $140 on Amazon. And if you combine it with some fast DDR-3200 MHz RAM and a good B550 motherboard, you have a great computer for not too much money.
5- Best APU Under $60 – AMD Athlon 3000G
If you are on a very tight budget and can’t afford a graphics card at the moment, here is another amazing chip from AMD. An accelerated processing unit, or APU for short, is a CPU with an integrated GPU. This means that you can run it without a graphics card altogether. AMD is well-known for its amazing built-in GPUs and this chip is no exception. The “G” in the Athlon 3000G graphics. The chip has fast Zen cores combined with advanced AMD Radeon graphics.
This is the best budget CPU for AutoCAD that you can get. It has 2 cores and 4 processing threads that are enough for AutoCAD, but anything multithreaded will be a pain to run on this chip. Nonetheless, if you plan to use your computer only for AutoCAD and maybe a bit of light gaming, the Athlon 3000G is the cheapest and best new chip that you can get today. It has a base clock of 3.5 GHz, but it is unlocked.
Both the GPU and the CPU can be overclocked and with a TDP of only 35W, it is something worth doing. You can get up to 30% more performance. But you will have to run it at higher voltages which will shorten the chip’s lifespan. But the lifespan of CPUs is not something to worry about because technology moves fast and you will replace it long before it dies. All things considered, this chip is the best choice for a very cheap AutoCAD and light gaming computer.
AutoCAD is a software application that benefits most from good single-threaded performance. This means that you can get away with a cheap $60 Athlon CPU, but something faster, like a Ryzen 3 3100 or Ryzen 5 3600XT will do a much better job. If you want a powerful computer that can do many other things in addition to having the best AutoCAD performance, something like an i7-10700K or Ryzen 7 3700X would be great.