Processor is one of the most, if not the most, instrumental component in a PC particularly if you are building a workstation for a software like CAD.
A good processor can boost the PC performance, it can allow you to work on large and complex projects without lag. The faster the clock speed, the more instruction or commands it can carry out in a second. In this article, we will particularly look at the best processor for AutoCAD.
We will touch base on the most popular processor for CAD out there and also talk about the different aspects of processor that can govern your working environment such as the number of cores, threads and single core performance.
Note that this article talks about CPU for AutoCAD for people with varying degree of skills and requirements. We look at affordable as well as top of the line processor worthy of a workstation. The good news is that all of our recommendations are far more advanced than the recommended requirements of the software.
Comparison of Best Processors for AutoCAD
|AMD Ryzen 5|
|AMD Ryzen 5 |
|Intel Core i5|
|AMD Ryzen 7 |
|AMD Ryzen 3 |
|Intel Core i9|
List of Top CPUs for AutoCAD in 2020
The following are highly recommended CPU for CAD systems. We have selected options ranging from budget to workstation grade.
- AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT – Recommended Processor for AutoCAD
- AMD Ryzen 5 2600 – Affordable Mid Range Processor
- Intel Core i5-9600K – Mid Range Great Single Core Performance
- AMD Ryzen 7 3700X – For High Performance Machines
- AMD Ryzen 3 3100 – Budget CPU for AutoCAD
- Intel Core i9-10850K – Workstation Grade Processor for CAD
A Brief Look at the Requirements of AutoCAD
A simple look at the requirements details would reveal that the minimum processor you should aim for is the one with 2.5-2.9 GHz clock speed on a single.
However, the recommended specification is to go for a 3+ GHz clock speed processor. The key point to note here is the “+” sign. This basically entails the faster higher the better.
It should also be quite clear here that AutoCAD would benefit the most from a single high performance thread rather than having multiple cores and thus having multiple threads.
We explore the idea of threads and cores below. But for now, the key idea to take away is that you need to find a processor with the highest Clockspeed per core.
1. AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT – Recommended Processor for AutoCAD
First up, we have our personal favorite. If you want to go straight toward one of the most popular processors of the current generation, then this is highly recommended.
The value proposition of this processor is that it features both a good performance as well as offers a fairly reasonable price tag.
Therefore whether you are a beginner or an intermediate user, this is one of the best processors for AutoCAD.
The key feature of this CPU is that it features a single Core performance of 4.5 GHz. This is far more than the recommended 3 GHz for AutoCAD.
As far as the core counts go, this features 6 cores with AMD hypertransport. As such, it has 12 processing threads.
While multiple threads and cores will give you minimal benefit on AutoCAD, other application, games and even just background apps will see great benefit from the higher core count.
This processor works on the AMD AM4 socket and the most recommended motherboard chipset to go for is the AMD B550 for mid range builds and AMD X570 for high end builds.
- Single Core: 519
- Multi Core: 3855
2. AMD Ryzen 5 2600 – Affordable Mid Range Processor
If the processor above is too expensive for your budget, then you can look into this.
AMD Ryzen 5 2600 hails from the 2nd Gen Ryzen series. While it features lower single core performance at 3.9 GHz as compared to the processor above, it is also much cheaper.
Other than that, this too is a 6 core, 12 thread CPU and hence excellent for multi-threaded software and games.
According to the Cinebench R20 scores, this processor is much weaker than the Ryzen 5 3600XT above. However, if you take the performance per dollar value, they are more or less the same.
Plus, the 3.9 GHz single core speed is significantly better than the recommend requirements of this software.
AMD Ryzen 5 2600 Cinebench R20 Scores
- Single Core: 374
- Multi Core: 2736
3. Intel Core i5-9600K – Mid Range Great Single Core Performance
A respectable Intel 9th Gen Core i5 processor with a good single core performance.
Next up we have a highly respectable Intel processor from the previous 9th generation.
The best thing about this processor is because it hails from a slightly older generation, it feature an excellent value for money. This is the Intel Core i5-9600K and if you look at the price tag of its successor the Core i5-10600K you will notice it is fairly high despite the fact that both have almost the same performance.
As far as the value goes, this processor is in between the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 XT and the AMD Ryzen 5 2600 both in terms of performance as well as price tag.
The processor has a max single core performance of 4.60 GHz making it an excellent processor for single thread applications like AutoCAD.
All in all, if you are looking for a highly valued Intel option, then this is the best processor for AutoCAD.
This processor has the LGA 1151 socket and thus work a compatible motherboard.
Intel Core i5-9600K Cinebench R20 Scores
- Single Core: 481
- Multi Core: 2624
4. AMD Ryzen 7 3700X – For High Performance Machines
If you are looking for a higher performance processor, then this is one of the best CPUs for AutoCAD.
If you use AutoCAD in conjunction with other software like DiaLUX, Revit, Solidworks etc then you will definitely benefit from this 8 core, 16 thread processor.
This processor has a single core clock speed of 4.4 GHz. Therefore while you may not see tremendous benefit between this and the AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT above in terms of performance for AutoCAD only, you will notice an improvement in the overall experience.
You would be able to multitask or run multiple software at once, if you render your work, you will notice that the rendering work will be boosted and if you game as well, then the newer games will certainly benefit from the higher core count.
All in all, if you are looking for a high performance option for work that involves more than just Autocad, then this is the best processor for AutoCAD.
Again, if you just want to stick to the right processor for AutoCAD alone, we recommend you ditch this and look into the Ryzen 5 or Core i5 processors.
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X Cinebench R20 Scores
- Single Core: 501
- Multi Core: 4834
5. AMD Ryzen 3 3100 – Budget CPU for AutoCAD
If you are looking for the cheapest possible recommended option, then we highly recommend this budget CPU.
Surprisingly for a budget processor, this has excellent single core performance making it great for AutoCAD. In fact, the single core performance on this is even better than the AMD Ryzen 5 2600.
Unfortunately, though, it will suffer in multithreaded environment. In other words, multitasking will be an issue compared to on the AMD Ryzen 5 2600.
Nevertheless, if you just want to have AutoCAD open at a time and nothing else then you can look into this.
This is a quad core processor with an excellent 3.9 GHz clock speed per core.
All in all, if you are building a system on a budget, then this is the best processor for AutoCAD.
AMD Ryzen 3 3100 Cinebench R20 Scores
- Single Core: 437
- Multi Core: 2351
6. Intel Core i9-10850K – Workstation Grade Processor for CAD
An extreme high tier processor for workstation grade builds.
Finally, here we have a processor for those who work at an industrial level and they have a large budget to invest in their workstation machine.
Having 5.2 GHz per core and having 10 cores and 20 threads makes this one of the most advanced processor available at the moment.
This processor hails from the latest 10th Gen series of Intel processor and hence will require you to invest in a motherboard with the LGA 1200 socket. Just be mindful of the fact that you invest in a high quality motherboard preferably with the Z490 chipset because you need powerful motherboard sub-components to support such high core counts reliably.
For the performance that it offers, this is an excellent processor for its price even though it is in the expensive range.
Intel Core i9-10850K Cinebench R20 Scores
- Single Core: 536
- Multi Core: 6318
What Kind of Processor to Buy For AutoCAD?
As mentioned earlier above, the first and foremost important thing to consider is the recommended requirement of the software itself.
The recommended requirements state that the single thread performance of a processor should be 3+ GHz. Hence the best CPU for AutoCAD you should aim for is the one that has a high single core clock speed.
Also Read: Best Budget AM4 Motherboards
Do Core Counts Matter for AutoCAD?
Autocad is generally regarded as a single threaded software.
A core basically translates to a single or dual threads. Dual threads per core is only possible if the processor has hyperthreading (Intel) or hypertransport (AMD) enabled.
A quad core processor, for instance, can have a four threads at a minimum or 8 threads if it has multithreading technologies mentioned above enabled.
The higher the number of Cores, the more simultaneous tasks it can perform. The higher the number of threads, the higher still is the number of tasks your PC can perform at once.
However, not all software are designed to utilize all cores and thread.
Since AutoCAD is regarded as a single threaded software in most cases, you will benefit more from a single core having a very high clock speed then having a processor with multiple cores but with slower clock speed.
Fortunately, most of the desktop grade processors from the Intel Core i3 to Core i9 and AMD Ryzen 3 to Ryzen 9 have a single threaded clockspeed of 3+ GHz.
The Higher the Clockspeed the Better for AutoCAD
While the recommended requirement is to meet the 3 GHz mark, the higher the better.
For instance the Intel Core i9-10850K with a clock speed of 5.2 GHz would be far better performing than the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 with 3.9 GHz. However, whether the cost benefit is worth it depends on you.
Is an Intel Core i3 or an AMD Ryzen 3 Enough for AutoCAD?
Yes. The simplest answer to your question is that both of these processors (from the latest generations) meet the recommended requirements of the software.
Hence, they can mostly operate the software. However, whether you will be happy with the performance or not is another question.
AutoCAD is highly reliant on CPU for performance. While an Intel Core i3 or an AMD Ryzen 3 will operate the software fine, for more complex and large projects, you will want to upgrade your processor.
Here we looked at some of the best processors for AutoCAD from different price brackets, generation as well as from both Intel and AMD.
Before purchasing the right processor, you should be mindful your budget and your requirements. It is recommended that you maximize your budget for two components i.e processor primarily and then the RAM.
RAM should be at least 8 GB but the recommended amount is 16 GB.
We hope this article at least points you to the right direction.