CAD Workstations

Choosing a CAD workstation

For engineers, architects, designers, and others who depend on computer-aided design (CAD), choosing the right CAD workstation is paramount. While running CAD software on ill-equipped or outdated workstations can be frustrating and expensive, a superior CAD workstation can boost productivity and facilitate better design while containing costs.

Our innovative Precision workstations for CAD are built with fast memory, the latest professional graphics, and extreme performance to handle the most demanding applications.

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The elements of a superior CAD workstation

Choosing the right workstation for your CAD needs involves knowing the powerful components inside. The best-in-class CAD workstation will include:

CPU with high clock speeds
The central processing unit (CPU) is responsible for executing the most basic functions of a computer. Because CAD programs run primarily on a single core, it is ideal to invest in a CPU with higher clock speeds. Because most CAD applications are single-threaded, having multiple cores on the processor is less important, while having higher clock speeds will deliver the required performance. However, if the system is used with multi-threaded applications as well, then you will want to find a balance of cores and higher frequency speeds.

More RAM
Computers hold data on a short-term basis in the Random-Access Memory (RAM) component. A workstation computer with more RAM will allow the software to load and process more quickly and allow for having more applications running simultaneously.

Certified GPU
The GPU handles the graphics on a CAD workstation during the rendering process. GPUs should be certified for the CAD applications you will be running, the number of monitors you will use, and the resolution of the monitors.

Reliable SSD
Solid-state drives (SSDs) are preferred over hard disk drives (HDDs), as they can save and load more data quickly, ensuring the fast and smooth operation of CAD software. NVMe-based drives provide even greater speed.

High-resolution monitor
CAD users frequently spend long days in front of the monitor, so a monitor that eases eye strain is preferred. HD resolution 1920x1080 is the minimum; a 4K display (3840x2160) is preferred. If your projects depend on color accuracy, a monitor with PremierColor should be considered. Also, having multiple monitors helps to ramp up productivity.

CAD workstations from Dell


Dell has a range of superior workstations in the Precision line of workstations. Precision tower and mobile workstations can handle the demands of CAD functions. These powerful systems feature the latest processors, professional graphics, scalable memory and storage options to deliver extreme performance and exceptional reliability. An ultra-premium Precision mobile workstation offers a versatile design, intelligent performance, and mission-critical reliability for the most demanding applications across multiple industries while giving more flexibility to work from anywhere.

Features of Precision workstations include: Features of Precision workstations include:

  • Intelligent performance, thanks to the latest Intel Core and Xeon processors and professional graphics from AMD and NVIDIA. Dell Optimizer for Precision software uses AI-based technology to tune the workstation based on the applications you use most. This software also provides for ExpressSign-in, ExpressConnect, intelligent audio, and performance analytics to help identify and remove performance bottlenecks.
  • Immersive productivity with technologies that are ready for VR and AI.
  • Mission-critical reliability with ISV certifications, ECC Memory & RMT Pro1 , and an array of connectivity options.
  • Award-winning designs including 4K InfinityEdge displays, the smallest mobile & SFF workstations, thermal cooling, and top-end performance and reliability.
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Dell monitors for your CAD workstation

UltraSharp monitors provide state-of-the-art technology and design for the ultimate performance for CAD workstations. Panoramic curved models offer immersive viewing, as well as seamless, multi-monitor products; UltraSharp monitors help to maximize productivity.

Features of UltraSharp monitors include:

  • Extraordinary color depth up to 1.0 billion colors 
  • Incredible detail, with up to WQHD+ (3840 X 1600) resolution
  • Fully adjustable features for user comfort, including height, tilt, pivot and swivel 
  • A flicker-free screen and ComfortView to optimize eye comfort
  • Extensive connectivity options, including USB-C to reduce cable clutter 
  • Trust, reliability, and peace of mind with Premium Panel Warranty and Dell’s 3-year Advanced Exchange Service

Why choose Dell workstations?

Dell workstations

When you choose a Dell laptop or desktop workstation for your CAD requirements, you can rely on:

Independent Software Vendor (ISV) certification. Precision workstations are strenuously tested to ensure that the most popular independent software applications you rely on every day will run smoothly on your CAD workstation.

Expert advice. Our interactive Workstation Advisor tool can help you choose a Precision workstation that is configured to your unique needs.

Reliable Memory Technology Pro. Protect your workstation from potential crashes with Dell’s exclusive patented Reliable Memory Technology (RMT) Pro. Designed to work with ECC memory, this solution avoids potential crashes by mapping out bad memory locations after the system reboots.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a CAD workstation?
A CAD workstation is a computer built with the speed and reliability to run software for computer-aided design or CAD.

What is the best computer for CAD work? The best computer for CAD work will be a workstation with a very fast CPU that supports ECC memory, a large amount of RAM, the latest GPU technology, and one or more monitors that enable fast rendering and exceptional detail.

How much RAM is needed for CAD programs? While CAD programs vary in their RAM requirements, 16 GB of RAM is generally accepted as the standard for workstations running a variety of CAD software.