MCAD Tech News (#282)

10 Jun, 2010 By: Cadalyst Staff

First Look Review: HP Z200 Workstation

New dual-core desktop workstation offers good performance and configurability at an entry-level price.

By Ron LaFon

These days if you're able to invest in new technology at all, you probably want to ensure you get the most possible for the money. So you might be very interested to hear about HP's new professional workstation, the HP Z200, which began shipping in February. We put this entry-level system to the test in Cadalyst Labs and found it delivers an excellent price-to-performance ratio — that is, lots of bang for the buck. At a starting price of only $769, the Z200 can efficiently run AutoCAD, Adobe Photoshop, or power office applications, and for a slightly greater investment, it can do a lot more.

Good things come in small packages — or so the saying goes. That's certainly true of the new HP Z200 workstation. Measuring 17.7" x 7" x 17.9", this desktop system may be compact, but it packs enough horsepower to make it a viable choice for CAD and engineering firms.

The System

The HP Z200 I tested was based on an Intel Core i5-650 3.2-GHz dual-core processor with 4 MB of internal cache on a motherboard using an Intel 3450 chipset. Various processors are available, but the system I tested was equipped with the dual-core processor offering a faster clock speed. HP's investment in acoustic engineering is evident in what you can't hear — this system is one of the quietest ever to come through Cadalyst Labs. Read more »

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Ron LaFon is a principal at 3Bear Productions in Atlanta and a contributing editor for Cadalyst.


Parametrics 103: That Figures!

Learning Curve tutorial: Annotational dimensional constraints let AutoCAD users create intelligent drawings that capture design intent.

By Bill Fane

It was a warm, sunny Wednesday afternoon. Captain LearnCurve was on special assignment as his driver skillfully piloted the Lincoln Town Car northbound on I-35.

Here we go again! Now what on earth have you bought, and/or what are you up to now?

Nothing much. The Captain and his fellow CAD Brothers had finished presenting their classes at the AUGI CAD Camp in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday and were headed to Dallas for the next event in an on-going series.

David Cohn had arranged for the rental car. When we picked it up we were told that the generic sedan he had reserved wasn't available. Would we mind taking the Lincoln instead as the rental company wanted it back in Dallas anyway? We figured they should be paying us, because they wanted the car delivered.

That's it! This month's topic! Figuring! Read more »

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Bill Fane is a Cadalyst contributing editor, a registered professional engineer, and a retired instructor at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.


Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events


July 25–29, 2010
Los Angeles, California
SIGGRAPH 2010 — the 37th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques — will include a three-day exhibition of products and services from the computer graphics and interactive marketplace. Read more »

PLM Road Map 2010
September 28–29, 2010
Plymouth, Michigan
At PLM Road Map 2010, attendees can join the CPDA (Collaborative Product Development Associates) team to find out first-hand which issues are confronting end users in design and engineering. Read more »

November 2–4, 2010
Atlanta, Georgia
The FABTECH tradeshow showcases a spectrum of metal forming, fabricating, stamping, tube and pipe, and finishing and welding equipment and technology. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


What’s New at


ArchiCAD 14 Eases Model Sharing and Updating between Architects and Engineers
Latest version of BIM solution supports open design collaboration and boosts productivity and Teamwork 2.0 functionality. Read more »

Bentley Forges GIS Tools to Build 3D Cities
The latest infrastructure-management software enables city officials to model their domains more realistically and completely. Read more »

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Mastering Windows 7
Do you have questions about fine-tuning and debugging? This super site could be the resource you've been searching for. Read more »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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