Find the Optimal Hardware Configuration for ArchiCAD
One of the most common questions our tech staff gets from customers is “What is the best hardware config for ArchiCAD?” It’s easy to go overboard and buy the most expensive of everything, but many times less expensive components are almost just as good. The “optimal” configuration is almost as fast as the “best” configuration, with a more attractive price tag.
Let’s review the priorities:
The processor is still the most important component of your config. Since ArchiCAD supports multiprocessing, we recommend 4-core processors. 6 and 8 cores are significantly more expensive while providing little benefit, so 4-core is the most optimal choice. Pick something from the middle range — prices rise exponentially with performance.
ArchiCAD supports 64-bit. To see the benefits of this, you need at least 8GB of physical RAM. While most of the times ArchiCAD will use significantly less than this, since RAM is now cheap there is really no reason to economize here. There are times when you will run multiple copies of ArchiCAD or run other applications simultaneously.
ArchiCAD stores cached data while it operates, so there is a lot of file I/O going on while working in ArchiCAD — not just when saving files. Therefore hard drives are a key — and often overlooked — speed factor. With the price of solid state drives coming down considerably in the past year, they might be a sensible investment. You don’t need a huge SSD. You are better off with a smaller (say 128GB) SSD combined with a large conventional hard drive. You will install the system and ArchiCAD on the SSD, but you will store files on the conventional drive.
ArchiCAD uses hardware acceleration in both 2D and 3D. That said, while the importance of hard drives is often underrated, video cards are often overrated. In general we can say that it is more important to have a recent video card than a particularly high-end video card. It’s not a bad practice to replace the video card at the half of your computer’s lifespan.
When you buy a new card, it’s important to have enough video RAM. We currently recommend 1GB. Drivers are key for optimal performance. If you want to have a peace of mind about drivers, you might consider going with a “professional series” video card — at a much heftier price. You can find a list of recommended cards in our knowledge base.
Screen real estate is a huge productivity factor. Here we have only one recommendation: The bigger the better. You can also hook up two monitors, if your video card supports that.
Author: Gergely (Greg) Kmethy, Team Leader, Technical Support, Graphisoft
This blog was developed by Longitude Media, publisher of Cadalyst.
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- Time for spring cleaning — no dust rag required! @Lynn_Allen uses the Join command to clean up #AutoCAD drawings: bit.ly/1h3kL71Tweeted 1 month ago
- Diet and exercise won't improve your #AutoCAD curves; you need the Blend command! @Lynn_Allen's new video explains: bit.ly/1cRs5h8Tweeted 1 month ago
- Precision M2800 is a 15" mobile #CAD-capable #DellWorkstation — that starts at less than $1,200. Coming this spring. dell.to/1hWrsYCTweeted 1 month ago
- An Open Letter to #CAD Vendors -- here's what users REALLY need from you. Users, do you agree? Please RT! bit.ly/1hV2r2CTweeted 1 month ago
- Fed up with buzzwords and crashes? @RGCADMan speaks for #CAD managers in "An Open Letter to CAD Software Companies." bit.ly/1hV2r2CTweeted 1 month ago
The Latest from CADspeed:
- What to Look for in a Professional Monitor for CAD Applications
- Free Webinar: Improve Civil, BIM & Plant Workflows with 3D Laser Scanning Hardware
- Solid State Drives for CAD Workstations
- Do You Really Need ECC Memory for CAD Workstation Computing?
- Protect Sensitive Data With Easy, Secure Data Image Overwrite for Your Large Format Devices