Autodesk has released the platform and system requirements for AutoCAD 2013, which was launched on March 27, 2012. You can review the system requirements on the Autodesk website.
Below are a few frequently asked questions about AutoCAD 2013.
Does AutoCAD 2013 software support 64-bit operating systems?
Yes. (See the system requirements on the Autodesk website.)
Does AutoCAD 2013 software support Windows Vista?
No, AutoCAD 2013 does not support the Windows Vista® operating system.
Does AutoCAD 2013 software support Mac OS X?
AutoCAD 2013 for Mac supports some versions of Mac OS® X. (See the system requirements on the Autodesk website.)
What are the differences between AutoCAD 2013 and AutoCAD 2013 for Mac?
AutoCAD 2013 and AutoCAD 2013 for Mac are based on much of the same source code; however, AutoCAD for Mac 2013 has a look and feel that is familiar to users of other Mac software. (See the system requirements on the Autodesk website.)
Does AutoCAD 2013 software support multiple CPU systems?
Yes, AutoCAD 2013 software supports multiple CPUs. The performance of AutoCAD graphics and rendering systems benefits from multiple CPU systems.
Mathew Kirkland has put together a routine that will determine whether the version of AutoCAD installed on a particular machine is 32-bit or 64-bit. This is useful if you manage various machines in a mixed environment, because some third-party routines require different files to be loaded depending on the version.
Want more information about upgrading to a 64-bit operating system? Check out Curt Moreno’s series on CADspeed!
At Cadalyst we often hear questions regarding the hardware end of the equation, particularly about the system requirements to do useful work with the AutoCAD family of products. As a result, I’m starting this series of blog posts on hardware for the CAD professional, with each segment focusing on a specific area such as graphic cards, memory and hard disks.
Base Requirements Are the Starting Point
Users often have a look at the base requirements for their planned design software and plan their system purchase accordingly. For the most part, vendors such as Autodesk provide requirements based on what is considered workable speeds, not what gives the absolute best performance overall. This information makes a good starting point for configuring your workstation, but shouldn’t be thought of as the “perfect” system requirements. These days Autodesk is providing both the requirements for just running AutoCAD, along with an additional set of higher specifications required for systems creating 3D work.
Requirements for 3D Modeling
The additional requirements for 3D modeling (all configurations, 32-bit and 64-bit) include faster and more capable processors, 2GB RAM or more, 2GB of available hard disk space in addition to free space required for installation, and a graphics display adapter capable of at least 1,280 x 1,024 resolution in true color. The graphics card needs to have 128MB or more memory, support for Pixel Shader 3.0 or greater, and Microsoft Direct3D capabilities. On looking at even these more advanced requirements, they seem to be still targeting the minimum rather than the truly useful range.
Best Performance for Your Dollars
My plan is to go through the system component choices you’ll be faced with if you configure a workstation online — what will give you the best performance for your dollars. With technological innovations and higher capacity hardware, this presents a constantly changing target. We all too often receive emails from users who “bought a system that meets the specifications provided” but is still too slow for the kind of work they are doing. All too often the impact of a given system component can negatively impact overall performance. At the same time, it’s possible to make some tweaks to well-performing systems to enhance their capabilities even more.
Author: Ron LaFon
When Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD 14 was released last year, a client called us about upgrading. The upgrade was a significant one, as this company was still using ArchiCAD 10. At this point, the company’s drafters were essentially working around problems with their system, which included “Memory Full” errors when updating elevation sheets and other system timeouts.
Yet upgrading had the potential to fix more than just the memory issues. The lure of building information modeling (BIM) and improved 3D renderings made a lot of sense for this client’s business plan. This medium-sized, privately owned business specializes in custom home design and construction. The ability to improve their collaboration efforts, cut their production time while creating sophisticated 3D modeling could impact everything from their engineering department to their marketing and sales team.
64-bit Versus 32-bit Operating Systems
The company had already invested in upgrading its hardware, buying updated Dell Business Workstations. But they had yet to take the leap to a 64-bit operating system. ArchiCAD 14 was designed to use a 64-bit operating system, unlike ArchiCAD 10.
Often clients ask us about the difference between 64-bit and 32-bit operating systems. The terms refer to the computer’s processor (also called a CPU), which controls how the computer handles information. For example, the 64-bit version of Windows handles large amounts of random access memory (RAM) more effectively than a 32-bit system. A 64-bit operating system can make a huge difference in the ability of workstations to work with high-end CAD applications.
Our first step for the upgrade was updating the operating system on the client’s current computers to the 64-bit version of Windows. Before we did the OS upgrade, we ran some timed tests so we could compare how the system worked before the upgrade with how it worked after.
|Redraw Type||ArchiCAD 10 on
Windows 32-bit OS
|ArchiCAD 14 on
Windows 64-bit OS
|South||2 min 30 sec||58 sec|
|West||2 min 18 sec||42 sec|
|Section #1||1 min 8 sec||3 sec|
|3D Rendering – All||1 min 45 sec||22 sec|
|Elevation Sheet Update||(Stopped after 5+ min and third “Memory Full” warning)||2 min 20 sec|
These tests were on the same Dell computer with the same amount of RAM, just different versions of the Windows operating system and ArchiCAD. As you can see, the processor made all the difference in running the advanced features of CAD application, significantly cutting down the time for redraws even while running the more advanced features of the newer version of ArchiCAD.
Authors: Mark Shaw and James Ecklund
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