It’s that time of year again, rollout! This is Derek Wielkopolski, Technical Support Manager and Application Specialist here at Ideate. As we’re getting all the latest info on the new Autodesk 2014 products I’ve been re-working our hardware recommendations. It’s one of those things – as software changes so does the hardware that’s required to run them.
When it comes to running Autodesk products what hardware components are key? I look at processor, memory (RAM), video card, storage (hard drive), and operating system.
Let’s start off with OS, because we get a lot of calls on this in support; especially with the release of Windows 8 a couple months back. 2014 products are now supported on Windows 8. But heads up, there are some Autodesk products that are supported only on certain versions of Windows 8. For example Revit 2014 isn’t supported on Windows 8 32-bit, just 64-bit. Want to know more about 2014 products and Windows 8? Take a look at the post by David Haynes. Personally, I’m still recommending Windows 7 64-bit, unless you absolutely must have those tiles!
Processor – Remember the days when faster was better? Well that still applies but you also have to factor in multi-processor and multi-core capable machines. Generally speaking, an Intel i5/ i7 or Xeon multi-core processor will suffice. If you’re an AMD fan take a look at their Athlon series
Memory – Always a hot topic especially with some of the more memory hungry applications like Revit. I’m recommending nothing lower than 8GB on production machines, 16GB preferable. Now here’s the important part – make sure you have available slots to add more memory down the road. For example our application specialists’ machines have 16GB installed but with 2 extra slots expandable to 32GB. Memory is cheap these days, no need to skimp.
Video Card – In the last few years or so we’ve been seeing a lot more importance in selecting the right graphics card. First things first, you need a dedicated card; not an integrated card that utilizes CPU resources to power the GPU output. Next make sure you’re looking at a workstation grade video card as opposed to a “gaming” card. In our experience gaming cards can be more problematic. The card also needs to have a good amount of dedicated memory. What’s good? No less than 512MB on the card, 1-2GB is preferred. I strongly encourage our customers to take a look at the Autodesk Certified Hardware page. This is where you can check whether or not your card has been tested and certified and where to download the recommended driver.
Storage – I have to tell you, since switching to a Solid State Drive (SSD) I don’t think I’ll ever go back to a spindle drive. They’re more expensive and typically come in smaller sizes but they are blazingly fast. Computer boot times and application launch is almost “instant on.” But if you are looking into a spindle drive shoot for 7200 RPM drives or faster if possible. For network storage typical server grade hard drives will be faster and usually will have some type of RAID redundancy fail over in place.
Well, I hope that helps.
Don’t forget to look through other great features our Ideate Technical Team has found in the new 2014 releases for Revit Architecture, Revit MEP, Revit Structure, Civil 3D, AutoCAD, and more.
For more information on the software solutions, training and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate, Inc. homepage.
Ideate Technical Support Manager/Application Specialist
Derek holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Roger Williams University, Rhode Island. He is experienced working within the AEC industry from concept design through construction administration for both small and large scale projects. As Ideate’s Support Manager he ensures a timely and quality response to support requests and questions.