Choose the right configuration for your BIM software: ArchiCAD, Allplan and Revit
Following the discussion BIM-adapted computer / laptop configuration enriched by the feedback from our friends Floris, Antonio and François, we will recap in this article the different parameters for choosing a workstation, classic or portable, we have discovered that it is not necessarily the top of technology which will be the best for our software, sometimes a cheaper mid-range configuration will suffice!
We have chosen to study the needs of the three software: Revit, ArchiCAD and Allplan, the choice of the config depends on your software because each one requires more or less performance than the others.
Processor : ArchiCAD perfectly supports 'multiprocessing' through the use of multi-core processors, a 4-core processor is ideal, those with 6 and 8 cores are more efficient but their cost is important and we do not necessarily need them.
Memo : ArchiCAD supports 64bits and to take advantage of it you will need at least 8 GB of memory, which is not bad because most of the time we will not use all of it, on the other hand take 16 GB if you use several software simultaneously, the cost of the ram is relatively weak compared to before, do not hesitate to take enough.
Graphic card: the needs for this component are often overestimated, no need to take the last high-end card, the most important is the video memory so take one with at least 1 GB, the drivers are also very important , which makes the difference of dedicated CAD cards from those dedicated to games, Graphisoft recommends taking certified / CAD cards, you can take a mid-range like Nvidia Quadro or ATI Fire Pro.
Storage (hard drive) : ArchiCAD uses the cache system a lot, a lot of reading / writing of data on the hard disk is carried out apart from saving and opening the files, for this an SSD hard disk is required, you can take one at 128 GB as system disk for windows and ArchiCAD, another classic disk will suffice for the storage of your projects.
Processor : an Intel i5 or i7 is recommended, Allplan can use several cores simultaneously.
Memo : Like ArchiCAD, 8 GB of RAM memory is more than enough for current projects, do not hesitate to take more if necessary since the cost of RAM memory is relatively low.
Graphic card : Nemetschek recommends a graphics card that supports hardware acceleration, a mid-range certified pro / CAD card with 2 GB of video memory.
Storage (hard drive) : An SSD storage for the system disk containing windows and Allplan as well as the rest of your software is ideal, take with a classic disk for the storage of your projects that will be enough!
Processor : Unlike other BIM software, Revit only uses one core of your processor most of the time, no need to rely on the number of cores when making your choice unless you do a lot of 3D rendering, rather take the processor with a maximum of frequency, a recent Intel i7 with 3 GHZ is top!
Memo : to give you an idea of the quantity needed for your projects, it's simple: the size of your .rvt file x 20, without forgetting the linked files! take no less than 16 GB for Revit, and no more than 32.
Graphic card : unlike its two rivals, Revit uses DirectX rather than OpenGL, which is why a latest generation graphics card is not necessarily the most efficient, a mid-range PRO certified / CAD card preferably will be a good one choice, with 2 or even 4 GB of video memory.
Storage (hard drive) : an SSD disk is indisputable :-)
I have not deliberately suggested brands or models of workstations, I will let you each give feedback on their experience, if you have or you use a particular model, please share it here.