• Vectorworks 2018 System Requirements


    JimW

    The following are real-world system requirements for running Vectorworks 2018. In some demanding cases, we would suggest a more capable machine than is described by these recommendations. Likewise, there are some less demanding situations where Vectorworks will perform well on older hardware.

     

    General Requirements:

     

     Operating System:

     macOS 10.12
     Mac OS X 10.11

     Mac OS X 10.10

     

    Windows 10 (64-bit)

    Windows 8 (64-bit)

    Windows 8.1 (64-bit)
    Windows 7 SP1 (64-bit)

     

    Minimum Hardware Profile

     

    Entry-level Profile:

    For small projects, simple models/drawings with a low level of detail, simple renderings (such as, small residential projects, small theaters, small landscaping design)

     

    Processor:

    64-bit Intel Core i5 (or AMD equivalent) or better

     

    RAM:

    4GB or more

     

    Graphics Card:

    OpenGL 2.1 compatible graphics card with 1GB of VRAM or more

     

    Some integrated graphics cards such as Intel Iris graphics are acceptable for simple models/drawings, but a dedicated graphics card is preferable.

     

    Vectorworks with Vision requires a dedicated graphics card, preferably released in the past three years.

     

    Using multiple view panes with different visibilities in all panes requires a graphics card with at least 2GB of VRAM.

     

    Display Resolution:

    1440 x 900 or higher

     

    Hard Disk:

    10GB free disk space is required for the installation. 30GB or more is required for a full installation with all libraries.

     

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    Recommended Hardware Profiles

     

    High-end Profile:

    For large projects, complex and very detailed models/drawings, complex renderings (such as large BIM projects, large entertainment venues, commercial sites, GIS, high end landscaping design, photorealistic rendering)

     

    Processor:

    64-bit Intel Core i7 (or AMD equivalent) clocked at 3GHz or better

     

    RAM:

    16GB-32GB or more

     

    Graphics Card:

    A dedicated OpenGL 2.1 compatible graphics card with 4GB of VRAM or more

     

    Vectorworks with Vision requires a dedicated graphics card, preferably released in the past three years.

     

    Display Resolution:

    1920 x 1080 or higher

     

    Hard Disk:

    10GB free disk space is required for the installation. 30GB or more is required for a full installation with all libraries. Installing Vectorworks on flash storage (SSD) is recommended.

     

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     

    Mid-level Profile:

    For medium-size projects, complex models/drawings with medium level of details (such as small commercial projects, mid-size entertainment venues, residential site modeling)

     

    Processor:

    64-bit Intel Core i5 (or AMD equivalent) clocked at 2GHz or better

     

    RAM:

    8GB-16GB or more

     

    Graphics Card:

    A dedicated OpenGL 2.1 compatible graphics card with 2GB-4GB of VRAM or more

     

    Vectorworks with Vision requires a dedicated graphics card, preferably released in the past three years.

     

    Using multiple view panes with different visibilities in all panes requires a graphics card with at least 2GB of VRAM, with 3GB or more recommended for large files.

     

    Display Resolution:

    1920 x 1080 or higher

     

    Hard Disk:

    10GB free disk space is required for the installation. 30GB or more is required for a full installation with all libraries. Installing Vectorworks on flash storage (SSD) is recommended.

     

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     

     

    Network Requirements for Project Sharing:

    Project sharing requires high-speed network connections. As the network bandwidth increases, so does project sharing performance. Slower network speeds can still provide a satisfactory user experience if you minimize operations that transfer large amounts of data over the network (such as committing changes to the project file or refreshing a local working file).

     

    LAN Sharing:

    Minimum: A Fast Ethernet (100Mbit/s) network connection

    Recommended: A Gigabit Ethernet (1Gbit/s) network connection is required for large projects.

     

    Cloud Sharing:

    Project sharing using cloud-based storage requires a high-speed internet connection (50Mbit/s or above). This method of sharing works best with small teams or small projects. It is not recommended for large teams or large projects.

     

    Hard Drive:

    Storing large project files on flash storage (SSD) is recommended.

     

     

    Additional Details

     

    Graphics Cards

    IMPORTANT – Several Vectorworks features have placed higher demands on graphic hardware. Additionally, the performance and quality of the graphics provided by the Vectorworks Graphics Module depend directly on the speed, memory, and supported extensions of the graphics card. These features have the potential to provide a very fast and fluid experience if used on capable hardware, or a noticeably slower experience if used on older or incompatible hardware. Graphics cards should support at a minimum OpenGL version 2.1; cards not meeting this recommendation will have limited functionality and poor performance. In general, the more powerful your graphics card is, the better your Vectorworks experience will be.

     

    The amount of Video RAM (VRAM) required to drive Vectorworks adequately depends largely on the size of the display being used and the complexity of the Vectorworks document. Medium-sized displays with a native resolution of 1920x1080 or less should be driven by a graphics card with at least1GB of VRAM.  Larger displays should use a modern graphics card with at least 2GB of VRAM, with 4GB or more recommended.

    OpenGL rendering of shadows and edges are VRAM-intensive and require at least 1GB, with 2GB of VRAM or more being preferable. If you want to take full advantage of OpenGL shadows and edges, especially in situations where you have any combination of the following:

    • many lights
    • point lights
    • image textures
    • anti-aliasing
    • high shadow quality 
    • excessive geometry

    and if you have a graphics card with less than 1GB of VRAM, you should consider upgrading your graphics card.

     

    Using Multiple View Panes with different visibilities in all panes can be VRAM-intensive and require at least 2GB of VRAM, with 3GB or more recommended for large Vectorworks documents.

     

    We strongly recommend that all users check that their video drivers are current. The majority of display problems reported to our Technical Support department have been traced to older video drivers. In general, a recent graphics card running the latest drivers is preferable to an old high-end graphics card running outdated drivers.

     

    Vision Pro requires a dedicated OpenGL 3.0 compatible graphics card preferably released in the past three years. We do not recommend any integrated Intel video chipset. While Vision may run under these environments, we do not support them due to their lack of performance and speed.

     

    For the latest information on our graphics card recommendations for Vectorworks 2018, go to the Vectorworks Knowledgebase.

     

    Remote and Virtual Machines

    We do not consider remote login environments such as Remote Desktop, Terminal Services and VNC or virtual machine environments such as Parallels and VMware to be appropriate for regular work, so Vectorworks performance in these situations is not of primary concern to us. They may be appropriate for administrative testing or utility purposes, and Vectorworks is fully functional in these environments. You should not expect high performance in these environments, however, especially with interactive screen feedback.

    We do support Vectorworks running under Boot Camp on Mac machines. As long as you have appropriate and current drivers for the hardware on your machine, you can expect fast and reliable Vectorworks behavior.

     

    Maintenance Releases

    Unless there is a known problem with a maintenance release of the operating system, we recommend the latest maintenance release at the time we ship a new release of Vectorworks as a minimum because that is what we test with. If you have problems with an earlier maintenance release, we will often ask you to update as an initial troubleshooting step.  

     

    Optimizing Performance

    For users who work with large files and complex renderings, we recommend running with at least 8GB of RAM. When RAM runs out, Vectorworks usually continues to function, but is slowed significantly by the need to access the hard drive to provide virtual memory. Extreme lack of RAM may cause operations to generate errors in cases where given sufficient RAM they would otherwise succeed. Faster hard drives can have a large impact on system performance especially when virtual memory is actively being used. Faster or slower processor clock speeds have a predictable impact on Vectorworks performance. Hard drive size requirements are driven by the total size of Vectorworks including all content files. You can reduce this size by opting to not install some of the larger Vectorworks content files.

     

    Project Sharing and Network Bandwidth

    The performance of Vectorworks when working on a shared project over the network will depend on the available network bandwidth. If the network bandwidth is insufficient, operations that transfer large amount of data over the network will be slow.

    We recommend at minimum a Fast Ethernet (100Mbit/s) network connection. For large projects, a Gigabit Ethernet (1Gbit/s) network is required for a fast and fluid experience.

     

    Project sharing using cloud-based storages requires a high-speed internet connection (50Mbit/s or above). This method of sharing works best with small teams or small projects. It is not recommended for large teams or large projects. Although project sharing requires high-speed network connections in general, slower network speeds can still provide a satisfactory user experience if you minimize operations that transfer large amounts of data over the network (such as committing changes to the project file or refreshing a local working file).

     

    Examples of data transfer times during commit and refresh operations for different bandwidths and project file sizes are shown in the chart below:

     

    Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 3.23.12 PM.png

    Edited by JimW



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    Not officially at this moment, but it's going through the compatibility testing internally. I would assume there will be an official announcement once that has all been done. 

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    Has there been any conversation on number of cores for performance? I'm looking at building some new PCs for our graphics teams and looking at 6 or 8 core CPUs (12 or 16 threads) - is there any noticable difference for more cores as well as processor speed? Would 6C @ 3Ghz or 8C @ 2.4Ghz be better for example.

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    Just now, QAV_Lawrence said:

    Has there been any conversation on number of cores for performance? I'm looking at building some new PCs for our graphics teams and looking at 6 or 8 core CPUs (12 or 16 threads) - is there any noticable difference for more cores as well as processor speed? Would 6C @ 3Ghz or 8C @ 2.4Ghz be better for example.


    For rendering, generally more cores is better, but the real indicator is the Cinebench Multi threaded CPU score:
     

     

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    Hi JimW,

     

    Thanks for the great information! This is a very useful post to have. 

     

    I'm curious what other users are using for their CPU. I've started to spec a new build for one of our designers and the goal is to use the best hardware available. I have a few questions that would be nice to have answered:

     

    • If money wasn't a variable, what is the best CPU you could use for Vectorworks 2018?
    • Would it be worth considering building a machine with a xenon processor or would an i7 or i9 be sufficient?
    • Is there much of an advantage to an i9 over an i7 for this application?
    • Which mobo architecture would give me the best performance? 
    • Will the program take advantage of GPUs in SLI configuration?
    • Any difference in using a GTX card over a Quadro?
    • Is there a maximum amount of RAM the program will use? Would it be worth getting more than say 64GB?

     

    If any users out there cared to post their builds it would be greatly appreciated. 

     

    Thanks!

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    • If money wasn't a variable, what is the best CPU you could use for Vectorworks 2018?
      • The Intel Core i9-7900X or the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X as of the writing of this post. They're REALLY close in most of the practical benches I've seen.

     

    • Would it be worth considering building a machine with a xenon processor or would an i7 or i9 be sufficient?
      • Its all about the benchmark when it comes to us, whichever configuration will end in faster renderings, the differences between those product models isnt very important for us, just their raw performance.

     

    • Is there much of an advantage to an i9 over an i7 for this application?
      • If you are planning to use Renderworks heavily, the more cores at the higher clock (so, a higher Cinebench CPU score) the better.

     

    • Which mobo architecture would give me the best performance? 
      • This is mostly determined by the CPU you chose, just making sure the socket was compatible and then the one that allowed for overclocking if that was your plan, otherwise it just needs to be compatible with the type and amount of RAM you plan to use. I prefer Asus brand-wise personally.

     

    • Will the program take advantage of GPUs in SLI configuration?
      • No.

     

    • Any difference in using a GTX card over a Quadro?
      • Functionally GTX models tend to have better driver support for us, since we dont create our own drivers like a lot of Quadro-requiring software does. Also, GTX cards will be much cheaper for the same performance.

     

    • Is there a maximum amount of RAM the program will use? Would it be worth getting more than say 64GB?
      • We can address upwards of 256GB of RAM but it is incredibly rare that you would have file that required more than 8GB of RAM total on it's own, having 32GB or 64GB max would be perfectly fine and even overkill.

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    @JimWthis is super helpful. What are your thoughts on the 16GB Radeon Pro Vega 64, and the upcoming iMac Pro compared to the Windows workstation described above (other than the Mac being ridiculously overpriced)?

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    5 hours ago, Mark Aceto said:

    @JimWthis is super helpful. What are your thoughts on the 16GB Radeon Pro Vega 64, and the upcoming iMac Pro compared to the Windows workstation described above (other than the Mac being ridiculously overpriced)?


    That GPU would be incredible overkill for Vectorworks unless you were working with maybe 3 or 4 4K displays. The iMac Pro is more geared towards rendering as far as Vectorworks is concerned, on paper its great (if not good value for money for anyone other than Apple) and I can't wait to get my hands on one for testing.

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    I've heard a few YouTube tech geeks say that Apple is fairly competitive nowadays, and on top of the actual cost for the hardware you get a load of beautiful and functional software and of course, one year of awesome (by my experience) customer service - which I continue to get years after my AppleCare expired. 

     

    This article actually neatly quantifies why the new iMac Pro is a good deal: http://www.pcgamer.com/apples-new-imac-pro-costs-5000-but-is-it-overpriced/

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    We currently have a PC with a i5-3470 16Gb RAM and 650Ti (1GB VRAM) and it is having speed issues working with models (particularly when the photo layer is on). We are looking at upgrading to a GTX1070 and cloning to an SSD, but before we go ahead I wanted to know if we are flogging a dead horse. My question is how heavy is Vectorworks on the CPU (not for rendering just designing work)?

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    8 hours ago, Cameron_Mobius said:

    We currently have a PC with a i5-3470 16Gb RAM and 650Ti (1GB VRAM) and it is having speed issues working with models (particularly when the photo layer is on). We are looking at upgrading to a GTX1070 and cloning to an SSD, but before we go ahead I wanted to know if we are flogging a dead horse. My question is how heavy is Vectorworks on the CPU (not for rendering just designing work)?


    If you're using more than one 1080p display or a single 4K or other high res display, I suspect you will see a significant improvement. The 600 series was powerful at the time but its lower VRAM allotment really hinders it today. If you like, send me the file and I can show you how it will perform on more recent hardware in a video before you make your decision.

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    On 2017-09-12 at 1:07 AM, Marissa Farrell said:

    Not officially at this moment, but it's going through the compatibility testing internally. I would assume there will be an official announcement once that has all been done. 

     

    Now that High Sierra is “out in the wild” here’s the official word so far...

     

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    Hi,

     

    I'm looking to build a PC for vectorworks but don't really know which GPU to choose.
    Which one would be the best with a budget up to 250 USD?

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    On 10/1/2017 at 10:46 AM, seerodin said:

    Hi,

     

    I'm looking to build a PC for vectorworks but don't really know which GPU to choose.
    Which one would be the best with a budget up to 250 USD?

    At the time of this post, it looks like the Nvidia GTX 1060, the AMD RX 570 and the AMD RX 560 would be the best performance for the dollar in that range.

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    Hi Jim,

    I'm going to change my laptop soon and I want to hear from you before to to anything!
    Do you think that the following configuration is sufficient(Inspiron 15 G7, i7-7700HQ, 16 Go, GTX 1060)
    or should I rather choose a precision workstation (Precision 5520, i7-7820HQ, 16 Go,  Quadro M1200)?

    Thanks you in advance!

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    26 minutes ago, Tom_76 said:

    Do you think that the following configuration is sufficient(Inspiron 15 G7, i7-7700HQ, 16 Go, GTX 1060)


    This setup should perform quite well!

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    I'm looking into a new desktop an would love some advise.

    My current laptop went black twice this week, but restarted just fine.

    But after 4 à 5 years it is probably time to look for something new.

     

    Found this Dell that seems to have so nice specs and not the hassle of a self build pc.

     

    http://www.dell.com/nl-nl/shop/desktop-alles-in-een-pcs/nieuw-inspiron-gaming-desktop/spd/inspiron-5675-gaming-desktop/cd567513

     

    Ryzen 1700x

    16gb

    Ssd hardrive

    Nvidia 1060 6gb

     

    Its around 1100 euro inc vat

     

    A concern is the video card, will this one be sufficient for the coming years?

    I do allot of rendering so the AMD will be a great processor I think.

     

    Any suggestions or concerns about this pc? Any thoughts @JimW

     

     

    Edited by Bas Vellekoop

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