System Recommendations

Brad Fox -

Computer configuration:

• Windows 7, 8, or 10, 64bit

• Processor: Intel Core i7, Xeon or comparable AMD. Speed: close to 3GHz (or greater).

• RAM: Minimum recommendation is 8 GB to 12 GB. Get as much as is affordable; 8 GB is great, 16 GB or more for larger projects.

• Video Card/Chipset: Presently NVidia GeForce GTX 750 or higher are recommended. NVidia Quadro series cards are also acceptable but are quite expensive and the performance increase is doubtful and will not make up for the extra cost. The only recommended ATI/AMD card is the FirePro V5000 series and above. (Some of these  FirePro cards are quite expensive and again, the performance increase is doubtful and will not make up for the extra cost.)

       *NVidia’s Optimus Technology (common on laptops) requires a specific setup.
         See Article: "NVidia Control Panel Configuration".

• OpenGL is the default, and fastest, display mode used by the program so the video card must be listed to use OpenGL. Be aware, however, that not all OpenGL drivers are properly implemented. GDDR5 VRAM is highly preferable with all video cards/chipsets. 1 GB VRAM or more, depending on the average size of projects.

• The key to the success of the computer operation with the program is a high-quality video card/chipset, a fast motherboard and the compatibility of all components. The speed of the system RAM should be matched to the FSB of the motherboard.


Notes: It is recommended that, whatever computer configuration is decided upon, the computer be from a reputable, well-known manufacturer. These manufacturers do a great deal of testing and tweaking of their products to make sure that all components work in unison which is critical to obtaining acceptable results. The same cannot be said of other computer providers.

AutoSPRINK/AlarmCAD uses about 0.15 GB of system RAM at startup. Opening a good sized drawing might use another 0.25 GB– 1.15 GB (depending on complexity). Previewing a plot might use an additional 0.60 GB or more. Printing can hit the RAM pretty hard (the larger the drawing and the higher the DPI setting, the higher the RAM usage). Once a drawing is opened, the RAM usage stays about the same until printing (or previewing). System RAM usage will increase somewhat as the drawing gets larger.

Functions (such as auto-fitting, calculations, creating pipelines, etc.) do a massive amount of number crunching; and the speed at which these things are processed is directly dependent on the speed of the CPU. Obviously, the faster the CPU the faster the functions perform (i.e. a 3.0 GHz CPU is basically twice as fast at number crunching as a 1.5 GHz CPU).

Zooming and panning the drawing is strictly a function of the video card (unless system Ram is being shared to increase the VRAM) so, the better the video card performs, the faster the display changes. This isn't tied to the amount of VRAM as much as to the actual video throughput (bandwidth, etc.), VRAM speed and FSB speed. Larger amounts of VRAM will come into effect when working with larger, more complex, drawings.

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