Best Workstation For Inventor
Inventor is a computer-aided design (CAD) application from Autodesk featuring powerful tools for design, simulation and visualisation of your 2D and 3D models. The program is hugely popular amongst engineering and product design sectors and regularly used from individuals developing small scale projects to large teams working on huge designs.
A powerful application like Autodesk Inventor requires dedicated and highly optimised Workstation hardware to run efficiently. If you are an Autodesk Inventor user and want to know what computer Workstation configuration you need to streamline your workflow, then this article is for you.
Here at Workstations Specialists, we work very closely with clients using Inventor to meet their specific challenges and budget. Below we highlight the general requirements needed to produce a highly optimised Workstation solution to accelerate Autodesk Inventor workflows.
There are two main features to consider when selecting a processor for your next Workstation. Firstly how many cores & threads a processor has. The cores and threads denote how many tasks a processor can perform simultaneously.
The second factor to consider is the frequency of the processor cores. The frequency of a processor (known as the clock speed) denotes how fast tasks performed on each core.
Autodesk Inventor is predominately a single-threaded application, meaning that it is unable to make use of many cores and threads. As a result, it is critical to choose a processor with low core counts and fast clock speeds. By doing so, you can maximise the performance of the relatively few available cores, and in turn, maximise your Autodesk Inventor performance.
We recommend to our customers to choose a Workstation based upon a processor with a clock speed around 5GHz. Both our AMD Ryzen Workstations range and the Intel Core Workstation range suite this requirement perfectly.
Professional Graphics Cards
The Graphics Card in your system is responsible for generating and displaying your 2D and 3D models within Autodesk Inventor. We highly recommend the professional NVIDIA Quadro or AMD Radeon Pro graphics card ranges for this task. If you work on small assemblies we then a graphics card with 5GB VRAM would be suitable. Larger projects will require 8GB VRAM, and if you are working on very intensive projects, 16GB VRAM would be ideal.
Customers often consider NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics card options, and this is understandable. Consumer class graphics will work and will possibly provide better performance for the price; however, be aware we do not recommend them for Inventor Workstations.
Autodesk does extensive testing to certify the professional graphics card ranges to ensure that your Inventor application will be rock solid and extremely stable. If you experience any issue within Inventor when using a consumer class graphics card, you will not be able to receive support from Autodesk or the manufacturer of the graphics card. Furthermore, during this Independent System Vendor (ISV) testing process, Autodesk works closely with graphics card manufactures to help develop highly optimised drivers to accelerate the performance of the application.
Having enough system memory (RAM) is essential for your applications and projects to run efficiently. Not enough and your Workstation will use your much slower hard drives as a substitute which will dramatically reduce performance.
On the other hand, RAM can be expensive, and too much will quickly use up your budget while providing no performance benefits. Fortunately, Autodesk Inventor is not overly intensive on system memory. Therefore we generally only recommend 16-32GB of RAM to our customers depending on the size of their projects. If you often use other applications on this system, then more may be required. Monitoring Windows Task Manager while working on your existing system and Inventor projects can be an excellent way to determine how much RAM you need.
Solid State Drives (SSD) are a lot faster than traditional hard drives and as a result, are recommended for your primary storage drive. We advise installing your Operating System, Applications and storing your current project files on this drive.
There are currently two types of SSD’s commonly used in Workstations. SATA based SSD’s and NVMe SSD’s. Both provide adequate performance for Autodesk Inventor, and budget should determine which is right for you. NVMe drives offer better performance over SATA drives at a slight premium.
We also recommend a secondary traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD) for long term storage. Although they are slower than an SSD, they do offer far large storage capacities at a significantly lower price per GB.