There are more computer hardware options than ever before, making it harder to decide what the best Workstation is for your needs. Questions such as what processor works best for Revit? Which Graphics Card Should I purchase? What budget do I need for an Autodesk Revit Workstation? All jump to mind. But where do you begin to find this out?
We have taken these strains away by introducing our ‘Recommended Computer Workstation’ series of posts designed to guide you through this. This post focuses on Autodesk’s Revit and addresses which workstation configurations get the absolute most from this industry-leading Architectural application.
When deciding which Workstation to purchase, some factors will be unique to you, such as how intensive are the models you design? Whether you need to create photorealistic renders of these models? The form factor you require (i.e. desktop tower or mobile solution)? And, of course, the budget you are working within?
If you would like to talk to someone directly, our technical consultants would be happy to help answer these questions, so contact us today to find out more. There are, however, some guidelines that will apply to all regarding Autodesk Revit Workstations, so let’s delve right into the questions you need answering.
Which processor is best for Autodesk Revit?
There have always been many processor options available to Workstation users, from the Intel Core range to the Enterprise Single Xeon and Dual Xeon options. AMD has now made a big splash in the processor pool to complicate matters further, introducing their very competitive Ryzen, Ryzen Threadripper & AMD EPYC processors. So let’s have a look at what Revit needs to determine the perfect processor choice for you.
Revit traditionally has been a single-threaded application meaning a high-frequency processor would be ideal. That said, several aspects of the Revit take advantage of multiple cores and threads, so you shouldn’t sacrifice all cores for clock speed. Vector printing, Autodesk Raytracer, Loading elements into memory and colour fill calculations are just a few of the types of processes that Revit performs across many cores.
Multi-core functionality within Revit has a cap of 16 Cores, so we do not recommend a CPU that exceeds this limit as you will not see a benefit, and it will generally cost you more money. With this in mind, we would suggest a processor that has a delicate balance between cores and threads and frequency for your modelling tasks.
The Intel Core and AMD Ryzen processors all fit this bracket well. When choosing between the Intel and AMD offerings, we would suggest considering if you plan on using the system for other tasks. Intel Core and AMD Ryzen are very comparable options for single-core performance, and both perform well. AMD does off a bit more bang for your buck in Multi-Threaded areas, which can help within Revit but will be a big help if you plan on running other applications simultaneously.
If you plan on CPU rendering your Revit projects, you should consider upgrading to a much higher core count processor. AMD Ryzen Threadripper Workstations are exceptional for this. Alternatively, an Intel Core X-series Workstation would also be a good choice.
Which Graphics Card is best for Autodesk Revit?
As Autodesk Revit is a highly advanced piece of software and is often critical to businesses, we would only recommend an ISV (Independent Software Vendor) certified graphics card. AMD and NVIDIA work closely with Autodesk to have their Radeon Pro and NVIDIA Workstation graphics cards thoroughly tested and optimised to perform exceptionally well in the Revit environment. Selecting a mid-tier card from either of these ranges should put you in good stead for most Autodesk users.
However, for those who wish to take advantage of GPU rendering technology made available via third-party rendering plugins such as Chaos Group’s V-Ray, some more powerful multi GPU performance would be required. Check out our “Is It Time To Invest In GPU Rendering?” post for more information.
Other Key Components to Consider
To round off your new Autodesk Revit Workstation, you should consider the system memory (RAM) capacity and Storage Drives. We would recommend 16GB system memory for light users, 32GB for average users and 64GB for heavy users. Ideally, you want to have enough memory to ensure you never run out because if you do, you would dramatically hurt your system’s performance. However, having too much can become costly, and you will not see any performance benefits. Try monitoring your memory usage on your existing system via utilities such as Task Manager while working with your Revit models to gauge a sufficient amount of memory for you.
With regards to your storage drives, we would recommend two separate drives. Firstly a modern NVMe Solid State Drive. These drives offer the best performance available today for your Operating System and applications. SSD storage ensures your system is very responsive and loading times are kept to a minimum. We would also recommend a higher capacity, cost-effective Hard Disk Drive to store your data and files.
Want a Mobile Workstation For Autodesk Revit?
Suppose you’d like the flexibility to work on your models while on the move. Here at Workstation Specialists, we have a range of Mobile Workstations to suit your needs. All our professional NVIDIA Graphics Mobile Workstations options offer the same ISV certified professional graphics technology that our desktops do. They also feature high-performance Intel Core processors, up to 64GB system memory and NVMe Solid State Drives.