Best Workstation For Revit
With more and more workstation hardware options becoming available these days, it can be a daunting task going through reviews and benchmarks to find out precisely where you should be investing your hard earned money. We have taken these strains away by introducing our ‘Recommended Computer Workstation’ series of posts, which are designed to break this down for you. In this post, we are focusing on Autodesk’s Revit and addressing 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? Our technical consultants would be happy to assist you with answering 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 has always been a lot of processor options available to Workstation users, from the Intel Core i5, Core i7 & now the Core i9 range right through to the Enterprise Single Xeon and Dual Xeon options. To further complicate matters AMD has now made a big splash in the processor pool 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, but with each update, the program is taking advantage of multiple cores and threads more and more. 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 spending more on a CPU that exceeds this limit as you will not see a benefit. 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 i5, Core i7, Core i9 and AMD Ryzen 7 processors all fit this bracket well. When choosing between the Intel offerings, we would suggest considering your available budget. A mid-range Intel Core i5 (6 Cores, 6 Threads) processor currently costs the region of £250, and the Core i9 (8 Cores, 16 Threads) is in the area of £480 at the time of writing. So should you consider the AMD Ryzen 7? It has 8 Cores, 16 Threads and is roughly £350 which looks very attractive compared to the Intel Core i9 but due to a lower frequency, it is likely to be slightly slower than the Core i9 at modelling but comparable at multi-core processes such as rendering. Depending on the focus of your workflow, this could be an excellent option.
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 both work closely with Autodesk to have their Radeon Pro WX and Quadro range of graphics cards thoroughly tested and optimised to work exceptionally well in the Revit environment. Selecting a mid-tier card from either of these ranges such as an NVIDIA Quadro P2000, NVIDIA Quadro P4000, AMD Radeon Pro WX5100 or AMD Radeon Pro WX7100 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 VRay, then 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 Workstation with a well-balanced configuration for Autodesk Revit 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 so that it doesn’t fill up and page out to your hard drive as this will dramatically slow 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 models within Revit to gauge what is sufficient amounts of memory for you.
With regards to your Storage drives, we would recommend two separate drives. Firstly a modern NVMe Solid State Drive which offers the very best performance available today for your Operating System and applications. SSD storage ensures your system is very responsive and loading times keep to a minimum. We would also recommend a higher capacity cost-effective Hard Disk Drive for the storage of your data and files.
Want a Mobile Workstation For Autodesk Revit?
If you’d like the flexibility to work on your models while on the move then here at Workstation Specialists we have a range of Mobile Workstations to suit your needs. All our NVIDIA Quadro Mobile Workstations options offer the same ISV certified professional graphics technology mentioned above, high performing Intel Core i7 processors, up to 64GB system memory and NVMe Solid State Drives and room to spare for a Hard Disk Drive perfect for your data storage.