I am currently getting parts for a new DIY desktop for my girlfriend, and wonder: does the GPU really matter all that much? I know Archicad leaves all the drawing operations to be done by the GPU, but even the old ATI X600 card sitting in my girlfriends notepad (seemingly) does allright.
Basically, would she be okay with an old 512MB version of GeForce 8400 that sells for 50$, or should I go for a 150$ AMD HD 4850? Would I gain something by doing that (other than extreme resolution, dual screen options)?
edit: Professional cards are supposed to bring superior image quality, but this is supposed to be manageble on a student income, so ...
"The performance of your video card only matters when you navigate in the 3D window in OpenGL mode. The better the video card you have, the faster you can rotate around or fly through the model when working in the 3D window. The time it takes to generate a 3D model in the 3D window, a section/elevation, or making a rendering depends on the speed of your CPU and the amount of RAM available, not the video card.
So my guess is that pretty much any 2 year old GPU will be fine, but a pro-level card may have fewer display glitches.
If you have any further comments, I would love to hear them! Maybe ArchiCad 13 changes the rules of the game?
I have a PC from 2003 with ArchiCAD 12 installed. An average PC for that time (meant to draw on, but not very expensive). I draw and model well in ArchiCAD, but 3D navigation takes some time...
For my students I recommand no older than a two year old PC. The frustrations with movement in complex models using an older PC will quickly terminate the joy of using ArchiCAD.
Ingolf Sundfør, Bricklayer, Author of several Real Life Problem Solving Books for Archicaddicts in Norway. PC/i7/W10/ArchiCAD 6.5-26