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Recommended Hardware

Marton Kiss
Graphisoft
Graphisoft

General Recommendations

If you are looking for a list of certified hardware configurations tested by Graphisoft to work well with Archicad, you can find it here.

Platform

All Graphisoft products are available on both Windows and Mac platforms. BIMx has both iOS and Android based version for mobile devices. Choose the platform according to your taste. The two versions (Mac and Win) are fully compatible (file formats, TeamWork) so you can even work in mixed environments.

System Requirements and Hardware Recommendations

Archicad 26 BIMcloud Basic BIMcloud
Previous versions Previous versions Previous versions
Recommended Hardware for Archicad Recommended Hardware for BIMcloud Basic Recommended Hardware for BIMcloud

Graphics Cards Performance Review

Example configurations for Archicad

The following chart can help to identify, what type of computer configuration might be appropriate for the given tasks. In the next "Example workstations and laptops" section specifications are given for each of the levels on both platforms. You can also find a list of certified hardware configurations here, sold as-is.
Project size  Level of detail Small Medium Large
  Residential homes Apartment and office buildings High rises, hospitals, campuses
Schematic Entry-level Entry-level Mid-range
Average Entry-level Mid-range Mid-range
Detailed Mid-range Mid-range High-end

Example workstations and laptops - Entry-level, Mid-range, High-end


Workstations
 PC Entry-level Mid-range High-end
CPU

Intel Core i5-12500

 AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

Intel Core i7-12700KF

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

Intel Core i9-12900K

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

RAM 16 GB 32 GB  64 GB
GPU NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 4GB AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 8GB AMD Radeon Pro W5700 8GB NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 16GB AMD Radeon Pro WX 8200 8GB
Disk 256+ GB SSD 500+ GB SSD NVMe 500+ GB SSD NVMe
OS Windows 10 64-bit 21H1 Windows 10 64-bit 21H1 Windows 10 64-bit 21H1
 Mac Entry-level Mid-range High-end
Model 27-inch iMac 27-inch iMac Apple Mac Studio (2022)
CPU Intel Core i5-10600 Intel Core i7-10700K Apple M1 Max 10
RAM 16 GB 32 GB 64 GB
GPU AMD Radeon Pro 5300 4GB AMD Radeon Pro 5700 4GB

24-core GPU

Disk 512 GB SSD 512 GB SSD 1 TB SSD
OS macOS 11.3 macOS 11.3 macOS 12.3

Laptops
 PC Entry-level Mid-range High-end
CPU

Intel Core  i5-12450H

AMD Ryzen5 5600H

Intel Core i7-12700H

Ryzen 7 5800H

Intel Core i9-12900HK

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS

RAM 16 GB 32 GB 64 GB
GPU

NVIDIA RTX 2070 8 GB

AMD RX 6500M 4GB

NVIDIA RTX A2000 4GB

AMD Radeon RX 6650M 8GB

NVIDIA RTX A4000 8GB

AMD Radeon PRO W6600M 8GB

Disk 256 GB SSD NVMe 500+ GB SSD NVMe 500+ GB SSD NVMe
OS Windows 10 64-bit 21H1 Windows 10 64-bit 21H1 Windows 10 64-bit 21H1
 Mac Entry-level Mid-range High-end
Model 14-inch MacBook Pro 16-inch MacBook Pro 16-inch MacBook Pro
CPU Apple M1 Pro 8-core Apple M1 Pro 10-core Apple M1 Max 10-core
RAM 16 GB 32 GB 64 GB
GPU 12-core GPU 16-core GPU 32-core GPU
Disk 512 GB SSD 512 GB SSD NVMe 1 TB SSD NVMe
OS macOS 11.3 macOS 12.3 macOS 12.3

Useful information


Archicad

CPU

With the implementation of CineRender engine by Maxon since Archicad 18 a high performance CPU becomes even more essential than before. Besides rendering, the industry-first Background processing (available from version 17) uses multiple cores intensively. Background processing greatly helps the performance, navigation and display of extra-large, complex models. We recommend at least 4-core processors for standard BIM workstations, but 8+ cores can be optimal for the calculation of larger projects and quick rendering. It is worth keeping in mind though that prices rise exponentially with performance. For rendering speed - CineRender, Cinema 4D, Artlantis, the CPU is the most important component, so on computers doing all day renderings a high end processor is a good choice but on all other computers (not only used for rendering - regular BIM workstations) better invest more on the other parts.
 
wp-content_uploads_2017_10_Warning_18x18.png
WARNING: Archicad is a native 64 bit application. The last available 32 bit release was with Archicad 17.
Native ARM release for macOS is coming soon.

RAM

From 16 GB to 32 GB of RAM size is recommended nowadays depending on the size and the level of detail of your model. In very large, complex and detailed projects, 64GB RAM is suggested. While most of the times Archicad will not allocate the full RAM size, it is suggested to have a big utilization headroom for multiple Archicad instances or functions that are RAM intensive. When RAM allocation is maxed out, data are being cached on the disk drive that can severly deteriorate the performance and overall responsiveness of Archicad. Although latest NVMe disk drives have narrowed the gap between RAM and disk bandwidth, anything swapped on disk drive due to insufficient RAM, is always a performance drop.

Storage

Archicad stores cached data while it operates, so there is a lot of file I/O going on while working in Archicad — not just when saving files. Therefore hard drives are a key — and often overlooked — speed factor. With the price of solid state drives (SSD) coming down every year, they might be a sensible investment. You don’t need a huge SSD. You are better off with a smaller (say 256GB) SSD combined with a large conventional hard drive for data storage. You will install the system and Archicad on the SSD, but you will store files on the conventional drive. Nowadays, NVMe SSD drives are quite affordable, so such drives are highly recommended. Check our brief SSD benchmark results: SSD

Graphics Cards

Archicad uses hardware acceleration in both 2D and 3D. That said, while the importance of hard drives is often underrated, graphics cards are often overrated. In general we can say that it is more important to have a recent graphics card than a particularly high-end graphics card. It’s not a bad practice to replace the graphics card at the half of your computer’s lifespan. When you buy a new card, it’s important to have enough graphics VRAM. We currently recommend 2GB or more. Drivers are key for optimal performance. If you want to have a peace of mind about driver support, you might consider going with a “professional series” graphics card — at a much heftier price. You can find a list of recommended cards in our knowledge base.

Displays

Screen real estate is a huge productivity factor. Here we have only one recommendation: The bigger the better. Apart from the physical size of the monitor that defines the screen estate, the screen resolution can also affect it. For example a 2K  monitor provides bigger screen area than a 4K monitor for any scaling below 200%. You can also hook up two or more monitors, if your graphics card supports that. You can even have more graphics cards to support an array of displays. However most graphics card on the mid and upper range are fully capable to drive a few 4K monitors.

BIMx

From the point of view of BIMx we should separate the related computers, devices to two groups:
  • the computers where the BIMx Hyper-model is exported.
  • the devices that can open and play the Hyper-model.

CPU

In the export of a BIMx Hyper-model, the majority of the 2D and 3D documentation is calculated by the CPU, and any mid-range CPUs should just work fine. Export time depends on the CPU of course. Generating Global Illumination is not available as of Archicad 26 (see more here), therefore the time is reduced to a few minutes for most of the projects. For viewing models, any recent CPUs should be good even low-range ones.

Memory

On mobile devices, the largest models can be opened thanks to the Data Streaming technology. It is recommended to open complex models on high-end devices to obtain better performance with the free app version. For example, BIMx running on a device with 2GB RAM might need Data Streaming, while other equipment with 6GB RAM can open the same 3D model without streaming mode. We recommend using BIMx Mobile on mobile devices with at least 4GB RAM. The web and desktop application can also open any size of 3D models, without Data Streaming. It is recommended to open the documentation of complex projects on at least mid-range computers.

Storage

BIMx is light on I/O operations, so any modern storage device should suffice.

Graphics Cards

As BIMx is a graphics intensive application the most important factor is the graphics card and the amount of the available video memory. A large project with Global Illumination rendering may require ample amount of video RAM. You can check the required memory at the Global Illumination settings after clicking Initialize. As the Global Illumination render is calculated mostly by the GPU you might want to consider a recent mid range and above. You can find a list of graphics cards performance review in our knowledge base. You may want to optimize your model to run on even on entry level computers or on mobile devices. For techniques see: BIMx/Optimization

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