ArchiCAD is a popular BIM and 3D design software package. Whether your field of work is architecture, design, or construction, it would be greatly beneficial to have a well optimised ArchiCAD computer.
In this article, we’ll be talking about the components you need to build the best workstation PC for ArchiCAD.
Why choose us?
Parts like CPU cooler, Power Supply Unit, and chassis are often glossed over when putting together a system like this. Surprisingly, these parts have a massive effect on the lifespan and performance optimisation of the CPU, GPU and RAM. We only use parts that guarantee excellent cooling, airflow, and power delivery.
We’ve also got a lot of experience in putting these systems together, and our cable management is flawless. This not only means dust will be a lot less of an issue, but it will be much easier to work with when you eventually need an upgrade. This will only happen several years down the line, of course. Not to mention our cases just look fantastic.
Each Modena Computers Workstation is tailored to the personal needs of the user, but the features below would make for a great starting point for your ArchiCAD computer.
3D Modeling & Design
CPU – Frequency
Although this program is used for 3D modelling, which is undoubtedly a visual application, you may be surprised to know that it is not very intensive on a system’s GPU. ArchiCAD scales with CPU threads and frequency.
Tasks like modelling are single threaded applications, which means it’s important that the thread being used is able to run quickly.
A Ryzen 5000 series CPU would be a great choice for your ArchiCAD computer, as these are able to boost up to very high frequencies.
CPU – Core Count
Rendering is where more threads would come in handy. A few years ago, this would have meant that an Intel Xeon CPU is your only option, but this is no longer the case. The latest generation of AMD Ryzen CPUs feature far more cores than earlier generations, with the Ryzen 5 being a 6-core, 12-thread processor. Ryzen 9 CPUs have up to 16 cores, and there are plenty of choices in between. They’re also a lot more affordable than Xeon CPUs with similar specifications, and are unlocked to allow for overclocking.
This makes AMD Ryzen a great option for your ArchiCAD computer, whether you’re looking at speed, cores, or even price.
As we’ve noted above, An ArchiCAD computer won’t need a very powerful GPU. We should also point out that it is not necessary to use a Nvidia Quadro graphics card for this application. We have found greater performance from regular Nvidia GeForce graphics cards, and these cards also have the benefit of being more affordable than Quadro cards with similar specifications. As such, a GTX1650 will have you covered, and also makes working with multiple monitors a lot easier.
You should, however, take into consideration any other applications you may be using. If you plan on using add-ons such as Enscape, Twinmotion, or Lumion, you’re going to want something more powerful.
An RTX series graphics card, such as an RTX2060, or even up to the new RTX3080, may be a great investment for you.
ArchiCAD can perform adequately with 16GB RAM. This is great as a starting point, but larger projects tend to use a lot more RAM. For that reason, we would recommend opting for 32GB if it is within your budget. This will allow for optimal performance even on projects like airports and hospitals, and will also leave enough headroom for other applications. It will also make the computer a lot more future proof.
Storage technology has come a long way over the past decade. Solid State Drives are known to be much faster than mechanical hard drives, but they’re also seen as pretty expensive.
It was pretty common to install the OS on a 120GB SSD, and everything else on a 1TB HDD, so that you could at least start up your PC super quickly.
Recently it’s become more viable to just use a larger SSD, from around 500GB to 1TB, and this is exactly our approach with our PCs. Having everything stored on SSDs means you’ll be able to save and load programs, and also transfer data, at incredible speeds. The SSDs we use are M.2 form factor and use the NVMe protocol, which means they take up no additional space in your case, and are even faster than standard 2.5” SATA drives.
These drives save a lot of time, and that means the PC will pay itself off a lot faster. You also still have the option of adding in some HDDs if you need to.
As we said before, each Modena Computers Vulcan Workstation is custom built to the workflow and budget requirements of its user. It’s important to consider other programs you may want to use with this workstation.
During our consultation process, you can let us know exactly which programs you want to use with your machine, and we’ll be happy to help you understand what you need.
Keep in mind that opting for higher performance right out of the gate offers much greater value than getting exactly what you need right now. A higher performance PC won’t need downtime to upgrade any time soon, and will also allow you to complete more work in less time. It could pay itself off a lot sooner than a more affordable option.
let's build the right computer for the job
Our consultants would be delighted to help you overcome your computing challenges and allow you to get on with your next 3D design, game, render, feature film, dieses curing machine learning simulation, architectural project or VR experience without your computers holding you back!