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Computer specs and Revit 2011

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    Computer specs and Revit 2011


    I'm a revit user for 3 years now.

    I've recently installed Revit Architecture 2011, having previously being using 2010.
    I'm finding that the program is a lot slower and crashes a lot more often than 2010.

    My computer is a Pentium dual core E5300 2.6Ghz, 3gigs RAM (DDR2 800), Nvidia GEForce 9400GT graphics card, windows XP.

    I use revit for small projects only - small interiors, domestic etc, and primarily for presentation renderings.

    I know my computer is under-specced but dont want to spend a lot of money right now to upgrade. Is their something that you would suggest upgrading in the meantime?

    If you are using the 3GB switch, I'd recommend turning it off. It can cause conflicts with Hardware Acceleration.


      We actually found the opposite, once the first web update was released. Issues we had with a 2010 model went away once we upgraded the project to 2011. How big are your models typically? RAM is ultimately the biggest issue and if you're running out of memory, a memory upgrade and 64bit OS is on the cards.
      Darryl Store - Associate (BIM)
      [email protected]
      Twitter: @darrylstore


        on the speed issue, I think there is little way around that. I don't think anyone but Apple has ever managed to get a new version of something to be anything but slower on the same hardware as the older version. And then only rarely, and only the OS.
        But crashes should be a different story. The 3GB switch could certainly cause crashing, especially with a 512 MB graphics card. If you don't need it, it can only cause problems, and if you do need it, then what you really need is more RAM and a 64 bit OS. With a lot of work the 3GB switch can buy you some time, but in my opinion it just isn't worth the effort any more and doing a real upgrade is the better answer.

        Now, that said, if you do lots of rendering then a CPU upgrade may be worth considering. The CPU you have is a dual core with no hyper-threading. If your motherboard and PSU will allow you to upgrade to a quad core CPU you will see about a 100% performance boost in rendering. And a much smaller performance boost overall. Your e5300 uses the LGA 775 socket I think, which also supports some Core 2 Quad CPUs, but your mother board may not. And a new CPU may cost so much it isn't worth the upgrade. But the key is that the only thing that will impact calculation performance, especially render performance, is the CPU. RAM is really about stability. You either have enough, or you don't and you crash. The graphics card will mostly affect "user experience" performance. I.e. the ability to spin the model around with shadows on and such. That 9400 GT is a pretty old card, so I wouldn't expect it to be very fast, but by the time you replace the CPU and a graphics card, and maybe a PSU to support it, you might as well just get a new machine.

        So, if you can get a quad core chip installed for less than a few hundred bucks, it may be worth it. Otherwise, you can probably get a brand new machine that is substantially better for under $1000. Mind you, probably not an easily upgradeable machine at that price, but still an upgrade from where you are. And my rule is, once the upgrade costs more than 25-30% of the cost of a new machine, I question the value of upgrading. If nothing else, at 3 years old your motherboard could die the day after you put a few hundred $ into a new CPU.

        Pragmatic Praxis


          Hi Gumpole, welcome to the forums!

          Gordon summed up the inherent problems with hardware upgrades... I'll go a step further and say flat-out that there isn't anything you can do from a hardware side that makes sense... that computer simply isn't adequate for Revit use. For ~$20 US, you could probably upgrade it to 4GB of RAM (but for complicated reasons not worth going into, it won't help as much as it might sound), but spending any more than that is just throwing good money away. That was a super "budget" system even when it was brand new, and I'm pretty sure it won't handle upgrades easily.

          Regarding the crashes, as others have indicated, it's kind of hard to know what's going on without detail about project file sizes and video card drivers, but I'd start by turning off graphic hardware acceleration and anti-aliasing (under Revit Options), assuming you have those turned on. It will make the graphic "eye candy" slower or non-functional, but incompatibility with video cards/drivers is the most often cause of crashes in Revit.

          Unfortunately, bottom line is, you need a better computer.

          Good luck!


            Something that hasn't been mentioned yet... Make sure you're read through and understand Autodesk's "Revit Model Performance Technical Note"

            Link is to 2010, but it still mostly applies...

            I agree with the consensus here that a new computer may be the most logical option. If you absolutely can't afford a new computer, the only option I'd consider is a new CPU. Check with your motherboard manufacturer about the supported CPUs it can handle, and if it doesn't include a Core 2 Duo or Quad, I wouldn't even bother with that. More RAM and a video card won't do much to stop crashing, unless you've got a graphics driver related crash. 64 bit operating system won't do anything for you without more RAM.


              Originally posted by need4mospd View Post
              More RAM and a video card won't do much to stop crashing, unless you've got a graphics driver related crash. 64 bit operating system won't do anything for you without more RAM.
              I have to disagree with you on that in my experience most revit crashes can be linked to not enough ram, a not supported graphiccard or driver, or a software issue (.net or revit itself).
              Sander Obdeijn
              Support Engineer
              ITANNEX [Autodesk Gold Partner]

              Personal Mailadres:
              [email protected]

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                Thanks for all the comments.

                I'll start saving for a new machine!


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