The Revit Workstation

Obtaining been asked this month three occasions for a recommendation for a Revit workstation, I am writing this hugely opinionated guide currently to assist Revit customers make smart selections. Even so, I have been pondering about writing this for years.

I have been developing CAD workstations considering that the mid 1990’s. Just about every time I construct a new laptop or computer, it needs a good deal of analysis since of the ever-altering technologies. This time is no exception.

This method will be developed mainly for Revit but will function as effectively for 3DS Max Design and style, Autodesk Ultimate Constructing Suite, The Adobe Inventive Suite Master Collection and V-Ray. It will be appropriate for BIM and all of its tangents such as rendering, animation, clash detection and estimating.


Let’s commence right here. If you do not do this correct, your final results will suck. I propose you will need Windows 7 Skilled 64 bit. You should have Windows Skilled to connect to a domain primarily based network. You in no way know when this is needed so why fundamentally limit your self now?

You also should have a 64 bit method to address extra than four Gb of RAM. Revit needs about eight Gb of RAM for qualified level function. Even so in the close to future I can see exactly where Revit models will get bigger and demand extra RAM. Now a 32bit laptop or computer is a toy (a bike with education wheels) and bordering on useless. If you pick out a 32 bit method for your Revit installation, quit now and get a new profession.


The subsequent piece is the CPU, that tiny chip with billions of transistors that make geeks drool. The more rapidly the CPU, the longer you will be happy employing your laptop or computer. This will add time on the back finish of your buy so you do not will need or want a new 1 subsequent year.

AMD chips whilst less costly and give you that feeling of sticking it to the man, are just slower. Never even consider about an Apple. When it is feasible to run Revit on an emulator, the very same level of efficiency will expense two to three occasions what you will get with a Computer.

You have to go with Intel for the CPU selection. There are two directions to go from right here, The Core i7’s and the Xeon’s. The Xeon’s entirely rock, but they are for multi-CPU systems and are practically 3 occasions the expense of an equivalent Core i7. Revit is single CPU computer software and several Xeon’s will not assist it at all. (Though it will assist with 3DS Max, that is not the goal of this method.)

I propose you pick out an i7 for our method. The second generation of i7’s are out now and are receiving good benchmarks and critiques. The top rated of the line i7 is the 3960X Intense Edition and runs about $1,000. The top rated of the line Intel desktop CPU has been $1,000 for at least the previous 20 years. No surprise there. This is not a tough selection.


I like Asus as a corporation. In the previous year I purchased or advisable four of their laptops. A single of them was for Revit use. In my expertise they make the very best motherboards. I propose you choose their top rated of the line motherboard for this CPU choice, the Rampage IV Intense. In addition to getting a sweet piece of art, it has the quickest SATA ports for your tough disks (six. Gb/s) the quickest USB ports (three.), the newest Intel chipset (X79), supports 64 Gb of 2400MHz DDR3 RAM. Has a Gb LAN connection, the quickest video slots with PCI-Express three., CrossFireX / SLI, Bluetooth, a ton of constructed-in adjustments for overclocking and eight Channel surround sound. A further quite simple selection.


Though I can set up 64 Gb of 2400 MHz RAM in this method, this definitely is overkill and quite costly at about $four,000. I can get 32 Gb of 1866 MHz RAM for $329,98. The 64 Gb will make a good upgrade in the future when the value drops. Revit is a memory hog. I at the moment have 12 Gb and I do not consider I have ever filled it, but I’ve come close when operating other applications with Revit. The 32 Gb of RAM and cooling fan from corsair I propose is quite cheap.


This is anything I have studied extensively. I had a Dell 30″ 2560×1600 for a handful of years. What an amazing expertise. For a quick period of time I had two of them.

Architects will need 3 monitors for optimum production. That third monitor tends to make such a massive distinction. Its use is mainly as a digital reference table. Most of the documents I function with are obtainable as PDF’s. Even hand sketches can be conveniently scanned as PDF or JPG’s. Possibly we are approaching the paperless workplace lastly? (Oh my, how “green”)

So I propose a employing a Dell 30″ 2560×1600 LCD monitor as the center monitor for the main graphics location of the a variety of computer software. A Dell 23″ 1920×1080 LED on the left for the graphics menus as effectively as e mail. And an identical Dell 23″ 1920×1080 LED on the correct for reference and world-wide-web. The smaller sized finish monitors shall be LED for razor-sharp clarity and shall rotate 90 degrees vertical for extended documents and menus. After once more, is there any other selection?


Though the graphics cards do not have a massive impact on Revit, two are necessary with two dual hyperlink DVI ports every, for the monitors I’ve proposed. In addition, the further port can be applied for an more monitor or for a projector for client presentations.

The two graphics cards I am proposing every have 512 cores of GPU processing energy and three Gb or GDDR5 memory. These cores and enhanced memory let you to render with iRay (which comes with 3DS Max Design and style) and also function with V-Ray RT. iRay claims to render ideal lighting employing the GPU in a affordable quantity of time. In some circumstances genuine-time rendering is feasible in the viewports. These graphics cards also get remarkable final results with the Adobe CS5.five Master suite and with animation processes.

There is some controversy deciding on among the Nvidia Quadro and the Nvidia GeForce with the benchmarks not constantly favoring the way extra costly Quadro’s I am proposing much less costly GeForce graphics cards. The GFX 580 3Gb is beneath $600 every. The Quadro 5000 with two.five Gb is more than $1700. I comprehend that the GeForce cards run a tiny hotter when rendering. We can address that with a effectively developed case.

Energy Provide

Of course graphics cards use a lot of energy. CrossFireX / SLI help would be superior. So an fantastic modular energy provide with an 80 plus gold rating indicates it is quite effective. Modular indicates that alternatively of a fat snake of cables tumbling out from the unit, all cables detach and you only use what is necessary for your configuration. 1200 watts insures that you have lots of energy at critical occasions and in the future. I propose the Corsair CMPSU-1200AX.


I really like Logitech goods and I definitely like their illuminated keyboards. USB wired functions good for a desktop. I propose the Logitech 920-000914


1000 DPI with hyperfast scrolling, also USB wired. I propose the Logitect 910-001204.


A burner that will burn or play something like Blu-ray and LightScribe labels is best. I propose the Light-On iHBS212-08 drive


The C: drive that consists of the operating method and the installed applications must be strong state. These drives are definitely costly but they make a massive distinction. I see men and women claiming much less than ten seconds for boot / startup time. I propose a Important 512 GB strong state drive with SATA 6Gb/s interface..

I propose that all the information in the laptop or computer will be stored on a RAID Level 1 consisting of two two Terabyte Seagate Barracuda SATA 7200 RPM 64Mb 6GB/s mechanical drives. That will hold a lot of information safely.

I propose that the backup method shall be a transportable USB three. 3 terabyte Western Digital drive.


I consider that sound playback is largely a low priority, so I propose a Dell sound bar mounted on the bottom of the center monitor would be cheap and best.


My philosophy on circumstances applied to be basic. The case did not matter. Low cost with no flashing lights, windows or wild colors. Beige was superior, grey maybe a bit risqué?

Now I like the nicer sophisticated aluminum circumstances that have fantastic cooling engineered correct in, wire compartments, removable motherboard tray, wise front ports and controls. I propose a SilverStone Half Tower, the Temjin TJ09-B in black with a handful of more fans and a radiator mounting bracket for the CPU cooler.

I now consider that if you devote all this dollars on efficiency, you can devote a tiny on aesthetics for a good package. Hmm… Sounds like architecture.


I propose that you use a Corsair H80 liquid cooler, which will hold the CPU temperature beneath handle.

SELF-Constructed AND THE Competitors

There are men and women and producers that can make a laptop or computer so you do not have to. But assembly of the hardware is in fact trivial. I have had my children construct computer systems just to prove it. There are in fact quite handful of components.

The benefits of self-constructed are that you get all the documentation for every element for future upkeep. It is much less costly for the precise very same method, from time to time by a lot. If you assemble it your self, you will know it definitely effectively.

In some cases producers use odd or custom-produced components with no name on them. If you acquire the element for your method, you will have access to the element manufacturer’s client service and these are some of the smartest guys you will ever speak to. If you acquire an assembled method, and you get in touch with client service, you will speak to some of the dumbest men and women you will ever speak to.

A single time I acquired a quite costly laptop or computer constructed by a popular Hollywood laptop or computer guy entirely customized for CAD and 3DS Max. It would shut down for what appeared to be no explanation at all. In six months half the memory burned up. He presented no assist at all. When I opened it up I saw it only had 1 fan. I ended up punching holes in it and wire tying fans inside it to hold it operating. It was quite ugly.

At 1 time when our firm was definitely busy, I bought Dell Precision Workstations. They have been certified, and the top rated of the line. More than time some of them would create weird issues that prevented CAD from operating on them at all. When you want a state of the art definitely quickly laptop or computer, Dell appears to be lagging behind a year. Their 30″ monitor is certainly the very best although.

If I know you, like you and reside close to you, I must construct your method. I definitely love carrying out it.

THE Genuine Expense

So you might have noticed that there is no total expense. As I do not think there is definitely a selection, I have not gotten there but. This is the laptop or computer method hardware you will need currently to do BIM and to have produced a wise buy. Just after you are carried out with this method in four years, you can give it to a secretary, clerk, accountant, or building guy for a absolutely new life. At my final firm, we purchased them the new computer systems and produced the architects wait and hold on to their old junk. For no other explanation than basic political pull, whining, and quite quick-term pondering

Right here is the deal. Just about every year Autodesk comes out with extra sophisticated computer software for architecture. This computer software has extra capabilities and utilizes extra laptop or computer sources. This will continue at an accelerated price for the foreseeable future. It is mainly for BIM. We are in the middle of a important revolution and most men and women do not see it. If you pause also extended, do not hold up with your education, or do not keep the correct gear and computer software, you will be out of a profession. BIM is not waiting for anyone.

Let’s say I proposed $7,500 of hardware. An knowledgeable BIM Designer will earn $75,000 per year. So that is 10% of his salary. How a great deal more rapidly will he be with the method I propose? If he is 25% more rapidly, you will make an further $11,250 the initially year and $18,750 every year immediately after for the length of time you use the laptop or computer effectively for BIM.

The more rapidly the CPU, the longer the laptop or computer will be in service, the extra dollars you make.

How numerous men and women have jobs that they can boost their efficiency in a significant way with a hardware update? I do not consider your lawyer will develop extra contracts with a more rapidly laptop or computer. Architects are at a special spot in time embedded in this revolution.

So to reiterate, you invest $7,750 and more than 4 years make 67,500 back. That would be an typical of 73% return per year more than four years.

This could definitely be a good investment.


Never you just really like Google? They are a actually remarkable corporation. They have significant plans for the future. But they have also implemented so a great deal currently. In addition to creating a billion dollars in profit each 18 days, they have absolutely transformed numerous industries like marketing. Did you know they have been the biggest laptop or computer manufacturer in the planet? Ever see a Google laptop or computer? They make these computer systems for their personal information centers. They are rumored to have millions of them.

So at Google they think in information. They are constantly testing almost everything. They think strongly in speed. They are obsessed with speed. Their engineers and founders can discern a 1/10 of a second transform in laptop or computer speed. They have tested the implications and determined that if their search service drops 1/10 of a second, a measurable quantity of searches declines. They say that men and women grow to be distracted and shed concentrate.

Wow, do you consider with slower hardware, architects can shed concentrate? I am not suggesting that you upgrade your hardware for a tenth of a second. Even so if you are employing a 32 bit method, it is time to upgrade. The final time I applied a 32 bit method (only a month ago) it crashed at least twice a day. Even if I only shed two minutes of function, rebooting and receiving my concentrate back just kills productivity. I wonder what the expense of lost concentrate is?

Possibly if we empower our BIM designers with greater hardware, they will attain flow with much less distraction and we will have unimagined productivity positive aspects?

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