Computer Hardware Upgrades - Visualization Forum - Visualization - Bentley Communities

Computer Hardware Upgrades

Recently my company bought new computers and I am wanting to get y'alls opinions on if I will need to do further upgrading of my new system for MS Visualizations that I will be doing.

The project that I will be working on will be a New Highway (we have a 5 mile stretch) with one interchange.  The visualization will be 3D with a drive through of the 5 mile section that we have.


Computer Profile:

OS: Windows 7 (64-bit)

Processor: Intel Xeon Quad-Core 2.80 gig-hertz (W3530)

Physical Memory: 12 GB

Video Card: NVIDIA Quadro FX 580 (Memory Size: 512 MB, Memory Interface: 128-bit, Memory Type: GDDR3)


After reading the Microstation V8i System Requirements and Hardware Recommendations page I am beginning to think that my new computer is grossly unequipped to handle the 3D visualization.

My questions to y'all is based upon your experience do I need to upgrade my computer hardware?  If yes then what would be the minimum upgrade (just enough upgrade to make working livable), mid-level upgrade (important upgrades that would improve my computer so that I will not see much of a slow down), and maximized upgrade (what it would take to optimize my computer but does not include all the extra bells and whistles that are nice but would not necessary)?  I know I could follow the Bentley (best of the best) recommendations but being the private consultant world my company will not pay for the best of the best.  I am really needing to know several options that I can take to my company to show them the cost of upgrades.


7 Replies (Most Recent Reply)

  • I think the setup you have is fine.  You have to remember that your drivethrough isn't rendered in real time - you click to build it, then your computer chugs away for awhile before it's finished.  So maybe the dual socket xeon with 24GB could build it during lunch instead of overnight, but maybe not.  You just need to plan on building the drivethrough as few times as possible, preferably overnight while you're relaxing at home.    


  • In reply to Tim Clark:

    engregenold -

    I just ordered a Dell Precision T7500 workstation for rendering, with dual Xeon X5680's and 48 GB of RAM.  If you like, when it arrives I would be happy to render a scene of your choosing and report the rendering time to allow you to compare it to what you have.  It probably won't help much in terms of knowing which pieces provide the best bang for your buck, but it would provide an overall picture of exactly what the difference is between your kit and the 'best of the best'.

    I simply went off the recommendations from the page you linked, and went high-end since I ran into some issues with large TINs and large aerials that I was trying to drape onto them.

    Should be here in about a week.

    MicroStation & GEOPAK

  • In reply to Adam Wuellner:

    Your config is not bad, if you know there are large models, expand the memory, if you need to render faster get another CPU, Windows 64 is a must.

    I would have chosen another grafic, but it depends on your needs and money, a 2GB card can utilize more memory to hold textures when working in shaded modes. There is no need (IMHO) for a Quadro but some vendors only offer this type of cards - if so try to get the next generation (Quadro600) instead this old 580. But has nothing to do with the viz-result/time.

  • In reply to Michael Stark:

    Right now I am experiencing a lot of slow down when I open files with images or 3D data and it takes about twice as long to print anything with my new system.  Also, when sometimes when I open up a program like V8 none of the buttons render.  I have to move the program window off the screen to get it to refresh that graphics.  All of my graphic card settings are maximized to but still this happens.  I have a memory and CPU monitor up on my screen and it never even come close to reaching 30% used on either one of them but still I have major slow downs.  So my only guess would be that the video card is undersized to handle what I am doing.

    I would just upgrade the video card and see if that works but working for a private firm makes it hard to get the funds to try anything.  So I need some hard data or someone who can tell me that upgrading my video card would defiantly speed up my computer or upgrading something else would help me out.

  • In reply to Matt Regenold:

    It takes about twice as long to print anything with my new system

    Twice as long as what? As your previous system?

    Graphics Drivers

    The symptoms you describe, such as buttons not appearing, indicate that the driver software for your graphics card may not be up-to-date. Go to the NVidia site and download new drivers.

    Regards, Jon Summers
    LA Solutions

    Regards, Jon Summers
    LA Solutions

  • In reply to Jon Summers:

    my graphic drivers are up-to-date.  I takes twice as long to print as my old system.

  • In reply to Matt Regenold:

    Sometimes my tool buttons do not draw, I go to the tools menu and deselect "Main" then select it again and the buttons then update correctly. Intel Core i7 980X, Windows 7 x64, ATI 5770 video card, latest drivers, 24GB ram.


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