The Technical Support Group periodically receives requests for recommended computer specifications for our structural products. As a general rule, we rank the importance of computer specifications in the following order: memory, processor, and graphics card. The following paragraphs provide more details.
Memory – As a general rule, more memory is better since it serves as a temporary work area when viewing and editing models. Our products are offered in 32-bit and 64-bit releases to support a variety of Windows operating systems. The 32-bit releases, which can run on older operating systems, can use a theoretical maximum of 4 GB of memory, but 64-bit releases can use more, making them suitable for larger models. As such, Bentley encourages the use of 64-bit releases whenever possible. The RAM Structural System development team recommends 12-16 GB of memory as of September 2015.
Processor – While some of the solvers in our structural products can utilize multiple processors, the products as a general rule utilize one processor at a time. Consequently, processor clock speeds are more important than the number of processors. Also, please note that some of our solvers in RAM products use Intel-provided technology which run best on Intel brand processors.
Graphics card – A graphics card with dedicated memory will display 3D models most efficiently. This will help engineers examine and manipulate models faster in the graphical interface, but it will not affect analysis times. Memory and processor speed are the biggest factors for that. Because most of the programs use OpenGL for graphics rendering make sure the card supports OpenGL and the latest operating systems.