System requirements for Inventor 2013

March 18, 2012

With an impending release of Autodesk Inventor 2013, here are the system requirements for this new version. From what I can see, they are quite similar to the previous version 2012 so there are no surprises this time:

  • Windows 7 (SP1) (32-bit or 64-bit) Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise edition (recommended; Win7-64 recommended for large assemblies), Windows XP Professional (SP3), or Windows XP Professional x64 Edition (SP2); no Vista!
  • Intel Pentium 4, 2 GHz or faster; Intel Xeon, Intel Core, AMD Athlon 64, or AMD Opteron or later processor
  • 2 GB RAM (min. 1 GB for Inventor LT; 8 GB for complex models – more than 1.000 parts)
  • Microsoft Direct3D 10 (recommended) or Direct3D 9 capable graphics card
  • 1,280 x 1,024 or higher screen resolution
  • Internet connection for web downloads and Subscription Aware access
  • Adobe® Flash® Player 10
  • Microsoft Mouse-compliant pointing device
  • Internet Explorer 6.x through 9
  • Excel 2003 through 2010 for iFeatures, iParts, iAssemblies, thread customization, and spreadsheet-driven designs
  • Microsoft .Net Framework 4.0

Solidworks 2009 vs. Inventor 2009

October 7, 2008

Last weekend I have met my school-mate Sergio who is currently working with Solidworks. It was a good opportunity to play a favourite “who is better” game. He proudly presented the new Solidworks 2009 (“SWX 2009” as he writes) but I have seen amazingly many similarities to the Inventor 2009 version.

  • Performance – I cannot judge as he was using a different hardware configuration than me, but Sergio has admitted that the promised performance gain is not that great
  • New icons – same as in Inventor: not that much important for us users
  • 64-bit version – Inventor has it already
  • SpeedPak – assembly simplification – looked interesting, in Inventor we are using LOD and other similar functions
  • Geometry sensors in assemblies – it is called AutoLimits in Inventor (already there)
  • BOM in assemblies – Inventor has it for many releases
  • Filters in BOM – Inventor has it
  • Dual dimensions – Inventor has it
  • Assemblies larger than 1000m – I doubt many designers will need it but I have tried it in Inventor and it works there, no problems
  • CircuitWorks – electrical functionality – some of the functions are there in Inventor Pro, much more is in AutoCAD Electrical
  • Ribbon cables – already there in Inventor Pro 2009

There seems to be nothing new about the DWG. DWG file format compatibility is still very limited in Solidworks. And although Sergio claimed it works for him in most cases, we have digged out a couple of DWG files which were loaded incompletely into Solidworks’ DWG Editor but loaded smoothly into Inventor.

Which is faster? Windows XP or Vista?

May 16, 2008

There is an interesting benchmark published on the ZDNet Blog (track). It compares the performance of Windows XP and Windows Vista (32-bit and 64-bit) and their Service Packs using the PassMark benchmark.

The results are quite surprising. I would like to know if a test with a 3D CAD application like Inventor will have the same winners and losers as the PassMark benchmark. Both operating systems (well, three, if you count Vista 64) were tested with and without their Service Packs. The performance differences are quite substantial.

And the winners are:

  1. Vista 64-bit (without SP) is the fastest
  2. Vista 64-bit with SP1 is the second
  3. Vista 32-bit (without SP) is the third
  4. WinXP (without SP) is the fourth (and the fastest XP version)

WinXP vs. Vista
In contrast to prevailing opinion – Windows Vista proves to be faster than XP and Service Packs seem to make the operating system slower, not faster !

Vista 64 SP1 and Inventor 2008 SP2

April 3, 2008

If you are brave enough to use Inventor 2008 on the 64-bit version of Windows Vista, do not let Windows Update install the Service Pack 1 for Vista. These two do not like each other apparently…

Several users report that after the installation of Vista SP1 Inventor crashes and does not open files. There is currently no workaround (other than uninstall the SP1). Please note this applies to the 64-bit version only, standard Vista with SP1 works fine.

I have tried this sequence and it seems to work for me: first install Vista 64, then apply its SP1, then install Inventor 2008 and then apply its service packs and hotfixes.

It’s a shame that Autodesk has not tested the Vista SP1 consequences before it was released and pushed by Windows Update to the workstations of all the poor Inventor users. The beta version of SP1 was available long enough for such testing.

NB: Inventor 2009 is not affected by this problem

Memory hungry CAD should be fed properly

October 1, 2007

It was a confirmation of something I knew already but it really makes a difference – if your application is “memory-hungry”, feed it properly. It repays by increased performance.

We received one new HP workstation with 4GB of RAM. I experimentally installed Vista 64-bit and Inventor 2008. One of our larger assemblies loads in about 50 seconds on our older PC with 2GB RAM and Windows XP, plus it takes about 2 minutes (2:03) to fully regenerate its drawing views on a drawing sheet. On this new workstation it loads in 48 seconds – so more or less the same, but the regeneration speed is 1:18 only (78 seconds). I am pretty sure that the main performance driver is the RAM size – CPU is almost the same, Vista is about the same performance as WinXP, 64-bits do not accelerate things, graphics doesn’t count much on regens…

So while waiting for native 64-bit Inventor (Inventor 2009 ?) try a 64-bit OS and a workstation with 4GB RAM (there is no need to add more for Inventor 32-bit).

Vista and 64-bit update

April 3, 2007

I have just learned that Inventor 2008 runs fine in Windows Vista but Autodesk will not officially support it in Vista though. And there will be no native 64-bit Inventor yet. We have to wait.

I don’t know why Autodesk doesn’t fully support Inventor in Vista. In any case I will probably use Vista on my Inventor 2008 box. What I have seen makes me confident that it will run fast enough – and much faster than e.g. Solidworks in Vista which is slow as hell (which is claimed to be Vista compatible btw).

Inventor 2008 should be out next week.

What I’m looking forward in Inventor 2008

February 12, 2007

There is not much known about the new Inventor version but its name will be Inventor 2008, not Inventor R12. One of its new feature is said to be the support of 64-bit native mode.

This is something I am really looking forward to as some of my assemblies are suffering from the 3MB memory limit in Inventor R11. I am also curious about the overall speed of the 64-bit version. What I am still not decided about is whether I will install the new version on Windows XP x64 or rather on the new Windows Vista 64-bit. Probably the Vista will win as I don’t believe the rumours of unbelievable slow performance of 3D CAD programs on Vista.