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

Keep your Inventor up to date

January 28, 2008

Most of us probably keep our CAD software and Windows OS updated using the online services provided by the respective vendors (Microsoft Update, Autodesk Communication Center). But in Inventor, there is another mechanism which is updated rather frequently (cca 1x monthly) – the graphics cards database.

This database (technically a XML file) contains settings and tweaks for all known (Autodesk-known) graphics cards, trying to optimize their performance and display quality in Inventor. Remember that these settings are often bound not only to a specific card but rather to a specific version of the graphics driver. And as new types of graphics cards are introduced, new driver versions are being developed and of course as Autodesk polishes the settings – it is advisable to update your graphics card database to keep your graphics in Inventor smooth and clean.

So watch the web site and download the latest registry file for your Inventor version.

A good reason to have nVidia card in CAD workstation

December 21, 2007

The chipmaker nVidia has bought the German producer of Mental Ray – Mental Images.

This may influence future functionalilty of Inventor and AutoCAD (in a positive way) as Mental Ray is the rendering engine in almost all Autodesk software. You can expect that nVidia will try to support some Mental Ray functions directly on hardware and move some of the rendering tasks to the GPU. And all Mental Ray based CAD and visualization software will benefit from this – but of course only if you have an nVidia graphics card in your CAD workstation.

Inventor compatible graphics card or compatible driver?

May 23, 2007

Autodesk Inventor is known to be touchy to the quality of the graphics cards. It squeezes the performance of graphics cards to the limit and uses them differently than usual 3D applications the cards are made (optimized and benchmarked)  for – computer games.

From my experience I will recommend to always pick a card from the Autodesk Inventor compatibility list for your Inventor workstation. Otherwise you will probably get failures, strange display artefacts, misplaced drawing texts and other problems running Inventor.

But it is not only the card type and model but also and even more important – its driver version. Autodesk always certifies a specific combination of graphics card – driver version – Inventor version. So you’d better to stick with this combination. Card manufacturers usually release driver updates. But not always newer means better.

We are using nVidia cards in all workstations. Recently, nVidia has released a new driver update (91.85) which should fix memory leak problems in OpenGL applications. This seems to be an important update but I will rather wait for Autodesk to certify this driver version for my Inventor 2008.