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  1. #1
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    Default Revit File size & RAM

    Hello,

    I need some input on typical file sizes that folks with in Revit MEP.

    - what is the typical file size range that you work with, including linked files, etc.

    - what manner of projects do you work on - Large Commercial, small/medium Commercial, Residential, etc.

    I am trying to decide between two different workstation setups -

    Workstation A: 32GB max RAM capacity

    Workstation B: 64GB (quad-channel) max RAM capacity

    I am wondering if 32GB is all that I would ever need for the next several years for working on projects that range from small Commercial to largish multi-family Residential.

    Thank you for any input.

  2. #2
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    Wow. You aim high in specs haha.

    32GB will be more than enough as for right now but RAM is soooo cheap then why not, right?!?

    More RAM the better, always. But 32GB is already such a great amount let alone 64GB so either way you'll be good. I work with large commercial projects on 12GB and I do just fine on the latest build of Revit MEP 2012. It's about time for me to start hounding I.T. but for the most part - still doing great.

    Hope this helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StykFacE View Post
    Wow. You aim high in specs haha.

    32GB will be more than enough as for right now but RAM is soooo cheap then why not, right?!?

    More RAM the better, always. But 32GB is already such a great amount let alone 64GB so either way you'll be good. I work with large commercial projects on 12GB and I do just fine on the latest build of Revit MEP 2012. It's about time for me to start hounding I.T. but for the most part - still doing great.

    Hope this helps.
    Thank you for the response. You're right, 32GB is probably 200% more than current Revit files (even large ones) need, but what about in a year, two years, three years? The workstation I am planning needs to last ~3 years at least. The next time I assemble a PC will probably be with a Skylake processor, and I won't be one of the early adopters since I always wait a few months for any bugs in the processor or chipset to be worked out.

    I'm trying to get a sense for how Revit file sizes are going to scale up in the next few years; it seems most large files are around 200-500MB, but is that always increasing as Revit adds more functionality, more stuff to the library, etc.? Going by the rule of 20 for planned RAM capacity, is it not conceivable that even 32GB may be "just enough" down the road. Or do you think file sizes will stabilize more or less where they are for a while?

    The other part of the performance requirement is solid modeling and rendering abilities, not just in Revit. I have a six-core i7-3930K right now that I purchased for a discount (it pays to live near a Micro Center!!) that I am considering, but I am having a hard time with the reality that it would probably suck a lot more power, and run hotter than the 2600/2700K. I overclock my processors to 4-4.5GHz, for the smoothest possible 2D drafting in plain AutoCAD (which I will still be using in the future along with Revit), so it is not lost on me that it would be harder to drive 6 cores at those speeds. However, would I be giving up too much in solid modeling/rendering speed by going with the slightly faster quad-core?

    These are the things I am weighing at the moment - overkill plan for the next several years and not have a chance of running short of RAM or cores/threads for file size and multitasking/solid modeling/rendering...but....run hotter and more expensive - or - gamble slightly that file sizes are unlikely to increase beyond the need for 32GB and that the performance reduction in modeling and rendering will be negligible with a 4core/8thread chip as opposed to a 6core/12 thread....and have better thermal/energy efficiency.

  4. #4
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    I like your style when it comes to planning hardware. Nothing I really disagree with what you have laid out in your consideration of hardware specs. However, I am a conservative man at heart and although I salivate at extreme hardware it's something I will never do and I'll tell you why.

    Going philosophical for a sec here. One of my best friends just built a dual processor Intel Corei7 hex-core Xeon, 96GB RAM, two 160GB SSD's in RAID (with a true RAID controller, like $700), WD RE4 2TB drives, Quadro FX card, etc. You get the drift. Is it a bad mofo? You betcha. Does it render the same scene from AutoCAD faster than a regular Core i7 workstation with other stout specs? Like you wouldn't believe. But does it run Revit and AutoCAD MEP in a live working environment that is miles above a regular Core i7 workstation? When you consider the increase in cost to performance ratio.... not really. Some of that reasoning is simply the limitations of the software itself not being able to take full advantage of such hardware increases (such as multi-core procs... I don't know if Revit or AutoCAD take advantage of multiple cores other than rendering but I could be wrong). I mean, this computer was almost $12k but a $3,500 workstation isn't that far behind to be honest (when it comes to live working environment, not just a number mashing event such as rending).

    This is just food for thought. If you stay bleeding edge with hardware then you'll never have to question if you're fast enough. And you can easily slide through a few years without a big hit in performance but that's all relative. I remember when the Core 2 Duo's arrived. The increase in performance when those bad boys were released were phenomenal. Never in processor history had a processor been released with that much increase in performance and efficiency, a few tech-magazine's said.

    I will say you are definitely okay with consuming large amounts of energy for your company haha. I bet your comprutah draws so much juice it adds up to $75/mo to the overall electric bill.


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    Quote Originally Posted by StykFacE View Post
    I like your style when it comes to planning hardware. Nothing I really disagree with what you have laid out in your consideration of hardware specs. However, I am a conservative man at heart and although I salivate at extreme hardware it's something I will never do and I'll tell you why.

    Going philosophical for a sec here. One of my best friends just built a dual processor Intel Corei7 hex-core Xeon, 96GB RAM, two 160GB SSD's in RAID (with a true RAID controller, like $700), WD RE4 2TB drives, Quadro FX card, etc. You get the drift. Is it a bad mofo? You betcha. Does it render the same scene from AutoCAD faster than a regular Core i7 workstation with other stout specs? Like you wouldn't believe. But does it run Revit and AutoCAD MEP in a live working environment that is miles above a regular Core i7 workstation? When you consider the increase in cost to performance ratio.... not really. Some of that reasoning is simply the limitations of the software itself not being able to take full advantage of such hardware increases (such as multi-core procs... I don't know if Revit or AutoCAD take advantage of multiple cores other than rendering but I could be wrong). I mean, this computer was almost $12k but a $3,500 workstation isn't that far behind to be honest (when it comes to live working environment, not just a number mashing event such as rending).

    This is just food for thought. If you stay bleeding edge with hardware then you'll never have to question if you're fast enough. And you can easily slide through a few years without a big hit in performance but that's all relative. I remember when the Core 2 Duo's arrived. The increase in performance when those bad boys were released were phenomenal. Never in processor history had a processor been released with that much increase in performance and efficiency, a few tech-magazine's said.

    I will say you are definitely okay with consuming large amounts of energy for your company haha. I bet your comprutah draws so much juice it adds up to $75/mo to the overall electric bill.

    I actually philosophized on my own yesterday and came to pretty much the same conclusions that you have. You're right on about AutoCAD and Revit - except for some rendering and such, they are pretty much straight up single-core speed and RAM dependent. SolidWorks - pretty much the same. I decided that 32GB of maximum RAM was going to be plenty for a couple of years, at which point maybe they may start to have DDR4 ready to plug into motherboards. I actually am not really ok with consuming lots of wattage, I am sort of a technocrat, but in an environmental sort of way. I was not relishing having to buy a 1kw or greater power supply (I actually work out of my house, so I'm wondering if that would have put too much on the living room circuit, what with the other entertainment equipment already hooked up).

    I also came to the conclusion that I would not need the extreme 40 lanes of PCIe on the X79 mobos, as I am not really an SLI/Xfire guy. I don't think multiple graphics cards help CAD programs anyway. So, I brought back the 3930K to the local electronics big box, and came away with a 2600K, an Antec P280 case, and an Asus P8Z68-V Pro/Gen 3, and only paid an extra $26.

    The big six-core would have been cool, but it's not very efficient, and I was picturing myself cringing at the readings off of the kill-watt-meter while under full processor load.

    Another question about the best RAM for caddin' - Does lower latency make a difference, i.e. would a kit rated for CAS 7 be visibly better in normal drafting performance as opposed to a CAS 9 kit?

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    Quote Originally Posted by driftingsun3 View Post
    I also came to the conclusion that I would not need the extreme 40 lanes of PCIe on the X79 mobos, as I am not really an SLI/Xfire guy. I don't think multiple graphics cards help CAD programs anyway.
    You're right. Good call.
    Quote Originally Posted by driftingsun3 View Post
    Another question about the best RAM for caddin' - Does lower latency make a difference, i.e. would a kit rated for CAS 7 be visibly better in normal drafting performance as opposed to a CAS 9 kit?
    Lower latency definitely makes a difference but the question is, can you actually notice it? Probably not. Think of it like this.... whether you're going 200mph in one car, or 220mph in a faster car.... it's still pretty darn fast.

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