OzCAD Australian Vectorworks Distributors

Vectorworks System Requirements

The following are real-world system recommendations for running Vectorworks 2016, 2017, 2018 or 2019. In some demanding cases, we would suggest a more capable machine than is described by these recommendations. Likewise, there are some less demanding situations where Vectorworks will perform well on older hardware. The Vectorworks user experience is always improved by faster processors and additional RAM.

Note: When considering RAM requirements, remember that all modern operating systems run slower when memory is tight and that it is a common requirement for users to want to have four or more programs open at once. RAM is cheap, so make sure you have plenty.

Macintosh

Vectorworks system recommendations for Macintosh
Operating System: Vectorworks 2016: Mac OS X 10.9.5 to 10.12.x
Vectorworks 2017: Mac OS X 10.10.x to 10.13.x
Vectorworks 2018: Mac OS X 10.10.x to 10.13.x
Vectorworks 2019: Mac OS X 10.10.x to 10.13.x
Processor: 64-bit Intel Core i5 (or AMD equivalent) or better
Screen Resolution: 1440 x 900 minimum. 1920 x 1080 or larger recommended
Display colour depth: 15 bit or higher
Graphics

Vectorworks
A dedicated graphics card is highly recommended, that is compatible with OpenGL 2.1 or later.
VRAM: 1 GB (minimum), 2 GB-4GB (recommended). Using multiple view panes with different visibilities in all panes requires a graphics card with at least 2GB of VRAM.
Click here for more detailed information.

Some integrated graphics cards such as Intel Iris graphics are acceptable for simple models/drawings, but a dedicated graphics card is preferable for large or complex models, where optimum performance is a prerequisite, or for use with an external display.

Vectorworks with Vision Pro
Requires a dedicated graphics card with 2GB of VRAM or more, preferably released in the past three years (e.g. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 series, AMD Radeon RX 400 series).
Click here for more detailed information.

See below for more general infomation on graphics cards.

Windows

Vectorworks system recommendations for Windows
Operating System:

Vectorworks 2016: Windows 7 SP1 (64 bit) or later
Vectorworks 2017: Windows 7 SP1 (64 bit) or later
Vectorworks 2018: Windows 7 SP1 (64 bit) or later
Vectorworks 2019: Windows 7 SP1 (64 bit) or later

Processor: 64-bit Intel Core i5 (or AMD equivalent) or better
Screen Resolution: 1440 x 900 minimum. 1920 x 1080 or larger recommended
Display colour depth: 15 bit or higher
Graphics

Vectorworks
A dedicated graphics card is highly recommended, that is compatible with OpenGL 2.1 or later.
VRAM: 1 GB (minimum), 2 GB-4GB (recommended). Using multiple view panes with different visibilities in all panes requires a graphics card with at least 2GB of VRAM.
Click here for more detailed information.

Some integrated graphics cards such as Intel Iris graphics are acceptable for simple models/drawings, but a dedicated graphics card is preferable for large or complex models, where optimum performance is a prerequisite, or for use with an external display.

Vectorworks with Vision Pro
Requires a dedicated graphics card with 2GB of VRAM or more, preferably released in the past three years (e.g. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 series, AMD Radeon RX 400 series).
Click here for more detailed information.

See below for more general infomation on graphics cards.

RAM and Drive Space requirements

Vectorworks memory and hard disk storage requirements
Vectorworks
  • RAM: 8 Gb or more recommended for large files
  • Drive Space: 10 Gb free

Vectorworks OS Compatibility list

Macintosh

Vectorworks operating system compatibility
2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
10.14.x No No No No No No No
10.13.x Yes Yes No No No No No
10.12.x Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
10.11.x Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
10.10.x Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
10.9.x No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
10.8.x No No No No Yes Yes Yes

 

Windows

Vectorworks operating system compatibility
2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
10 SP0 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
8/8.1 SP1 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
7 SP1 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Vista SP2 No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes

Additional details

Graphics Cards

IMPORTANT – Like past releases, Vectorworks 2018 added improvements which placed still higher demands on graphic hardware. The performance and quality of the graphics provided by the new Vectorworks Graphics Module depend directly on the speed, memory, and supported extensions of the graphics card. These new features have the potential to provide a very fast and fluid experience if used on capable hardware, or a noticeably slower experience if used on older or incompatible hardware. Graphic cards should support at a minimum OpenGL version 2.1; cards not meeting this recommendation will have limited functionality and poor performance, particularly when rendering in OpenGL mode.In general, the more powerful your video card is, the better your Vectorworks experience will be.

The amount of Video RAM (VRAM) required to drive Vectorworks adequately depends largely on the size of the display being used and the complexity of the Vectorworks document. Medium-sized displays with a native resolution of 1920x1080 or less should be driven by a graphics card with at least 512MB of VRAM. Larger displays, such as displays that are 30" or larger, should use a modern graphics card with at least 1GB of VRAM, with 2GB or more recommended.

OpenGL rendering of shadows and edges are VRAM-intensive and require at least 1 GB, with 2-4 GB of VRAM being preferable. If you want to take full advantage of OpenGL shadows and edges, especially in situations where you have any combination of the following:

• many lights
• point lights
• image textures
• anti-aliasing
• high shadow quality

and if you have a video card with less than 1 Gb of VRAM, you should consider upgrading your video card.

We strongly recommend that all users check that their video drivers are current. The majority of display problems reported to our Technical Support department have been traced to older video drivers.

For the latest information on our video card recommendations for Vectorworks 2017, see above.

Remote and Virtual Machines

We do not consider remote login environments such as Remote Desktop, Terminal Services and VNC or virtual machine environments such as Parallels and VMware to be appropriate for regular work, so Vectorworks performance in these situations is not of primary concern to us. They may be appropriate for administrative testing or utility purposes, and Vectorworks is fully functional in these environments. You should not expect high performance in these environments, however, especially with interactive screen feedback.

We do support Vectorworks running under Boot Camp on Mac machines. As long as you have appropriate and current drivers for the hardware on your machine, you can expect fast and reliable Vectorworks behavior.

Maintenance Releases

Unless there is a known problem with a maintenance release of the operating system, we recommend the latest maintenance release at the time we ship a new release of Vectorworks as a minimum because that is what we test with. If you have problems with an earlier maintenance release, we will often ask you to update as an initial troubleshooting step.

Network Requirements for Project Sharing

Project sharing requires high-speed network connections. As the network bandwidth increases, so does project sharing performance. Slower network speeds can still provide a satisfactory user experience if you minimize operations that transfer large amounts of data over the network (such as committing changes to the project file or refreshing a local working file).

LAN Sharing

Minimum: A Fast Ethernet (100Mbit/s) network connection

Recommended: A Gigabit Ethernet (1Gbit/s) network connection is required for large projects.

Cloud Sharing

Project sharing using cloud-based storage requires a high-speed internet connection (50Mbit/s or above).

This method of sharing works best with small teams or small projects. It is not recommended for large teams or large projects. You can expect significant speed improvements when using Dropbox with LAN sync enabled. It is the preferred cloud-based sharing solution for project sharing and is highly recommended for project teams on the same Local Area Network.

Project Sharing and Network Bandwidth

The performance of Vectorworks when working on a shared project over the network will depend on the available network bandwidth. If the network bandwidth is insufficient, operations that transfer large amount of data over the network will be slow.

We recommend at minimum a Fast Ethernet (100Mbit/s) network connection. For large projects, a Gigabit Ethernet (1Gbit/s) network is required for a fast and fluid experience.

Project sharing using cloud-based storages requires a high-speed internet connection (50Mbit/s or above). This method of sharing works best with small teams or small projects. It is not recommended for large teams or large projects. You can expect significant speed improvements when using Dropbox with LAN sync enabled. It is the preferred cloud-based sharing solution for project sharing and is highly recommended for project teams on the same Local Area Network.

Although project sharing requires high-speed network connections in general, slower network speeds can still provide a satisfactory user experience if you minimize operations that transfer large amounts of data over the network (such as committing changes to the project file or refreshing a local working file).

Examples of data transfer times during commit and refresh operations for different bandwidths and project file sizes are shown in the chart below.

Project File Size

Network Bandwidth (download/upload)   Commit/Refresh Data Transfer Time

100 MB

50Mbit/s ~20s

100Mbit/s ~10s

1Gbit/s ~1s

500 MB

50Mbit/s ~100s

100Mbit/s ~50s

1Gbit/s ~5s

1GB

50Mbit/s ~200s

100Mbit/s ~100s

1Gbit/s ~10s

Optimising Performance

We recommend running with at least 8GB of RAM. When RAM runs out, Vectorworks usually continues to function, but is slowed significantly by the need to access the hard drive to provide virtual memory. Extreme lack of RAM may cause operations to generate errors in cases where given sufficient RAM they would otherwise succeed. Solid state drives (SSD) can have a large impact on system performance especially when virtual memory is actively being used.