OzCAD Australian Vectorworks Distributors

Vectorworks System Requirements

The following are real-world system recommendations for running Vectorworks 2013 or Vectorworks 2014. 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 2013 and 2014 system recommendations for Macintosh
Operating System: Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later
Other Software: QuickTime 7.7.0 to 7.7.3
Processor: Intel Core 2GHz or better
Other Hardware: DVD-ROM drive (dual layer)
Screen Resolution: 1280 x 800 or larger
Display color depth: 15 bit or higher
Graphics Card: Normally, a separate graphics card is required with a minimum of 512 MB VRAM (preferred is 1 GB or more of VRAM), however Apple have recently released a new range of MacBook Pros, with the integrated Intel Iris chip. In testing, these chips have performed well with Vectorworks 2014, so are also recommended.
Note that on-board graphics chips generally have little or no dedicated VRAM, and steal it from the main RAM. For this reason, consider getting 16 GB of RAM rather than the standard 8 GB if purchasing a new MacBook Pro.
See below
for more general infomation on cards.

Windows

Vectorworks 2013 and 2014 system recommendations for Windows
Operating System:
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7 SP1
  • Windows Vista SP 2
  • Windows XP SP 3
Other Software:

2014: QuickTime 7.7.0 to 7.7.3 (higher versions not recommended)
2013: QuickTime 7.7 to 7.7.2 (higher versions not recommended)
2012: QuickTime 7.6 to 7.6.9 (higher versions not recommended)
2011: QuickTime 7.6 to 7.6.6 (higher versions not recommended)
2010: QuickTime 7.5 to 7.6.6 (higher versions not recommended)

Processor: Pentium 2GHz or better. Intel Core 2 Duo or better preferred
Other Hardware: DVD-ROM drive (dual layer)
Screen Resolution: 1280 x 800 or larger
Display color depth: 15 bit or higher
Graphics Card: A separate graphics card is required with a minimum of 512 MB VRAM (preferred is 1 GB VRAM or more). See below for more info.

RAM and Drive Space requirements

Vectorworks memory and hard disk storage requirements
Vectorworks:
(all modules)
  • RAM: 4 Gb or more highly recommended
  • RAM: 8 Gb or more recommended for large files
  • Drive Space: 10 Gb free
Vectorworks & Renderworks:
(all modules)
  • RAM: 4 Gb, 8Gb for more for complex models
  • Drive Space: 10 Gb free

Vectorworks OS Compatibility list

Macintosh

Vectorworks operating system compatibility
2014 SP0 2013† SP4 2012‡ SP5 2011 SP5 2010* SP4 2009* SP5 2008 SP3 12.5.3 11.5.1
10.9.0 Yes Yes No No No No No No No
10.8.1 Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No
10.7.1* Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
10.6.8 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
10.5.8 No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
10.4.11 No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
10.3.9 No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes

† A service pack is in development for Mac OS 10.9.
‡ Although 2012 is NOT supported in Mac OS 10.9, it can work in with some limitations, by following these instructions.
* Some problems for 2010 and 2009 on Mac OS 10.7. Click here for more info.

Windows

Vectorworks operating system compatibility
2014 SP0 2013 SP1 2012 SP4 2011 SP5 2010 SP4 2009 SP5 2008 SP3 12.5.3 11.5.1
8/32 SP1 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No
8/64 SP1 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No
7/32 SP1 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
7/64 SP1 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Vista 32 SP2 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Vista 64 SP2 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
XP 32 SP3 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
XP 64 SP3 No No No No No No No No No
2000 No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes

Additional details

Graphics Cards

Vectorworks 2014 added improvements which placed 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. Please read this kBase article for the latest recommendations for graphics cards. This is particularly relevant for those looking to purchase a new computer or upgrade exiting video hardware.

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 Bootcamp on Intel Macs. 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.

On Windows we recommend against updating QuickTime, primarily because many Windows users are not aware that Vectorworks depends on QuickTime and can possibly change behavior when QuickTime is updated. We have never had problems, however, which were traced back to bugs in newer releases of QuickTime, so updating QuickTime on Windows is not a risky choice.

64 Bit Windows

While Vectorworks is fully supported in both 32 bit and 64 bit Windows environments, we generally recommend using a 64 bit Windows operating system for Vectorworks 2013.

While Renderworks is fully supported in both 32 bit and 64 bit Windows environments, we strongly recommend using a 64 bit Windows operating system for Renderworks 2013, as it will take full use of 64 bit addressing.

Optimizing Performance

RAM requirements are usually driven by performance considerations. Large files and especially complex rendering modes consume large amounts of memory. On the Mac the operating system will take advantage of nearly all of the RAM that you have up to 4GB. On Windows the operating system will by default only take advantage of 2GB of RAM, but can be coerced into using up to 3GB. See the following Vectorworks Knowledgebase article for information on how to use up to 3GB of RAM on Windows: http://kbase.vectorworks.net/questions/663, or go to the Vectorworks Knowledgebase and search for "3GB".

For users who have 64 bit machines and work with large files and complex renderings, we recommend installing 8GB of RAM to give the rest of your system more RAM breathing space when Vectorworks is approaching the maximum. 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. Faster hard drives can have an unexpectedly large impact on system performance especially when virtual memory is actively being used.

Faster or slower processor clock speeds have a predictable impact on Vectorworks performance. Hard drive size requirements are driven by the total size of Designer with Renderworks including all content files. You can reduce this size by opting to not install some Vectorworks content files.

More Information

For the latest support information on Vectorworks 2013, go to the Vectorworks Knowledgebase and search for "2013".