OzCAD Australian Vectorworks Distributors

Vectorworks System Requirements

The following are real-world system recommendations for running Vectorworks 2015, 2016 or 2017. 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 2015: Mac OS X 10.7.8 to 10.11.x
Vectorworks 2016: Mac OS X 10.9.5 to 10.11.x
Vectorworks 2017: Mac OS X 10.10.x to 10.11.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 color 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).
Click here for more detailed information.

Intel Iris Pro integrated graphics chip will work, provided there is 4 GB or more RAM. Although this chip has some embedded VRAM installed, we would still only recommend it occasional use with simple models. Where optimum performance is a prerequisite, or for use with an external display, a separate graphics card is required.

Vectorworks with Vision Pro
A dedicated graphics card is required that is compatible with OpenGL 3.0.
VRAM: 1GB (minimum), 2GB-4GB (recommended).
Click here for more detailed information.

See below for more general infomation on graphics cards.

Windows

Vectorworks system recommendations for Windows
Operating System:

Vectorworks 2014: Windows XP SP 3 or later
Vectorworks 2015: Windows XP SP 3 (64 bit) or later
Vectorworks 2016: Windows 7 SP1 (64 bit) or later
Vectorworks 2017: Windows 7 SP1 (64 bit) or later

Other Software:

2015, 2016, 2017: QuickTime is not required
2014: QuickTime 7.7.0 to 7.7.3 (higher versions not recommended)

Processor: 64-bit Intel Core i5 (or AMD equivalent) or better
Screen Resolution: 1440 x 900 minimum. 1920 x 1080 or larger recommended
Display color 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).
Click here for more detailed information.

Intel 5200 integrated graphics chip is better than the one above, provided there is 4 Gb or more RAM. This chip has some embedded VRAM installed. We would still not recommend this for large or complex models, where optimum performance was a prerequisite, of for use with an external display..

Vectorworks with Vision Pro
A dedicated graphics card is required that is compatible with OpenGL 3.0.
VRAM: 1GB (minimum), 2GB-4GB (recommended).
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
2017 SP1 2016 SP4 2015 SP5 2014 SP5 2013 SP5 2012 SP5 2011 SP5 2010 SP4 2009 SP5 2008 SP3
10.11.1 Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No
10.10.5 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
10.9.5 No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
10.8.5 No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No
10.7.6* No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
10.6.8 No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
10.5.8 No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
10.4.11 No No No No No No No No Yes Yes

 

Windows

Vectorworks operating system compatibility
2017 SP1 2016 SP4 2015 SP5 2014 SP5 2013 SP5 2012 SP5 2011 SP5 2010 SP4 2009 SP5 2008 SP3
10 SP1 Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No
8/8.1 SP1 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
7 SP1 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Vista SP2 No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
XP SP3 No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Additional details

Graphics Cards

IMPORTANT – Like past releases, Vectorworks 2017 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.

32-bit / 64-Bit Machines

On the Mac, Vectorworks is a 64-bit application and will run on the supported MacOS versions listed above.

On Windows, Vectorworks is a 64-bit application and will run on the supported Windows versions listed above.

Optimizing 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.

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, including all content files. You can reduce this size by opting to not install some of the larger Vectorworks content files.

More Information

For the latest support information on Vectorworks 2017, go to the Vectorworks Knowledgebase and search for "2017".