Vectorworks 2023 System Requirements

The following are real-world system requirements for running Vectorworks 2023. In some demanding cases, we would suggest a more capable machine than is described in these hardware profiles. Likewise, there are some less demanding situations where Vectorworks will perform well on older hardware.

 

General Requirements

 

Operating Systems

 

macOS 12 (Monterey)

macOS 11 (Big Sur)

 

Windows 11

Windows 10 64-bit

 

Recommended Hardware Profiles

 

High-end Profile:

For large projects, complex and very detailed models/drawings, complex renderings (such as large BIM projects, large entertainment venues, commercial sites, GIS, high-end landscaping design, photorealistic rendering)

 

Processor:

3.0+ GHz Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 with eight cores, or better

Apple M1 Max or higher

 

RAM:

32GB or more

 

Graphics Card:

macOS M-series: M1 Max 32GB or higher
macOS Intel: Metal GPUFamily2 or later, 8GB VRAM or more
Windows: DirectX 11 compatible, 8GB VRAM or more

 

64GB Unified Memory (M-series) / 12GB VRAM or more is recommended when using multiple displays, or a 4K or higher resolution display.

 

Vision requires a dedicated OpenGL 4.1 compatible graphics card with 8GB of VRAM or more, preferably released in the past three years (e.g. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 TI series, AMD Radeon RX 5000 series).

 

Display Resolution:

1920 x 1080 or higher

 

Hard Disk:

10GB of free disk space is required for the installation. 30GB or more is required for a full installation with all libraries.

Case-sensitive file system volumes are not supported.

 

Installing Vectorworks on flash storage (SSD) is recommended.

 

Mid-level Profile:

For medium-sized projects, complex models/drawings with a medium level of details (such as small commercial projects, mid-size entertainment venues, residential site modeling)

 

Processor:

2.0+ GHz Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 with six cores, or better

Apple M1 Pro or higher

 

RAM:

16GB or more

 

Graphics Card:

macOS M-series: M1 Pro 16GB or higher
macOS Intel: Metal GPUFamily1 v4 or later, 4GB VRAM or more
Windows: DirectX 11 compatible, 4GB VRAM or more
 
32GB Unified Memory (M-series) / 8GB VRAM or more is recommended when using multiple displays, or a 4K or higher resolution display.
 
Vision requires a dedicated OpenGL 4.1 compatible graphics card with 4GB or VRAM or more, preferably released in the past three years (e.g. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 series, AMD Radeon RX Vega series).

 

Display Resolution:

1920 x 1080 or higher

 

Hard Disk:

10GB of free disk space is required for the installation. 30GB or more is required for a full installation with all libraries.

Case-sensitive file system volumes are not supported.

 

Installing Vectorworks on flash storage (SSD) is recommended.

 

Minimum Hardware Profile

 

Entry-level Profile:

For small projects, simple models/drawings with a low level of detail, simple renderings (such as small residential projects, small theaters, small landscaping design)

 

Processor:

Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5, or better
Apple M1 or higher

 

RAM:

8GB or more

Apple M1 and later Macs share memory for general processing and graphics. We recommend more memory for these systems than for traditional systems where RAM and VRAM are separate.

 

Graphics Card:

macOS M-series: M1 8GB or higher
macOS Intel: Metal GPUFamily1 or later, 2GB VRAM or more
Windows: DirectX 11 compatible, 2GB VRAM or more
 
16GB Unified Memory (M-series) / 4GB VRAM or more is recommended when using multiple displays, or a 4K or higher resolution display.
 
Some integrated graphics cards such as Intel Iris Plus/Pro/Xe series are acceptable for very simple models/drawings, but a dedicated graphics card is preferable.
 
Vision requires a dedicated OpenGL 4.1 compatible graphics card with 2GB of VRAM or more, preferably released in the past three years (e.g. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 series, AMD Radeon RX 500 series).

 

Display Resolution:

1440 x 900 or higher

 

Hard Disk:

10GB of free disk space is required for the installation. 30GB or more is required for a full installation with all libraries.

Case-sensitive file system volumes are not supported.

 

Hardware Requirements for Project Sharing Server

 

Operating Systems:

Windows Server 2012 or later

Windows 11

Windows 10 64-bit

 

Note: Installation of the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable package for Visual Studio 2017 is required. Some Windows systems will already have this installed. If not yet installed, the installation files can be downloaded from the Microsoft Visual C Downloads page.

 

macOS 12 (Monterey)

macOS 11 (Big Sur)

macOS 10.15 (Catalina)

macOS 10.14 (Mojave)

macOS 10.13 (High Sierra)

macOS 10.12 (Sierra)

 

Note: Project Sharing Server can also be installed on any system that supports Docker such as Network-Attached Storage (NAS) devices.

 

Processor:

64-bit Intel Core 2 Duo or better

 

RAM:

4GB or more

 

Hard Drive:

A flash storage (SSD) is recommended.

Case-sensitive file system volumes are not supported.

 

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).

 

Server-based LAN Sharing:

Minimum: A Fast Ethernet (100Mbit/s) network connection with minimum 50Mbit/s on upload.
Recommended: A Gigabit Ethernet (1Gbit/s) network connection is required for large projects.
 
Firewalls should allow network ports used by the Project Sharing Server. The default port is 22001. It is configurable during installation.
 
The network must support HTTP 1.1 standard.
 
Server-based LAN Sharing is the recommended method of sharing for teams on the same LAN.

 

File-based 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. Vectorworks Cloud Services and/or Dropbox are the preferred cloud-based sharing solutions for project sharing.

 

Hard Drive:

Storing project files on flash storage (SSD) is recommended.

 

Hardware Requirements for Site Protection Server (network license manager)

 

Operating Systems:

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 or later
Windows 11
Windows 10 64-bit
 
macOS 12 (Monterey)
macOS 11 (Big Sur)
macOS 10.15 (Catalina)
macOS 10.14 (Mojave)
macOS 10.13 (High Sierra)

 

Processor:

64-bit Intel Core 2 Duo or better

 

RAM:

4GB or more

 

Hard Drive:

30MB free disk space is required for installation.

Case-sensitive file system volumes are not supported.

 

Redshift System Requirements

“Redshift by Maxon” render style employs the computer’s GPU and CPU to perform photorealistic rendering. The following system requirements relate specifically to this render style.
 
Redshift will use the computer’s GPU for rendering if it meets the following requirements. If the GPU does not meet the following requirements, only the computer’s CPU will be used to perform Redshift rendering.
 
A message shown in the Edit Render Style resource dialog box denotes when Redshift is available or not available. When Redshift is chosen but not available, Custom Renderworks render style is used instead.
  
Minimum Requirements for Redshift using CPU only
macOS: Apple macOS 11.5 (Big Sur) or later
Windows: 64-bit Windows 10
 
macOS M-series:
Apple M1 16 GB
 
Windows:
8 GB of RAM
Processor with SSE2 support (Pentium 4 or better)
 
macOS Intel:
8 GB of RAM
 
Minimum Requirements for Redshift using GPU
macOS M-series:
Apple M1 16 GB
 
Windows:
8 GB RAM
NVIDIA GPU with CUDA compute capability 5.0 or higher (https://developer.nvidia.com/cuda-gpus) and 8 GB VRAM
 
macOS Intel:
8 GB RAM
AMD "Navi" or "Vega" GPU or later and 8 GB VRAM
See supported AMD GPU list below
 
Single GPU
 
Recommended Requirements for Redshift using GPU
macOS M-series:
Apple M1 Max 32 GB or better
 
Windows:
16 GB of RAM or more
Core i7 or Xeon equivalent, 3.0GHz or better
NVIDIA GPU with CUDA compute capability 7.0 or higher (https://developer.nvidia.com/cuda-gpus) and 8 GB of VRAM or more
 
macOS Intel:
16 GB of RAM or more
AMD "Navi" or "Vega" GPU or later and 8 GB VRAM or more
See supported AMD GPU list below
 
Multiple GPUs
 
macOS: List of supported AMD GPUs for Redshift
MacBook Pro
Radeon Pro Vega 16/20
Radeon Pro 5500M/5600M
iMac
Radeon Pro Vega 48
Radeon Pro 5500XT/5700/5700XT
iMac Pro
Radeon Pro Vega 56/64
MacPro
Radeon Pro Vega II / Vega II Duo
Radeon Pro W5500X/W5700X
Radeon RX 6800/6800XT/6900XT
Radeon W6800X MPX
Thunderbolt eGPUs
Radeon RX Vega 56/64
Radeon Pro WX 9100
Radeon VII
Radeon RX 5500/5500XT/5600XT/5700/5700XT
Radeon RX 6800/6800XT/6900XT
Radeon W6800X MPX

 

See this document for more information about macOS compatibility of specific GPUs

 

Additional Details

 

Graphics Cards

 

IMPORTANT – Several Vectorworks features have placed higher demands on graphic hardware. Additionally, the performance and quality of the graphics provided by the Vectorworks Graphics Module depend directly on the speed, memory, and supported extensions of the graphics card. These 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. Graphics cards should support at a minimum macOS Metal GPUFamily1 and Windows DirectX 11; cards not meeting this recommendation will not work. In general, the more powerful your graphics card is, the better your Vectorworks experience will be.


For the latest information on our graphics card recommendations and for other hardware recommendations, go to the Quality-Tested Hardware page.


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. In general, a recent graphics card running the latest drivers is preferable to an old high-end graphics card running outdated drivers.

 

Windows users should install the latest video drivers from their card vendor’s web site, especially for new PCs and after installing Windows OS updates.
 
MacOS users should use the latest stable version of macOS available (non-beta), as macOS includes ongoing fixes for video drivers. From our testing, Metal drivers in old macOS versions may show serious issues on certain specific video hardware; after updating to the latest macOS the same hardware performed well and without issues. Similarly, minor version updates may improve stability; graphics problems seen on certain hardware on macOS 10.15.1 were resolved simply by upgrading to macOS 10.15.7. For these reasons we recommend using the latest macOS with your system.

 

How to find macOS Metal version: You can view the graphics hardware information by choosing About This Mac -> System Report… -> Graphics/Displays. On laptops with more than one GPU, the System Report will show the less powerful “integrated” video GPU then the more powerful “discrete” video GPU. Metal compatibility is listed as: “Metal: Supported, feature set macOS GPUFamily1 v4”, meaning this hardware can be described as “GPUFamily1 v4".


VRAM: 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. When using multiple displays or high resolution displays, more VRAM are required to keep the same smoothness with the same file.

 

Using Multiple View Panes with different visibilities in all panes can be VRAM-intensive in large Vectorworks documents.
Rendering of shadows and edges are VRAM-intensive. If you want to take full advantage of 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 excessive geometry

 

And if you have a graphics card with minimum specifications, you should consider upgrading your graphics card.


M-series and Unified Memory: Apple M1 and later Macs share memory for general processing and graphics. We recommend more memory for these systems than for traditional systems where RAM and VRAM are separate.


Vision requires a dedicated OpenGL 4.1 compatible graphics card, preferably released in the past three years. We do not recommend any integrated Intel video chipset. While Vision may run under these environments, we do not support them due to their lack of performance and speed. We recommend gaming cards over workstation cards for Vision due to the higher clock speed.


Vectorworks may be used in conjunction with real-time rendering engines which have their own demanding hardware requirements. For example see Lumion.

 

Remote and Virtualized Environments

Vectorworks runs successfully within remote and virtualized environments. We are confident that offices that wish to operate using virtualization technologies will have success with this option, if the software is given adequate resources comparable to the desktop system requirements listed elsewhere in this document.

 

Offices must develop IT in-house or contract out IT support for their chosen virtualization system. Vectorworks Inc. can only provide general guidance, since many virtualization options exist, and every virtualization technology has its own details realized uniquely for each office.

 

Vectorworks is a graphical application and as such requires high quality graphics support from the virtualization technology chosen. The graphics recommendations listed in the system requirements for desktop operation are a good guide for what is necessary for virtualized GPUs. The virtualized copies of Vectorworks must have sufficient graphical support to operate successfully.

 

High network bandwidth and low network system latency are also critical for acceptable user experience when using Vectorworks in virtualized environments.


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.

 
Optimizing Performance
For users who work with large files and complex renderings, we recommend running with at least 32GB 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. Faster hard drives can have a large impact on system performance especially when virtual memory is actively being used.


Several tasks in Vectorworks leverage multiple CPU cores. Faster or slower processor clock speeds also have a predictable impact on Vectorworks performance. Hard drive size requirements are driven by the total size of Vectorworks including all content files. You can reduce this size by opting to not install some of the larger Vectorworks content files.


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. Vectorworks Cloud Services and/or Dropbox are the preferred cloud-based sharing solutions for project sharing.


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.