Inventor Workstation FAQ
Q: Does having more CPU cores improve Inventor performance?
A: Designing and modeling in Inventor is not able to utilize more than a handful of cores. We have found that a CPU with the highest operating frequency will give you the best overall performance for general modeling tasks. Intel's mainstream Core i7 8700K currently offers the highest single-core clock speed, so that is our go-to recommendation. Rendering with the built-in engine, however, can see moderate to large performance gains with a higher core count CPU. For that reason we use Intel's Core X series i7 and i9 processors with eight to eighteen cores for our rendering-optimized Inventor workstation.
Q: Do I need to use a Quadro card or is GeForce OK?
A: Autodesk only certifies Inventor to run on a short list of tested video cards, which are primarily Quadro models. We have not found any major performance difference between GeForce and Quadro cards in our limited testing, but we do advise following Autodesk's guidelines so that if you have any problems and need their support you won't be stopped by having an uncertified card.
Q: How much system RAM do I need?
A: The amount of RAM you need is going to depend on the complexity of your projects, but in general 8GB is the absolute minimum for Inventor, and will limit good performance to assemblies smaller than 500 parts. Most users will be better off with 16-32GB of RAM, in order to have enough for both their design work as well as other applications they may want to run at the same time.
Q: Will a solid-state drive help me open and save assemblies faster?
A: Yes! SSDs are much faster than traditional hard drives and in many cases can give a noticeable decrease in the time it takes to open and save projects. SSDs also improve the overall responsiveness of a computer, and since Inventor files are not very large even a mid-size SSD should have plenty of capacity.
Q: Do I need a Xeon CPU?
A: In the past, Xeon CPUs were more robust than their Core-series counterparts. Today, however, there is very little functional difference between the two Intel product families for workstations. The additional cost to get a Xeon with the same clock speed and number of cores as a comparable Core i7 / i9 can be several hundred dollars, so we recommend the Core series instead. Xeon CPUs do support ECC memory, but that is a feature which, while nice, is certainly not essential.
Q: Should I get an overclocked system?
A: In general, we do not recommend overclocking for any professional workstation. Typically, the modest performance gains are not worth the downsides associated with overclocking which can include instability, shorter hardware lifespan, and potential data inaccuracies.
Q: Will these systems work for other design software?
A: Yes! Most modeling applications have very similar system requirements, so these workstations should also be excellent for almost any design, architecture, or even CAD program. In fact, our recommended systems for AutoCAD, Inventor, Revit, and Solidworks are all similar for this very reason.
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