Hardware Requirements for Rhino 5 - 26/03/13
Note that these requirements are different from those listed by McNeel. They represent new machine specifications available at the time of writing.
As Rhino 5 is a 64bit native application, it can access much greater amounts of RAM than was possible with previous versions. New systems will ship almost exclusively with a 64bit operating system.
When you install Rhino 5 on a 64bit operating system both 64bit and 32bit versions of Rhino 5 are installed. The 32bit version exists in this instance to host legacy plug-ins that may not be 64bit compliant. The major Rhino plug-ins are, however, now all 64bit native.
Our suggested minimum practical system requirements based on up to date components
for running Rhino are:
Intel Core i3 2.5 GHz or AMD equivalent
6 GB RAM
250 GB HD
Open GL Graphics Card
Windows 7 64bit
Rhino 5 may run adequately (in 32bit mode) on older systems with a minimum specification of, for instance, Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz with 2GB RAM and Windows XP 32bit. However, if you are buying or building a new workstation we recommend the above listed specifications as your starting point for configuration.
A native version for Rhino on Mac OSX is in development. See the latest information from McNeel about Rhino for OSX here.
We have many customers running Windows on Apple Mac hardware via BootCamp. This is officially supported and we recommend using Windows 7 64bit with BootCamp to run Windows natively on your Mac.
Although Rhino may run under virtualisation software such as Parallels and VMWare this is neither recommended or officially supported.
What specification is best for Rhino ultimately depends on what you are using Rhino for but here are some pointers on the various facets that can influence performance.
Windows 7 64 Bit. Our tests show that Rhino 5 runs well in this environment. Windows 7 Professional 64bit is the OS currently supplied with the majority of professional level 3D CAD workstations. Windows 7 is currently due to be supported until 2020.
Windows 8 64 Bit. Some users have migrated to Windows 8 and Rhino 5 runs without problems in this environment. In the corporate environment most users are remaining with Windows 7 for the time being.
Most modern chips from Intel and AMD are multi core but even with 64 bit operating systems modelling applications such as SolidWorks, 3D Studio Max and Rhino use only one processor core
for some modelling tasks whereas rendering plug-ins like V-Ray, Brazil and Maxwell will make use of all the available cores. Rhino 5.0 64 bit uses only one processor core for most modelling tasks but will be able to access much greater amounts of memory.
Given that (for instance) a quad core processor costs significantly more than a dual core processor of similar speed per core and that modelling will only address one core, if your primary focus is modelling then the dual core machine will be much more cost effective and just as fast. For modelling only processor speed is most important whereas if your primary focus is rendering then the quad core machine would speed up your renders considerably and so would be the preferred option.
The latest i5 and i7 quad core processors from Intel have had favourable reviews from within the Rhino market. These processors features 'Turbo Boost' dynamic overclocking meaning that when the CPU senses a maximum load it increases the clock multiplier on the RAM by a number of increments. What's interesting about this in relation to Rhino, is that this overclocking can be core selective - so when just one core is stressed (as with a linear modelling process) then Turbo Boost will increase the clock on that core by a much greater margin. i7 Processors also feature 'hyper threading' which multiplies the number of processing threads by 2, meaning that a quad core processor can utilise up to 8 threads for rendering purposes.
There are two main graphics card vendors, NVIDIA and ATI. Both manufacturers produce both consumer cards targeted towards gamers and professional workstation cards targeted towards the 3D CAD market. NVIDIA’s gaming cards are called GeForce and the pro cards Quadro. ATI’s gaming cards are called Radeon and the pro cards Fire GL.
We generally recommend NVIDIA graphics cards as these, particularly the workstation class Quadro cards, are well proven with Rhino. The ATI workstation class cards are very fast and perform well with Rhino provided the correct driver is chosen. The consumer ATI cards are generally fine but require certain Rhino settings to be adjusted to solve well documented display issues. To summarise the safe bet is with NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics cards.
Your graphics card handles the display of your work on your monitor. More powerful cards will be able to represent the various manipulations of complex models more smoothly, reducing or eliminating the display lag that can cause jerkiness with very complicated models. The graphics card has no impact on rendering speed as this is all calculated on the CPU, although you will need a basic graphics card to display the model on your screen prior to rendering.
McNeel’s document on Rhino 5 Graphics Cards
We recommend 6GB of RAM on a 64bit OS as a useful practical minimum specification, if you are modelling and/or rendering large scenes then it will be worth investing in more RAM. Not all memory is the same and high speed low latency RAM will make a difference to performance particularly if the cache speed of the memory is matched to that of the processors.
Specific Hardware Requirements
As the UK ’s leading Rhinoceros Specialist, we are often asked about system specifications and Simply Rhino is still proud to say that we continue to work with the award winning manufacturer Very PC to formulate specifications for their latest range of Designed for Rhino machines.