Rhino for Windows

Hardware Requirements for Rhino 5 for Windows - 20/02/2017

Note that these requirements are different from those listed by McNeel. They represent recommendations based on new machine specifications available at the time of writing.

As Rhino 5 for Windows is a 64bit native application, it can access much greater amounts of RAM than was possible with previous versions. New computer 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.

Official McNeel advice is to keep both the 64 and 32 bit versions installed. You may choose to delete shortcuts etc. to the 32bit version to prevent accidental launching.

Our suggested minimum practical system requirements for a new desktop machine running Rhino 5 64bit are as follows: 

  • Intel Core i5 7400 Quad Core or AMD equivalent
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 500 GB HD
  • Open GL Graphics Card
  • Windows 10 Professional 

For less demanding work Rhino 5 for Windows may run adequately on older systems with a minimum specification of, for example, an Intel i3 2.5GHz with 4GB RAM. If you are in any doubt about the suitability of your current hardware then please discuss this with us before purchasing Rhino.

We have many customers running Windows on Apple Mac hardware via BootCamp. This is officially supported and we recommend using Windows 10 with BootCamp to run Windows natively on your Mac.

Rhino is not supported on virtualisation software such as Parallels and VM Ware. 

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.


Operating System

Windows 10 Professional. This is the preferred choice for Rhino 5. The ‘Professional’ version offers additional features - such as encryption, remote log-in, creating virtual machines etc. - over the more basic ‘Home’ version. We have tested Rhino 5 extensively with Windows 10 Professional. Windows 10 features cumulative updates rather than separate SR (service release) packages that were applied to earlier versions of windows. Microsoft will support Windows 10 fully until October 2020 and provide extended support until October 2025.

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit SP1. Our tests show that Rhino 5 runs well in this environment. However mainstream support for this product expired in 2015 and, whilst extended support runs until January 2020, if you are considering a new installation it is highly recommended to use Windows 10 Professional.

Windows 8 64 Bit. Rhino 5 runs without problems in this environment although most professional and corporate users prefer either Windows 7 or Windows 10 due to the more ‘business-like’ interface. Windows 8 mainstream support expires in January 2018.



Most modern processors 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 for Rhino, Maxwell and KeyShot will make use of all the available cores. Rhino 5.0 64 bit uses only one processor core for some modelling tasks but will be able to access much greater amounts of memory than 32bit versions of Rhino. 

The latest i5 and i7 quad core processors from Intel feature '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. Intel 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.


Graphics Cards

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.

We have tested four current PNY NVIDIA Quadro cards with Rhino 5. See our conclusions on these PNY NVIDIA Quadro cards. 

Also see McNeel’s document on Rhino 5 Graphics Cards.



We recommend 8GB of RAM on a 64bit OS as a useful practical minimum specification with 16GB being preferred for more professional use. If you are modelling and/or rendering large scenes then it will be worth investing in more RAM. 


Specific Hardware Requirements

As the UK ’s leading Rhinoceros Specialist, we are often asked about system specifications and Simply Rhino is now proud to announce a new range of professional Rhino Workstations designed in collaboration with Scan Computers and featuring hardware from PNY including NVIDIA Quadro graphics cards.


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  • Last modified on Tuesday, 21 February 2017 14:26
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