Computer Specs - recommended

Just did a quick search and I am not seeing any recommended computer specs? Does anyone have any that they have found to be the best bang for the buck.

I want to make sure I am investing in the right resources.

i.e is there a point of diminishing return on graphics card or Memory.

Are you inquiring about recommended specs for running TBC? A decent gaming or graphics editing setup would work. Some model builders buy high end systems from Top Flight Computers, but there are less costly options and I find that having a laptop works better for me since I can take it to the field if I need to. I run a Dell Precision i9 Laptop with 32G RAM and an NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 with 6G memory, and I crank out models just fine with it. However some of my larger models tend to lag when refreshing and navigating. More RAM would probably remedy that.

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Shane did a write-up a couple years ago regarding machine requirements:

I thought Alan had done one regarding CPU v GPU but i cant find

If memory serves, it was recommended to go all out on the CPU and have a good GPU. Shane does a pretty good job of pointing you in a direction based on model needs

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somthing from Trimble. more in the scan data process of Trimble


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It makes very little difference unless you’re making large upgrade from an older system, with maybe the exception of processing large point clouds and such. 90% TBC processes don’t use multi-threading and guaranteed never will, not because it’s impossible, but because it would take a lot of rewriting. Civil 3D has started to utilize multi threading more.

Get a fast single threaded processor like the 13600k and don’t be surprised when it make little difference even compared to your 6 year old laptop. I would go with Intel and Nvidia for graphics card for sure and something like the 1660 Super is cheap and more than enough for TBC, so is 32 gig of ram. I just upgraded from AMD 3600x w/ 1660 Super to a 13600k w/ nvidia 3080 and It’s just barely noticeable. You can build a PC that’s way more than TBC can handle for less than $1500, $5000 would be a waist of money if running TBC is your only objective. (possible exception being processing point clouds, but don’t do much of that so not sure.) Oh and don’t go with water cooling as suggested, there is absolutely no reason to do so regardless of CPU. Even a mid range tower cooler can handle the highest performance CPU now a days. Water is HUGE PIA!

I think a good place to start is Trimble’s minimum requirements and build up from there to a price point you are comfortable with - I am running an out of box Dell with an i7 Intel CPU @ 2.70GHz , Nvidia RTX Quadro, 40g of RAM, and a 1 tb SSHD partitioned (I find that my projects run faster out of the “D” partition. especially if there is a network interface on the C drive). I think all told, I was into it about 3 grand. The only time I hate it is when the the GPU is in need of driver updates or running project clean-up on large data-sets.

I really don’t know what the magic set-up is but I have found that the computers under the 1500 price point have given me nothing but grief.

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something I considered when prepping for the purchase - my field controllers are 10,000 or better after software and modules. All of that work is prepped in the office, why go cheap and fight it on a second rate machine. I think five grand is high but that is about the price of the TSC7 sans software.

Well if you’re talking Laptops 1500 probably isn’t enough, but I was talking about PC. You can absolutely build a 13600k, 1660 Super, 32g RAM, SSD boot disk for $1500 that is like I said overkill for TBC.

copy, to clarify - I’m always talking laptops. I gave up on towers back when AOL quit being a thing :wink:

Just to add my 2 cents to the pot: Definitely find the fastest processor you can get, the number of cores is irrelevant because TBC can’t use more than 1 for anything outside point clouds. Try to get a processor that can be overclocked, if your looking at an intel chip then the model number will end in a ‘k’. You should be able to find a chip that can be clocked up to 5 gHz. Big warning: overclocking does seem to improve performance marginally in TBC but it also greatly increases the likelyhood of unrecoverable system crashes. I’ve been running an overclocked chip at near max for 6 or 7 years now and during that time have had 3 total meltdown-type crashes where everything was lost and a total system reset required. So make sure you are backing up daily, if not continuously.

For RAM, I find that 32GB is enough for most of the time but there are definitely some projects with some computations that go way over that. I like to use 64GB, especially since I usually have 5 or more TBCs open, but even that has come up short from time to time. I may try 128GB on my next system if the price isn’t too much higher. Definitely consider the speed of the RAM though. The number at the end of a RAM’s model is the speed in mHz.

My current system is an HP Omen laptop which I cannot recommend. The performance is good enough but there are a ton of weird oddities with other windows functions and programs that really make it frustrating. I want to try an Alienware next.

Good luck!

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as I am thinking of it. add more memory storage as some laptop have slots for more memory card.

on the 128GB, Ive read even having more could hurt your speed and slow thing down. the Gaming system seems to be the way to go as it handles more graphic.

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