Autodesk Inventor is a computer-aided design application for creating 3D digital prototypes used in the design, visualization and simulation of products.
Selecting the number of processing cores and frequency in your Inventor workstation is critical. 2D design and 3D modeling within the Inventor software are single-threaded (frequency bound) tasks, meaning they rely primarily on a single processor core. Thus, a CPU with less cores, but high operating frequency (clock speed) will offer the best overall performance.
Since Windows operating system also utilizes a couple cores, we recommend a 4 core processor. If you will be multi-tasking with a variety of applications, go with a 6- or 8-core processor.
Processors have base and turbo clock speeds. An example is a CPU model with 6 processing cores with a 3.8GHz base frequency and a 4.6GHz turbo frequency. If the system tasks are utilizing all 6 cores, the CPU will function at 3.8GHz. If the system is utilizing 1 core, the CPU will function at the 4.6GHz turbo. The CPU will function between 3.8GHz and 4.6GHz depending on the number of processing cores utilized. We recommend a 4GHz+ turbo frequency.
Intel offers the Core i5/i7/i9 processors as the consumer series and the Xeon processors as the professional series. In the past, Xeon CPUs were more powerful than their Core-series counterparts. Today, however, there is little functional difference between the two Intel product families for workstations. Core-series processors, especially with the 'K' designation (e.g. the Core i7-10700K) have the highest clock speeds, while the Xeon models maximize the number of cores. Since the clock speed impacts Inventor performance, a Core series CPU is perfectly fine. You can opt for a Xeon if you prefer to stick with enterprise-class components developed for 24/7 operation and intensive workloads.
If you plan on using the workstation for rendering/simulation in addition to design and modeling, then the more cores the better.
Rendering is a highly multi-threaded process and will take advantage of all the CPU cores available in your system. It's important to consider how often you will utilize multi-threaded features like rendering. If you rarely utilize this feature, then a single 4 to 8 core processor might be a better choice.
NVIDIA offers the GeForce series graphics cards for consumers and the Quadro series graphics cards for professionals. Many software application vendors (e.g. Autodesk and Avid) test the functionality and performance of their applications with specific hardware (usually designated for professionals), then certify those specific series' or models. The application vendors will only offer support if you have hardware that has been certified by them. We recommend going with the NVIDIA Quadro series to ensure that you will be able to get full support from Autodesk if you ever have a software issue. However, NVIDIA GeForce cards show comparable performance in CAD benchmarks, so we recommend the NVIDIA GeForce series if you want the fastest experience possible at a lower cost and don't care about official Autodesk support.
We recommend having two solid-state drives which provides the best performance:
- Primary Drive: SSD for the operating system and applications
- Secondary Drive: SSD for active projects; a dedicated SSD will offer optimal performance
2.5-inch SATA SSD performs at ~500MB/s
M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD performs at ~2500MB/s
For long term storage or backup, infrequently accessed files, we recommend a 4TB to 18TB hard drive. Hard drives also work well for storing export files as the export/rendering process is generally not write intensive.
In general, 3-6GB of RAM per CPU core is recommended. For example, if you select a single 12-core processor, 32GB will suffice for basic tasks or 64GB for more demanding workloads.
Recommended Hardware References
Running additional applications on this system?
The recommended components and configurations provided on this page are specific to this software. If you plan on running other applications, please view our recommendations for them as well and choose a configuration that best suits the needs of the application requirements collectively. Feel free to contact us for further assistance.