Computer System Requirements

PC Minimum

Mac Minimum

*Internet access required for installation, license authentication, deactivation and video & library catalog access.

PC and Mac Recommended

  • 8 GB of Memory (64 bit)
  • 50 GB of available hard disk space
  • 2 GB or 4GB gaming video card

Differences between PC and Mac versions of Chief Architect

PC Mac
Operating System 32 & 64 bit 64 bit only
Walkthrough Export Formats .AVI .MOV .MP4 .M4V
Hardware Lock Security Option Yes No
.WMF, .EMF Support Yes No
SKP Import Yes No

How can I tell if I have a 32-bit or 64-bit Operating System?

Tips for Buying a New Computer

If you are thinking about purchasing a new computer to run Chief Architect, here are some things to keep in mind while shopping around:

More memory is better... up to a point.

64-bit operating systems are able to access more memory than 32-bit operating systems. All Mac systems we support are 64-bit. Some PCs are only 32-bit. With 64-bit systems you are able to work with larger, more complex models. It will also allow more applications to run at the same time as Chief Architect. 32-bit operating systems only make 3 GB of memory available to applications. 8 GB is a good minimum memory size (16 GB even better) for a 64-bit operating system.

How can I tell if I have a 32-bit or 64-bit Operating System?

Most rendering is performed by the video card.

A video card with more than 2 GB of dedicated onboard memory can improve your 3D rendering and response times. Ray Traces and Artistic Rendering Techniques are performed by the CPU and not the Video Card (see below).

Ray traces and artistic rendering techniques are performed by the CPU and not the video card.

Ray Trace Rendering and Artistic Rendering Techniques (Watercolor, Line Drawing) are performed by your system CPU not your video card. The number of processor cores available is the most important factor in improving the speed of ray tracing and artistic rendering. Memory and CPU speed are also factors that can contribute to improved performance. A multi-core system, such as a system that uses a quad-core i7 processor, would be a good choice.

Multiple and/or larger displays can improve productivity.

Chief Architect's tabbed window interface allows you to take full advantage of multiple monitors to expand your workspace and increase productivity. When adding monitors, make sure that your graphics card supports multiple monitors

For more information on hardware you can access benchmark sites like Video Card Benchmarks and Tom’s Hardware. There are also frequent discussions of hardware on ChiefTalk that can be helpful.