Get more bang for your buck with the right hardware for Vulcan

Have you ever wondered about the optimal configuration for your computer to run Vulcan?

Our development team has broadly defined how various hardware components affect Vulcan performance. Use this guide to assess your priorities and decide where best to invest your hardware budget.

GPU: A more powerful GPU means better responsiveness when interacting with objects. A slow GPU will lessen your frame rate and it will be difficult to manipulate objects when rotating, panning or zooming.

RAM: More RAM allows you to load larger datasets, and it may speed up operations if you’re approaching near-maximum RAM use with your existing system. Too little RAM generally causes major slowdowns (especially when loading data which is memory-intensive) and affects performance. If all of the RAM is being used then all applications, including your operating system will suffer.

HD/SSD: Most people are familiar with the benefits of a larger hard drive. A faster hard drive however speeds up loading data as well as running options that read from a file. A slow hard drive results in slow data loading, with performance more likely to be affected by anti virus software. With some data formats, the hard drive will be the biggest performance chokepoint. A Solid State Drive (SSD) is the fastest option and is highly recommended.

CPU: Better CPU almost always produces better Vulcan performance, however it is the most susceptible component to be limited by other hardware. For example, a strong CPU and a weak GPU will result in poor graphics performance. In contrast, a strong GPU and a bad CPU will limit the GPU’s capabilities.

If you upgrade to a SSD hard drive, make sure that your CPU can process data even faster. This will ensure that you are taking full advantage of the SSD.

A weak CPU slows everything down – menu options, data loading and multi-tasking are all affected. General graphics performance will likely suffer also.

In summary, a balanced system is the best choice when running Vulcan. If your datasets won’t load or take a long time to load, more RAM is the right way to go. If you’re able to load the data only to find it too cumbersome due to low performance, a GPU or CPU improvement is the best option.

Keep in mind that a GPU upgrade will have a much larger impact unless the CPU is already outclassed by a standard GPU. If it takes too long to load a list of layers, a hard drive upgrade to a solid state drive will be worth your while.

Click here for more information about Vulcan system requirements.

Once you have installed Vulcan, check out Richard Jackson’s top tips for configuring Vulcan for the best performance.

Technical Services
November 17, 2014

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