As Revit users, we spend about 99% of our time behind a computer screen.  The brains of a computer are commonly known as a CPU (central processing unit).  These days, most CPUs have multiple cores.  The Core i7 975 that I use has 4 cores, and Hyperthreading means that Windows actually sees 8 cores.

Previously, I have discussed adjusting affinity and priority to make the best use of the cores you have.

If you are using an Intel chip, there is a high chance that it is using a technology called SpeedStep.  This basically ‘slows down’ your processor when its not busy.  I don’t know about you, but if I pay for a 3.33 ghz chip, I want it running at 3.33 ghz ALL THE TIME, not just when it thinks it has to…

To disable SpeedStep, head into your BIOS settings.  On the Gigabyte X58 I use, there is a section for ‘Advanced CPU Features’ and inside this, you can ‘turn off’ EIST (Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology).  There is also a similar feature known as ‘C1E‘ – I disabled this as well.

Now my processor is running at a consistent 3.33 ghz!

Here are a few tools and utilities you may find useful:

To disable SpeedStep WITHIN Windows while using a laptop with an appropriate Core processor, check out ThrottleStop.

To monitor CPU temperatures: CoreTemp

Benchmark and Torture Test: Prime95

Intel Processor Information Utility

Use all of these tools carefully.


As you know, support for DirectX is now an intrinsic part of Revit 3D hardware acceleration mode.

If you wish to install updated DirectX runtimes, go to this link (February 2010 version).

This may or may not help you if you are struggling with DirectX (Direct3D) related problems.

These runtimes are periodically updated. The June 2010 version can be found here.

I recently spent some time troubleshooting a netbook that was unceremoniously ‘dropped’, and I thought I would share the things that I found most helpful.

Basically, there was physical damage to many of the sectors on the hard disk, meaning that the system did not boot and had some serious issues.

After booting using a USB drive into a diagnostic version of ‘mini’ XP, I was able to run a program called HDTune. An Error Scan using the ‘quick’ option showed the area of the drive that was affected.

I then basically resized the partitions on the disk so that the ‘bad’ parts of the drive were in the unallocated space – hopefully meaning that it won’t cause any future problems.

I backed some of the necessary data, then formatted and I will now reinstall XP. Hopefully all is well!

PS – Try not to drop electronic devices.

Revit is a very acceptable OOTB (out of the box) tool. If you are using Revit OOTB, there are really only two variables that determine your productivity. Assuming you have zero customised content, these variables are:

  • your own skill and ability
  • the performance of your computer

We are all working to try and keep our skills on the cutting edge. But is your hardware keeping up its end of the bargain? Our company made a significant investment into some middle to top-of-the-line workstations a few months ago, for which I am very grateful. If you are looking to purchase a new system, or upgrade an existing one, you should definitely review the
Model Performance Technical Note (you may have accessed this via Subscription, but this is a direct link to the PDF).

The following AUGI forum links may also be of assistance to you:

Revit 2010 – Graphics Cards that work (and those that don’t)

Happy with your hardware?

Video card D3D compatibility – Revit 2010 on Vista / Win7

Revit Running on Intel Mac

Non-Mac hardware benchmarks using the 2009 benchmark journal

Rendering speed in Windows 7 64 & Revit 2010 64bit

Feel free to comment if you have any thoughts or recommendations.

We recently invested in some new workstations for our office. After doing some research, the following specification was settled on:

Gigabyte X58

Intel Core i7-975 Extreme Edition Processor, 3.33 GHz

12GB (6 X2GB) Corsair DDR3 (1600MHZ) 9,9,9,24 Matched Triple Kit, 1.65V, TR3X6G1600C9

Quadro FX-580, PCI-E 2.0, OEM, 512Mb, GDDR3, 128-Bit

WD Caviar Black 1000GB / 1TB SATA-II, 7200RPM, 32Mb

Genuine Microsoft Windows VISTA BUSINESS 64-Bit DVD OEM SP1

I am also running dual monitors, one being a Samsung 740B 17 inch monitor, and the other a beautiful Samsung 2443BW 24 inch HD monitor.

And Revit loves it!