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Hardware Requirements

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Simply Rhino
Hardware Requirements for Rhino 5 - 09/04/2014

Note that these requirements are different from those listed by McNeel. They represent
recommendations based on new machine specifications available at the time of writing.

As Rhino 5 is a 64bit native application, it can access much greater amounts of RAM than
was possible with previous versions. New computer systems will ship almost exclusively with
a 64bit operating system.

When you install Rhino 5 on a 64bit operating system both 64bit and 32bit versions of Rhino 5
are installed. The 32bit version exists in this instance to host legacy plug-ins that may not be
64bit compliant. The major Rhino plug-ins are, however, now all 64bit native.

Our suggested minimum practical system requirements for a new desktop machine running
Rhino 5 64bit are as follows:

Intel Core i5 4400 Quad Core or AMD equivalent
500 GB HD
Open GL Graphics Card
Windows 7 64bit

Rhino 5 may run adequately on older systems with a minimum specification of, for example,
an Intel i3 2.5GHz with 4GB RAM. If you are in any doubt about the suitability of your current hardware then please discuss this with us before purchasing Rhino.

A native version for Rhino on Mac OSX is in development. See the latest information from McNeel about Rhino for OSX here.

We have many customers running Windows on Apple Mac hardware via BootCamp. This is officially supported and we recommend using Windows 7 64bit with BootCamp to run Windows natively on your Mac.

Although Rhino may run under virtualisation software such as Parallels and VMWare this is neither recommended or officially supported.

What specification is best for Rhino ultimately depends on what you are using Rhino for but here are some pointers on the various facets that can influence performance.

Operating System

Windows 7 64 Bit. Our tests show that Rhino 5 runs well in this environment. Windows 7 Professional 64bit is the OS currently supplied with the majority of professional level 3D CAD workstations. Windows 7 is currently due to be supported until 2020 and remains the operating system of choice for corporate environments and design professionals.

Windows 8 64 Bit.
Some users have migrated to Windows 8 and Rhino 5 runs without problems in this environment. In the corporate environment most users are remaining with Windows 7 for the time being.


Most modern processors from Intel and AMD are multi core but even with 64 bit operating systems modelling applications such as SolidWorks, 3D Studio Max and Rhino use only one processor core
for some modelling tasks whereas rendering plug-ins like V-Ray, Brazil and Maxwell will make
use of all the available cores. Rhino 5.0 64 bit uses only one processor core for most modelling
tasks but will be able to access much greater amounts of memory than 32bit versions of Rhino.

The latest i5 and i7 quad core processors from Intel feature 'Turbo Boost' dynamic overclocking meaning that when the CPU senses a maximum load it increases the clock multiplier on the RAM
by a number of increments. Intel i7 Processors also feature 'hyper threading' which multiplies the number of processing threads by 2, meaning that a quad core processor can utilise up to 8 threads for rendering purposes.

Graphics Cards

There are two main graphics card vendors, NVIDIA and ATI. Both manufacturers produce both consumer cards targeted towards gamers and professional workstation cards targeted towards the 3D CAD market. NVIDIA’s gaming cards are called GeForce and the pro cards Quadro. ATI’s gaming cards are called Radeon and the pro cards Fire GL.

We generally recommend NVIDIA graphics cards as these, particularly the workstation class Quadro cards, are well proven with Rhino. The ATI workstation class cards are very fast and perform well with Rhino provided the correct driver is chosen. The consumer ATI cards are generally fine but require certain Rhino settings to be adjusted to solve well documented display issues. To summarise the safe bet is with NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics cards.

Your graphics card handles the display of your work on your monitor. More powerful cards will be able to represent the various manipulations of complex models more smoothly, reducing or eliminating the display lag that can cause jerkiness with very complicated models. The graphics card has no impact on rendering speed as this is all calculated on the CPU, although you will need a basic graphics card to display the model on your screen prior to rendering.

We have recently tested four current PNY NVIDIA Quadro cards with Rhino 5.
See our conclusions here.

McNeel’s document on Rhino 5 Graphics Cards


We recommend 8GB of RAM on a 64bit OS as a useful practical minimum specification, if you are modelling and/or rendering large scenes then it will be worth investing in more RAM.

Specific Hardware Requirements

As the UK ’s leading Rhinoceros Specialist, we are often asked about system specifications and Simply Rhino is now proud to announce a new range of professional Rhino Workstations
designed in collaboration with Scan Computers and featuring hardware from PNY including
NVIDIA Quadro graphics cards.

Scan, 3XS, PNY NVIDIA Quadro