Altium Designer Documentation

System Requirements

Modified by Jason Howie on Mar 14, 2018

Ensure that your computer/server meets the system requirements detailed below, prior to installing Altium software.

Altium Designer

Below are the recommended and minimum system requirements to install and run Altium Designer.

Recommended System Requirements

  • Windows 7 (64-bit only), Windows 8 (64-bit only), or Windows 10 (64-bit only) Intel® Core™ i7 processor or equivalent
  • 16GB RAM
  • 10GB hard disk space (Install + User Files)
  • SSD
  • High performance graphics card (supporting DirectX 10 or better), such as GeForce GTX 1060/Radeon RX 470
  • Dual monitors with 2560x1440 (or better) screen resolution
  • 3D mouse for 3D PCB design, such as the Space Navigator
  • Adobe® Reader® (version XI or later for 3D PDF viewing)
  • Internet Connection
  • Up to date Web browser
  • Microsoft Office 32-bit or 64-bit (Microsoft Excel required for BOM, Microsoft Access required for DbLibs). 64-bit Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 (required for DbLibs) - this is included in Microsoft Office 64-bit, but not included in Microsoft Office 32-bit). If you are running 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Altium Design software, see Using Database Libraries with 32-bit and 64-bit Altium Design Software on the same Computer.

Minimum System Requirements

  • Windows 7 (64-bit only), Windows 8 (64-bit only), or Windows 10 (64-bit only) Intel® Core™ i5 processor or equivalent
  • 4GB RAM
  • 10GB hard disk space (Install + User Files)
  • Graphics card (supporting DirectX 10 or better), such as GeForce 200 series/Radeon HD 5000 series/Intel HD 4600
  • Monitor with at least 1680x1050 (widescreen) or 1600x1200 (4:3) screen resolution
  • Adobe® Reader® (version XI or later for 3D PDF viewing)
  • Up to date Web browser
  • Microsoft Office 32-bit or 64-bit (Microsoft Excel required for BOM, Microsoft Access required for DbLibs). 64-bit Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 (required for DbLibs) - this is included in Microsoft Office 64-bit, but not included in Microsoft Office 32-bit). If you are running 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Altium Design software, see Using Database Libraries with 32-bit and 64-bit Altium Design Software on the same Computer.

DPI Scaling Support

The following table shows the maximum DPI Scaling supported, based on the vertical resolution of the monitor being used.

Monitor Vertical Resolution (pixels) Maximum DPI Scaling Supported
1024 to 1200 100%
1600 125%
1800 200%
2K and above 250%

Other Considerations

The Size of the Design

The system requirements detailed above are for a medium-sized PCB design, for example up to 1000 components and up to 1000 nets. If your designs have a larger number of components and/or nets, then consider upgrading the processor family (for example, upgrade an i5 to an i7).

The Importance of a Good Graphics Card

Graphics cards are a critical hardware element that can have a large impact on both the performance and stability of systems. Choose the right hardware requirements necessary to achieve stunning results, make the whole system more responsive and ‘feel’ better, and remove distractions to design caused by lags in the GUI. This version of Altium Designer's PCB editor has been optimized for use with DirectX 10, and requires a graphics card that supports this. Altium has chosen DirectX rather than OpenGL for its graphics engine, which has become the preferred standard for gaming graphics cards. An advantage of this choice is the fact that gaming cards are often significantly cheaper than workstation cards of equivalent performance. We therefore strongly recommend the use of a gaming card instead of a workstation card.

The need for a high-performance graphics card is directly related to the amount of use of the 3D PCB capabilities. For example, a Core i7 processor with on-chip integrated HD4000 graphics will be more than adequate if you only require occasional use of the 3D PCB capabilities. If you intend to make extensive use of the 3D PCB features, for computationally intensive tasks such as 3D video or interactive presentations, then it is recommended to use a high performance gaming graphics card in combination with a 3D mouse, such as the Space Navigator.

The key parameter of a Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) for higher performance in Altium Designer is its processing power, in terms of floating point operations per second (FLOPS). It is not recommended to use GPUs with a performance lower than 700 GFLOPS. Above this level, performance grows proportionally. By way of example, one of the recommended graphics cards - the Radeon RX 470 - posesses a GPU whose performance is 3793 GFLOPS.

 

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