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1.3. Hardware Requirements or Recommendations

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Applies to: All products, workstation or client software
(For network server system requirements, please see the Guide for Administrators.)

How much RAM do I need to run @RISK and your other software? How powerful a CPU is recommended? How many cores do I want?

How much RAM and how much processor speed are "enough" depends on many factors: the complexity of your model, what other applications and processes are running, which Windows version and which Office version you have, your own requirements for turnaround, and so on. And the best configuration today may no longer be the best tomorrow, when your needs may have changed and new hardware is available. But we can give some general guidelines.

The answer to the question of minimum configuration is simple: If you can run Microsoft Office on a Windows machine, you can run our software. That said, more RAM is good, a faster processor is good, and more CPUs (for @RISK simulations) are usually good.

For memory requirements, please see Memory Used by @RISK Simulations. Remember that the computer is not just running a simulation: Windows itself and your other programs will also need memory.

Multiple CPUs, such as a dual or quad core processor, will speed up simulations with some releases of @RISK; our other products use only one CPU. Please see CPUs used by @RISK for more on multiple CPUs.

There's an interaction between a sufficient amount of RAM and the number of CPUs (cores) used by @RISK in a simulation. Each core in a multi-CPU simulation runs its own copy of Excel, and therefore the more cores you use, the more RAM you need. If you run your simulation with multiple CPUs enabled, then more cores is usually good; with multiple CPUs disabled, you're using only one core, and you'll want it to be as fast as possible. In either case, during a simulation bring up the Windows Task Manager with Ctrl-Shift-Esc, select the Processes tab, then View » Select Columns to select "Memory - Peak Working Set". Observe how much RAM Excel (and @RISK) use during a simulation. If using just one core, then make sure you have that much RAM (plus 1 GB or so for Windows), and if using multiple cores, multiply that amount of RAM by the number of cores.

Disk space is unlikely to be an issue with any modern computer. A complete install of the DecisionTools Suite is under half a GB as of this writing (July 2015, 7.0.0). For best functioning of Windows, you do want a minimum of 10% free space on your disk, and more free space is better.

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Last edited: 2015-08-13

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