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Land F/X System Requirements

On this page, we've laid out everything you need to know about the computer hardware that will ensure optimal performance when you use Land F/X.

Land F/X is an AutoCAD plugin, meaning it's a piece of software that adds tools to your installation of AutoCAD or F/X CAD*.

*F/X CAD is our Autodesk authorized AutoCAD engine developed specifically for Land F/X users. Learn more about F/X CAD

 

 

In a nutshell, here's what you need to run our software:

 

 A CAD workstation

 

A "CAD workstation" is really just a computer with the capability of running a powerful program like AutoCAD. And remember: F/X CAD is AutoCAD, so these requirements also apply to F/X CAD.

 

Your CAD workstation can be a desktop, a laptop, or even some Windows tablets as long as it meets the following requirements:

  • A 64-bit Windows 7, 8, or 10 Windows operating system
  • A solid-state hard drive (SSD)
  • A good video card (we recommend 4GB or more).
  • Well maintained and not more than 2 to 3 years old.

 

Want our specific technical recommendations? See the Land F/X workstations section below.

 

Planning to use AutoCAD? If you want more detailed information on the specific requirements of an AutoCAD workstation, ask your AutoCAD reseller.

Planning to use F/X CAD? Keep in mind that F/X CAD:

  • Must be installed on each individual workstation where your office plans to use it.
  • Cannot be installed on your server or network share.
  • Requires a Land F/X plugin license (Planting F/X, Design F/X, or Irrigation F/X).

Learn more about F/X CAD.

 

 

 A supported version of AutoCAD or F/X CAD

 

Because Land F/X is a plugin for AutoCAD, it won't run without a compatible version of AutoCAD. Land F/X is:

  • Compatible with AutoCAD, AutoCAD Civil 3D, or F/X CAD versions 2014 – 2019.
  • Not compatible with AutoCAD LT, AutoCAD 360, or AutoCAD for Mac*.
  • *You can run Land F/X on a Mac using virtual Windows software such as Parallels or VMware Focus. More information

 

 

 An Internet connection

 

Land F/X requires an Internet connection to download content, access databases, and install weekly updates. The type and speed of connection you need will depend on whether you plan to have Cloud or Local Data.

  • Local Data users can get away with minimally capable Internet.
  • Cloud Data users: DSL Internet is good, but cable is better. A business-class fiber connection is ideal but not necessary.

What are Cloud and Local Data?

Why we recommend Cloud Data for most users

 

 

 More than one Land F/X user in your office? You'll need a server share and a good network.

 

If you'll have multiple Land F/X users in your office or across your firm, those designers will need to share Land F/X content. That means you'll need to have Multi-User Land F/X installed in a shared location (aka a server share) that your users can access over a network. Here's what you'll need:

  • A high-quality network (and an IT administrator to maintain it):
    • You undoubtedly already share many files in your office. Land F/X is just an advanced method of doing the same thing (through the LandFX folder). For that reason, you should definitely:
      • Store your LandFX folder in an appropriate shared location.
      • Give all users write access, which will allow the whole office to benefit from the ability to add and customize the available content.
      • Include your LandFX folder in your backup regimen.
    • Ideally, you should have a Gigabit & AC Wi-Fi network. This easy and inexpensive upgrade can increase your network performance more than tenfold. It's a no-brainer.

 

  • A server share
    • Local Data users: You'll need an office server. See our hardware recommendations for office servers
    • Cloud Data users: You can install Multi-User Land F/X on either an office server or a shared online location using a service such as Dropbox, Google Backup and Sync, Amazon Drive, etc. You can find more information about both of these options in the Server share section below.

What are Cloud and Local Data?

Why we recommend Cloud Data for most users

 

Want our specific technical recommendations for servers and networks? See the Technical specs section below.

 

 

 

If you follow these basic requirements, you'll have everything you need to run Land F/X on a single computer.

 

Don't want to deal with it? We can help.

For our standard IT consulting fee (per machine), we'll provide customized hardware specs and help you get the exact equipment and setup you need. Just let us know in a technical support ticket that you'd like Land F/X to be your hardware and network consultant.

 

Want to get more technical?

If you follow the simple recommendations listed above, you can feel confident that you have the correct equipment to run our software. If you want to dig a bit deeper, read on for some more clear-cut recommendations for features and specific equipment models to look for. In this section, we'll go over all the tech specs you'll need for the following essential components:

 

Land F/X & F/X CAD workstations (Windows or Mac)

A Land F/X workstation is any computer where you or someone in your office will use for CAD design with Land F/X. It can be the only computer in your office (or home), or one of many. Our software works with desktops, laptops, and some Windows tablets.

 

 

You're here because you plan to purchase a desktop, laptop, or tablet to use as a Land F/X workstation. You may just need one workstation, or several for a multi-user office.

 

Step 1: General features to look for in a Land F/X workstation

You'll ensure optimal performance if your Land F/X workstation(s) meet our Recommended system specifications listed below. At the very least, your workstation(s) will need to meet or exceed our Minimum system requirements.

 

Recommended system specifications:

  64-bit Windows 10

  16GB RAM

  6GB of free space on a solid-state drive

  64-bit 2 GHz+ processor

  Video card: 4GB+ GPU

  Two 4K monitors

Minimum system requirements:

  64-bit Windows 7/8/10

  8GB RAM

  2GB of free disk space

  64-bit 1.3 GHz processor

  Video card: 2GB GPU

  High-resolution monitor

 

Step 2: Hardware recommendations for Land F/X worktations

Here are some examples of Windows and Mac machines that will work well as Land F/X workstations:

 

 

Here are some Windows machines we’ve found to satisfy our system requirements for Land F/X and F/X CAD. Feel free to shop around and find computers with similar specifications, keeping in mind that you'll also need a good video card.

 

Windows desktops

 

Entry Level

 

HP Pavilion 580-023w

  • I5 3.0 GHz
  • WIN10
  • Nvidia GTX 1060 3GB
  • 8GB RAM
  • 1TB
  • $734.48

Dell 3420

  • i5 3.4 GHz
  • WIN10
  • Quadro P400  2GB
  • 8GB RAM
  • 500GB Storage
  • $868.57

 

Intermediate

 

HP Pavilions 580-068

  • i7 3.6 GHz
  • WIN10
  • Nvidia GTX 1060 3GB
  • 16GB RAM
  • 128 SSD + 1TB HDD
  • $1,049.00

Dell 3620

  • i5 3.5 GHz
  • WIN10
  • Quadro P1000 4GB
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256 SSD
  • $1,529.87

 

Professional

 

Alienware Aurora

  • i7 4.6 GHz
  • WIN10
  • Nvidia GTX 1080 11GB
  • 32GB RAM
  • 512 SSD + 2TB HDD
  • $2,729.99

Dell 5820

  • Xeon 4.0 GHz
  • WIN10
  • Quadro P4000 8GB
  • 32GB RAM
  • 256 SSD + 1TB HDD
  • $3,267.35

Windows laptops

 

Intermediate

 

MSI GL62M

  • i7
  • WIN10
  • GTX 1050 Ti 4GB
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128 SSD + 1TB
  • $925.00

MSI WE62

  • i7
  • WIN10 Pro
  • Nvidia Quadro M2200
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256 SSD
  • $1,599.00

 

Professional

 

Alienware 17

  • i7
  • WIN10 Pro
  • GTX 1060 8GB GPU
  • 32GB RAM
  • 128 SSD + 1TB
  • $1,674.99

MSI WS60

  • Xeon E3
  • WIN10
  • Nvidia Quadro M2200
  • 32GB RAM
  • 512 SSD
  • $2,449.00

 

Windows tablets

 

We recommend the Surface Pro 2017 i7 ($2,199). Keep in mind that, like almost every tablet model that’s currently on the market, the current models only come with an embedded Intel graphics chip. It’s entirely capable of running AutoCAD, and even SketchUp.

 

Also keep in mind that tablets can have difficulty handling complex SketchUp models. While we support the Surface Pro, we still recommend a powerful CAD/Gamer laptop instead. You can view our recommendation for laptops that meet these criteria in the Windows laptops section above.

 

 

 

 

Planning to use a Mac? Land F/X and F/X CAD will only run on PC operating systems. However, you can still use a Windows-based AutoCAD or F/X CAD on a Mac that has virtual software such as Parallels or VMWare Fusion.

Parallels and VMWare Fusion both create a virtual Windows computer on your Mac, allowing you to run AutoCAD and other Windows-based programs. In fact, our office computers are all Macs with Parallels or VMWare Fusion installed. We've found this setup to be a great way to use AutoCAD and Land F/X. For more information and instructions, see our page on Installing AutoCAD or F/X CAD & Windows on your Mac Using Virtual Software.

 

The following Mac computers will work great with our software, provided they're equipped with virtual software that can run a Windows operating system.

 

Apple iMac 27” (desktop):

  • Intel Core i5 3.4 Ghz
  • 8GB RAM
  • 4GB GPU
  • 1TB solid-state drive
  • macOS High Sierra
  • $1,799

Macbook Pro 15" (laptop):

  • Intel Core i7 2.8 Ghz
  • 16GB RAM
  • 2GB GPU
  • 256GB solid-state drive
  • macOS High Sierra
  • $2,499

 

 

 

Your search for a good Land F/X workstation should also include some thought into the hardware that's included with that machine – most importantly, the monitor and the graphics card (also known as a graphics processing unit, or GPU). Here are our recommendations for those essential pieces of equipment:


 

Monitors

Most machines will come with a standard monitor if you purchase a full packaged workstation. However, we recommend using a monitor that is either High Resolution and capable of displaying resolutions of 1080p, or one that Supports 4K. We advise investing in a 4K monitor, which will not only display your drawings in a much finer quality but also help with users who already have issues viewing drawings on older monitors. Below are some video cards (graphic cards) we recommend if you are considering a new workstation or a monitor upgrade.

 

Graphics cards/video cards

 

Affordable performance

Nvidia GeForce GTX  (Gaming Card)

GTX 1060

GTX 1070

GTX 1080

Best performance at a cost

Nvidia Quadro   (Workstation Card)

P2000

P4000

P5000

Important note on graphics cards: If you use AutoCAD with a video card driver that's not certified (e.g., a Geforce card) you may see an error message stating that Hardware Acceleration is not supported when you launch CAD. A "certified driver" is a graphics card and driver combination that Autodesk has tested with your version of CAD – but note that Autodesk they generally only does this with the Quadro series. The Geforce series will still work with Hardware Acceleration as long as it meets the requirements, but you may still see this warning.

More information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Server share

If you plan to have multiple Land F/X users in your office, or throughout your firm, you'll need what's known as a server share – a shared central location where you'll store your Land F/X content and install the Land F/X Server component. This shared location can be on:

  • An office server (Cloud or Local Data users), or
  • A shared online folder using a service such as Dropbox (Cloud Data users only)

 

 

You're here because you plan to install Multi-User Land F/X in a central location.

 

Step 1: Cloud or Local Data?

Before we get into hardware recommendations, you should ask yourself:

 

 

Planning to use Local Data?

You'll need to install Land F/X on a central office server (i.e., a computer that is a designated server).

 

Our Local Data Land F/X installer will install MySQL and configure it specifically for Land F/X. While you can install on any kind of server, our installer is Windows based and will be easier to diagnose and troubleshoot on a Windows server machine. Learn more about Local and Cloud Data.

 

Ready to start shopping for your office server? See our server features recommendations below.

Planning to use Cloud Data?

You'll need to install Multi-User Land F/X on either:

  • A central office server (i.e., a computer that is a designated server), or
  • A shared online folder

 

If you plan to use Cloud Data, we highly recommend using a shared online folder as your Land F/X server. If you do so, you won't have to worry about a central office server. More information:

 

Still want to use an office server instead of a shared online folder? See our server features recommendations below.

 

 

 

Step 2: General features to look for in a server

If you've chosen to use an office server, you'll ensure optimal performance if that server meets our Recommended system specifications listed below. At the very least, it will need to meet or exceed our Minimum system requirements.

 

Here are the general features you should be looking for in a server:

 

Recommended system specifications:

  Microsoft Windows Server 2016

  1.4 GHz (64-bit)

  16GB RAM

  1TB+ storage

  5GB available HDD space

Minimum system requirements:

  Microsoft Windows Server 2012

  1.3 Ghz (64-bit)

  4GB RAM

  512GB+ storage

  2GB available HDD space

We advise against using a standard PC workstation as a server. A typical user's workstation is more susceptible to bugs, crashes, and unscheduled reboots than the standard Windows server. Using a standard PC as a server is known to provide less flexibility than a standard Windows-based server in terms of sharing and permissions.

  • We support Windows Server 2012 or newer.
  • We no longer support versions older than Windows Server 2012.

 

And remember: We can help. Want us to take over your server specification? We'll help get you set up for our standard IT consulting fee (per machine). Just let us know in a technical support ticket.

 

Step 3: Hardware recommendations for servers

Decided you want to use Land F/X with an office server (not a shared online folder)? Here are our recommendations for specific machines that will work best as a Land F/X server:

 

Good servers

 

WD My Cloud Expert Series EX2 Ultra (NAS)

  • Pre-configured
  • 4TB
  • 1.3GHz
  • 1GB RAM
  • $349.99

Mac Mini Server

  • macOS High Sierra
  • 1TB
  • 2.6GHz
  • 8GB RAM
  • $699.00

Dell PowerEdge T130

  • Windows Server 2016
  • 2TB
  • 3.0GHz
  • 8GB RAM
  • $1041.26

 

 

Even better servers

 

Dell PowerEdge T330

  • Windows Server 2016
  • 2TB
  • 3.3GHz
  • 16GB RAM
  • $1741.00

WD My Cloud Pro Series PR4100 (NAS)

  • Pre-configured
  • 8TB
  • 1.6GHz
  • 4GB RAM
  • $799.99

 

Keep in mind that:

  • Cloud Data will work on any server, even an NAS.
  • Local Data requires MySQL, which is possible on some NAS servers, as well as on Linux and Mac servers.

 

 

 

 

Network

If you have multiple Land F/X users, your network is what allows everyone's computers to communicate with your Land F/X Server. You'll access your Land F/X content (such as blocks and hatches) and every Land F/X tool over the network. The faster your network, the better performance you'll experience when using our software.

 

 

Basic network setup

All Land F/X users in your office will need the ability to share content and data, which will require a well-maintained office network. To ensure a well-oiled Land F/X machine in your office, you'll need to:

  • Store your LandFX folder in an appropriate shared location.
  • Give all users write access, which will allow the whole office to benefit from the ability to add and customize the available content.
  • Include your LandFX folder in your backup regimen.

 

Why you need Gigabit & AC Wi-Fi

Opportunities are rare for a tenfold or greater increase in any computer capability. Regardless, many offices still lack a full Gigabit network, or are still using legacy Wi-Fi, either of which could be remedied by an incredibly easy and inexpensive upgrade.
 

We’ve found much success with open-source dd-wrt routers, and we recommend starting your network upgrades there. You can find the full list of supported routers on the dd-wrt website.  We went with the Asus router in our office due to its solid performance and integrated high-speed Wi-Fi. With a dedicated router (one that is not also functioning as your DSL modem provided by your ISP), you guarantee full control over your network policies, as well as the ability to easily change ISPs with minimal downtime. Depending on your Internet uptime availability, consider a dual-WAN router, as mentioned in our Cloud Data webinar.

 

Connected to your router will be a network switch. Just as you should be moving more hardware to being network based (VoIP phones, security cameras, door security, etc.), you should strongly consider a POE switch. After a fair amount of trial and error, we’ve fallen in love with the Juniper EX2200-C  switch. It offers incredible capability, and entirely silent operation – even from a POE switch! For our data-only connections, we have a Cisco SG200-26 26-port gigabit switch, which is also notable for its quiet performance. Our network closets are all in open areas, so quiet performance was a must.

 

Confirm your network connection from all devices, especially Wi-Fi. Consider something as simple as the Belkin N600 Wi-Fi range extender, rather than having to install additional wireless access points.

 

Of all the aforementioned equipment, the Juniper router is undeniably a bit of a luxury purchase, but the others are entirely affordable, and well worth the modest investment in a speedy and capable network.

 

Two recommendations for additional equipment we use in our office:

 

 

Computer business leases: A great idea

Why keep buying new computers when you can lease? Dell and Apple both offer economical business leases that include fresh machines every few years. Both companies will provide the required maintenance on your machines during the lease periods, keeping you up to speed on the hardware requirements for using our software. Amazon also offers a leasing option for orders of $599 or more using the Amazon Store Card. Amazon itself offers personal leasing options using the Amazon Store Card for smaller offices or single users working from home.

 

Don't see a system you like?

You can contact the computer manufacturer of your choice and give them our system requirements, and they can give you options. Examples include:

Last modified on Aug 20, 2018

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