While we don’t recommend a specific manufacturer or model, the following items should be considered when selecting a computer to run FRED:
- FRED only runs on Windows and we recommend Windows 7 or newer (XP is no longer supported).
- FRED Standard will perform multi-threaded calculations on up to 4 threads while FRED Optimum supports up to 63 threads. Any number of threads beyond the limit for your version of FRED will not be used.
- Many components of FRED are not multi-threaded (ex. BASIC scripting calculations, model updating, etc.) and so fast CPUs are advantageous. In many scenarios, performance will be better for a smaller number of fast CPUs compared to a larger number of slow CPUs (ex. 16 cores at 3.2 GHz vs. 24 cores at 2.4 GHz).
- For large raytraces, RAM usage is heavy. We recommend between 16 and 48 GB of fast RAM so that buffering operations to the hard disk is limited.
- In some cases buffering to disk cannot be avoided (i.e. you have traced too many rays to fit into the available RAM) and it is beneficial to have a fast disk for read/write operations. A solid state drive is recommended.
- While FRED does not leverage GPUs for computing, the user experience and model editing is much improved with a quality graphics card. Photon Engineering has had reliable performance from the NVIDIA NVS series graphics cards.