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. We recommend Windows 7 or newer (XP is no longer supported).
- FRED performs multi-threaded calculations on up to 17 threads while FRED Optimum supports up to 63 threads. Any number of threads beyond the limit for your version of FRED are not used.
- Many components of FRED, such as BASIC scripting calculations and model updating, are not multi-threaded. Therefore, high-speed processors are advantageous. In many scenarios, performance is better for a smaller number of fast CPUs compared to a larger number of slow CPUs (e.g., 16 cores at 3.2 GHz vs. 24 cores at 2.4 GHz).
- We recommend between 16 and 48 GB of RAM to avoid buffer overflows that may occur when working with large raytraces.
- Sometimes, buffering cannot be avoided (e.g., when you need to trace more rays than can be processed with the available RAM). For this reason, it is beneficial to have a system with a high disk I/O. This stands for input/output, which is the speed of data transfer between the hard disk and the RAM. A solid state drive (SSD) is also recommended.
- While FRED and FRED Optimum do not leverage GPUs for computing, the user experience and model editing are much improved with a quality graphics card. Photon Engineering has had reliable performance with NVIDIA NVS series graphics cards.
- FREDmpc does leverage GPUs for raytracing and analyses, which can run up to 150X faster than the same calculations on the CPU. When using FREDmpc, an NVIDIA GPU board is required. Refer to the FREDmpc page for more information.