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 4 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 does 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.