What to Look for in a New Workstation for Toolbox and AutoCAD

What to Look for in a New Workstation for Toolbox & AutoCAD

When you need to run a program like Toolbox or AutoCAD®, there are many factors to consider when selecting your new desktop or laptop workstation. Not only are these programs robust on their own, but cabinet designers often have peripheral programs such as Solidworks®, Inventor®, Revit®, Bluebeam®, etc. running in the background. All told, these 3D Modeling programs can bog down lesser machines.


At Microvellum, our goal is to streamline all aspects of the woodworking process for our customers. We’ve demonstrated this through the Design, Estimating, Engineering, and Manufacturing modules included in our software. All of this power requires a powerful machine to manage. We’ve compiled a list of ideal specs for a machine that can handle all of your AutoCAD and Toolbox needs. 


Processor

To handle 3D engineering tasks, you need a fast multi-core processor. Multi-cores make the rendering of 3D models faster and smoother. A dual-core processor does not have sufficient power to handle Toolbox or similarly heavy applications. We recommend a Quad-Core at minimum, or an 8 to 12-Core processor for higher performance.

RAM

The amount of RAM installed on your workstation impacts performance. 16GB of RAM is suitable to cover basic OS requirements and CAD work, but for complicated cabinet design, or intricate drawings, we recommend boosting your system's capability with at least 32GB of RAM. More RAM equals faster 3D model rendering and greater multitasking capacity.

Graphics

Having a dedicated graphics card helps to render files faster, with better graphics, and improves the overall performance of your workstation. For using Toolbox, you don’t need an advanced gaming graphics card, but a decent GPU should be selected for handling all of your rendering tasks. We recommend a GPU with at least 4GB of video memory.

Learn more about  Autodesk Certified Graphics Cards.

Storage

There are two kinds of storage space, SSD (Solid State Drive) and HDD (Hard Disk Drive). For our purposes, SSD is preferable. SSD provides reading and writing speeds greater than HDD. In general, an SSD boots Windows and launches Toolbox faster. NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) is built for SSDs and can deliver a sustained read-write speed of 2000MB per second. Storage space comes down to your budget and needs.

Display

The display is also an important factor for working with Toolbox. We recommend a screen size of 15 inches or greater, with a 1920 x 1080 or better resolution. Depending on how much emphasis you put on the color in your design, we recommend full HD with IPS technology, which provides accurate color. This simply makes the cabinet design process that much easier and your designs that much clearer.

If you intend to connect external displays to a laptop workstation, make sure you choose a machine with an HDMI and/or Display Port connection.

Battery

If you are shopping for a laptop, the battery life should be taken into consideration if it’s common for you to be working away from a power source for hours at a time. Rendering processes are quite the power drain, so look for a battery with the highest Watt Hour Rating (Whr) you can get your hands on.


Check out our Toolbox Recommended Workstations for a list of laptop and desktop workstations with the performance and power needed to run Microvellum Toolbox.

    • Related Articles

    • Recommended System Configuration for Microvellum Toolbox

      These system requirements include recommendations for Toolbox OEM and Toolbox AC (AutoCAD Companion) Operating System:  Windows 11 Windows 10 Windows 32-bit is not supported. Processor: Minimum: 2.5-2.9 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor Preferred: ...
    • Toolbox Recommended Workstations

      This article provides a list of laptop and desktop workstations with the performance and power needed to run Microvellum Toolbox and similar applications.  All of these machines meet or exceed our System Requirements for Toolbox.  See What to Look ...
    • Microvellum Server System Requirements

      These are the minimum estimated system requirements to run Microvellum Server. Individual situations may vary based on your specific needs and the amount of SQL data stored. This article lists the system requirements for Microvellum Server. For SQL ...
    • What's New in Toolbox 2022 (OEM)

      Work smarter, faster with Toolbox 2022 (OEM).  With an OEM Subscription, you’ll gain access to the latest toolsets and innovative features of Toolbox 2022. Toolbox 2022 (OEM) Improvements Processing and Performance Improvements Improvements to ...
    • SQL Server System Requirements

      The article lists the minimum hardware requirements to install and run SQL Server 2019 (15.x) on the Windows operating system. This article lists system requirements for SQL Server 2019. However, earlier versions of SQL Server will also run with this ...
    • Recent Articles

    • Microvellum Foundation Library Release Notes | Build 22.0520

      The following release notes apply to Microvellum Foundation Library, Build 22.0520 Please make sure you are selecting the correct specification group when drawing products. There may be specification groups for both metric and imperial. Additions: ...
    • The Range Hood - Add-on

      About the Library Add-on This is a “Master” Range Hood product capable of being used as is or saved back to the library numerous times in unlimited number of different combinations.  This Library Add-on is compatible with the Foundation Library. This ...
    • Toolbox Release Notes | Build 22.1.0406.641

      The following Release Notes apply to Toolbox Build 22.1.0406.641 Database Management Resolutions: Resolved an issue that caused template level projects to be deleted when deleting a seemingly “empty” category (this was caused by a mix-up in the ...
    • Microvellum Foundation Library Release Notes | Build 22.0407

      The following release notes apply to Microvellum Foundation Library, Build 22.0407 Please make sure you are selecting the correct specification group when drawing products. There may be specification groups for both metric and imperial. Additions: ...
    • Toolbox Release Notes | Build 22.1.0325.641

      The following Release Notes apply to Toolbox Build 22.1.0325.641 Toolfile Resolutions: Resolved an issue in certain post names where the pecking number was not working. Resolved an issue in certain post names where some face 6 machining was falling ...