Lumion computer advice for faster 3D rendering (2021 Update)

Feb 17, 2020 | Hardware

Want to get the most out of Lumion? Here are some examples of desktops, laptops and graphics cards for faster rendering and improved workflow efficiency.
Lazy sunny morning, rendered in Lumion by Gui Felix (project by Marcio Kogan of MK27).
Lazy sunny morning, rendered in Lumion by Gui Felix (project by Marcio Kogan of MK27).

Let’s say you’re starting from zero.

Well, almost zero. You know you’re overdue for a computer upgrade, and you need a desktop computer with a powerful engine for modeling in your CAD software and rendering in Lumion.

And you have no idea where to start.

Whether you’re buying a new desktop or laptop computer, upgrading your current desktop computer or getting a custom build, finding the best hardware for supercharging Lumion performance might seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t need to be.

In this guide, you can explore the following topics and get advice about what’s best for your situation:

  • Lumion hardware recommendations, including graphics cards, desktops and laptops
  • Getting a custom-build computer?
  • Can your current computer or laptop run Lumion?
  • How to get the best performance out of Lumion
  • Graphics Card Buyer’s Guide

Can’t find the right topic for your hardware needs? Head on over to the Lumion Support & Learning Center for personalized, expert help and insights from the Lumion community.

Computer hardware suggestions

When going through the suggestions in this post, remember that a powerful graphics card is the most crucial component to achieve a good experience with Lumion. CPU, memory and other specs also play a role, but a good experience begins with the graphics card.
Real-time example of Lumion rendering a living room interior in less than 20 seconds (for a 1920 x 1080 image).

The following suggestions are not influenced by any hardware manufacturers. Lumion has zero partnerships with hardware manufacturers and brands.

Our goal is to showcase hardware, without outside influence, that we know will give you an amazing experience when rendering with Lumion. It’s still essential to review every desktop computer or laptop before purchasing, and further down in this post, you’ll find detailed information about how to make the best decision.

Graphics cards
In this section, we’ve made suggestions for Nvidia graphics cards. As a quick reminder, the graphics card (or GPU) in your computer is what displays your Lumion project on the computer screen. While working on building the context around your project, the graphics card ensures a smooth and enjoyable frame rate (measured in FPS). When rendering, the GPU streamlines the rendering process so that you can get the image, video or 360 panorama in a fast and efficient manner.
Example of a Graphics Card for Running Lumion | Lumion 3D Rendering Hardware
Example of a graphics card. Sure, they can look like a brick, but they’re also the component with the most impact on Lumion performance. Credit: Nvidia.

If you are unsure of what graphics card you need, you can find more information in the Graphics Card Buyer’s Guide further down in this post. Otherwise, check out a few example options below:

I want the best graphics card money can buy

I have an average budget and I’m looking to optimize the performance/price ratio

My budget is tight but I need a reliable graphics card for complex projects (for example, a large park or part of a city)

 

Desktop computers

What makes a good desktop computer for running Lumion?

You can get a more detailed answer in the Custom build computer section of this guide, but it essentially boils down to a fast GPU. You need a great GPU for fast 3D rendering and performance in Lumion, and when shopping, always pay attention to this specification.

A good desktop computer for Lumion also has enough CPU to back up the graphics card, suitable system memory, the correct power supply and a 64-bit Windows 10 operating system.

Lumion Hardware Computer Example | Lumion 3D Rendering Computer
Example of a Lumion-suitable desktop computer — Origin Millennium.

When shopping for a Lumion-ready desktop or laptop computer, there are few important details you should know:

  • There are different models, configurations and tech kits available for many desktop and laptop computers. Many desktops, for example, are customizable and let you choose the technology you want inside of it.
  • Screen resolution has a big impact on performance. A 3840×2160 screen, for instance, is very demanding on a graphics card, even with an RTX 2080Ti. If it’s an option, consider a 1920×1080 screen.

Here are a few great-performing desktop computers at varying price points. These are only a sample of different workstations, and there are other, equally powerful desktop computers that can be evaluated.

Important Note: Some of the links below will take you to a system configuration page for the computer on the manufacturer’s website. Please double-check the computer’s configuration before making any purchase to make sure it meets Lumion’s system requirements.

I want the best Lumion-ready desktop money can buy

I have an average budget and I’m looking to optimize the performance/price ratio

My budget is tight but I need a reliable workstation for complex scenes (large park or part of a city)

Laptop computers

More and more architects are taking their CAD designs and renderings on-the-go, and with rapidly increasing graphics card and laptop technology, top-notch systems are getting lighter and more affordable.

Razer Laptop 3D Rendering Computer | Lumion 3D Rendering Software
Example a Lumion-ready laptop – the Razer Blade Full HD.

Here are a few great-performing laptop computers available at varying price points. Keep in mind that these are only a sample, and you can find many, equally powerful laptop computers. Additionally, always pay attention to the configuration, especially with regards to the graphics card.

I want the best Lumion-ready laptop computer money can buy

I have an average budget and I’m looking to optimize the performance/price ratio

My budget is tight but I need a reliable workstation for complex projects (large park or part of a city)

Getting a custom-build computer?

Building a computer from scratch, or getting someone else to build your perfect architectural design and rendering computer? There are several ways to ease the process of building a Lumion-ready computer.

First, it’s a good idea to read the rest of this post to uncover some specific details for optimizing Lumion performance. Secondly, if you’re heading to your local computer shop to ask the crew there, you can simply provide the staff with Lumion’s System Requirements.

I want the best Lumion-ready workstation money can buy

  • Graphics card: Graphics Card scoring a G3DMark of 20,000 or higher
  • CPU: Intel/AMD Processor scoring a single thread CPUMark of 3000 or higher
  • System memory: 64 GB or more
  • Power supply: Minimum 80+ gold-rated with sufficient wattage
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit

I have an average budget and I’m looking to optimize the performance/price ratio

  • Graphics card: Graphics Card scoring a G3DMark of 14,000 or higher
  • CPU: Intel/AMD Processor scoring a single thread CPUMark of 2600
    or higher
  • System memory: 32 GB or more
  • Power supply: Minimum 80+ gold-rated with sufficient wattage
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit

My budget is tight but I need a reliable workstation for complex scenes (large park or part of a city)

  • Graphics card: Graphics card scoring a G3DMark of 10,000 or higher
  • CPU: Intel/AMD processor scoring a single thread CPUMark of 2200 or higher
  • System memory: 16 GB or more
  • Power supply: Minimum 80+ gold-rated with sufficient wattage
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit

Can your current computer or laptop run Lumion?

When you want to know if your current computer is fast enough to run Lumion, the first step is to check its specifications.

There are essentially four computer specs that you need to know to ensure optimal Lumion performance on your computer, including:

  • Graphics card (GPU)
  • Central processing unit (CPU)
  • System memory (RAM)
  • Graphics card memory (VRAM)

If you already have Lumion, you can find these details by running a benchmark on the Lumion home screen. If you don’t have Lumion, remember that you can try the 14-day free trial of Lumion. The benchmark will tell you if the performance is too low, good enough or ideal.

Lumion Performance | Benchmark
Example of a computer’s specs with the Lumion benchmarking tool.
There are other easy ways of finding information about your computer specs. For instance, the method outlined in this guide uses the DirectX diagnostic tool (DxDiag) on Windows 10.
  1. Click on your Windows Search bar, or press the WIN+S keys simultaneously
  2. Type in DxDiag
  3. Open Dxdiag by clicking on the search result
  4. Write down the Operating System, Processor and Memory
  5. At the top of the window, click on the “Display” tab or, in some cases, the “Render” tab to view your graphics card details
  6. Write down the graphics card name and the VRAM (often written as “Display Memory” or “VRAM”)
By having this data, even if you don’t fully understand what it means, you’ll already have a huge head head start in upgrading the graphics card or other components and getting the best performance possible out of Lumion.

How to get the best performance out of Lumion?

Below are the basic computer requirements for achieving fast, non-laggy and stable performance in Lumion:

  • A powerful and fast graphics card with a 20,000+ PassMark Score (more on this below) and 11 GB of graphics card memory or more.
  • CPU with more than 4.0 GHz and 8 cores. You can run Lumion with a CPU that clocks at 3.0 GHz or higher, but if you have a fast graphics card, a low CPU will essentially block those extra benefits you would have received.
  • 64 GB of system memory (RAM). If you are only doing simple scenes, however, you can get by with 16GB of memory, but once again, this is not ideal for large, complex scenes.
  • 64-bit Windows 10 operating system.
  • A 1000-watt Gold- or Titanium-rated 80+ power supply.
  • 40 GB of free storage space on a fast drive such as an m.2 NVME drive (Lumion needs about 20 GB of free storage space).

Keep in mind that these are Lumion’s high-end requirements. Lumion will still run with the minimum specifications, which you can find on the website.

Graphics Card Buyer’s Guide

Because Lumion runs on advanced 3D graphics technology, the performance of your graphics card will affect the speed of the real-time visualization as well as the render speeds.

The following real-time visualization, for instance, showcases this level of quality powered by the graphics card:

Real-time visualization

Real-time Preview with Lumion 10 | Lumion 3D Rendering Software

Final render

Lumion 10 Living Room Interior 3D Rendering

There are hundreds of graphics cards available on the market, but when choosing the right graphics card that balances price and performance, there is one detail that can help ease the browsing process: the PassMark point.

PassMark points are used to rate the performance of a graphics card. The higher the PassMark, the higher the performance of the card. For instance, the following graphics card PassMark chart is an easy-to-follow guide for categorizing graphics cards:

Graphics Card Benchmarks 2021

On the following page, we’ll take you through a detailed, comprehensive overview of the different graphics cards available, and how they can help you get the most performance out of Lumion.

Breathtaking renders, fast performance and more!

Lumion has the power to enhance your architectural workflow, get more clients and provide your firm with breathtaking images, animations and 360 panoramas.

For more information regarding Lumion hardware and performance, you can refer to the following posts:

If you are a Lumion customer, you can also get fast and helpful customer support for any question you have on hardware at the Support & Learning Center.