FormZ is a CAD package thatís been a key tool in almost every type of 3D design profession. While itís a common tool in architecture, itís also been used in the film industry for pre-production set design. Youíll find FormZ renders used as illustration and as part of video productions, thanks to its animation capabilities. If youíre looking to get in on the shiny FormZ action, what sort of computer should you get?
FormZ offers a bit of a conundrum when it comes to picking the right CPU. While youíre actually modelling your scene or objects, it doesnít use many threads. Which means youíll get the best performance from a CPU with high individual clock speeds. In modern CPU terms, you want something that will turbo like crazy when only a handful (or just one!) cores are in use. However, as soon as you hit the button to render the scene itís all about how many cores you can throw at the problem. In other words, we want a CPU with fast turbo modes for single-core performance, but plenty of cores to get renders done.
If you donít care about CPU render time for whatever reason, a fast hex- or octa- core CPU is probably the way to go. If you need both, the latest high-core count Ryzen CPUs are more appropriate.
One reason you may not care about CPU render times is because you plan on using one of the GPU-based rendering options that FormZ offers. Some users like to use GPU rendering as a fast high-quality preview of their model, but then prefer the final look and quality of CPU rendering.
FormZ recommends a GPU that scores 3500 on PassMark, which is about the performance of a Nvidia GTX 960. Clearly such a card is too outdated for anything remotely useful in a professional context. Itís also not the level of GPU you need for actual GPU rendering. Itís just the recommended starting point for good performance in your modelling viewport. If you actually want to have fast GPU rendering, by using a GPU-only or hybrid rendering mode, then a modern Quadro or even RTX 30-series GPU is a solid choice. An Nvidia GPU is strongly recommended especially since FormZ added support for V-Ray as a rendering engine in 2018. V-Ray supports rendering using Nvidia CUDA cores and CPUs, or both at the same time using a hybrid rendering approach.
The official recommended amount of RAM for FormZ is 4GB, but once again this is a complicated answer since the actual amount of RAM required depends on the complexity of your models and the rendering options you choose. In situations like these we recommend no less than the working minimum for general-purpose workstations, which is now settling on 32GB of RAM, with 16GB being the bare minimum. The good news is that RAM is relatively inexpensive and itís better to have more than you need, since work slows to a crawl as soon as the software has to start swapping to disk. Speaking of which...
FormZ has no special storage requirements, other than having enough space for the program and your projects. So the recommendation here is to have a system equipped with a fast, modern NVME SSD for your operating system, applications and active projects. With a large mechanical drive to store renders and other data which are appropriate for cold storage.
Operating systems supported by FormZ:
Windows and macOS
LIST OF COMPATIBLE WORKSTATIONS