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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Revit - USA: What causes Revit to Crash? - The cost of technology

Do you remember your first PC? You know, the one with 512kb of RAM in it. Remeber the first time you doubled you RAM and went to 1024kb and how much faster your PC was? You do? Damn, you're old.

I just did a quick search on NewEgg.com. RAM is between $30 and $50 per GB. So, if it's $300 for 8 GB of RAM, what does that really cost you during a year?

Let's take $300 and divide it by 2080 work hours per year. That works out to 14 cents an hour.
Let's say that 8GB of RAM makes your computer faster

2080 * 5% 104 extra hours/year * Billable rate $75/hour = $7,800 ROI
2080 * 10% 208 extra hours/year * Billable rate $75/hour = $15,600 ROI
2080 * 15% 312 extra hours/year * Billable rate $75/hour = $23,400 ROI
2080 * 20% 416 extra hours/year * Billable rate $75/hour = $31,200 ROI
2080 * 25% 520 extra hours/year * Billable rate $75/hour = $39,00 ROI

So, the math is simple. You spend $300 and at a minimum, get back $7800. That's a 2600% ROI.

Let's say you buy a whole new computer, a Dell Precision Workstation worth $1700 that's 25% faster than your computer computer. Again, 2080 hours/year times 25% is an extra 520 hours per year of billable output. At $75/hour times 520 hours, you could bill an extra $39,000 for that $1,700 investment. That's a 2200% Return on Investment.

Why is it that you look at everything as an expense? Have you ever said, "we just bought new computers 3 years ago, why do we need to buy new ones now?" Yes? TechFAIL. I've read articles that adding a second monitor can increase productivity 30%. That's an extra 15 weeks a year.

Of course, the fact that you may not have a lot of projects now and money is tight and companies like Autodesk and your landlord are standing at the front of the line to take your money don't help. But at least start planning to make these investments and stop complaining about the cost of technology.  Ask yourself what if your doctor had the same attitude about the cost of life saving equipment and technology.

The bottom line is that the increase in productivity from software and hardware allows you to do more, better and faster. 


I've been asked this a few times so I thought I would share some of my experiences on why Revit may crash or you get insufficient resources messages...

IMO - the most common reason for Revit to crash at our firm is the lack of resources (RAM). Most of our computers have at least 2 GB or RAM and up to 4 GB). The majority of our users have 4GB...

Our PCs range from 3.8 Pentium 4's to Core 2 duo (better) and we're running on XP Pro (32 bit) at the moment, so adding more RAM won't help because of the OS and it's RAM limitation. We do have the 3 GB switch enabled on most PC's, (a few just didn't like this setting so we couldn't utilize..). You can go here is you want more information on this subject.

SOLUTION: 64 bit OS with at least 8 GB of RAM... (now if money only grew on trees!)

If you don't have this as a option, then you can also use the Worksharing Monitor's System Performance Monitor to help catch a low resource issue prior to it happening. As you can see in my System Performance monitor, running a 64 bit OS (Windows 7) with 8 GB of RAM, I have ton's of resources compared to a 32 bit OS with 2GB of RAM. Also, with notifications on when using the Worksharing Monitor, you will get a window popup window letting you know you're running low and had better save.

Windows XP - PRo - 32 bit:

Windows 7 - 64 bit:

Another issue that will not cause a crash, but will prohibit you from saving due to insufficient resources when your temp folder is full. What is full you may ask? I asked Revit support the same question and didn't get a definitive answer, but I can tell you this, if Revit crashes and you don't clean out this folder (see more on this below), you WILL have this problem eventually... My guess is if you get around 1 GB of "stuff" in there, you'll start to have problems.

Revit creates temp files during normal use of the application. When Revit closes normally, these files are deleted. If you crash, they are not... and they can take up quite a bit of space. Here is an example of the files I'm talking about and you can see that they're pretty big. As you can see, this is only one day - imagine if you crash multiple times over different days!

Close any running applications, then go to >Start >Run and type in %temp%. This will get you quickly to the temp folder. Delete anything that is not today's date and all Revit temp files. You'll probably have a bunch of other windows files in there that can also be deleted, but if you're nervous about deleting them, just remove the Revit temp files.

Good luck and enjoy!

Revit - USA: What causes Revit to Crash?


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