Best PC configuration for Active-HDL

What PC configuration should I buy to run Active-HDL?


  1. CPU parameters

    • Single core vs. dual or multi core – Active-HDL is multithreaded application, thus picking a multi-core CPU is better than a single-core one. The effect of using multi-core CPU would be seen the most in case of interactive work with Active-HDL’s GUI while the simulation is running (the simulation will occupy one processor core, while the GUI operations will run on the other). In addition the VHDL compiler takes advantage of multi-core CPU to reduce the compilation time. Even if you don’t browse the waveform or edit your code while your simulation is running, having multi-core CPU will let your other applications be more responsive while you run a simulation in the background.

    • Frequency and CPU Cache size – typically the approach here is the more the better. Note that a larger CPU cache has a positive impact on the performance.

    • Architecture – 32 vs 64 bit

    The CPU architecture only matters if Active-HDL needs to allocate a few gigabytes of RAM to run your design. 64 bit architecture enables allocation of 4GB RAM even for the 32 bit applications (like Active-HDL), while 32 bit architecture is limited to 2GB on Windows that can be optionally increased up to 3GB. So, if simulation of your design does not require more than 2GB of RAM then feel free to select any architecture.

  2. Graphical card – we don’t have any special recommendations here but the faster the card the more responsive GUI operations such as Waveform will be (in case of scrolling through large files, zooming, etc.).

  3. RAM size – On 32 bit Windows we recommend at least 3GB of RAM. On 64 bit OS we recommend 4GB or more. Note that these recommendations are considered for running one instance of Active-HDL on the machine at a time. If you plan to run more than one, than multiply the above numbers accordingly.

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