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System Requirements

SIMION 8.1

Summary: SIMION 8.1 will run well on most systems, including Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, or 8.1 (both 32- and 64-bit variants). Running the Windows build of SIMION on Linux and Mac OS are also officially supported in a few ways such as using 32-bit Wine or CrossOver (see below), provided you at least have an Intel (or AMD) compatible CPU. SIMION is a memory intensive application (see also RAM and Memory), so we highly recommend 512 MB to 2 GB free RAM if you intend to run medium to large scale simulations (better accuracy) or 4 GB or more if pushing accuracy limits. Free disk space should be some multiple of free RAM. A reasonably fast CPU is also suggested but is not as critical since simulations will just run a bit slower. SIMION can utilize multiple CPU cores if available. A 3D graphics card is suggested for some OpenGL graphics but is not critical (even low end “integrated” 3D graphics cards work ok these days).

A system with 64-bit Windows 7/8/8.1, a multicore CPU (or dual CPU workstation), >= 4 GB RAM, and a reasonably fast disk can give optimal results; however, more modest systems can also work well for simpler workloads.

Details:

  • Operating System: Windows XP (>=SP1), Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 (both 64- and 32-bit versions) are officially supported. Linux and Mac OS are also officially supported by running the Windows build of SIMION directly with Wine/CrossOver (recommended) or inside a copy of Windows virtualized with VMWare/Parallels/VirtualBox (see below). Windows 2000 (>10 years old and discontinued by Microsoft) is no longer normally supported due to special build requirements, though you could run older 8.0 versions on it.

    The 32-bit Windows build of SIMION 8.1 can run on both 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows (on either a physical system or virtualized inside another operating system like Linux or Mac OS). The 32-bit Windows build can also be run directly on 32- or 64-bit Linux or Mac OS using 32-bit Wine or CrossOver, and this is the recommended way to run 32-bit SIMION 8.1 on non-Windows operating systems.

    The 64-bit Windows build of SIMION 8.1 requires a 64-bit version of Windows (on either a physical system or virtualized inside another operating system like Linux or Mac OS). The 64-bit Windows build of SIMION 8.1 is experimentally supported on Wine64 on Linux but currently crashes some test suites and Wine64 might not yet be fully mature. 64-bit CrossOver (for Mac OS) is not even yet available as of this writing, so virtualization is recommended instead for now.

    Differences from SIMION 8.0: Regular support for Windows 2000 is dropped. The installer now includes a 64-bit build of SIMION in additional to the 32-bit build as before.

  • RAM: SIMION 8.1 may use as low as 20 MB RAM but could go well over 4 GB depending on the number of grid points in your arrays (i.e. how accurately you model the system). Many of the examples run in well under 100 MB, but real systems can use hundreds of MB or even a few GB for accuracy. SIMION 8.1.0.30 can support arrays up to about 190 GB (limited by the 192 GB memory limit in Windows 8/7/2008/2008R2). (If you have occasional needs to use huge amounts of RAM, rather than purchasing a costly system, you can rent temporary access to huge RAM systems on Amazon EC2–see SIMION on Amazon EC2 for details.) The 64-bit build of SIMION must be used to access more than 2 GB of RAM (sometimes the 32-bit build can access 4 GB RAM on a 64-bit system, but the memory might not be contiguous to fit a single array).

    Differences from SIMION 8.0: The new 64-bit build of SIMION 8.1 can optionally take advantage of 64-bit memory sizes. However, SIMION 8.1 can also run on lower memory 32-bit systems, just like SIMION 8.0.

  • CPU: Most Intel CPU’s (or Intel x86/x64 compatible CPU’s like AMD) will work. Very old CPUs lacking SSE2 support (first introduced by Intel in 2000) might not be regularly supported (unless a non-SSE2 build is made on special request). SIMION 8.1 can optionally take advantage of multicore CPUs and multiple CPUs for faster performance (currently, mainly array Refine’s and some aspects GEM processing and graphical rendering). However, SIMION 8.1 can also run on single core systems, just like SIMION 8.0. For multicore system, speed improvements vary, but for example one system with eight cores (dual CPU, quad core Xeon) gets about 2-4x speedup in Refines (7x for small arrays fitting in the CPU cache). Larger CPU caches can improve Refine performance.

    Differences from SIMION 8.0: Very old CPUs lacking SSE2 support might not be as regularly supported. SIMION 8.1 (unlike 8.0) can now optionally take advantage of 64-bit CPUs, multicore CPUs and multiple CPUs, though it can still run fine on single core 32-bit CPUs as well.

  • Hard disk: Free hard disk space should be at least some multiple of your RAM requirements to store arrays. Disk speed can also affect how fast large arrays are loaded and save (in particular, you probably would prefer not to store them on a slow network drive).

  • Video: 3D graphics card is recommended for 3D OpenGL viewing, but that is optional. Even low end integrated graphics cards can work ok these days for basic 3D viewing. If buying a new system, a ~ $100 nVidia 3D card is suggested. ATI and most others will also work. SIMION increasingly uses OpenGL 3D graphics, and large arrays with with complex curved surfaces may be less responsive to visualize on low end cards. Cards can be added later if you have expansion cards and a sufficiently powerful power supply for the card desired. More details are on Graphics Card.

  • Other software: Some of the examples also link to Microsoft Excel, though that is not required. You can disable that or rewrite them to interface with other analysis software.

SIMION 8.0

SIMION 8.0 will run well on almost any computer with a Windows-compatible operating system and Intel-compatible CPU (this also includes Intel/AMD-compatible Linux and Intel-compatible Mac OS X using a Windows compatibility layer, such as Wine or CrossOver, or a virtualization layer, such as VMWare or Parallels). SIMION is a memory intensive application (see also RAM and Memory), so we highly recommend 512 MB to 2 GB free RAM, and free disk space some multiple of that, if you intend to run medium to large scale simulations (better accuracy). A reasonably fast CPU is also suggested but is not as critical since simulations will just run a bit slower. A 3D graphics card is suggested for OpenGL viewing but is not critical (even low end “integrated” 3D graphics cards work well these days).

Hardware Requirements:
  CPU:
    Any recent Intel or Intel-compatible (e.g. AMD) processor should work.
    The faster the better though for larger simulations.
    Some versions of SIMION may be compiled with SSE2 extensions enabled,
    which provide a bit higher performance for SSE2-enabled processors;
    users of older processors can instead use the non-SSE2 compiled version
    of SIMION.
    Notes on multi-core CPUs or multiprocessors: SIMION 8.0 is
      single-threaded (that changes in version 8.1) and will not
      "directly" take advantage of multi-core CPUs or multiple CPUs, but at
      least multi-cores are still recommended if possible, especially if you're
      purchasing a new PC since its not that much more costly but provides some
      advantages.  You can more efficiently run SIMION calculations while
      simultaneously doing other things (e.g. web browsing/e-mail), you can more
      efficiently run multiple ''independent'' instances of SIMION simultaneously
      (if you have sufficient RAM and can split up your field refine and/or
      trajectory calculations in this way) to get near linear speedup on the first
      couple cores, and you'll get better performance in future versions of SIMION
      and other softwares.
  RAM:
    Quantity and speed of RAM is important!
    Absolute minimum of about 10 MB free, though realistically about
       30 MB for small simulations.
    Medium simulations may take a few hundred MB.
    Large simulations can use up to 1-2GB.
    We recommend 512 MB to 1 GB (maybe 2 GB) if you're doing medium to large scale
      simulations.  RAM is cheep these days, and you can upgrade (www.crucial.com).
      At least 2 GB is recommended for Windows Vista (since Vista itself uses lots
      of RAM).
    SIMION 8.0 is limited to about 2GB RAM per process, so it cannot
      take advantage of additional RAM unless you run multiple independent
      instances of SIMION.
  Hard disk:
    Free hard disk space should be at least your RAM requirements,
    probably at least some multiple of it.
  Video:
    3D graphics card is recommended for 3D OpenGL viewing, but that is optional.
Operating System:
  We recommend Windows 7 or 8, Windows Vista, Windows XP (64-bit versions
    slightly preferred if buying a new computer),
    Intel-compatible Linux, or Intel-compatible
    Mac OS X.  However, Linux and Mac users should note that since SIMION is
    compiled as a Windows application, you will need to install Wine (on
    Linux) or purchase and install CrossOver Mac (on Mac OS X).
    Virtualization software, such as VMware and Parallels, also works well.
    All these methods of running SIMION on Linux and OS X are tested,
    work quite well, and are formally supported.
    A few capabilities, such as how certain examples call MS Excel via COM,
    will only work on Windows, but these can be adapted to other environments.
    See also :doc:`mac_os` and :doc:`linux` for further information.
  64-bit Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP work (with SIMION currently running 32-bit
    application). The 32-bit version of SIMION 8.0 can actually run slightly
    better under the 64-bit OS because it can take advantage of more of the
    2-4 GB region (see :doc:`ram_and_memory`) and will better be able to take
    advantage of future upgrades.
  Windows NT4 and 2000 work very well too.
  Windows 95, 98, and ME may work, but we don't generally test nor recommend these.
  Windows Vista: The only issue we've seen with some Windows Vista machines is
    some minor quirks in the OpenGL graphics Viewing (e.g. Modify "3D" function).
    This is most likely due to graphics drivers (which were recently rewritten
    for Vista).  This might be ignored since it is a minor part of SIMION.
    Alternately, improvement might be found by updating your graphics drivers
    or making some adjustments in the translucency or shading viewing options in
    SIMION.

Differences from SIMION 7.0:
  Minimum requirements are approximately the same as SIMION 7.
    However, though support for older operating systems (Windows 95, 98,
    and Me) and older CPUs (486, PI, PII) have not been as thoroughly
    tested or at all.
  Recommended requirements have changed though since SIMION 8
    can make use of additional RAM and enhanced 3D OpenGL capabilities
    of modern graphics cards if those are available.

SIMION 7.0

Hardware Requirements
  CPU:
    Minimum 486 or above with numerical coprocessor.
    Recommended: Pentium, Pro, or II (the faster the better)
  RAM:
    Quantity and speed of RAM is important!
    Minimum ~32 MB.
    Recommended: At least 512 MB for medium-large simulations.
      We typically recommend 1 GB since Windows may use a few hundred MB of that.
      Maximum usable is ~500 MB per PA or ~2GB total.
  Hard disk:
    Free hard disk space should be at least your RAM requirements,
    probably at least some multiple of it.
  Video: Minimum 800 by 600 pixel 256 color display resolution.
  Printer: (optional) Any Windows printer that supports graphics.
Operating System:
  Has been verified to work on Windows 95 or later
    (including 95, 98, Me, NT4, 2000, XP, Vista, and 7).
  64-bit operating systems: SIMION 7.0 is a 32-bit application that will
    run on 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems, but the SIMION 7.0
    installation program is 16-bit and won't install as is on
    64-bit operating systems (contact us for a workaround to get it to install)
  Users have also had success in running SIMION under :doc:`Linux using Wine <linux>`.
  There has been reports of running SIMION 7 under Intel-based Mac OS X
    using the methods formally supported for SIMION 8 (see :doc:`mac_os`).
  There have been some reports of running SIMION 7 under VirtualPC on
    a PowerPC-based Mac, but the success of this is not well known
    (see [[Mac OS]] for further details).

SIMION 6.0

SIMION 6.0 was a DOS based application with a GUI. It can be run under Windows 98 and sometimes with some difficulty in Windows XP. Memory restrictions applied. See the SIMION 6.0 manual for details. Maybe you can get it to run in FreeDOS.

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