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Thread: Maximum File Size

  1. #1
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    Default Maximum File Size

    I am trying to address some client questions and concerns regarding Revit file size and usability. I have been told that some large clients set maximum file sizes and drive the division of the Revit files and project around a set number.

    Has anyone worked with architects or owners that take a maximum file size approach to managing Revit projects?
    What do you see more of (in the Revit world), fewer large files or more small files?
    Have you worked on any projects or have a preference one way or another?
    Is there a tried and true way of dealing with large projects and file size, from a client or AE perspective?

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    Certifiable AUGI Addict cliff collins's Avatar
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    Wink Re: Maximum File Size

    I'll attempt to answer:

    1. Rule of Thumb: Compressed Revit file size x 20 = Amount of RAM required

    So-- 200 MB file x 20 = 4 GB RAM.

    2. 32 bit machines, even w/ "3G switch enabled" will not be able to open or save to central
    files which meet or exceed the size / rule above.

    3. 64 bit machines can use a large amount of RAM--exponentially greater memory
    is possible. So, for very large projects--500MB to 1 GB, or even larger, 64 bit machines
    can handle them.

    4. That said, there is a "point of no return" , where practical limits will start affecting performance. If a very large project, say over 1 million sqaure feet, was contained in a single model, the size would become too large as to be managable even with 64 bit systems with lots of RAM.

    5. I'd recommend breaking up a project into Linked models once file sizes get to be over 250-300 MB.

    I have never had an Owner require a Revit file size management protocol. We would be in charge of that, along with the Struct., MEP and GC/CM if the model is used for 4D and 5D.

    cheers
    Cliff B. Collins, Registered Architect / BIM Specialist
    St. Louis, MO

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    Certifiable AUGI Addict twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maximum File Size

    Its also going to depend on the level of complexity and model detail that youre putting in. Personally, even with 64 bit systems, i dont care much for a model bigger than 200-250 MB. Can the computer handle it? Sure. But whats the point? Its easy enough to Link Files, and they are then MUCH faster to work with. Not loading Links begets a model that is much faster than one huge model with the worksets unloaded.

    And yeah, 64 bit stations with tons of memory can handle WORKING in those files. But somewhere along the line they need to be able to handle maintaining, upgrading, purging, etc. All things that are more brutal on memory than working. I recently had to upgrade an old 350 MB central to 2011. It did it, but my machine was crying and moaning along the way. Looking at the project now (it was done before my hiring), i see enough easy devisions in geography that this shouldve been three models Linked Together.

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    Default Re: Maximum File Size

    That is along the line of what we usually do; try to keep things in 1 file, break the project up into logical segments and generally the file size shouldn't go much past 200mb before you start to consider how it could/ will be broken up.

    However, we have a client that highered a BIM consultant who is pushing a 75mb maximum file size. To me that means a 30k sf building becomes 2+ files, which is a bit overkill.

    The consultant is saying they have worked with Disney, Warner Brothers and Universal and they will not allow files over 75mb for usability issues.

    Based on that the project should be broken into 4 segments per floor per building. So what is now 7 files becomes something like 50+. Which would be a nightmare to manage from my perspective...

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    Certifiable AUGI Addict twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maximum File Size

    The model has to be built to the least common hardware denominator. If the clients have lousy hardware (not saying they do), it wouldnt surprise me. 75 MB would be a toughie though. Im not sure youd even be able to get all your documentation in one file, at that size.

    Hell, my template is 45. LOL

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