What are SoftPlan’s computer hardware requirements?
SoftPlan can be run on any PC which has a 64-bit (x64) processor from Intel® or AMD®. SoftPlan is not compatible with any device which uses an ARM® processor, regardless of operating system or emulator used. A dual core processor is required at a minimum although multiple (4+) cores and Hyper Threading are preferred and will provide considerable benefits when working in 3D, while being less noticeable but still desirable for non-3D work. Multiple cores are more important than raw processor speed.
SoftPlan can be used with a 64-bit Windows 11, Windows 10 or Windows 8 operating system. The SoftPlan program is not compatible with the macOS® operating system. See "Will SoftPlan run on a Mac?" listed below for information on using SoftPlan on a Mac® computer. Configurations such as terminal or server operating systems as well as iOS, Android™, Linux® and Sun® Solaris™ operating systems are not supported. System RAM: At a minimum 4 GB. Preferred: 8 GB+ In general “more is better,” but there is a point when adding more no longer provides a significant performance boost. Where that point will be, however, is difficult to predict.
See ‘What type of video card does SoftPlan require?' listed below.
Additional requirements: 2 button mouse/pointing device. 15GB of available hard drive space for program installation. 1 USB type A port. An internet connection during installation and while using the program.
What type of video card does SoftPlan require?
SoftPlan requires a video card that at a minimum is capable of supporting Microsoft® DirectX® 11 (DX11) but will offer significant performance improvements when used with a video card which supports DirectX 12 (DX12)¹.
Depending on the card, a higher numbers of pixel shaders, vertex shaders, stream processors, and ray accelerator cores will generally yield better performance. SoftPlan runs well with the majority of mainstream graphics cards recently released, but it is important to keep the video driver current. For more information on updating the video card driver check the card manufacturer’s web site.
Minimum Video Card: At least DirectX 11 support, 1 GB+ dedicated RAM. This class of cards may support DX12 but do not support DX12 ray tracing. They are suitable for 2D and basic 3D work but use a much slower software based ray tracing engine native to SoftPlan and some SoftPlan 3D features will be unavailable.
Examples² include: NVIDIA GeForce 900 series
Better Video Card: DirectX 12 support, 6 GB+ dedicated RAM, This class of cards support DX12 ray tracing but have no dedicated ray tracing hardware. They are suitable for advanced 3D work, but will result in longer processing times than video cards in the Best class.
Examples² include: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660
Best Video Card: DirectX 12 Ultimate support, 6 GB+ dedicated RAM. Video cards in this class have dedicated hardware for Ray Tracing and Physically Based Rendering for the fastest processing.
Examples² include: NVIDIA GeForce RTX™ 3xxx series NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2xxx series
Exclusions: Workstation class graphics cards, such as the NVIDIA Quadro® series and the AMD Radeon Pro (formerly FirePro™) series, are NOT recommended as they tend to deliver poor performance when used with SoftPlan, which is designed to take advantage of features provided by so called ‘gaming’ cards, features which most workstation cards lack.
Limitations: Integrated graphics (i.e. no separate graphics card) often do not have dedicated RAM, instead sharing memory with the system in general. This is common with both laptop and desktop computers and can result in inferior performance as compared to that of a separate graphics card.
¹ SoftPlan version 2020 and all earlier versions of SoftPlan do not make use of DirectX12.
² Examples are for reference only and program compatibility is not guaranteed.
Will SoftPlan run on a Mac?
Yes - SoftPlan can be run in several ways on Intel based Macintosh systems which use macOS.
Boot Camp software allows you to choose at start-up which operating system, macOS or Windows, to use. Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion software are used to create a virtual Windows environment within the Mac operating system.
SoftPlan will not run on any Mac which uses the M1 chip Click here for Apple's information on running Windows programs.
Will SoftPlan and/or SoftPlan reView run on the Microsoft Surface family of devices?
SoftPlan and SoftPlan reView can be run on those Microsoft Surface devices which have an x64 processor (Intel® or AMD®) and use the Windows 8, Windows 10 or Windows 11 operating system. SoftPlan and SoftPlan reView are not compatible with the Windows RT operating system and cannot be used on devices that use it. Examples include the original Surface and Surface 2 tablets. SoftPlan and SoftPlan reView are not compatible with the ARM processor and cannot be used on devices that use it. Examples include the Surface Pro X.
Does SoftPlan’s 3D include the ability to do a “Ray Trace” rendering?
Yes - selecting "Rendered" mode in SoftPlan 3D results in a "Ray Trace" rendering.
There are several home design software programs. What’s the difference?
You are probably looking at several programs ranging in price from $750.00 to $6000.00. Programs towards the lower end of this price range will likely easy to learn at first but due to their history as consumer products they tend to become limiting very quickly and will not provide the ability to complete highly detailed working drawings. Most of the programs towards the upper end of this price range are going to allow you to complete working drawings, but will lack ease of use. SoftPlan is and always has been targeted to the professional user and is the only program that combines an easy to use interface with the ability to complete highly detailed working drawings, 3D renderings and material take offs. SoftPlan does not charge annual maintenance or support fees.
What can you tell me about 3D in SoftPlan?
It's fast, easy to learn, and easy to use. A to-scale three dimensional rendering of your model appears at your request instantaneously during any phase of the drafting process. SoftPlan allows you to apply countless textures to three dimensional surfaces - e.g. hardwood, carpet or tile to floor surfaces; brick, siding or stucco to exterior wall surfaces; etc.. To bring your model to life, various lighting, which casts incredible shadows and reflections, can be added. Sunshine, representative of various daytime hours, is easily simulated. Even create exterior or interior spotlights, lamps, and overhead lighting - it's all available, and nothing short of amazing! 3D views are generated in different modes such as Wire Frame, Hidden Line, Shaded, and a Textured 3D. The Textured 3D shows different surfaces such as brick, stone, siding, shingles, etc.
Some home design software targeted at consumers say they include materials lists. What makes SoftList different?
SoftList is much more powerful than any other integrated material list module and the resulting list more complete. What other software developers sell as a "Materials List" is a simple listing of the items that you have drawn on the screen. SoftList has the ability to count materials via logic based material definitions. Items that are not drawn are counted based on the presence of items that are on the drawing. For example, if we were to draw a 8' x 10' stone patio a lesser design package may report that the 80 sq ft of material is required. What you draw is what gets counted. SoftList on the other hand, based on the presence of the same patio, can calculate the volume of the excavation; the rolls of landscaping fabric, the length of edging, the volume of gravel and stone dust, and the number of stones required, each with pricing and a waste factor. So, there is a huge difference between a simple schedule of materials and the comprehensive materials list that SoftList is capable of producing.
Does SoftPlan require a user to pay an annual support fee?
No, unlike many software companies within this industry SoftPlan does NOT require users to pay an annual support fee.
Does SoftPlan have a Trial Version?
Yes, when running the SoftPlan Demonstration select the "Let Me Try" button from the lower right corner. If your computer is connected to the internet, a drawing session will begin.
Does SoftPlan charge for technical support?
No, technical support is free provided that a user is on the current or previous version. Some design software companies are now up to $125 per technical support call. SoftPlan+ subscribers have access to enhanced technical support. SoftPlan+ is included with the initial purchase for the current version.
How Often Do Updates Come Out?
SoftPlan issues two types of updates. New versions and updates.
New Versions: A new SoftPlan new version is quite large and incorporates many new features. Historically new versions were released on average every 24 to 36 months. Moving forward new versions will be released every 24 to 27 months. Purchase of these new versions is optional, and a charge does apply.
Updates: From time to time, SoftPlan will release updates (patches) between the release of new versions. These updates often include minor adjustments and can be downloaded free of charge.
Does SoftPlan contain manufacturer catalogs?
Yes - click here for a list of building product suppliers that have content included in SoftPlan.
While using the demo DVD I experience the following warning when going into 3D: “..application has failed to start because d3dx9_35.dll was not found..”
To continue working in 3D please update your Microsoft directX libraries by clicking the link below. Click Here to Update Libraries
When running the SoftPlan demonstration and trial DVD, I encounter the error: “This application has failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect. Reinstalling the application may fix this problem.”
To fix this issue please download and install the following .exe file. http://www.softplan.com/ftp/msvcrt/vcredist_x86.exe