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Lite Hobbyist Pro Last updated: November 8, 2022

2 System requirements — What computers run Finale 3D?

Finale 3D’s rendering engine runs almost entirely on a computer’s video card, also called a graphics card or graphics processing unit (GPU), so if you are considering buying a new computer to run Finale 3D, the most important specification for your new computer is its GPU.

By and large, Finale 3D will run on almost any Windows computer sold in 2018 or later, and will run on many computers as old as 2016 or older if they have good GPUs.  In the Mac world, Finale 3D works on any Mac from 2016 or later running Windows over Bootcamp or Parallels.

So, if you are buying a new computer, here is what we recommend:

  • Get a computer with at least 8GB of RAM, a solid-state drive (SSD), and the most expensive GPU you can afford. If you can’t remember those details, you can just buy a “gaming computer” or a “multi-media computer”, because computers advertised as such will generally have the right specifications.
  • Avoid buying a computer whose graphics capabilities are described as “Intel integrated graphics” or “Intel HD graphics” or really anything that says “Intel” or “integrated” (from a graphics perspective). The reason is because those words mean is that the computer does not actually have a dedicated GPU.
  • Expect to pay about USD $1100 to USD $1300 for a brand-new computer with our recommended configuration.  However, you can get an acceptable new computer with a decent GPU for as low as USD $800 if you are willing to compromise on other specifications. You can save even more by purchasing a used, refurbished, or manufacturer re-certified computer; these are readily available from a wide variety of online retailers.

 

Table 1 – Minimum specifications and recommended specifications

Specifications Operating System (OS) Graphic Card (GPU) RAM CPU Graphics driver
Minimum Windows 7 64bit Intel 4400 8GB Any 2018 up-to-date
Recommended Windows 10 64bit, Windows 11 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (or better) 16GB Any 2018 up-to-date

 

How to compare video cards

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card was released in 2016, but we continue to recommend it because it is a fast GPU for a reasonable price. Obviously, you can spend more for a faster GPU, which will make Finale 3D run smoother on complex shows, but the GTX 1060 is good middle ground. However, because of its age, you are not likely to find new computers that include the GTX 1060. Fortunately, you can easily compare graphics cards on the market today by simply following these steps.

  1. Go to videocardbenchmark.net
  2. Use the search box to find the GPU you are considering. For example, suppose you found a laptop that advertises the “GeForce GTX 1650” GPU. Simply enter “GeForce GTX 1650” or “GTX 1650” (without the quotes) and click Find Videocard. Note that there are often multiple versions of a given card. In the case of the GTX 1650, you will see “GTX 1650”, “GTX 1650 (Mobile)”, “GTX 1650 Ti”, amongst others. If the computer you’re considering is a laptop, assume you will get the “Mobile” version of the GPU unless the specifications specifically say otherwise.
  3. Note the “G3D Mark”, which is the number in the first column of the table, this is the GPU’s benchmark. In our example using the GTX 1650, the G3D Mark is about 7000.
  4. Compare the G3D Mark value to our recommended card (the GTX 1060). For reference, the mobile version of the GTX 1060 has a G3D Mark of about 8000. Looking back at step 3, we can see the G3D Mark for the GTX 1650 is about 7000. This isn’t quite as good as our recommended card, but Finale 3D will still perform well. For best performance, select a GPU with a G3D Mark of at least 6000.

Video 1 – How to select a computer to run Finale 3D