Professional Landscape Design Software
Software Compatibility FAQ

View the System Requirements for all Idea Spectrum products here: System Requirements

Q. Will Idea Spectrum software run on Windows 8?

A. Yes, the latest versions of our landscape design software have all been tested on Windows 8. Users of earlier versions may need to change their Windows settings for optimal performance or upgrade their landscape design software to the latest version available on our website.

Q. Will Idea Spectrum software run on Windows Vista or Windows 7?

A. Yes, all of our latest software has been extensively tested on Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.

Q. Is my computer compatible with Idea Spectrum software?

A. Idea Spectrum software utilizes leading edge technology. Usually computers that are within five years old will function well with our software, but there are exceptions. If you are unsure as to whether your computer is fast enough to run the software, please send an e-mail to requesting a demo. The demo is free and will verify your computer’s compatibility with Idea Spectrum software.

Q. Will Idea Spectrum software run on a Macintosh?

A. While we do not have versions specific to the Macintosh, many users run our software on their Macintoshes using Parallels or Boot Camp (programs that let a user install Windows on their Macintosh).

Q. What is the most important aspect of my computer in regard to running Idea Spectrum software or other 3D programs?

A. When running modern 3D applications such as ours, the most important aspect is the video card. The video card should have at least 256 MB of memory, but the more memory the better.

Q. What is a video card?

A. The video card is a part of the computer that processes the images that you see on the monitor. For 3D applications, the video card does most of the work of calculating the 3D objects and displaying them on your screen. Video cards can either be small removable circuit boards that plug into the side of a desktop computer after the side is taken off, or they can be integrated into the main board of the computer. Note that laptop video cards are nearly always integrated because there is so little space inside the laptop. More information on video cards can be found on our Quality and Compatibility page.

Q. I have an old laptop. Can I upgrade its video card?

A. Not usually. Most laptops have all of their components built into a single circuit board in order to reduce size. While there are certain companies that are ambitious in their attempts to bring more modular laptops to the market, the mainstream laptops remain non-upgradeable (with the common exceptions of upgradeable memory and hard drive).

Q. What are the benefits of upgrading my video card?

A. Upgrading your video card will drastically affect the speed and performance of your computer. The video card carries the task of processing complex 3D geometry at a very high speed, as well as managing the 2D display. The faster the video card, the faster and more efficiently it can process what you see on your screen.

Q. I would like to upgrade my video card. What are the different kinds of video cards?

A. There are currently three kinds of video cards in commercial use; PCI Express, PCI, and AGP. The main difference between them is how they connect to your computer. AGP cards connect to a short (usually brown) slot with a small latch. If your computer utilizes an AGP connection, there will only be one AGP slot. PCI cards can be identified as being connected to a shorter white slot, of which there are usually many of in every computer. PCI Express cards are the newest types of video cards, and have been the industry standard for many years. Unless your computer is very old, it should have a PCI Express slot.

Q. I would like to upgrade my video card. How much do they cost?

A. Video card range in price from ten dollars to several hundred dollars. There are currently many video cards for approximately fifty dollars that will run Idea Spectrum software well.

Q. I would like to upgrade my 3D card. Where can I purchase one?

A. Video cards can be purchased at most office, electronics, and computers stores. There are usually shops at local malls that will carry video cards as well. Optionally, video cards can also be purchased online for a wider selection and usually a lower price. When buying a new video card, make sure that it is the right type for your computer (AGP, PCI, or PCI Express). Your computer's video card type can usually be found in the computer's documentation, or by allowing a knowledgeable computer enthusiast a glance inside your computer's case.

Q. I would like to upgrade my video card, but I don’t feel comfortable doing so by myself. Can you walk me through the process of identifying, purchasing, and installing the new card?

A. Our staff has had extensive experience in building and upgrading computers, as well as helping others build and upgrade their computers. We would be happy to help you in any way possible. Please send an e-mail to with your request for assistance. If you would rather someone else upgrade your video card for you, most computer stores offer installation services. We also provide additional information on our Quality and Compatibility page.

Technical Support

Idea Spectrum, Inc.
Toll free: 1-866-894-4332
Outside the U.S.: 253-862-2678
Mon-Fri 8am-4pm PST