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Are you ready for MicroStation XM?
by Marc Thomas - 09 May 2005

The name MicroStation XM has been circulating recently although no one admitted that this is the released name for MicroStation Mozart. Note updates to this feature in italics, 16 May 2005.

However now an announcment has appeared on the Select website offering a download of an analyser tool to check the suitability of your Windows installation for the new display sub-system in, you've guessed it, MicroStation XM edition.

You can download this analyser software here: http://www.bentley.com/bda/.

Since publication this linked page has changed and no longer features the download link. An updated version of the analyser is imminent and will be announced on the page shortly. There has been some discussion of the analyser on the newsgroups!

The new display sub-system is dependent on the correct version of Direct X and other Windows components. This tool is aimed at helping us to identify what we need to do to our systems to prepare for XM. It also reports some of the gathered information back to Bentley, as described on the web page, presumably to help them establish how well prepared the user base is for XM.

Good thing we have a while before the Release Candidate emerges to apply any of the updates that the Analyser tells us we need. Several people have asked, via the newsgroups, what hardware is needed to run MX. The best response we got was lots of RAM!

Having run the Analyser on my machine I can now reveal that the minimum RAM is 512MB, with 1Gb recommended, minimum video RAM is 64Mb with 128Mb recommended. Sounds like hardware upgrade time for those of you with anything older than a couple of years!

More on this when I've run the analyser on some more machines.

Newsgroup posts have elicited some preliminary clarification on hardware requirements.
The first of these is that the requirements stated by the first version of the analyser were incorrect. 512Mb RAM is not the miminum required to run XM.
The second came in a response by Keith Bentley to a post by the anonymous "J-worker", who seemed to be shooting from the hip with his comments on Keith's BE Magazine piece on XM.
Keith's comments regarding hardware requirements were as follows: "We haven't finalized the hardware requirements for XM, but by and large any computer that can run V8 will also run XM. The XM edition WILL take much better advantage of your graphics hardware capabilities, so I suspect that some users will decide that it affords a good opportunity to upgrade. It won't be because they otherwise were unable to run XM."