Archicad vs Revit – which you should choose?

Archicad vs Revit_Archisoftaware

Them most common question among architects about the software – Archicad vs Revit?  Nowadays, architectural programs are the main tool for all of the architects around the world. Each of them presents a different attitude of making drawings which brings a lot of benefits as well as limitations. Here we would like to present to you our opinion. We will try to focus more closely on each of the following programs and present all of the advantages and disadvantages. Building Information Model is already becoming a standard in architectural offices. We hope that this guide will help many architects who still work in 2D and they would like to skip to the BiM world and still wonder which software will suitable for them. It is an important decision because it determinates our work for a long time and directly affects our project.

We are going to compare Archicad and Revit. Two of the most popular programs on the architectural market.

User interface

Archicad interface is one of its greatest advantages. Its structure and clarity do not discourage new users. All of the icons help you to figure out immediately what kind of function stands behind it. It allows to quickly get to know all of the functionalities. The position of all palettes is fully modifiable, allowing each user to create their own interface. Unfortunately, you can not customize Archicad as well as Revit but this will not be a decisive factor for many people because of it still really intuitive.

Revit is a program created not only for architects, thanks to which its possibilities in editing the interface are much larger. Each of the users whether he is an engineer or an architect should easily find himself in the same environment. For some, this is a big advantage and for some a factor that causes a headache. The method of developing the palettes is similar to the AutoCAD operation. This is only a visual similarity because each button has a large palette of possibilities to edit elements.

BiM – enviroment

Archicad vs Revit? At first, we try to explain what stands behind BIM. This shortcut means a Building Information Model. This is the way of making projects that assumes creating a building model in a 3D program from very abstract concepts, through nesting the model with the necessary information to make it real. The process of making drawings is automatical. The program generates drawing by itself according to the model and information contained inside.

Graphisoft was the first BiM developer in the architectural industry. Archicad uses the IFC standard means that engineering projects can be carried out using software from different companies, and the virtual model of the building can contain all elements of construction, equipment, and installations. Architects can collaborate with engineers that carry out industry-specific studies regardless of the software they use.

Revit implements BiM technology in the same way. However, revit does not use the IFC file to exchange information between all of the designers. Everybody work in one environment. Architects, structural engineers, and MEP engineers. Everything is done in one file on a shared with each other. You can simulate your own part of the project to check for collisions between different parts of the project.

So the main difference is the software approach. Archicad is focused on architectural design under a collaborative environment where it coexists in one ecosystem that backs the use of various BIM software and Revit is focused on the design process under an Autodesk environment. That’s why Archicad develop a much butter export system to different programs.


Conceptual design

Archicad and Revit present two different approaches to synthetic conceptual design. Archicad from the beginning uses simple solids editable with palettes popping up after selecting an element. Everything is done in a very intuitive way. If some of you once had to do anything with SketchUp? The way of modifying objects in Archicad proceeds in a similar way (Push and pull). On the other hand, Revit implemented the Massing window to create really simple shapes that you can import to the main project, then nest with certain architectural elements.

Are you a fan of parametrical architecture? This is something for you. Archicad gives an opportunity to connect with Rhinoceros and Grasshopper. The most popular software works with parameters and mathematical calculations. The live connection system gives you the immediate results of your work and changes.

Archciad vs revit

Archicad vs Revit – Rendering 

Both programs are equipped with built-in rendering engines. Archicad has dedicated Maxon engine which thanks to a very extensive palette of settings that allows you to achieve a slightly better effect of realism than Revit.

However, you must remember that both Archicad and Revit are not programs designed mainly for rendering. Each of them offers the possibility to create visualizations, but they are not tools designed to work with such advanced and hyper-realistic scenes like 3ds max or Cinema4D.

You probably wonder what happens when you would like to step forward in your project and create a very realistic picture. It is possible. Each of these programs also gives great opportunities to integrate their models with external plug-ins that significantly improve the performance and quality of visualization.

Author – Marco Dattilo | Source:

Perhaps the most popular programs integrated with Archicad are Artlantis and Cinema4D. Each of them in a very good way integrate with the Graphisoft software, allowing at the same time to update each change in the project also on visualization. There’s no need to export and save files again and again.

Also, Corona Render recently released a plugin for Archicad. It is still an alpha version but anyway it is gonna be a really interesting collaboration.

On the other hand, the Chaos Group presented an integration plug-in for Revita with V-Ray. The most popular rendering engine on the market.

Source: Chaos Group / Vray for Revit

Archicad vs Revit – Hardware

Archicad is available on both Windows and Mac platforms. The two versions (Mac and Win) are fully compatible (file formats, TeamWork) so you can even work in mixed environments. So, in this case, you can choose the platform according to your existing hardware. While Revit still works only on PC and doesn’t have so fluent cooperation tools as Archicad. This is might be a huge advantage for Graphisoft.

Archicad seems to be a better-optimized program. The movement in the 3D window and switching between the tabs work much smoother. The size of files from project files is also much smaller. So even with really demanding projects, you don’t need that powerful setup.

Archicad: Minimum hardware
  • Processor: 64-bit processor with two cores or more
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Hard disk space: 5 GB or more is required for the installation
  • Graphics card: OpenGL 3.2 compatible graphics card
  • Display: A resolution of 1366 x 768 or higher
Revit: Minimum hardware
  • Processor: 64-bit processor with two cores or more
  • RAM: 4 GB – consider at least 6GB
  • Hard disk space: 5 GB or more is required for the installation
  • Graphics card: Display adapter capable of 24-bit color
  • Display: A resolution of 1280 x 1024 with true color

Keep in mind these are entry-level configurations. You can use them to work only on small scale projects. We recommend a bit more powerful setup.

Job opportunity

Probably for many people job opportunity is the main factor to make this decision. Both of them widely exist on the market. Autodesk, due to its monopoly in engineering, which is more popular in offices than Archicad. That’s why the number of Revit users is bigger and still increasing. This is a factor that often determines the decision to introduce Revit in architectural offices, but it is not a rule. You can easily search which one dominates in your city. Just visit a few job offers in your city to see which one is required by employers.

Archicad vs Revit map
Map of interest in both programs

Archicad vs Revit – Price

Are you moving your office to new software? The price may be a factor worth to consider. Both programs are available in a time-bound subscription option but only Archicad you can get as a perpetual license.

Archicad seems to be slightly cheaper than Autodesk Revit. Ask your regional reseller for the price and choose a suitable option for you.

Archicad – estimated price

Standalone Single User License

1 year – 1950$

Perpetual license – 5250$

Autodesk Revit

Autodesk Revit publishes three pricing options for architects depends on the length of time you wish to use it.

Standalone Single User License

Monthly – 290$

1 year – 2.310$

3 years – 6.235$

You can find here latest pricing offer for Revit.


Both Graphisoft and Autodesk offer very wide support to their users. In case of any problems during your work, you can count on a live service assistant who will help you solve every problem.

Archicad – Graphisoft Help Center

Revit – Autodesk Help Center

We hope that this small comparison helps you to make a better decision and gives you the main difference between both programs.

If you have any question please leave the comment below and we will try to respond as soon as possible.

Do you want to know more about Archisoftaware? Check this link.



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      • download

        Reply 22 August 2019 05:18

        I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Very well written!

      • Tomek

        Reply 5 November 2019 01:54

        “Archicad interface is one of its greatest advantages. Its structure and clarity do not discourage new users.”

        I have to completely disagree with this statement. ArchiCAD’s UI is terrible. Every single tools has a bunch of options that are hidden away in various dialog boxes. It’s such a chore finding the options you need to tweak. I find myself clicking through things over and over again as I search for the one thing I need to change.

        Further, while the tools apparently give you more freedom and therefore “power” that freedom comes at a huge cost to productivity. The align tool in Revit completely blows away the whole set of tools for moving elements in 3D in ArchiCAD. Revit’s bi-directional fully associative dimensions as well as temporary dimensions that can be used to adjust elements in the model are also a fantastic tool that has no equivalent in ArchiCAD. View Templates, family editor, easy and consistent way to add parameters to objects. Live detail views and model callouts, ability to create sections in any view… the list goes on. When it comes whole model management and interaction Revit is king.

        • Craig Carl Monteith

          Reply 7 April 2020 04:50

          I think you are correct to some degree. I have used both and even though I am an Archicad user from Ver 8, I believe Revit has more improvements over the years. If, ArchiCad is known as how I know it (I’m an expert user) its really simple tool to use for complex projects, where your area of expertise is an architect. That’s ArchiCAD strengths doing architectural work plane and simple..
          However I believe the software needs some real shaking up and push for more intuitiveness as Revit has done over the years.
          There is a lot of stuff that can be done to improve its tool set in the program.
          You use Revit
          Revit on brother I use ArchiCad a bit more for now.

      • Efe BAGCI

        Reply 11 November 2019 12:39

        You should learn ArchiCAD litte bit better. Usualy people who doens’t know how to use ArchiCAD properly, talks like that.

      • Luis

        Reply 18 March 2020 18:30

        Great post! Me ha ayudado bastante para decidirme por un sofware BIM.

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