Houdini 13 System Requirements

Operating System

 Windows: Requires Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 (32 or 64 bit)

Win 8 users with geforce cards should not use driver 310 or 314(houdini will hang). Nvidia has fixed this issue and it's currently available in their 320 driver.

 Mac OS X: Requires 64-bit Intel-based Mac with OSX 10.7, OSX 10.8, or OSX 10.9.


 Ubuntu 10.04+ (64-bit)

 Debian 6.0+ (64-bit)

 RHEL 5+ (64-bit)

 Fedora Core 12+ (64-bit)

 Open SUSE 11.2+ (64-bit)

 CentOS 5+ (64-bit)

 Mint 13+ (64-bit)

gcc4.4 or gcc4.6 are strongly recommended.

Note: 32-bit Linux is no longer supported

All platforms require administrator privileges to install.


  • 4 GB required
  • 64bit Operating System recommended
  • 8 GB or higher and 64bit strongly recommended for fluid simulations


  • Recent generation 32 or 64-bit AMD or Intel processor (requires SSE or higher)
  • 64-bit strongly recommended
  • Quad core processor or better recommended
  • Houdini supports MMX and Streaming SIMD (SSE2) where present

Disk Space

  • 1GB required for installation

Input Devices

  • 3 Button mouse required
  • Scroll wheel used where present
  • Wacom tablet recommended for Houdini's brush-based tools

Graphics Card

  • It is VERY important that you install the latest driver for your graphics card. Failing to do so may result in display issues and/or slow performance.
  • Graphic Card drivers: NVidia: 320 or higher, AMD: FirePro 12.104.2 or higher.
  • Workstation-class OpenGL graphics cards, such as NVidia Quadro and AMD Fire Pro, are required for professional use in production.
  • Non-workstation cards, such as GeForce, Radeon, and Intel integrated graphics can be used at your own risk. They may be used for learning and personal use but are not supported: you may experience display problems, slow performance, and the software may exit unexpectedly.
  • The viewport is now based on OpenGL 3.3 It is a modern shader-based renderer for OpenGL 3 and 4 hardware, with additional features such as selection highlighting and geometry shaders. It has the ability to handle large data sets, and is now the default Scene Renderer. You can change the scene renderer in the Main Preferences.
  • Depending on your graphics card and driver, some of the advanced display options may not be available.
  • Apple implemented its OpenGL 4.1 driver using the core profile. Houdini requires the compatibility profile, which everyone else provides (Nvidia, AMD, Intel). As a result, Houdini still uses OSX's OpenGL 2.1 driver, which hasn't changed much since OSX 10.6.
  • 2GB VRAM or more is required. 1GB or less of VRAM will result in display errors.
  • Minimum OpenGL version of 2.0; recommended OpenGL version 3.3.
  • Hardware-accelerated OpenGL required for optimum performance.
  • Performance may suffer with complex scenes on non-workstation graphics cards and on laptops.
  • Houdini does not require support for Direct3D (all viewports and interfaces use OpenGL).
We don't recommend any specific computer manufacturer. As long as your machine has the recommended RAM, CPU, graphics card, and VRAM, it should be acceptable for use.


  • Minimum resolution: 1024 x 768; Recommended resolution: 1920 x 1200 (widescreen).
  • 2GB VRAM or higher required for dual displays or single displays greater than 1920x1080.
  • Color depth of 32-bit (“true color”) required.
  • We recommend you either select sRGB as your color profile or calibrate your monitor to gamma 2.2.

GPU Acceleration and OpenCL

  • On certain graphics cards, Houdini can use the GPU to dramatically increase the performance and speed of your Pyro FX and Fluid simulations.
  • In order to take advantage of this capability, you'll need a GPU capable of supporting OpenCL. On the Nvidia side, that would be a Tesla or a Quadro x000 series (non-FX Quadro; 600,2000,4000,5000,6000) or a GEForce 400 or 500 series. For AMD, you need a FirePro card (not FireGL) or a Radeon 5000, 6000, or 7000 series GPU. Intel's graphics are currently not able to support OpenCL, but they do have a CPU-oriented CL library which may work with Houdini in the future.
  • The amount of VRAM your GPU has access to will limit the size of simulation that you can run on it. 2-3GB + is ideal for larger simulations.
  • GPU acceleration for H13 currently does NOT make use of multiple OpenCL devices (i.e. two or more graphics cards) but this may change at a future date.

3rd Party Software Dependencies

  • Scripting - Python 2.6.4, Python 2.7.5, XML2 2.8.0
  • Dynamic Solvers - Bullet 2.81, ODE 0.10.1
  • Data Exchange - FBX 2014.1, Collada 1.4.1, Alembic 1.5, Open EXR 2.0, OpenVDB 2.0, Field3D 1.3.2
  • Compilers - Linux gcc4.4, gcc4.6, Windows MSVC 2008, Mac OS X clang4.1
  • Other - TBB 4.1, Boost 1.51.0, NumPy 1.7.1, OpenCL ATI-2.3, ATI-2.5, OpenSubdiv 2.1.0, ZLIB 1.2.7, libTIFF 6.0


  • Sound card and speakers/headset required for audio
  • Class C network (TCP/IP) recommended for local access licenses
  • Network support required for offline simulation, batch processing and rendering
  • Internet browser required for connection to www.sidefx.com (Houdini Exchange and Forum)
  • Video encoder required for creating AVI/QT/etc.


Last updated November.4th, 2013