Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hardware selection

New year, new version. Got the new SolidWorks 2012 but hardware is not up to specification since it was bought 5 years ago. Bet it’s time for a new hardware. I did some study and let me share some important information for you to take into consideration when searching for the right hardware for the right (design) job.
Remember these 5 hardware components which dictate SolidWorks Performance: CPU (number of cores, speed), RAM (how much, speed), Hard drives (how many, speed), Graphics Card and OS Selection (32bit or x64). Let’s see how SolidWorks utilize all these components:
CPU


Refer below example of typical command:-
Open file: multithreaded (One core for file one, one core for generating display window)
Rebuild: Single thread
Feature addition: multithreaded
Save file: Single thread
Update drawing view: multithreaded
PhotoView 360 rendering: support multi thread
RAM



Users should evaluate RAM usage subject to their own environment.  One way to know the potential of RAM require, is open all the typical applications that use for whole day, open SolidWorks with one of the biggest file size you have.  Open task manager and review Available Physical Memory on the Performance Tab.  Consider adding more RAM to the PC if it indicate that it running close to out of RAM.
Please note that the 6GB and above recommendation is for 64 bit operating systems only.  If using a 32 bit operating system, then the operating system will not recognize more than 4 GB.
Graphic Card



The basic guideline, if it is a larger model, mean it have more triangle, then you need a better graphic card. For this, I would like to recommend you to refer to SolidWorks website and get a certified graphic card that best suit your budget, just that simple.
Operating system


Window OS is what (and only) you need to consider. For the time being, SolidWorks only run in Window OS. My advice, always goes for the latest OS (currently is Window 7). You want your hardware to support at least few versions of SolidWorks, right? In term of 64-bit or 32-bit, why 32-bit when Windows doesn't add a cost factor, since the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows both cost the same. Chan (our SolidWorks expert) found an interesting sharing about 64-bit Windows. Click below for to understand more about 32 bit and 64 bit.
Hope my study and web research on the best hardware configuration for your SolidWorks usage helpful. Drop me a comment if have any question and I will try my best to answer you.
Just a quick wrap up, ask yourself, what function would you like to be faster?
Rebuild –Faster CPU
Analysis –More CPU cores, More Ram
Rendering -More CPU cores, More Ram
File Open –Faster Hard drive

Oh, by the way, don’t miss out our hardware promotion as well.