Do you need a specific type of machine to run Analysis?

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Well the
question cannot be answered without understanding what is it being utilized
for? Depending on the type of analysis versus size of analysis problem; the
range could vary significantly. In this link I will try to give an over view of
what should be considered.

RAM

Having a lot
of RAM on your machine is like having a vehicle with a lot of Horse Power. The
difficult the terrain the stronger the engine should be. In SOLIDWORKS and
COSMOS world that means solving large and complex problems.

Two gigs of
RAM is adequate for solving linear analysis on small assemblies. As you go
higher up the chain, from frequency to optimization tests to flow analysis RAM
will start playing a significant role. On a x32 machine Windows takes benefit
of 4GB RAM. Note: 3GB switch should be activated. On a x64 machine technically
user can go upto 64 GB RAM.

Processor

Processor
speed as well as number of processors can improve solution time. The main advantage of having multi-core and
multi-processors installed is that if you have many programs running at the
same time your processor won’t get overloaded because there are other
processors to share the load. Having multiple programs running in different
processor cores also makes them more responsive over a single core processor,
because there is little delay while waiting for another program to complete its
processes.

COSMOSWorks,
or COSMOSFloWorks analysis would see more benefit from the quad core processor
because those programs are more multi-threaded applications. COSMOSFloWorks is
truly multithreaded and even has a batch processing application to allow you to
pick the process cores you want it to run on and keep others open for
continuing work in SOLIDWORKS or other programs at the same time. Currently,
you can install up to two quad core processors on some Intel Xeon based systems
for a total of 8 cores to run processes.

Some
key points to keep in mind

  • If you have to choose between RAM and Processor speed, I would go for more RAM.
  • Myth: two slower processors perform better than one faster processor. Performance can be gained only if all processors are equally powerful.
  • Video Card: Having a very powerful card and not enough RAM can be very detrimental. Video RAM eats of hard RAM.Also, with Real View graphics running a good video card helps with
         displaying images sharp and crisp.

Here
are a few links for hardware and graphics cards to take a look at.

http://www.solidworks.com/pages/services/SystemRequirements.html

http://www.solidworks.com/pages/services/VideoCardTesting.html

I
hope this gives you an idea what to look for when deciding on a machine to run
analysis upon.

Rajat Trehan

Product Manager – Design Validation

Computer Aided Technology Inc.