Hard drive storage options (MSWP #9)

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This article continues our Maximizing SOLIDWORKS Performance series.  If you would like a little background information please refer to the first article in the series Maximizing SOLIDWORKS Performance (Results).

When working with large assemblies especially; user try to tweak out every bit pf performance that they can from their hardware.  A significant amount of discussion has been circulating around the use of Solid State Hard Drives and has always be circulated around RAID options.

In our testing we looked at both Solid State and standard drives as well as Single, RAID 0 with 2 hard drives, and RAID 1 with 2 hard drives.  Unfortunately, we did not see the level of improvement that we were expecting or hoping for.  We believe that the lack luster results from the Solid State drive can be attributed to driver issues with the Patriot warp drives that we were using.  The version of the drives that we have had no ability to upgrade firmware (unfortunately we had the only version of their hard drive that could not be upgraded for WIN7) .

Hard drives 
Results:

  • No significant benefit found in either Opens or Saves (unexpected)
  • Closes and Modeling showed best on RAID 0 SolidState
  • We expected more significant differences

Best Option — 2 solid state drives at RAID 0:

  • Opens 9% faster saving ~4mins
  • Rotations 29% faster saving ~ 9mins
  • Modeling 44% faster saving ~32mins
  • Closes 19% faster saving ~ 10 1/2 mins

Total — Best Option — 2 solid state drive at RAID 0:

  • 12% faster saving 58 1/2 mins

 12% faster is nothing to be too dejected by but we were expecting something more significant.  We believe with some effort and some better Solid State drives we will be able to show much better results for the solid state RAID 0 option the next time we attempt this experiment.

Adrian Fanjoy

Technical Services Director

Computer Aided Technology, Inc.