Free SOLIDWORKS from Performance Constraints (FSWPC-13-#2)

(Hardware Testing – RAM)

We are starting our articles with our hardware testing and we are going to look at hardware in terms of ROI. In our first article we laid out what our Typical machine looks like so for our hardware tests we are going to compare our Typical machine to a Practical and Optimal machine configurations. The Practical machine is what we feel is necessary to support our particular model set for a reasonable cost The Optimal machine configuration will allow us to see the benefits of running a extreme system.

When looking at performance one of the first areas we look to is RAM as it is one of the easiest and most cost effective area to target. Without enough RAM everything on your machine becomes slower because Windows now needs to resort to using your hard drive for simulating RAM (Paging or SWAP), overall stability can become an issue for SOLIDWORKS and other programs running on your machine. To determine how much RAM is required for a workstation it is most important to know the requirements of your model and the modeling methods you are going to employ. There is potential to over buy, so it is also important to note that any amount of RAM over what is required will be unused.

The graph depicts that, for our environment and model, anything over 14GB of RAM is enough. Anything under 14GB forces the workstation to begin paging. The more the workstation pages the slower it runs.


The most important thing to remember is that it is cheaper to over buy RAM than have your designers and engineers waiting for a computer.

Because we cannot buy 14GB of RAM we chose to use 16GB for our Practical configuration plus, it is always good to give yourself a slight buffer.32GB of RAM did run slightly faster so that was used in our Optimal configuration.


You can by looking at our deltas see that going from 8GB to 16GB was a cost difference of less than $200 but gained us an almost 59% improvement. If we look at the deltas going from 16GB to 32GB the cost difference was just over $200 but the performance gain was only 1.5% improvement.

Please check back to the CATI blog as we will continue posting our series of articles that goes further into the details of each of our tests. All of these articles will be stored in the category of Free SOLIDWORKS from Performance Constraints and links to each with their release date are listed below:


Josh Altergott, CATI Support Manager

Adrian Fanjoy, CATI Technical Services Director

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