Free SOLIDWORKS from Performance Constraints (FSWPC-13-#21)

Optimal Configuration & Conclusion

In looking back at the past 20 articles we have posted about Free SOLIDWORKS from Performance Constrains one of the items we promised in our first article was to give you the two optimal configurations that gave us the best overall performance.

Before we get to the results lets recap what we tested in our previous articles:

  • RAM
  • Processor Clock Speed
  • Number of Cores and SolidWorks
  • Hard Drive Speed
  • Graphics Cards
  • SOLIDWORKS files stored in an older version
  • Windows Visual Settings
  • SOLIDWORKS Options Set to Optimal
  • SOLIDWORKS Image Quality
  • SOLIDWORKS RealView Graphics
  • Level of Detail in Parts and Assemblies
  • Reducing Top Level Mates and Solving Subassemblies as Rigid
  • Defeature
  • Envelope
  • Large Design Review
  • SpeedPak
  • Save Assembly as Part (3 options)
  • Large Assembly Mode & Lightweight

In the list above you want to take note that of the 18 items we tested 13 of them are FREE.

The first scenario that we tested included all of the performance improvements explained above except Large Assembly Mode and Lightweight options. The environment looked like this:

Typical and Practical Hardware configurations


  • SOLIDWORKS Options Optimized
  • OS visuals set to best performance

Modeling methods

  • Level of detail reduced
  • Image quality reduced
  • Realview Graphics off
  • Top level mates reduced


In our first test the combination of the enhancements to our SOLIDWORKS environment yielded some impressive performance results.

If we take all of the settings and hardware listed above and add in Large Assembly Mode and Lightweight we can see that it has even more of an impact in our results.


You can by looking at our deltas see that on our Practical machine we gained over 76% total improvement taking our benchmark run time down to just over 18min. If we look at the Typical machine we can see that the overall improvement is almost a 90% performance gain and our benchmark run time has gone from 4:43:44 to 0:28:50.


What we have found in our efforts conducting these tests is that improvement of a modeling environment must be approached at a system level rather than a specific component level. All of the hardware, configuration, and modeling methodology options work in concert to establish the performance capabilities of a workstation whether it's good or bad. Adding more processor power to a workstation that is short on RAM will help. But the improvement that the stronger processor yields will be much greater if RAM is added as well.

Understanding these several aspects of a SOLIDWORKS modeling environment and how they work together can make all the difference in ensuring that you get the full value from your hardware and software purchase.

Adrian and I plan on continuing our testing for the next SOLIDWORKS World in 2014 so please keep checking back for updates. We are planning on creating some new tests and new ways to display the results. If you have any suggestions please add a comment to this or any of our other articles.

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
 and links to each with their
release date are listed below:


Altergott, CATI Support Manager

Fanjoy, CATI Technical Services Director



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