Free SOLIDWORKS from Performance Constraints (FSWPC-13-#4)

(Hardware Testing – Number of Cores for Simulation and PhotoView360)

SolidWorksFor our Simulation and PhotoView360 testing we moved to a different machine that was lent to us by BOXX. The machine is the BOXX RenderPro and was supplied with the following configuration;

  • Dual XEON E5-2690 2.9GHz 20MB cache (8 cores each)
  • 32GB RAM DDR3
  • 750GB 7,200rpm SATA
  • NVIDIA Quadro 600

For this testing we moved to XEON processors because it is Intel's only processor to support multiple processors in a single workstation. The XEON also supports greater system memory bandwidth and has a larger memory capacity which is required to support 16 cores and larger datasets. Lastly it has registered ECC memory support that is also preferable for larger memory configurations and data sets.

For our SOLIDWORKS Simulation testing we looked at several different items for both Flow and Static Simulation. The first item examined was Hyper-Threading and from the charts below you can see that while it helped with performance on 1 or 2 cores we saw no improvement in our different test running from 4 up to 16. On average our tests ran 1% slower with hyper-threading turned on.


Knowing that Hyper-Threading did little for our performance we can then look at our Flow and Static tests without hyper-threading.

What we found for Flow Simulation is:

  • 4 – 6 cores 17% faster

  • 4 – 8 cores 20% faster
  • 4 – 16 cores 29% faster


What we found for Static Simulation is:

  • 4 – 6 cores 7.7% faster

  • 4 – 8 cores 12% faster
  • 4 – 16 cores 16% faster


If you are Photo Rendering, multiple cores are essential and the more cores the better. We found that Hyper-Threading helped as much as 16.8% on our dataset. This graph illustrates very well the impact that additional cores can have on a render job. The most dramatic increase in performance is between one and four cores when the curve seems to "flatten out".


This can be a little misleading because the dramatic 74% improvement between four and sixteen cores is overshadowed in this graph.


Viewing the result between 4 and 16 cores only gives a more accurate visual of what can be expected when adding a second processor and significantly increasing the capabilities of a workstation.


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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