Free SOLIDWORKS from Performance Constraints (FSWPC-13-#6)

(Hardware Testing – Hard Drives)

When choosing hard drives our choices are almost unlimited and we need to keep in mind that hard drive speed affects every area of SOLIDWORKS modeling especially when RAM is in short supply. For our tests we had 5 different hard drive types that we tested each individually. We did not test drives for different roles, our OS, SWAP, SOLIDWORKS and data files were all on the same hard drive for each test. We also did not test RAID as we have found little benefit over the past 3 years of testing.

What we found in our tests was:

  • 7200 RPM – 89.5 mins (Typical)
  • 10K RPM – 88 mins :: 1.8% faster
  • 15K RPM – 82.5 mins :: 7.7% faster
  • Intel SSD – 78 mins :: 13.1% faster
  • Revo – 77 mins :: 14.3% faster



You can by looking at our deltas see that going from a 7200 RPM drive to a SSD drive was an overall cost difference of just over $1200 but gained us an almost 73% total improvement. If we look at the deltas going from a SSD drive to a Revo hard card the overall cost difference is over $3400 but the total performance gain was only 2.8% 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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