Free SOLIDWORKS from Performance Constraints-Laptop Comparison

Recently we upgraded our computers at the office and the debate came up as to what machines to buy. We had the group who wanted to go thin and lightweight then we had the group who want to go with the proven workhorses that we have used over the years. Ultimately we went with 2 different machines the Dell Precision M3800 for the thin crew and the Dell Precision M6800 for the rest of us.

With the new machines in house we decided to do a head to head comparison to see if there is a performance difference between the machines. So we ran the machine through both the SOLIDWORKS Benchmark test and the CATI benchmark test. If you are not familiar with these the SOLIDWORKS Benchmark test can be found in the SOLIDWORKS Rx tool and it runs the machine through a series of Graphics, Processor, I/O, Rendering, and RealView operations. The CATI Benchmark takes a large assembly of over 10,000 components through a series of everyday Open/Closes/Saves, Modeling Changes, Drawing Operations, and Graphics Tests (for more information please see the other articles about out previous testing in the Free SOLIDWORKS from Performance Constraints series).

Machine Specs:

Dell M3800

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-4702HQ (Quad Core 2.20GHz, 3.2GHz Turbo, 6MB 37W, 4 Cores, 8 Logical Processors)
  • RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) 1600MHz DDR3
  • Video Card: NVIDIA Quadro K1100m & Intel HD Graphics 4600
  • Display: 15.6" UltraSharp™ FHD Touch(1920×1080) Wide View LED-backlit
  • Hard Drive: 512GB 2.5inch Serial ATA Solid State Drive
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Pro

Dell M6800

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-4800MQ (Quad Core 2.80GHz, 3.8GHz Turbo, 8MB 47W, 4 Cores, 8 Logical Processors)
  • RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) 1600MHz DDR3L
  • Video Card: Nvidia® Quadro® K3100M w/4GB GDDR5 & Intel HD Graphics 4600
  • Display: 17.3" UltraSharp™ FHD(1920×1080) Wide View Anti-Glare LED-backlit
  • Hard Drive: 256GB 2.5inch Serial ATA Solid State Drive
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows 7 Pro SP1

Test Results:

CATI Benchmark 3800 vs. 6800

  • The results show that the 3800 ran in 5617sec (93m 37s) and the 6800 ran in 4694sec (78m 14s) showing the 6800 was 16% faster than the 3800

CATI Benchmark 6800 Win8 vs. 6800 Win7

  • The results show that Win8 ran the benchmark in 4694sec (78m 14s) and Win7 ran the benchmark in 4440sec (74m 0s) showing that Win7 was 5% faster than Win8.

SOLIDWORKS Benchmark 3800 vs. 6800

  • The Overall results show that the 3800 ran in 83.9sec and the 6800 ran in 71.7sec showing the 6800 was 14.5% faster than the 3800

SolidWorks SolidWorks

Overall what we found was that the small slim line of machines while they are SOLIDWORKS supported, convenient, compact and lighter weight they are still slower than the larger machines with similar hardware. Also when choosing an operating system there seems to be less overhead when running Windows7 vs. Windows8 and giving us better performance.

So I am happy that I opted for my new Dell M6800 with Windows7 as I will be running about 21% faster than some of my counterparts who have the Dell M3800's.

Josh Altergott

CATI Support Manager

Computer Aided Technology, Inc.

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