SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 303 - Benchmark Resources

Benchmark Resources:

This podcast covers options to measure the performance of the hardware to run SolidWorks and related CAD activities.  Topics covered:

SolidWorks Benchmark website:

- PassMark Performance Test

- SPECCapc for SolidWorks 2007 

- Anna's SolidMuse

- Windows Experience Index

- SolidWorks 2011 Rx Performance Test

SolidWorks users are often asking me at rollout event and other meetings how to get the best performance out of their hardware or what new hardware to purchase.  Some decisions can be made easier with resources like the graphic card site that SolidWorks has or reading through the SolidWorks forums to hear the reviews of a user's new system.  The trick is measuring your system with those who have similar uses and needs and a way to see what differences in hardware have the most impact on performance.

SolidWorks' benchmark site has a few resources, some more useful than others, to assist in the ongoing quest for better CAD performance.  One listed is Anna's SolidMuse, a longtime user here in Arizona, who has made a name for herself in the SolidWorks community as the CAD hardware guru. Her benchmarks range from surfacing, complex parts and other file sets and allow capture of a number of variables to really parse performance gains.

In SolidWorks 2011, there is now a performance test build right into the installation folder (Programs -> SolidWorks 2011 -> SolidWorks Tools -> Performance Test). The test uses a variety of parts, assemblies and drawings (some of which are thanks to Anna!) that run through a routine 5 times each to measure rebuild times, zoom and pan performance and rendering times.  These are then computed and can be shared among the community to really help understand how your hardware stacks up.

Both SolidMuse and the new 2011 Performance Test can give you great insight into why some systems perform better than others. I hope that now that one is built into every install of SolidWorks, more users will opt to share their results to help us all make wise hardware decisions in the future! ~Lou

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