SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 271 - Hardware Performance 101

Hardware Performance 101:

This podcast covers common specs and questions that come up with the selection of desktop/laptop hardware for SolidWorks and other CAD applications.  Topics covered:

- Processors (Core, Core2, i3/5/7)

- Threaded processes in SolidWorks' products

- RAM amounts and why

- 64 vs. 32 bit operating systems

- Video card selection and common video related issues

- Hard drive selection (mechanical vs. solid state, rpm & read times)

I am constantly asked questions on hardware recommendations, whether it be manufacturer or specs, everyone wants to know what to buy to run CAD.  Things on the high-end hardware front are changing by the week and in order to stay on top of the technology I rely on reading and listening to tech blogs and podcasts.

With the new "i" series here from Intel, there are some great technologies that can be leveraged by threaded CAD platforms and it is important to understand what performance gains there are with respect to price.  64 bit is also something who's compatibility shortcomings have faded and with Windows 7 being embraced by many IT departments, the question arises quite a bit.

The other area, besides which video card to choose, that is sometimes missed by many is the selection of the right HDD. Now that solid state drives are making their way into many systems from manufacturers, the access speeds and quick launch benefits are within financial reach and can boost performance related to disk access up to 10X.  ~Lou

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