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General Guidelines for Best Video Perfomance / 08 / Vista Slow Performance?

Question asked by Danny Sillett on Apr 3, 2008
Latest reply on Apr 4, 2008 by Danny Sillett
Hey all, I know this is long winded, but I'm just trying to let you know how I'm set up in Solidworks to see if I can get some answers here. Please bare with me!!!

I never really post here, but I'm kinda interested to know about the typical adjustments you make to your video card settings, or other computer settings to get it crankin really well as you all design.

I've currently got a quad core 2.4g Pentium in an HP Design Center workstation, with 4 gB of ram running Windows Vista, (yeah I know, bas OS unfortunately.)

I immediately upgraded the PC's video card with an ATI FireGL V5200, and it got much quicker, but it still lags, especially for being a pretty decent machine to begin with.

Now I mainly design in Solidworks with aesthetics in mind for product development, rather than bracketry with basic features or assemblies, so I get into a lot of 3D sketches, lofted surfaces and solids, sweeps, variable radius filleting, etc. With relation to this, I need to have my performance and graphics settings cranked up pretty high in Solidworks, and I am using the Anisotropic filtering and Antialiasing settings on my card in a customized mode to provide the best imaging / least amount of faceting / grainy display of my part.

I build my parts by creating three main "control sketches" at the beginning, one plan view, one side view, and one bottom view usually. These sketches contain the majority of all my dimensions in my parts, and they are all constrained to eachother by pinning each piece of geo to the relating geo in the other sketches, as well as linking values for dimensions, and establishing equations. Then for the majority of my build, I establish each sketch using the Convert Entities command from one of those sketches to create sketches for extrusions, lofts, revolves, sweeps, etc.

Now, the problem that I face. I know it's because the way I build is more memory intensive, but man, I would think this machine could handle it! Basically, after a part's built and features are established, if I need to go back and adjust it during the different concept rounds, I find those initial control sketches to be very sluggish to adjust, even if I roll the model back to those very beginning sketches, or turn off the display of sketch relations. To be honest, this wasnt even noticable until I got to Solidworks 08. It was always fine doing it this way before, and really needs to remain that way, as this method for building helps my models stick together very well, (at least in my industry it does,) and keep me from hunting for dimensions in sometimes 100+ sketches, (and no, I'm not renaming every feature in my parts to help me remember what each feature was for, too much work.)

I imagine this has something to do with the new, more "real time" updating Solidworks now has when changing a model, seems as if it's going through a rebuild with every single dimension I change, rather than waiting until I am finished updating the sketch and exit out of it before it rebuilds.

Now one of the SW tech support guys told me I could change an option that wouldnt update the geo in my sketch that I've gone and changed until I exit out of it, but that's not quite the answer I need, since I need to immediately see what the effects are on a sketch for each dimension I change, which can let me know what else I need to adjust on the shape to make my tweak to a part work without blowing it up.

Is there a way to turn off that "real time" model adjustment, "real time" meaning basically how now in 08 if you adjust a sketch, the model updates it's shape before you even exit out of it? My thought is that this is causing the majority of my problems. I honeslty really dont care to have a model updating in "real time" as I adjust it, I can visualize what is going to happen to it, and I can stand to wait to exit a sketch before I see what I did to my sketch will do to the part.

I know it's rather long winded, but please let me know if you have any ideas.

Thanks in advance!

Danny Sillett