36 Replies Latest reply on Nov 28, 2016 1:52 PM by Horacio Adame

    simulation premium 2016 workstation configuration

    Horacio Adame

      Hi everybody,

      I need your advice; in my company will be a design and simulation department for the first time. There in no one expert in this area, new people will be hire but we need the equipment ready for them. I am in charge to buy two pc workstation with SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION PREMIUM, the project is for design PET bottles and simulation for collapse the bottles and see how they crash in different ways.


      I did some research and these are the main points that I need your advice with:

      1. 1.- SOLIDWORKS simulation premium is more CPU than GPU.
      2. 2.-It is more multicore than single core but no more that 8 or 10 cores, more cores reduce performance.
      3. 3.- Is better SINGLE processor than DUAL processor system.


      The budget is $14,500.00 USD before taxes for each workstation, so there is enough money for parts.


      Based on this info I got a quotation from AVADIRECT:


      -Motherboard ASUS rampage V edition 10.

      -Processor INTEL i7 6950x 10 cores, with multiple overclocking profiles.

      -RAM 64GB Corsair 3333MHz with fans included.

      -1TB Samsung 960 PRO M.2 SSD, 3500/2100 MB/S, for master hard drive (applications only).

      -2TB Intel P3600, 2600/1700 MB/S (solidworks active files).

      -4 x 8TB Seagate Enterprise 7200RPM in RAID 10 (solidworks inactive files and other files).

      -1,500 Watts corsair 80 Plus Titanium power supply.


      Here is the real problem, what could be the Graphic Card?

      Because the main work will be for the CPU, what GPU do I need?

      The  NVIDIA QUADRO P6000 24GB will give me a big difference in performance versus a QUADRO M4000 8GB that is like $4,000.00 less expensive?


      Or what card do you recommend me and why?


      Thanks for the help guys!

        • Re: simulation premium 2016 workstation configuration
          Gian Flavio Violi



          SOLIDWORKS performance advantage with NVIDIA Quadro Graphics.


          This is what I could get about Quadro performance on NVIDIA's website.


          From what I can see, I don't think a 5k$ Quadro P6000 is justified. I Would think than M4000 would be more than enough for your needs as Quadro doesn't help you with Simulation speed (AS FAR AS I KNOW, I know for sure they didn't back in 2014 version and haven't heard that they made the enhancement).


          It's very cool to see you are buying a broadwell-E CPU, as you can overclock a single processor for the single threaded tasks. I would put in some watercooling so you can overclock your CPU to around 4.4 GHz without any problems.


          BTW, I don't think a 1,500 PSU is need AT ALL. Pascal based cards are so efficient that is absolutely overkill to throw more than a 800W PSU for a single card workstation.


          As you can see, I overdid your computers wattage estimation and you would still only need 775W. I would buy a 1000W corsair PSU with 80+ (which would be a given with such high wattage) and you should be great! I would throw that money I saved to some water cooling system. If you want the CM PSU calculator link, click here


          I do feel obligated to say that said system seems a bit overkilled to me for what I think you are gonna use it for, but futureproofing is always nice to have!




            • Re: simulation premium 2016 workstation configuration
              Jaja Jojo

              quadro P6000 24Gb is overkill unless your video editor l animator or a graphics designer. P5000 is sufficient and it will last for many years before incomming future solidworks version will not support it.

              • Re: simulation premium 2016 workstation configuration
                Horacio Adame

                Thank you flavio!

                that is a very complete info!

                I didn't put it in the list but a custom 360mm water cooling system for the CPU is in the quotation.


                I forgot to mention, ones the proyect finish, the workstations will be used for new proyects that has no relation with this one.


                what kind of work can  you say the M4000 is capable?


                is there a web page that has a proyect size-card model relation?

                like example:

                small simulations-M1000

                small/medium simulation-M2000


                in order to see what this M4000 is capable of?



                  • Re: simulation premium 2016 workstation configuration
                    Gian Flavio Violi

                    As I said before, to the best of my knowledge SW doesn't get any help from graphics power during Simulations. Can somebody please confirm this? (Alin Vargatu are you there?)


                    AS FAR AS I KNOW: Graphics cards are used to render the model when working on it or when doing an actual render of the product (either PhotoView 360 or visualize). I'd say that a M4000 would be able to handle fairly large assemblies. I use a K2100 at work and I only have problems with it when I run 500+ parts assemblies or so. So if your primary use is simple models and assemblies and simulation, I wouldn't spend much money on a Quadro card.


                    Also, notice the INSANE amount of overclock I put into the calculator. I suggest doing you own wattage checking when you have the final pieces of workstation configured, and some overclocking estimations.




                • Re: simulation premium 2016 workstation configuration
                  Felice Pasinetti

                  Hi Horacio,

                  the proposed workstations are amazing, and I fully agree with the previous comments.


                  But, I have strong concerns about Solidworks itself!


                  The analysis you are going to perform will be extremely long, if your goal is to analyse the full collapse of a PET bottle.

                  This may involve buckling, changing contact sets, large dispacement, large deformation, ...

                  Furthermore, if you also need to analyse the crash of these bottles (i.e. very fast dynamic) the situation is even more complicated...


                  I had few experience with solidworks non linear analysis in the past (about 2007), but it was a very bad experience ...

                  For sure the situation improved in the meantime, but I strongly suggest you to contact your VAR and request a demo related to your task.

                  Then, compare this with other software demo and chose the best for you.


                  Another possible solution to evaluate for your task could be to use another FEA solver (ABAQUS is the best, but the prices....), with either a higher skill for non linear dynamic and a higher multicore efficiency.

                  You could then perform the FEA on a single dedicated server, while the analysis will be prepared on two "clients" with far lower specs.


                  With a 29k USD budget just for hardware, plus the cost of 2 simulation premium licenses I believe you could at least evaluate far better alternatives.


                  These are my 2 cents... other comments are really welcome.




                    • Re: simulation premium 2016 workstation configuration
                      Horacio Adame

                      Hi Felice!

                      thank you for the info!

                      So in your experience, solidworks simulation premium is no a good option for no-linear analisis.

                      I will see another options like Abaqus, if you have mero options please let me know!

                        • Re: simulation premium 2016 workstation configuration
                          Felice Pasinetti

                          Hi Horacio,


                          I know you were simply asking for video card and maybe you don't need my opinion, but anyway I just want to seed some doubts, so that your company wouldn't risk to spend >60k USD without being able to complete the requested job.


                          So what I'd like you to consider is that the tasks you are going to face are extremely complex and I PERSONALLY would explore some alternatives, both on machines and software:


                          1. the analysis will be very (very) long. For a full bottle collapse job I expect each run will more likely exceed 8 hours to complete... if you're lucky. You can run night job and have the results next morning... otherwise you'll have two engineer staring at the screen while the machine is crunching numbers. Maybe a server machine dedicated only to calculation can be faster queuing several jobs, while the two engineer can continue working on their "lower spec" client machine.


                          2. you need skilled engineers and robust FEA program to complete these tasks. For sure "robust" is not the first adjective I'd use for SW. I frequently faced interrupted jobs without any explanation about the reason... There are other program that are considered the best option for non linear analysis with large strain and large displacement (Abaqus, MSC Marc and maybe Ansys and Altair HyperWorks are the best to my limited knowledge) and will allow much greater control over element formulation, element contact, solution type, ...


                          But, as I told you, I've limited practical experience with SW premium.

                          Here in the forum I believe that Bill McEachern will be the best one to give you some valuable advice about this issue, if you need.


                          (Sorry Bill for calling for you, but I frequently read your answers and I like your experience.. so If I'm totally off on this matter, please let me know)


                          Best regards


                            • Re: simulation premium 2016 workstation configuration
                              Horacio Adame

                              Hi Felice!

                              No, I am glad you say it because I don't want to spend that money for nothing!


                              I have $109,000.00 for 2 pc and 2 SWSP licenses.


                              So you say is better a SERVER workstation and two lower spec pc for enginners.


                              ehat would be the spec for this two kind of workstation?

                              server and low spec


                              Also, do you think with this budget I can ger the pc's and the licenses like ABAQUS?


                              thank you for the help! I really apreciate your take the time for me!

                                • Re: simulation premium 2016 workstation configuration
                                  Bill McEachern

                                  SW Sim premium for bottle collapse.....maybe but it is not what I would recommend. I take it this for  the shipping and stacking case? Will the bottle need to be pressurized prior to the test? Do you know if the buckling modes of interest are symmetrical? Are you only interested in the onset of buckling or do you want to simulate quite a bit of the collapse? How close do you need to be? If you are putting the full bottle in a compressive type test rig composed of platens that push on the bottle and you get a load deflection curve then having contact conditions for the bottle BC's adds to the fidelity. SWX Sim premium may or may not solve the problem as the arc length nor I believe the displacement control scheme is supported in an analysis with a contact condition so getting beyond the initial buckling point can be problematic but if you just need the onset (i.e. where the analysis fails) then it might not be a bad choice. I think for alternate code choises i would pick Abaqus or Marc over Ansys or Altair - they have not got the greatest reputation for NL wok but they can all probably do this problem.

                                  So for the sake of full disclosure: I use and sell Abaqus. I first used Abaqus in 1989.  And I also own and have used SWX sim since its inception as CosmosWorks. Assuming the job can be solved to your satisfaction in SWX Sim I would suspect it would only take maybe 10 minutes on a laptop to solve the problem using shell elements (sort assuming the bottle geometry here is not crazy complex) if you do not use contacts at the bottle test machine interface. If you do use contacts then getting beyond the initial buckling point is unlikely and the solve time might be an order of magnitude longer. Pre pressurizing the bottle might be a bit of a challenge as well in SWX sim but I think it could be done without too much issue. You can rent Abaqus for about $10-$14k/ year and it will solve it any way you want in about 10 minutes. It would not need much of a machine to do so. Abaqus has all kinds of "features" like reduced integration shell elements and a whole host of other things that make this sort of thing pretty easy to solve.You could even fully automated the analysis procedure. I would have your vendors do the job for you as a demo before you go and spend the dough. If you want to buy Abaqus from me I would be happy to sell it to you if I am able to do so. I would do the demo for you no problem if that were the case. I don't think you need big hardware for this unless there is something I don't understand.

                                    • Re: simulation premium 2016 workstation configuration
                                      Horacio Adame

                                      Hi Bill!

                                      Frist let me thank you and all the people that is taking the time and help me with this! a really apreciate it!!


                                      Let me explain the proyect so you can have more details.


                                      I have no experience in any simulation sotware at all, only in video editing, there is no one in the company that has experience it simulation. I was assigned to star this proyect, the company will hire two expert guys but I need the equipment first, that is why need your help in this.


                                      The buget that I have is:

                                      $31,400.00 USD (tax ilchuded) for two workstations PC's

                                      $80,000.00 USD (tax included) for two simulation software licenses


                                      I can move some money from PC's to software and software to PC's, just can't add more money to the proyect, $111,400.00 USD total.


                                      This is what we want to do:

                                      Design a PET bottle (like the bottles for soda, water, juice, etc) that can be collapsed from the top to the bottom, the bottle will have a "sig zag" form in the walls in order to collapse in a "control form", like the flexible straws, similar. The equipment is for draw in 3D and then simulate the mechanical movement from top to bottom, ones the bottle behavior is exactly as we want, then we create a mold and star with the physical test.


                                      Ass Bill ask before, the simulation is to be sure the bottle will collapse in the only way we want (symmetrical) and the moment the bottle behavior differ, the test will stop, we don't want to know far more of that point, we want to know the bottle collapse in a symmetricl way only. Also we want to know the breaking point, the max pressure the bottle can take before explode, you know, be sure the bottle will comply with all standar requeriments of the industry. In the case of the soda bottles, also need to test the bottle collapsed resistance to pressure and know how much preassure can resist before un-collapse.


                                      In resume, I need two PC systems for two engineers to design and then to simulate a PET plastic bottle that can collapse as I mentioned before.


                                      Felice like Bill told me to use ABAQUS, this software is only for simulation or I can create my 3D designs?


                                      Thanks again!

                                      P.D. I apology because my english is very bad, sorry for that!

                                        • Re: simulation premium 2016 workstation configuration
                                          Felice Pasinetti

                                          Hi Horacio,

                                          sorry for late answer... busy period.


                                          About 3D design with Abaqus, please have a look at this.

                                          Abaqus has its own pre and post processor - called Abaqus CAE.

                                          FYI, you need a pre processor in order to prepare analysis - i.e to apply loads, boundary condition, material properties, analysis job properties ... and to view FEA results.

                                          In the past (> 10 years ago) Abaqus CAE 3D design capabilities were quite poor. Now they claim you can design effectively with it.

                                          Better have a demo about this.


                                          About your target for FEA: you said you need to know "collapsed from the top to the bottom" and "need to test the bottle collapsed resistance to pressure and know how much preassure can resist before un-collapse". I believe these tasks are much more complex than just the incipient buckling/collapse Bill guessed.


                                          So, my personal suggestion is:

                                          FIRST have a demo both from Abaqus vendor and SW VAR and choose you FEA package accordingly (remember anyway that abaqus, as also Bill confirmed, is much more powerfull)

                                          THEN choose the hardware...


                                          the option could be:

                                          A) n°2 high spec workstations in case simulations can be performed in 1 or 2 hoursB) n°2 mid spec client workstations (with 4,000 USD each you will get very powerful PCs) plus a server for crunching numbers, if each simulation could last more than 6-8 hours. In this case, if I remeber well, license cost for the solver could vary depending on the number of CPU cores you can use for parallel computation... with this cost estimation you can then have a better idea of the server performance (and cost) you will need.


                                          again... this is my opinion and, as I told before, I am not an expert in this matter.

                                          just hope to be helpful.


                                          Best regards





                              • Re: simulation premium 2016 workstation configuration
                                Jay Seaglar

                                Please be aware that if you purchase a custom-built system or build your own system entirely, the risk of system-specific hardware problems can increase. This risk increases because unlike prebuilt Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) workstation systems, the hardware in custom-built systems is not necessarily validated or optimized for engineering applications. This is especially relevant when you use resource-intensive products such as SOLIDWORKS Simulation, SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, or SOLIDWORKS Plastics. This risk of system-specific hardware problems is significantly lower if you choose prebuilt workstation models from OEM computer vendors with certified hardware configurations such as the ones listed here: http://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/videocardtesting.html.


                                Check with your IT department to be sure that you know who to contact for hardware support before you make any major purchase. Be sure that you fully understand the warranty for your system and the potential impact that hardware service expenses could have on your business. Finally, keep in mind that if you choose a custom-built system instead of an OEM system, diagnosing and resolving hardware issues can be more challenging both for you and your IT department.


                                If you do choose a custom-build system, be sure to verify that your system passes all tests using the Intel® Processor Diagnostic Tool (https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/19792/Intel-Processor-Diagnostic-Tool) before you attempt to use SOLIDWORKS Simulation. This utility approximates the kind of heavy system resource loads that can occur when solving SOLIDWORKS Simulation studies. You may also wish to use additional similar utilities to confirm that your custom configuration is stable and reliable when subjected to various system resource loading conditions.


                                For reference, here are some examples of factors involved in system-specific hardware issues of custom-built systems:

                                - CPU overclocking

                                - Insufficient cooling of motherboard

                                - Insufficient power supply


                                Please note that the above is not an exclusive list, and many other factors including compatibility between specific hardware components and hardware settings can play a role in overall system stability.

                                • Re: simulation premium 2016 workstation configuration
                                  Jaja Jojo

                                  As Jay Seaglar said some custom build may have problem in stability so if you and your IT is a rookie in building custom Workstation then your SW VAR may help you to build a workstation specific for your needs, because building a workstation is a bit challenging since there are many information just by comparing and macthing hardwares driver etc.

                                  What i like for custom build is i can choose to remove those feature that i donot need and add feature that i want goodluck

                                  • Re: simulation premium 2016 workstation configuration
                                    Craig Schultz

                                    Look at the Boxx Apexx 5 series.  SW certified.....  Plus you can have a screaming system for that amount of money.  They also come with the M5000


                                    Why would you need 1TB for just your application HD?  That's overkill.

                                    • Re: simulation premium 2016 workstation configuration
                                      Horacio Adame

                                      Hi everybody!

                                      I saw this simulation on youtube,

                                      SolidWorks Simulation Premium 2011 | TOPLOAD OP EEN KUNSTSTOF FLES - YouTube

                                      In my case, will be similar to this one, In this simulation the bottle is collapsing in the way we want.

                                      Mine will be similar, just the collapsing will be "deeper".


                                      What do you think? ABAQUS is the best one or SW simulation can do the job?