64 Replies Latest reply on Aug 8, 2018 2:31 PM by Alex Lachance

    Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?

    Ted Mittelstaedt

      Hi All,

       

      I'm an IT worker setting up a new user with Solidworks 2018.

       

      The system we are using works but it is slow.  Moedling operations like stretching a cylinder take 30 seconds or so to recalculate and draw.  Other

      non-GPU operations like saving are slow too - OK for basic office work but not for engineering.

       

      The GPU is a new Nvidia GTX1050 the workstation is an older dell T3500 running w7

       

      We are going to replace the thing but what to buy?  I want to get something from HP like a good workstation but it needs to be fast.  I'll buy

      the GPU separately - they sell a lot of high end GPU cards around here (thank you bitcoin minders)

       

      Suggestions?

        • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
          Dave Bear

          Hi Ted,

          Have a read of this as a starting point........ What specs do I need for a new computer to use SolidWorks?

           

          Dave.

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              • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                Alex Lachance

                I don't know where you got that Dave tought you were an idiot but he certainly wasn't, he was trying to be helpful. So, with that said, know that the type of response you gave him will not fetch you many more responses in my opinion.

                 

                There are plenty of current-production vdeo card that you can buy, just not gaming cards, which is, I'm assuming, what you are looking at, since in your first post you mentioned a GTX1050.  See this thread for reference:

                GTX 1080 ti or Quadro P4000?

                Ron Bates a écrit:

                Upcoming denoiser is supported in Kepler series cards (with at least 4 GB of Video memory) and up.  So Kepler, Maxwell, and of course latest Pascal and forthcoming Volta are supported.

                 

                To the original question of a Workstation class card VS a Consumer (gaming) class card... think of it this way...

                 

                When you buy a workstation class card, you are paying for a lot more pre-release testing before the card even goes out the door, a support life-cycle (driver updates) in the range of ~10 years, actual bug fixes if needed, and continued testing and certification by NVIDIA and SW for years.

                 

                All of this of course takes a lot of resources...

                 

                When you buy a consumer class card, as my wife and I sometimes tell our 6 year old: "You get what you get, and don't get upset"

                 

                Hope that helps

                 

                The SSD part isn't meant for the rendering part of SolidWorks, it is meant for everything else. I don't really feel like answering to you more then this so good luck.

                  • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                    Brian Brazeau

                    @Alex_Lachance wrote "know that the type of response you gave him will not fetch you many more responses in my opinion."

                    I wish posters had kept with that sentiment and refrained from answering this guy. If the end it seems his post solicited more response than if he had been polite.

                    The guy hasn't even come back with an apology, Gee-Wiz!!. Karma "You get what you deserve". Christianity "Christ got what we deserved".

              • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                Bjorn Hulman

                HP build Solidworks certified machines.

                http://h20195.www2.hp.com/v2/getpdf.aspx/4AA1-6960ENW.pdf

                PS, if you want a solid SOLIDWORKS machine, you want to go for a certified graphics card rather than a gaming card.

                  • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                    Alex Lachance

                    We have HP Workstations Z420 and they work fine, tough I sometimes wish the processor was a bit stronger, but that's just me.

                    • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                      M. D.

                      We have established that "certified graphics cards" are not any better for Solidworks than gaming cards yet cost more for less ability. Gaming cards are by far the best value for Solidworks.

                        • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                          Bjorn Hulman

                          Marcus, who is 'we'? and could you please supply the evidence to your claims?

                          • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                            Walter Fetsch

                            Wow, you couldn't be more wrong.  The reason is that when you run a gamer card, everything will probably run well for a lot less money.  Then one day, you'll really need to preform a particular task, but the option to do it will be missing, or the graphics won't display correctly, or it will crash and eat hours of your work, etc.  The errors are unpredictable, but they're occurrence should be expected.  What is your time worth?  You can burn through a lot of engineering hours trying to solve graphics-related problems because you scrimped on the graphics card.

                              • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                Paul Salvador

                                c'mon,....  to be fair to GeForce/amdFx users, Quadro/FireGL's fail too. (yes, I've seen them fail and create artifacts)

                                The Quadro/FireGL safer margins are very small,.. we are talking very small percentages of failure at best.

                                 

                                And, when the high end most expensive Quadro/FireGL fails.. where does that failure stand.. what finger,..who is at fault?...

                                 

                                Also, most users do NOT use many of the features or stress the gpu which Quadro/FireGL provide.

                                 

                                btw, most data which is lost or corrupt... the main culprits are.. the Software, OS, Memory, HD/SSD, Network..  ...least like is the GPU.

                                 

                                I get the consumer logic (apple iphone brand name stuff) is,.. it's easier to blame or position oneself against a less expensive graphics card (GeForce) ..although,. I've been doing this long enough and this logic does not hold water... imho.

                                 

                                What I do know.. for corps who can afford and managers who are needing a CYA (because of "certified" requirements and job concerns (I'd do the same)....... Quadro/FireGL.

                                  • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                    Timothy Taby

                                    Like Paul just said, If your purchasing the computer for a commercial endeavor it's a no-brainier to go with a professional Quardo/FireGL card.  Run the numbers like some did below, the extra cost for a higher end card when spread over 4 or 5 years is very minimal.  My last PC lasted me 6 years and still runs great, but it was a $4500 machine when we brought it.  That's $750 per year, and the speed of that machine was worth every penny.  I'm waiting on it's replacement now, which is a $4000 machine with a Quardo P4000 card in it even though I do smaller assemblies and simpler parts.

                                     

                                    If you are buying the computer for yourself and want to take the chance on spending time working out graphics issues then save the money and go with a gamer card.

                                    • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                      Alex Lachance

                                      I've been on both sides of the fence to be honest, I had my GTX400 when I did my classes online and that card gave me headaches. I eventually switched it up to another Geforce which was I believe a GTX440 or GTX460 and that solved most of my problems, tough I still had some regular graphic bugs, they were nothing that would stop me from working or cause bad drawings being sent on the floor.

                                       

                                      On the other hand, I've been working with this FirePro V7900 for about 4 to 5 years and I haven't had much problem in terms of graphic. The problems that I have had tough were pretty irritating as they would affect the quality of work sent out to the shop. Thankfully, the card was certified so the problem wasn't brushed on the side for being an ''uncertified card''. Instead, they(SolidWorks) looked at my problem and eventually figured out the problem and told me it would be fixed when I upgrade to 2017 or 2018.

                                       

                                      I'm still waiting to upgrade on 2018... Starting to think I might not be able to until 2019 because of some bugs that screw me over royally.

                              • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                Christian Chu

                                As Dave and Bjorn suggested, you need to get certified card (not game card) for solidworks.

                                You also need to contact Dell to make sure the card you pick compatible with the system  and get windows 10 installed on the system too

                                but the first priority is spending as much as you can on the processor, not video card unless  you do a lot of rendering

                                  • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                    M. D.

                                    As Dave and Bjorn suggested, you need to get certified card (not game card) for Solidworks.

                                    That is false as many posts have proven.

                                      • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                        Bjorn Hulman

                                        what's your definition of 'Proven' I think you'll find just as much 'evidence' to the contrary.

                                        • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                          Christian Chu

                                          Marcus Dimarco wrote:

                                           

                                          As Dave and Bjorn suggested, you need to get certified card (not game card) for Solidworks.

                                          That is false as many posts have proven.

                                          can you show me a post that shows the statement is fault

                                              • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                Matt Peneguy

                                                Paul,

                                                I don't want to spend time at work watching those videos.  But, I'm sure in certain and maybe even a lot of cases, a Geforce will blow away a Quadro in performance.  But, and I know you know this, the Geforce isn't supported and the Quadro is.  That's one of the main reasons the Quadros are sooo much more expensive than the Geforces.  Those certified drivers take a lot of work and there is a cost for that.  If you buy a Geforce and run SW with it and have issues, you are on your own sorting them out.  So, I only recommend using a supported video card.

                                                I just wanted to put this out there next to what you said for anyone who stumbles across this thread.

                                                  • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                    Christian Chu

                                                    Agreed  !  a car might be faster than a truck but can't tow a boat !

                                                    • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                      Paul Salvador

                                                      Hey Matt,.. that's unfortunate,.. those videos are good info.. and actually support Quadro.

                                                       

                                                      I personally have used Both.. and both have issues because both are the same.

                                                      I have used 3D long enough to understand if I need it, and for me, for what I do,... Geforce is my go-to because,.. it works.

                                                       

                                                      ..now,.. if I were working for a corp and they paid for my cpu/gpu/support/.. and my paycheck... (that is, not my $$$$$$),..   sure, hell yeah, I'd say give me the best effing system for the $$$$$$  (regardless if it is quadro or geforce).   (btw, again.. exactly what the videos say/suggest)

                                                        • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                          Matt Peneguy

                                                          Paul,

                                                          I didn't say I wasn't going to watch those videos...Maybe I will on my lunch break.  If not I'll watch them when I get home.

                                                          You've got enough experience to figure out how to get that Geforce to work without any issues. Most of us aren't that good.  That's why I added what I did to the conversation...If you don't know enough, stick to supported hardware.

                                                            • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                              Christian Chu

                                                              Matt Peneguy wrote:

                                                               

                                                              Paul,

                                                              I didn't say I wasn't going to watch those videos...Maybe I will on my lunch break. If not I'll watch them when I get home.

                                                              You've got enough experience to figure out how to get that Geforce to work without any issues. Most of us aren't that good. That's why I added what I did to the conversation...If you don't know enough, stick to supported hardware.

                                                              You just reminded me of people trying to run SW on Mac

                                                              • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                                Paul Salvador

                                                                Hello Matt,..  I just get tired of the myths which surround geforce... but, you hit it right on the head..   and I totally get why,.. most users work for a company which does everything for them... or, don't care to know why/how/where... it just doesn't matter to them.. so,..  most users will "stick to supported hardware".

                                                                It's a no-brainer and a var's wet dream.   (a typical var will blame the problem on the graphics card >50% of the time.. and honestly,.. be right because,.. (1).. the geforce/intel/amd is NOT supported.... (2) the non-supported geforce/intel/amd driver is causing problems...  end of conversation... =   (var)... I can sell you a Quadro!)

                                                                BTW,.. yes, in the past I built all my own custom computers.. lately, mobile/laptops have been Asus and HP (again, not a fan) but seriously, getting "any" card to work without issues.. ALL cards and systems have issues..  software/hardware is just about testing and changing your odds or what is tolerable (+/- a clump of hair).   

                                                                So, I completely agree with why people buy BOXX, XI Computer, Pudget, Titan,.. or even HP (although, I not a personal fan).

                                                                To each his own needs/wants or comfort level,..  and that can be specific with what you are doing and the budget.. that is,.. there are different levels/demands/risk for a scientific, creative, engineering,..  user.

                                                                 

                                                                It's all good conversation/info for anyone making a choice. 

                                                                  • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                                    Matt Peneguy

                                                                    I watched the first video and most of the second video.  And I believe you really need a lot more graphics power than I'll ever need.  Soooo, I see where you are coming from.  For me it is an easy decision to go with a $300-$400 Quadro.  You on the other hand are dealing with surfacing and rendering, right?  So, you are a candidate for either a $500 Geforce card or a $5000 Quadro card.  In a situation like that, I can see trying to make the Geforce work.  I think I see a little better where you are coming from. 

                                                                      • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                                        Paul Salvador

                                                                        Matt,.. yeah, I weigh in the $/time...  and figure, I, like many others generally work within the 500 part threshold so most of what is available gets us there.  (minus the version and sp issues)

                                                                        The past few years, I've worked with some >2k and ~10K unique part assemblies and that is just whack brutal masochism. (homie don't like playing that game).

                                                                        So... imho,.. if you're going >2K unique... it seems, at times,.. based on the studies, Quadro is pushing pixels/polygons thru more efficiently?

                                                                        Anyhow.. I think the best one can do is take their assembly and/or complex part and directly compare the geforce/quadro (on the same machine/system) to be convinced one or the other is worth it?

                                                      • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                        Rick Becker

                                                        Ted,

                                                        I know I shouldn't even comment here because I am so much stupider that you are.

                                                        Just ask yourself and you will see.

                                                         

                                                        You want the best get a Boxx box.

                                                        Here is a helpful link for you to peruse...

                                                        Best Solidworks Workstations & Laptops | BOXX Technologies

                                                         

                                                        Oh, and make sure you don't get a gamer video card. Use only SolidWorks Certified cards AND Drivers.

                                                          • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                            Alex Lachance

                                                            For all we know, his PC isn't even optimized for using SolidWorks. Perhaps he's running SolidWorks with the maximum graphic settings and such.


                                                            There are just so much stuff that you need to take care. The half that concerns the I.T. is the hardware, everything else relates to the draftsman/engineer and how he sets up his SolidWorks to work If he's running his SolidWorks with RealView Graphics, the highest level of detail of curvatures and so on, then there isn't much the I.T. guy can do to help him.

                                                             

                                                            Can't help someone who isn't willing to receive help, kind of like here.

                                                              • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                                Rick Becker

                                                                Alex Lachance wrote:

                                                                For all we know, his PC isn't even optimized for using SolidWorks....Can't help someone who isn't willing to receive help, kind of like here.

                                                                 

                                                                True. If he clicks on my link he will have a plethora of up-to-date information to peruse through.

                                                                 

                                                                I just hope he doesn't use a gamer graphics card. He needs to use a certified card...

                                                            • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                              S. Casale

                                                              1. Be Polite to the folks you are asking or help.

                                                              2. BOXX.com

                                                              • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                                Glenn Schroeder

                                                                I'm sorry you didn't like the blog post.  I said right up front that I wasn't an expert.  That blog post was intended as general advice for people that don't have any idea what kind of machine they need (which is usually the case with people that come here asking for advice).  It was not directed at people as knowledgeable about hardware as you seem to be.

                                                                 

                                                                I'd also be more than happy to listen to advice from you or anyone else about how I could improve it.

                                                                  • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                                    Jody Smith

                                                                    The blog post is fine Glenn...that guy must be from reddit or something. If I had the power I would ban that a$$hat for life from this forum.

                                                                    • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                                      Dave Bear

                                                                      Glenn Schroeder wrote:

                                                                       

                                                                      I'm sorry you didn't like the blog post. I said right up front that I wasn't an expert. That blog post was intended as general advice for people that don't have any idea what kind of machine they need (which is usually the case with people that come here asking for advice). It was not directed at people as knowledgeable about hardware as you seem to be.

                                                                       

                                                                      I'd also be more than happy to listen to advice from you or anyone else about how I could improve it.

                                                                      There's nothing negative about your thread at all Glenn and you should be commended for taking the initiative to create ALL of the FAQ's that you have. Ted asked for suggestions and I gave him what I thought was a great starting point. Obviously we can't please everyone!

                                                                       

                                                                      Dave.

                                                                      • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                                        Neville Williams

                                                                        Hi Glenn,

                                                                        I have added a little comment on your original post about the Shuttle small form factor computer.

                                                                        Have had a few of these over the years and from my experience, seem to be bulletproof

                                                                      • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                                        Doug Seibel

                                                                        A gaming card in a CAD workstation...?

                                                                         

                                                                        As others have noted, HP makes systems expressly for running Solidworks.  I have no personal experience with the HP systems that are built/optimized for Solidworks, but I've seen them in action and they perform well.  I've been exceeding pleased with the BOXX workstation I have and I highly recommend them.  And gaming cards, no matter how new & fast, are junk in a CAD workstation.

                                                                          • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                                            Alex Lachance

                                                                            I remember when I had my draftsman classes. I had bought myself a nice gaming set up figuring that it would do the job, being an avid gamer at the time.

                                                                             

                                                                            When I started the class, boy was I in for a surprise. I had multiple graphic bugs, the program would crash about 30 times a day specifically because of the card, even worse it would eventually crash Windows, to the point that I had to switch the gaming card eventually for another gaming card(I wasn't aware at the time of the conflict) which ended up fixing the crashing part but not the graphic part.

                                                                             

                                                                            So yeah, I succesfully graduated with a gaming card that caused me headaches and nightmares, but I don't advise it to anybody.

                                                                          • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                                            Alex Lachance

                                                                            A co-worker of mine just called me saying his SolidWorks was extremely slow in rebuilding and he didn't know why. After looking at it for 10 minutes and not finding anything unusual, I figured I'd look into his options and see if something had changed since I had left.

                                                                             

                                                                            After looking into it, I realized that before I left 2 weeks ago, I was the one that had caused his problems. he hadn't run into it until now because what he was working on wasn't big enough.

                                                                             

                                                                            What the problem was, was that he had activated the verification on rebuild. I use this sometimes when I have a problem and can't put the finger on it.

                                                                             

                                                                            Turning that off, fixed everything. This is the type of stuff that I spoke of earlier.

                                                                              • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                                                Dennis Dohogne

                                                                                Alex Lachance wrote:

                                                                                 

                                                                                A co-worker of mine just called me saying his SolidWorks was extremely slow in rebuilding and he didn't know why. After looking at it for 10 minutes and not finding anything unusual, I figured I'd look into his options and see if something had changed since I had left.

                                                                                 

                                                                                After looking into it, I realized that before I left 2 weeks ago, I was the one that had caused his problems. he hadn't run into it until now because what he was working on wasn't big enough.

                                                                                 

                                                                                What the problem was, was that he had activated the verification on rebuild. I use this sometimes when I have a problem and can't put the finger on it.

                                                                                 

                                                                                Turning that off, fixed everything. This is the type of stuff that I spoke of earlier.

                                                                                This is a recently painful area for me.  I normally operate with this unchecked and was making a complicated part.  For months of its evolution it never showed a problem.  Then, when I was trying to track down a problem I was having somewhere else in an assembly that happened to use this part a friend pointed this out.  I checked the box and this part showed some serious issues after doing a Ctrl+Q.  The problems are with little cleanup features that were not a problem with VOR unchecked, but could not be resolved when VOR was checked.  I had to delete those features and find another way.  The problem was they were so high up in the FM tree that I ended up abandoning it and starting over.  It's frustrating to say the least. 

                                                                                 

                                                                                Unchecking VOR dramatically reduces the rebuild time of complicated parts with lots of features, but it can allow you to make geometry that isn't right.  I'd rather the feature fail at the time of its attempt than far down the road when it is relatively high in the FM tree.

                                                                                 

                                                                                Now I leave VOR checked until the parts are pretty stable.

                                                                              • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                                                John Winterroth

                                                                                With 65+ engineers running SW we are switching to Dell Precision machines and having great luck.  I am one of the CAD admins and personally have a Dell Precision 5510 laptop. 1Tb SSD, 32Gb RAM, NVidia Quadro M1000M graphics card.  I typically deal with large assembly models and have no issues. With the correct SW system settings ( setting files to load as lightweight in large assemblies, turning Real View off, ect ) a reasonably prices computer can function very reliably. 

                                                                                 

                                                                                Personally I prefer i7 processors.  We tested similar Xeon and i7 machines and found the i7 to get higher SW benchmark results. Most admins will tell you to keep the machine clean; ie don't install a ton of other software, just what is needed to perform your job.  I use a Surface tablet for Pandora/YouTube/ect.

                                                                                • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                                                  Dave Bear

                                                                                  Hi Ted,

                                                                                  I'm so sorry I missed your reply!

                                                                                  Yep! I was only trying to help you........ I'll be sure to refrain from that next time.............

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Dave.

                                                                                  • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                                                    M. D.

                                                                                    The Dell T3500 is 8 years old so that's your problem.  Buy a $1000 new computer, add a decent graphics card and make sure it has 16gb+ ram and an SSD.  Done.

                                                                                    • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                                                      Ted Mittelstaedt

                                                                                      Hi Everyone.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      I thought I would follow up to everyone who posted.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      I got almost the same recommendations when I went to the Solidworks reseller.  "Get a core i-something not those crappy Xeons.  Get a SSD drive not a mag media drive.  Your just a lowly IT worker you don't know anything about CAD, here go buy this box we are pushing it's CAD-optimized"

                                                                                       

                                                                                      So OK maybe they weren't that blatant but that was the same vibe.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      So I ignored all that and bought a Dell Precision 5820 Tower with a Xeon and a Quadro 4000 card with gobs of vram and the Quadro came from Dell.   Yes I know.  Basic, Boring, Not CAD-optimized, Not specially built.  No SSD no boxx.com no HP Optimized for CAD junk (which by the way was several thousand dollars more than the Dell)

                                                                                       

                                                                                      The day that I unpacked it, and the engineer put his drawing on the system - the drawing exploded.  Literally.  Assemblies failed to stay connected when rotated and so on.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      The reseller was almost gloating when I called it in to them.  "Shoulda bought the machine from us" I could just hear it in their voice.  We sent them the drawing.  "Must be your slow machine" they said.  We sent them the drawing back again.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      After 2 weeks of back and forth with them insisting it must be our fault - one day they suddenly went silent.  We called, nothing.  Finally a couple days later - they sheepishly crow-eating admitted that they had put the drawing on their super-super-fast-as-sheet top performance machine that cost thousands and thousands and thousands - and it had done exactly the same thing.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      Fast forward 2 weeks later and now Solidworks developers themselves are admitting "this is a bug.   Estimated time to repair - about two years"

                                                                                       

                                                                                      TWO EFFING YEARS.  Really makes me want to run out and recommend this program.  And yes, this is a real bug and if any of you smartguys think I'm blowing smoke - if you are Solidworks employees I'll email you the bug ID - but you got to promise you will escalate it.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      And the ultimate disposition of the "boring slow corporate Dell"?  Well kinda funny about that one.  Seems that after the reseller got remoted into it - it ran all the benchmarks they threw at it that the super-duper machine did - at about the same speed.  Some even a bit faster.  All without the benefit of a SSD, or "special builds" or any of that go-fast rubbish.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      So what is the takeaway here.  I will tell you:

                                                                                       

                                                                                      I asked a simple question:

                                                                                       

                                                                                      "what to buy?  I want to get something from HP like a good workstation but it needs to be fast.  I'll buy

                                                                                      the GPU separately - they sell a lot of high end GPU cards around here (thank you bitcoin miners)"

                                                                                       

                                                                                      This DID NOT merit a link to a discussion of non-available parts, or build-yer-own or most of what I got.  In fact, only ONE responder to this thread said exactly the correct thing:

                                                                                       

                                                                                      "we are switching to Dell Precision machines and having great luck.... NVidia Quadro M1000M graphics card..."

                                                                                       

                                                                                      Unfortunately I didn't see that response until after I ordered the system but it didn't matter since I figured out the TWO critical things to understand about Solidworks and machine selection.  And I will tell you all what they are so as to save anyone else the trouble.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      1) There's nothing magical here.  The ONLY parts that need to have money spent on them are the ones that can be shown via Performance Monitor and other instrumentation on the computer to be bottlenecks.  And most of the work ISN'T done in the computer, it's done in the GPU.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      2) Solidworks is designed for the Nvidia Quadro.  And not just any Quadro.  It's optimized for the current Quadro that is shipping.  The only way Nvidia can get suckers to drop $2000 on a frigging video card is to work with the CAD companies like Solidworks to get them to optimized their stuff for the Quadro - which effectively makes them run like garbage on any other GPU

                                                                                       

                                                                                      The reality is that I COULD have possibly saved some money by buying a non-workstation machine and using the Quadro in it - I got the Precision only because that's the only Dell system that can be configured to have Dell supply the Quadro.

                                                                                      • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                                                        S. Leacox

                                                                                        I'm using a Boxx Apex 2. Best computer I have ever used.

                                                                                         

                                                                                        Another vote for BOXX!

                                                                                        • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                                                          Timothy Taby

                                                                                          It's sad that a self proclaimed IT guy doesn't know that the the loading of files has nothing to do with the GPU and is all governed by the CPU and I/O of the drive. Buy a SSD and time the difference when loading a file as opposed to loading the same file son a regular drive!  The SSD alone will save enough hours over the course  of the year to justify the cost of the entire machine.  When an engineering type person is making upwards of $25, $30, or more per hour, the extra time adds up fast.

                                                                                          • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                                                            Jeff Mowry

                                                                                            (My current desktop machine's specs are in my profile.)

                                                                                             

                                                                                            I've never had a Boxx machine, but I've had @Xi machines several times in the past, and they're solid machines quite similar to Boxx in performance (but cost less and are usually not over-clocked).

                                                                                             

                                                                                            With the help of a friend who knew what he was doing with both SW and workstations, I built my first workstation according to the parts list from this friend.  It was a valuable learning experience and that machine performed well.

                                                                                             

                                                                                            Immediately after that I purchased a Xeon-based Dell T5500 (expensive) that I used for six  years (long time for a workstation).  Great machine, eventually upgraded with SSDs, etc.  It had a Quadro card recommended for SW use.  Fried that Quadro card a couple of years ago playing a game and replaced it with an AMD FirePro.  In my opinion, this half-price card does better than the Quadro I had, and certainly does better than that Quadro (never kicks the fans into space-heater mode with SW or games).

                                                                                             

                                                                                            A year ago I decided it was time to build a new machine again, since I already had some of the internal components.  Spent less than $1,300 for the components I couldn't cannibalize out of my old Dell machine, also using Windows 7 Pro (very difficult to do these days).  With four cores and eight threads at 4.x GHz, this machine is amazing.  Renders fast, models fast---not even over-clocked, air-cooled, really an easy build.

                                                                                             

                                                                                            The Quadro card is not only not necessary, I've found it to be inferior to my current AMD card I paid much less for---for what I do.  Graphics card selection is very important for running SW---but that doesn't necessarily restrict users to Quadro cards.

                                                                                             

                                                                                            I also picked up an ancient non-working workstation-grade Asus laptop from a client a year ago (cheap).  After fixing all the hardware problems, it's turned out to be a decent little travel companion for SW.  I believe that one has some sort of nvidia card (not Quadro).

                                                                                             

                                                                                            What's the point?

                                                                                             

                                                                                            It's mostly this---know the demands you put on your machine.  If you do lots of renderings the more cores the better.  If you do lots of straight-up modeling, get a high clock speed.  If you do lots of both, consider what I did with an older chip architecture that allowed a screamingly-fast build at a bit of discount (for the old architecture).  If you play any GPU-intensive games, get a card that can handle that---dedicated CAD cards often don't handle games well (as my fried Quadro demonstrates).

                                                                                             

                                                                                            There's no definitive answer that will be ideal for everyone, since some guys only do renderings or only do sheet-metal all day.  Some slackers even play too many games on their computers (ahem).  Once you know the demands you put on hardware, you can figure out the best way to meet those demands---inexpensively, too, if you like.

                                                                                              • Re: Killer Solidworks 2018 machine?
                                                                                                Mathieu Myrand-Bolduc

                                                                                                Hi guys,

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                The place I work at does a lot of things through the API, some of it takes a lot of time, up to several hours actually, so we looked into a lot into the performance question, plus like Jeff Mowry I like to game, so we went for what amounts to a high power gaming rig with a Quadro/Firepro video card.  But in the process, we learned a lot about how Solidworks uses the hardware.  The following is a resume of what we discovered.  It was evaluated on SW 2016 and we mostly evaluated Intel/NVIDIA hardware.  The conclusions "should" hold true for AMD hardware.  Please note that we are running 3K components + sheet metal assemblies, so this should be a rather high end machine.

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                CPU:

                                                                                                Assembly/rebuilds/Part creation: Uses a single core.  If what you mostly do is Part and assembly creation, go for a High clock speed cpu.  Note that more recent are usually a bit more powerful (a few % points).  We went for a intel I-7 6700K.  Theoretically you could go for a I-5 if you wanted to save some money, since the major difference is the hyper-threading and you have other cores that are free, so it shouldn't slow you down too much. Xeon were not evaluated, since the cost for high speed cpu was ridiculous and we didn't feel their differences added anything to us.  Besides we had enough of our 2 core 2.5 ghz machines .....

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                Drawings: This is a bit different, since the view regeneration uses multiple cores.  If you don't have to rebuild the assemblies, then go for a bigger core count.  You want a high clock speed too for the odd time when you must rebuild.  We didn't test this specifically, but that's what came up on several resources online.

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                Rendering, FEA: We didn't test, but unless Solidworks did something weird these operations should be able to use multiple cores, so my guess would be a high core count.  I would guess the new I-9 would shine there.

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                RAM:

                                                                                                All operations: As much as needed.  If you are working with small to medium assemblies and not opening anything ram heavy, then 16 gb should be enough.  We went for 32 gb thought and I personally saw solidworks eat 22 gb on a single assembly (yes I opened it in resolved mode ....).  Most recent high end cpu can go up to 64 gb, maybe 128 gb (probably an overkill).  I have seen a benchmark suggesting that ram speed does not matter much on gaming performance, so I wouldn't worry about that too much.

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                GPU:

                                                                                                Get a pro card, Quadro/Firepro.  You can use a gaming card, but you loose a lot of performance and get weird results.  I tested this at home (I have a Geforce 970) and It was a lot slower and less stable than what I had at work.  I will admit that I didn't test without the registry key hack to enable real view and the other advanced options.  I noted that the shaded with edge option was particularly slow on my machine.  I suspect that there is special hardware in the Quadro/Firepro gpus.  We have mid range Quadros and it works fine for medium/big assemblies.  It is used mostly when you play with the views (rotation, move, display state changes , etc...).

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                Hard disk:

                                                                                                As fast as possible.  This affects everything, from boot time to opening Solidworks to opening and saving of files (on the hard disk of course).  I would recommend the new M.2 hard disks, check the benchmarks, some are truly better.  We have Samsung EVO 850, but the new ones are a lot faster.

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                Final notes on overclocking the CPU.  CPU clock speed and performance are just about linear, so double the speed and you should just about cut the time in half.  However, unless you spend a LOT of time in an intensive CPU operation, the gains in a day won't be that impressive for a user.  Especially since you won't do more than a 30% clock speed increase (we did 15% I think).  If you buy an OC box, sure, they tested it and are giving you a warranty on it, but if you want to do it yourself, unless it's for fun, I would leave it stock (or maybe boost all cores to turbo speed), or be ready to spend some time testing stability.  We did it, because we are doing CPU intensive stuff, but you have to be careful, Solidworks can become unstable even if your system looks rock steady.

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                Hope this helps someone