12 Replies Latest reply on May 2, 2018 11:33 AM by Ryan Dark

    minimum computer requirements

    Gail Alzate

      I am running Solidworks Simulation 2017 and use large assemblies.

      My simulations have been crashing at various stages of saving/assembling/setting up for simulation/meshings/solving.

      I got a quote for a replacement computer but I'm not sure if it will be adequate.

      Here is the quote:

       

      Dell Precision Tower 3620 XCTO BASE

      OS; Windows 10 Pro 64 bit

      Processor: 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7700 (Quad Core 3.6 GHz, 4.2 GHz Turbo, 8 MB w/ HD Graphics 630

      Video Card: NVIDIA Quadro P2000, 5 GB, 4 DP

      RAM: 32 GB 2400 MHz DDR4 UDIMM Non-ECC

      Boot Hard Drive: M.2 512GB PCIe NVMe Class 40 SSD

      2nd Hard Drive: 2 TB 3.5 Serial-ATA (7,200 RPM) Hard Drive

       

      Will that be enough to run Simulation for large assemblies?

      It is my understanding that I should have at least 8 cores in my processor. This one appears to only have 4. My current tower has 6.

        • Re: minimum computer requirements
          Ryan Dark

          Hi Gail,

          Given the specifications you list here this machine will be capable of running SOLIDWORKS stably.  It is important to note though that the efficiency of running Simulations on large assemblies (or small simple parts) is mostly a product of how much time you spend into refining the mesh to be both accurate (fine in areas of interest) and efficient (coarse away from areas of interest).  I have some notes on each of your hardware pieces though:

           

          • Processor: SOLIDWORKS Simulation only multi-threads certain specific processes of Simulation (incompatible meshing, static analysis) whereas a much grander portion of what it does is single-threaded.  So, having multiple cores is of little added benefit as compared to having a faster overall clockspeed.  The 3.6 GHz clock speed will likely be the limiting factor for your solving and if there is any way to improve that value your overall solve performance will be much improved.  If that means going from an 8-core down to a 6-core or 4-core just to get up to 4.0 GHz, then that would be the way to go.
          • Video Card: It's the newest generate of supported NVidia cards.  It will probably be sufficient for any assembly you would put into Simulation.
          • RAM: 32 GB seems like enough to not run out while running an analysis (and running background programs while running an analysis).  It is a good place to start but is also the most easily upgraded component in the list so you wouldn't need to be concerned about going beyond 32 GB at this point.
          • Boot Hard drive: M.2 is a good choice.  Just make sure the OS and all programs are installed to that drive.  You may even want to make space for a local cache folder as reading/writing simulation data can bottleneck on hard drive speeds.
          • 2nd Hard Drive: Its good to have one but I don't have any particular comment on this.
            • Re: minimum computer requirements
              Simon Yang

              Add more memory for RAM is a best way to improve the performance of SolidWorks Simulation. Such as 64 GB RAM is better.

                • Re: minimum computer requirements
                  Ryan Dark

                  A machine only needs so much RAM as it uses.  So, if the machine only uses up to 20 GB of RAM I might not expect a performance difference increasing to 64 GB of RAM from 32 GB of RAM.

                    • Re: minimum computer requirements
                      Simon Yang

                      Here is some information about that computer:

                      It looks the memory can be updated to max. 64GB.

                      Add more memory for RAM is a best way to improve the performance of SolidWorks Simulation usually.

                      http://i.dell.com/sites/doccontent/shared-content/data-sheets/en/Documents/Dell-Precision-Tower-3000-Series-3620-Spec-Sh…

                       

                      Feature

                       

                      Precision Tower 3000 Series 3620 Technical Specifications

                       

                       

                      Processor Options

                      1

                       

                      7th generation Intel Core i7 (Including I7-7700K Processor) and i5; 6th generation Intel Core i7, i5 and i3; Intel

                       

                      ® Xeon® Processor E3-1200 v5 Family;; Intel Turbo Boost technology(5) and Intel Integrated HD Graphics on select Processors; optional vPro™ Technology

                      Operating

                      System Options

                      2

                       

                      Windows

                       

                      ® 10 Professional (64 bit)


                      Windows

                       

                      ® 10 Home (64 bit)


                      Windows

                       

                      ® 8.1 Professional (64-Bit) (w/6th Gen Intel CPU)


                      Windows

                       

                      ® 8.1 Home (64 bit) (w/6th Gen Intel CPU)


                      Windows

                       

                      ® 7 Professional (32-bit) (w/6th Gen Intel CPU)


                      Windows

                       

                      ® 7 Professional (64-Bit) (w/ 6th Gen Intel CPU)

                      Red Hat

                       

                      ® Enterprise Linux® 7.2 (w/ 6th Gen Intel CPU)

                      Red Hat

                       

                      ® Enterprise Linux® 7.3


                      Ubuntu Linux 14.04 (w/ 6th Gen Intel CPU)

                      Ubuntu Linux 16.04 (w/ 7th Gen Intel CPU)

                      NeoKylin 6.0 SP2 (China only) (w/ 6th Gen Intel CPU)

                      NeoKylin 6.0 SP3 (China only) (w/ 7th Gen Intel CPU)

                       

                      Chipset

                       

                      Intel

                       

                      ® C236 Chipset

                      Memory Options

                      3

                       

                      4 Dimm Slots; Up to 64GB 2400Mhz Non-ECC & ECC DDR4 Memory (2400Mhz memory clocks down to 2133Mhz when paired with 6th Gen Intel Processors)

                       

                      Graphics Options

                      3

                       

                      One PCI Express

                       

                      ® x16 Gen 3 Graphics card up to 150W (Total for Graphics) (Some cards available in

                      Dual Config)

                      Mid-range 3D cards:

                      AMD FirePro W7100

                      AMD FirePro W5100

                      NVIDIA Quadro M4000

                      NVIDIA Quadro K2200

                      NVIDIA Quadro M2000

                      NVIDIA Quadro K1200 & Dual K1200

                      Entry 3D cards:

                      AMD FirePro W4100 & Dual W4100

                      AMD FirePro W2100 & Dual W2100

                      NVIDIA Quadro K620 & Dual K620

                      NVIDIA Quadro K420 & Dual K420

                      Professional 2D cards:

                      NVIDIA NVS 510 & Dual 510

                      NVIDIA NVS 315 & Dual NVS 315

                      NVIDIA NVS 310 & Dual 310

                      Intel HD Graphics 530/P530 (w/ 6th Gen Intel CPU)

                      Intel HD Graphics 630/P630 (w/7th Gen Intel CPU)

                       

                      Storage Options

                      4

                       

                      Support for up to (1) M.2 PCIe SSD on motherboard slot and Up to (2) 3.5" SATA or (4) 2.5" SATA. Support for

                       

                      Intel Ready Mode technology


                      Support for up to (1) additional PCIe SSD on Dell Precision Ultra-Speed drive (x8) with active cooling

                      M.2 PCIe SSD (NVMe)

                      Up to (1) 1TB on M/B

                      Up to (1) 1TB on Dell Precision Ultra-Speed drive

                      2.5" SATA SSD

                      Up to (4) 512GB

                      2.5" SATA 7200 RPM

                      Up to (4) 1TB 7200 RPM

                      3.5" SATA

                      Up to (2) 4TB 5400 RPM

                      Up to (2) 2TB 7200 RPM

                      Self Encrypting Drives

                      500 GB 7200 RPM or

                      512GB 2.5" SSD

                       

                  • Re: minimum computer requirements
                    Richard Gergely

                    Ryan I'm assuming the second hard drive is for file storage.

                    Really that is just as important as the OS system on the M.2 nvme. It saves so much time if you are load and saving to fast SSD. I would probably tend to reducing the boot OS drive down to 256GB M.2 nvme and then go to 2.5 SSD SATA 6.0 minimum on 2TB storage drive. If budget allows M.2 nvme for the second drive.

                    • Re: minimum computer requirements
                      Gail Alzate

                      Ryan,

                       

                      Thanks for your help. I received an updated quote after asking for a bit more clock speed for the following:

                       

                      Precision 5820 Tower XCTO Base

                      OS: Windows 10 Pro for Workstations

                      Processor: Intel Xeon W-2145 3.7GHz, 4.5 GHz Turbo, 8C, 11M Cache, HT, (140W) DDR4-2666

                      Video Card: NVIDIA Quadro P2000, 5gb, 4dp (5820T)

                      RAM: 32GB (4x8GB) 2666MHz DDR4 RDIMM ECC

                      Boot Hard Drive: M.2 512GB PCIe NVMe Class 40 Solid State Drive

                      2nd Hard Drive: 3.5" 2TB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive

                       

                      I assume this is still acceptable to run complex simulations. The price difference is about and additional $1K but I'm not sure if the upgraded tower and processor are worth the extra cost.

                        • Re: minimum computer requirements
                          Ryan Dark

                          This new machine is quite similar to the former machine.  for the small amount of CPU clock speed increase it is likely not worth doing over the former option.

                          • Re: minimum computer requirements
                            Bill McEachern

                            I would say the RAM is light - I spent considerable time hunting for a laptop that would be expandable to 64GB, it currently runs 40 GB. I would say you need SSD's unless it is for archive. SWX Sim is not that great at multi core solves for NL solutions (includes linear contact) going on so 4 is probably better if you have high clock speeds (looks like you do). On big DOF models the post processing is absolutely brutal and spending lots of money on a graphics card doesn't really help, just the way it is but disk speed helps with this - hence SSD's anywhere you need to access sim data in a production environment. I also run a 12 core 192GB older 3.4 GHz dual socket (Dell 7200) with a quadro 6000 but it mostly run Abaqus (as it has efficient multi core and NL/contact) and I will upgrade the video card to a P2000 at some point. The ABAQUS post processing for much larger DOF models is nearly instant compared to go for a coffee. ANSYS is also much faster on the post processing, almost anybody is.

                        • Re: minimum computer requirements
                          S. Leacox

                          You should not be looking at this in terms on minimum. A person's time over a year is much cheaper than the cost of a computer.

                           

                          Look at BOXX Apex 2. Best CAD computers out there within reason.

                          If that is too much for your company because of whatever reason (It should not be, for reasons above), look at Xi computers.

                          • Re: minimum computer requirements
                            S. Leacox

                            #1 is CPU speed for single threaded CAD like Solid works. More than two CPU is useless unless doing FEA or rendering,

                            #2 Vid card. Whatever the vid card can't handle is dumped onto the CPU.

                            #3 is Ram (32 Meg minimum)

                            #4 is access time to the hard drive/network

                              • Re: minimum computer requirements
                                Ryan Dark

                                Hi S.,

                                To answer your questions as best as I can:

                                1. Different parts of SOLIDWORKS and Simulation are coded to utilize multiple threads or not.  In Simulation incompatible meshing and static analysis are largely multi-threaded.  Many of the other study types though are single threaded so the CPU clock speed is the limiting factor on solver speed.  This means you want to make it a primary objective to have a machine with the fastest clock speed as possible even if it means sacrificing the number of CPU cores present.  With rendering, that is an entirely multi-threaded process and utilizes all functional power of the CPU across all cores.  It is one of the few things in the program that so thoroughly multi-threads.
                                2. Whatever the video card cannot handle doesn't go to the CPU.  If the video card runs out of on-board memory, for example, it will typically crash a program requesting more video memory.  With the GPU calculations themselves, they just run the GPU until they are done.  This might manifest in glitchy graphics during model rotations where the GPU skips some frames trying to catch up.
                                3. The minimum amount of RAM is "enough".  That value will be different for everyone but you need to have enough that you do not run out of RAM in the model of an operation or the program grinds to a halt.  Thankfully, RAM is one of the easiest/cheapest components in the machine to add to the machine so you once again have enough.  My own machine has 32 GB and I must make a concerted effort to use it up.  It only runs out in large final simulation with a very fine mesh applied.
                                4. I/O speed to the hard drive is important for saving mesh data, loading mesh data, and saving results to the drive.  If you don't have an SSD these can become an appreciable amount of time.  Having a fast hard drive for the OS, Program Files, and working CAD files is one of the best bangs/$ regarding performance.
                              • Re: minimum computer requirements
                                S. Leacox

                                Stay away from Dell, HP, etc. They charge way to much for any kind of performance.

                                Boxx smokes them all in price/performance.