Hiding, or deleting parts and models has no effect on rendering, as far as I can tell. All bets are off, however, once you introduce transparency to the outermost "shell" of your model. Then the ray-tracing algorithm seems to work very hard. This explains, as near as I can tell, why putting any glass into a model slows rendering times radically. Supposedly, this is the nature of the Ray-tracing rendering method, in contrast to the PBR, or Physics Based Reality method used elsewhere for rendering surfaces for games and film-based animations.
Additionally, and of greater consequence to ray-tracing is the number of (surface) polygons that are exposed to the ray tracing algorithm. Here's where some real artificial intelligence would be useful: knowing when to reduce the quality of individual model parts, and thus number of polygons, based on part visibility, viewer distance, depth of field, screen resolution, environment complexity, and even atmospheric effects. As it is, you have to reduce the number of polygons in SW, by adjusting the "Quality" slider in the model properties. Once done, there is no zooming into your model for rendering details without noticing the reduced quality. Though effective, quality reduction in SW is a clunky method that requires added time and duplication of effort, making the process very inefficient.
I'm very sure Rich's info on polygons and ray tracing is spot on, so no comment on that. I can tell you from my experience, when I delete parts, say inside an electrical enclosure on my industrial models, Visualize does render the the model faster. I often delete internal parts inside visualize, or suppress parts in SolidWorks so my polygon count is lower and my render times faster.
If you delete out some hidden internal parts in your model, you will see the polygon count go down at the bottom of the window in Visualize.
Hiding parts in Visualize has no effect on the polygon count so no effect on render times.
Mark Jackson wrote:
I can tell you from my experience, when I delete parts, say inside an electrical enclosure on my industrial models, Visualize does render the the model faster.
I thought it did too, but I wasn't sure that I wasn't imagining, or hoping, it actually did. However, I noticed a marked improved in model manipulation speed when internal models were removed. In other words, there was a lot less lag when rotating and zooming. How that behavior compares to rendering a static view is not clear to me.