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Performance not impacted by multiple processors??

Question asked by Rick Nagel on May 5, 2009
Latest reply on May 5, 2009 by Rick Nagel

O.K. I posted a similar question in the simulation forum the other week and got limited response. Maybe I can do better here, everyone seems more in tune with hardware impacts on performance.

We have recently upgraded computers. Two different configurations were purchased. One was selected specifically to run SolidWorks for modeling and drawing. The other for analysis. Specifying the machines was based on the premise that SolidWorks does not take advantage of multiple processors or cores BUT the Simulation tool DOES use multi-threading and can use multiple processors and cores. Possibly this belief is in error but it came from quite a bit of research and what I thought I heard at Solid Works World 2009.

Anyway we are running the following two machines:
Machine #1
Dell T7400
XP 64 bit OS
Dual Xeon Quad core processors @ 3.00 Ghz
Video card NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800

Machine #2
Dell T7400
XP 64 bit OS
Single Xeon Quad core @ 3.2 Ghz
Video card NVIDIA FX 5800

When benchmarking a simple analysis, my results tend to indicate that no multithreading is happening. For example, running machine #1 solves a static problem in 6:20 minutes. Machine #2 solves the exact same problem faster and in 5:20 minutes. I have tried both the FFEPlus solver and the Sparse solver. Each bench mark runs faster on the machine with less overall CPU capacity.

Is there a particular setting or type of analysis that uses multi-threading?