14 Replies Latest reply on Feb 26, 2010 11:19 AM by John Jablonski

    STEP import SW2007x64 vs SW2010x32

    John Jablonski

      Hi.

       

      I have a pretty big STEP file (83M), and two computers on which I tried to open it.

       

      Comp 1) Xeon 2.13G, 12G RAM, XP-64bit, SW2007x64, Quadro NVS 295

      Comp 2) Core 2 2.4G, 2G RAM, Vista-32bit, SW2010, Radeon X1300/X1550 Series

       

      On #1, the STEP file takes about an hour to open. On #2, it opens in about 20 minutes. Both are opened over the network.

       

      Once it is open, I can obviously move things around much more quickly on #1*. On #2, after a few operations the memory slowly creeps up from 85% usage to 96% or so, at which point I close SW, reopen it, and go work on something else. I just ordered more RAM, so that will help things on #2 after it is open.

       

      But why does it take so long to open on the powerhouse machine? I expected #1 to be somewhat faster (not necessarily significantly, but indeed faster). I certainly didn't expect it to take three times as long.

       

      What's causing this? Video card? Would the NVS really cause that much difference just in opening the file? (I know neither one is SW certified; I didn't spec these machines out.)

       

      -john

       

       

      * Tho with that NVS card, nothing really displays very well. Doing a section view on the assembly was...less than fully sectioned.

        • Re: STEP import SW2007x64 vs SW2010x32
          Alin Vargatu
          Just wondering if you would have time to repeat the test with the STEP file located on your local drive.
          • Re: STEP import SW2007x64 vs SW2010x32
            Anna Wood

            How old is the Xeon machine compared to the Core 2 Duo machine?

             

            What are the exact model number of each cpu?  Only real way for us to give you an informed opinion is to know the cpu model numbers you have.  The program cpu-z can tell you the model number of your cpu.  http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php

             

            Is the Xeon machine dual or single core?

             

            I would expect the Xeon cpu to be several generations older cpu architecture then the Core 2 Duo machine based on performance.  Newer cpu architecture at the same clock speed will most always be faster.

             

            I would think ram is not an issue since you can open the file on the x32 bit machine.

             

            I suspect your problem is more cpu then video, even with the NVS being a junk video card that should not be in any 3D cad workstation.

             

            Any chance you can post your step file for those of us with even more modern hardware to try and open and give you results?

             

            Cheers,

             

            Anna

              • Re: STEP import SW2007x64 vs SW2010x32
                John Jablonski

                Alin: I don't really want to try opening locally, since it would not be an actual representation of how things are stored and opened here. Besides, it -does- open and can fairly quickly be maniplated once it is open.

                 

                Anna: I can't install cpuz on the Xeon machine since I don't have admin rights on that one.

                 

                Here are the CPU specs tho: http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=37096&processor=E5506&spec-codes=SLBF8

                And my core2: http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=27250&code=duo+e6600

                 

                Interestingly found this comment on newegg: "I bought two of these for a dual lga1366 workstation/server. I was able to compile Gentoo world packages in a fraction of the time it would take me on my core 2 duo (~1hr)."

                 

                Hmm. The xeon doesn't seem that old.

                 

                -john

                  • Re: STEP import SW2007x64 vs SW2010x32
                    Anna Wood

                    Interesting the Xeon is a modern cpu.  I assumed that since SW2007 and Windows XP was installed that it was an old computer and software setup.

                     

                    You do not have a screamer cpu spec'ed for the Xeon system either.  A very low end set-up for cpu and video with a lot of ram.  Not a good match of hardware for what you wish to do with it (Simulation).  Someone went low-end and cheap when spec'ing the system.

                     

                    I agree with Vajrang in that it may be the old version of SW you are using.  It is really not a fair apples to apples comparison with the different versions of SW.

                     

                    Cheers,

                     

                    Anna

                      • Re: STEP import SW2007x64 vs SW2010x32
                        John Jablonski

                        You do not have a screamer cpu spec'ed for the Xeon system either.  A very low end set-up for cpu and video with a lot of ram.  Not a good match of hardware for what you wish to do with it (Simulation).  Someone went low-end and cheap when spec'ing the system.

                         

                        Unfortunatly people keep buying things without asking me first. When will they learn!? ;-)

                         

                        Tho our simulation needs pretty much consist of applying torque to one part. And it actually completed the meshing and simulation pretty quickly. Going thru all the steps and waiting for the system to catch up to the mouse clicks took longer than the actual simulation run. :-/

                         

                        -john

                    • Re: STEP import SW2007x64 vs SW2010x32
                      John Jablonski

                      One last quick question....on the xeon with SW07, I naturally had horrible performance when I needed to manipulate the model. But I'm also having problems just waiting for all the commands and buttons to load (ok, cancel, help, and...something else?) in the feature manager pane (ie: click on a command, and wait noticibly for the display to update to the point where I can actually click or enter something).

                       

                      A proper video card should fix that too, correct?

                       

                      Quadro FX 580 should be good enough, right?

                       

                      It's only $200 or so, but I still need to justify it.

                       

                      thanks,

                      john

                    • Re: STEP import SW2007x64 vs SW2010x32
                      John Jablonski

                      Also, I can not post the step file. For one thing it's huge. For another it's from a customer and I can't go spreading it around.

                      -john

                      • Re: STEP import SW2007x64 vs SW2010x32
                        Vajrang Parvate

                        Hi John,

                         

                        You're using SolidWorks 2007 on your x64 machine and SolidWorks 2010 on your 32-bit machine ? Doesn't look like an apples-to-apples comparison to me.

                         

                        There have been numerous performance improvements to SolidWorks over the past three years !

                         

                        Regards,

                        Vajrang.

                          • Re: STEP import SW2007x64 vs SW2010x32
                            John Jablonski

                            Vajrang, Have there really been that many improvements to the STEP importer? Because that was actually one of my thoughts yesterday (one that I apparently didn't include in this thread).

                             

                            If that's true then fine, I'll accept that. I'm not really doubting you. I just didn't expect to see nearly that much difference on a step import between the two versions. I know there have been improvements from '07 to '10, but enough to cut a step import by 2/3? Again, I'm just surprised there'd be that much of a time difference. I honstly expected it to open in about the same amount of time as the 32 bit version, possibly a bit slower. I was just opening it there so that I could look at it more easily once it was loaded. Tho the NVS card kind of killed that possibility.

                             

                            Also, it's 2007 because that's the only copy of cosmos that we have. We might update it at some point in the future but we don't use it enough to justify the cost right now.

                             

                            -john

                             

                             

                            And to Anna: Yeah....I don't know who specd out that NVS card. Those are complete crap. Probably some IT guy just saw "quadro" and the price alongside it and figured he was getting a good deal. <shudder>

                              • Re: STEP import SW2007x64 vs SW2010x32
                                Vajrang Parvate

                                Hi John,

                                 

                                Yes - we did some pretty major improvements in file translation, particularly in the area of importing assemblies in 2010 (not just STEP, but also SAT, IGES, etc. also). I don't know if the improvements would account for all of the performance difference you're seeing without replicating your setup and reducing the other variables you have in the two setups.

                                 

                                Regards,

                                Vajrang.

                                  • Re: STEP import SW2007x64 vs SW2010x32
                                    John Jablonski

                                    OK.

                                    I don't want to do a major troubleshoot on this machine, since we rarely use it for importing files like that. I was just surprised by the difference. And the STEP is an assembly, btw. If there was something simple I could have checked/changed on the xeon machine I'd do that, but it's really not worth the effort to go beyond that, especially since I'm upping my RAM in the 32bit machine, which will allow me to manipulate the assembly.

                                     

                                    One thing that was consistent between machines tho, was that each was using ~2G once the model was loaded. So adding the RAM will help for the minor work I need to do on the assembly, and it means that I shouldn't need to install 64bin windos at this point. 3G should be enough for now.

                                     

                                    thanks,

                                    john

                                    • Re: STEP import SW2007x64 vs SW2010x32
                                      Brian Hoerner

                                      Hello Vajrang,

                                       

                                           I am curious as to what things have changed in these translators, like STEP and IGES.  I have not seen a great deal of improvement, I import Pro/E directly, as well as STEP and IGES and I always have to work back and forth for various model files until I find the right one that comes in best.  I do a LOT of data translations and have dealt with them in both directions for many years, and there are always problems with some parts but not all.  So i am alway slooking for ways of improving my import techniques.

                                       

                                           Any tips, hints, best practices (Other than my favorite of NEVER go from one system to another )

                                       

                                      Brian

                                        • Re: STEP import SW2007x64 vs SW2010x32
                                          Vajrang Parvate
                                          Hi Brian,

                                           

                                          The golden rules for 3D data translation (if there were any) would  be :

                                           

                                          1. Know the limitations of the source system.


                                          The accuracy of the translation is going to be only as good  as the lesser of the  accuracy of the source & target systems. All modelers have their own internal representations and model accuracies, so translation is more than just mapping entity types from one system to another.

                                           

                                           

                                          2.  Know the limitations of the intermediate format.

                                           

                                          One can't take data from a modeler, output it as VRML and expect to import it into SolidWorks as a  solid body with all faces/edges intact. It's useful to be aware what kind of data can be and is held by a STEP file vs. an IGES file vs. SAT/VDAFS/Parasolid/etc. files.

                                           

                                          In general, this order seems to work best:

                                          a. Choose a format which avoids at least one translation. Prefer Parasolid if SolidWorks is involved.

                                          b. Choose a neutral format which is capable of holding BREP (solids) data, not just surfaces.

                                            i. STEP seems to work best. But be aware even STEP files have flavors. If your source system allows the setting, favor the use of ADVANCED_BREP_SHAPE_REPRESENTATION

                                            ii. IGES is more widely used, but can be less precise depending on the format flavor and the system that created it.

                                          c. Some systems (I'm not going to say which ones ) will create files with loose tolerances. This is not a slight against such systems, but SolidWorks will be unable to import files from such systems without errors because of the tolerance mismatches. What you need is a "data healing" solution at that point. SolidWorks provides various tools for such purposes, but you need to decide how much effort should be invested in translation vs. simply recreating the part natively.

                                           

                                          Not sure if this is what you were hoping to see, but hope it helps anyway.

                                           

                                          Regards,

                                          Vajrang.