Currently we are running:
Win XP 64 bit
Nvidia Quadro FX 4500's
Dual Core AMd Opteron 2.2gig cpus
4 gigs DDR2 Corsiar Pc 1600
300gig 7200rpm HDD's
Performance wise we feel this is not good enough for us anymore. These systems are almost 4 yrs old. We find ourselves sitting around waiting all the time, due to long rebuild times. Some of our processes take upwards of two hours to complete. We are using a third party addin that is a Solidworks Gold partner - and some of thier processes take Standard Solidworks commands like "cavity" for instance and detect interference through an entire 6000 component assembly and add cavites withiin cavities within cavites. Some of the other processes will look at every screw and dowel in the assembly (ranging in the 1000's) and pops all of the applicable holes (press fit, counter bore, threaded ect ect based on the fasteners position in the plates and waht plates they interfere with. Our drawings files of these large assemblies drag like crazy also.
So it is time to take advatage of some new technology out there in an attempt to cut our downtime with our large assemblies.
I am thinking we go with:
Whatever flavor Quadro FX card that is on par or better than our old 4500's which at the time were Nvidia's "ultra" high end cards.
Intel I7 CPU
16gigs DDR3 Ram
300-500Gig storage HDD
128gig SSD (Solid State Drive) for Apps
I am using Solid State at home for other apps and high end gaming apps and the performance is outstanding. Of course I understand the limitations and downsides to SSD's They have a shelf life due to read/writes They say normal usage will last you 4-5yrs. I would call what we do here high end usage so I am betting we will get at least 2-3 years of use. We could image the drives once we build them up with everything we needed and store that on the network and have spares on hand in case of failures.
I am thinking the operating system and all apps (including Solidworks) will be installed on the SSD Our current projects will also be stored on the SDD all other files will be stored on the Network or the HDD's Doing this should improve perfomance dramatically from what we are dealing with now.
I guess my main questions are:
1. Is anyone using SSD's out there for Solidworks and if so, what are your thoughts.
2. Is 16 gigs of Ram Overkill? I have done some research and it seems like people are in fact using this much ram for applications.
In the past, our 4 yr old Alienware boxes cost us around $5000 and I KNOW for a fact I can build these new systems for a fraction of that so the cost should be much easier for my company to swallow. I am however thinking that since I am saving money here I would go with more than 6-8 gigs of Ram.