6 Replies Latest reply on Aug 3, 2012 7:56 PM by Jerry Steiger

    Simulation Professional Hardware

    Keith Meyer



      We are upgrading our Software to Solidworks Premium 2012 w/ Simulation Professional. Our product assemblies will be no more than a few hundred parts, and we will be running most of the simulations that Sim Pro is capable of. These are:


      Assembly Simulation

      Mechanism Analysis

      Event-Based Motion

      Compare and Optimize Design

      Simulate Natural Frequencies

      Predict Buckling or Collapse

      Simulate Heating or Cooling

      Simulate Drop Test

      Simulate Fatigue


      I am pricing out a computer system to run this efficiently, and I believe I am going to build the system to save money.


      Is it recommended to go with a Xeon processor with ECC memory? Or will this configuration do the job?


      Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor


      ASRock X79 Extreme9 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard


      PNY VCQ4000-PB Quadro 4000 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16


      2X Kingston HyperX 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 = 32GB


      Kingston HyperX SH100S3B/240G 2.5" 240GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)


      With Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit


      Including the case, monitor, and other hardware, I have this priced at $3000.


      I would like to stay around this price point if possible.


      Any input is greatly appreciated!


      Thank You!

        • Re: Simulation Professional Hardware
          Chris Michalski

          Keith -


          you might check out this thread    https://forum.solidworks.com/message/293549#293549   it's been ongoing for a while so it could take some time to read through it all, but Charles i pretty good at staying on top of new hardware capabilities and suggests some pretty powerful stuff for an affordable budget.

          • Re: Simulation Professional Hardware
            Dave Laban

            No point spending all that money on the graphics card for SolidWorks / SWSim, simply doesn't use the graphics oomph.  I think it's the AMD FirePro V4900 that gets the thumbs up in the Admin forum (where there's some pretty handy PC specs, if you haven't already found them).


            FWIW my benchmarks showed little to no performance gain (and in some instances performance degradation) with an SSD over a 15k RPM HDD, so something else to bear in mind for potential cost savings.


            Under most circumstances I think the majority of those study types are all single threaded, so unless there's lots of CFD also being done it might be worth dropping to a quad-core processor with a higher clock speed (if such a thing exists).  And Ivy Bridge > Sandy Bridge, to all intents and purposes.

              • Re: Simulation Professional Hardware
                Keith Meyer

                Are the 15K RPM HDDs reliable? Our data is backed up, but just wondering if the SSD could potentially outlast the HDD? This particular one is rated for 5000 P/E cycles I believe.


                I had originally picked out the Ivy-Bridge 3770K, so I guess I will go back to that. I do plan to overclock a little, and this seems to overclock fine with the original cooling fan, vs. the 3930K, which seems to need a liquid cooling system when overclocked.


                I do plan to do some rendering in Photoview 360, would you still recommend downgrading to possibly a Quadro 2000?



                  • Re: Simulation Professional Hardware
                    Dave Laban

                    None of us have had any issues with our 15k HDDs and some of the towers in the office are getting on a bit now!  Bear in mind that FEA / CFD does a LOT of writing to disk so the life claims of SSDs under "typical usage" tend to go out the window.


                    For cooling, I'd always go for an aftermarket one given half the chance (though not go as far as liquid cooling).  Means you can get a nice quiet one! http://www.quietpc.com/products/cpucoolers - I'd go for any of the compatible Noctua ones.


                    As for rendering, I'm pretty sure it's still CPU bound rather than anything to do with the graphics card.  There's plenty of people in the admin forum that can confirm that either way.

                      • Re: Simulation Professional Hardware
                        Jerry Steiger



                        Dave is right, it's the CPU that controls rendering. The graphics card just gives you the RealView. (I've heard that the graphics card can become important in Flow, but I don't know that from experience, never having touched the stuff.) Unless you have really large assemblies, the low end graphics cards seem to be just fine.


                        More cores will help in rendering, but more than 4 probably won't be useful for Solidworks and Simulation.


                        You might want to ask this question in the Administration forum where the real experts, like Charles, hang out.


                        Jerry Steiger