8 Replies Latest reply on Oct 8, 2012 7:58 PM by Anna Wood

    Hardware suggestions?

    Demitri Duwadi

      Hello,

       

      When I bought Solidworks premium, the company I purchased it from had a hardware recommendation sheet (I'm not super savvy on hardware, I know the components that are needed to make one, but I don't know how to judge components and how well they'll do, really.) and so I picked the one that was about $1,300.00 (Optiplex 990) because I know certain video cards are better for Solidworks than just a gaming video card and assumed they would have good computer recommendations, I immediately regretted it as I looked on newegg and they were selling the same thing for 800-ish at the time. I've had it for a while and it's awful, it always lags, crashes, etc. In Photoview it takes up to an hour+ sometimes to render the assemblies I have done. I brought Solidworks home and used it on my computer I built in 2009 for $2,000 and it runs insanely better. The same photoview renders, render within minutes. The hardware now is bound to be cheaper but I just wanted some input on what everyone else thought or if anyone had any recommendations for how I should go about tackling new specs for a computer to build or had maybe a newegg list of a good build for a decent price. (Since my old build was $2,000 in 2009 I was hoping for maybe spending $1,000-$1,500 for a similar build)

          • Re: Hardware suggestions?
            Demitri Duwadi

            I really like the Charles' custom build not just because of the price. My only concern is the video card, would you (or anyone here) be able to suggest a bit higher end card? Becuase I believe that's one of the main things that's holding back my desktop at work and don't want to have the same problem, I would be fine if the card required an bigger power supply too. I would try to pick one myself, but have no clue what prices per specs are, so I'd just look at cards by price and reviews (I know, not the best way.) and I'm un-sure how to tell how big of a power supply you need / when you need to get one with more watts.  I really like the fact the build has a solidstate, 8G's of ram is how much my computer at home has (un-sure how you judge ram other than making sure it's at least DDR3 and the amount of gigs it actually is) as for processors that are quad core, some have only two chanlles for data and some have four, I'm un-sure of how to tell the difference on CPU's by reading the specs but the one I have at home is a 3.4GHz quad core too I believe and have no clue how to judge motherboards.

              • Re: Hardware suggestions?
                Jerry Steiger

                Demitri,

                 

                What kind of work do you do? If your assembly files are of reasonable size, then I have found that a low to mid-range graphic card works just fine and high-end graphics cards are a waste of money. Our assembly files are generally in the 500-1000 components size range, with many of the components being simple rectangular shapes on PCBs. The case shapes tend to be complex/organic. On the other hand, the people who handle really large assemblies and assembly drawings swear that their high-end graphics cards are absolutely necessary to get their job done.

                 

                On the benchmark tests, the FirePro cards are much better than comparably priced Quadro cards. You will also hear from die-hard Nvidia fans that the drivers from ATI are not as good and/or stable as the Nvidia drivers. I haven't seen much in the way of hard evidence to back that up.

                 

                Supposedly SolidWorks 2013 will use more of the graphics cards capabilities, so it may make more sense to go with a more expensive graphics card than in the past. I haven't heard anything from real users yet to back that up.

                 

                Jerry Steiger

                  • Re: Hardware suggestions?
                    Demitri Duwadi

                    Jerry,

                     

                    Well, on my machine that I have now. (The optiplex 990) it took about an hour to render this photo.
                    (http://puu.sh/1apy5)

                     

                    The main parts taking the longest being the vaporizers (Silver tall structures) because of how vaporizers look (star shaped tubes)

                    I mean I wouldn't even mind going with an machine that's better than what i'd need it for to avoid getting one that's not up to par, again.

                     

                    My IT guy suggested these specs: XPS8500, Windows 7 Professional, Intel i7 3.9GHz CPU, 12GB memory, 2 TB hard drive, AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video card, Office 2010 Home and Business, 3 year Next Business Day Onsite support from Dell, keyboard/mouse, Gigabit ethernet, integrated wireless, 16x DVD/RW. $ 1975.00

                    But I was told from another source that the video card isn't a CAD style card. I got another spec list that looked better since it has a SSD drive on it and had a CAD oriented graphics card:

                     

                    "I just put together a system in a few minutes for quote on xicomputer.com with an i7, 8GB RAM V4900 FireGL GPU, 240GB SSD, 1TB HDD for about $1700. Take a look there for a good priced machine. Most companies I've been with were locked to Dell. Soundslike you might not be and from memory, they have a good rep and great prices."

                    I just want to get a good solid build for around $1,500-$2,000 range that will last me a while with a SSD for the OS and Solidworks. I have a hard time desiphering specs of hardware and don't want to make a mistake on picking something out and having to change components or anything, as I've already bought one computer that had horrible specs (yet was $1,300-ish). I agree that there's a huge step between the best you can get graphics cards and a step or two below graphics cards and I'm fine with the step or two below graphics cards.

                      • Re: Hardware suggestions?
                        Jerry Steiger

                        Demitri,

                         

                        The video card won't help with your render times. (Although that may not be true with SolidWorks 2013. We'll have to wait to hear some feedback from users on that.) What you need for fast renders is more fast cores. So buying a computer that supports two CPUs and buying CPUs with more cores will help. Unfortunately, more cores doesn't help much with SolidWorks itself, which mostly only uses one core. So for SolidWorks, you want just a couple of cores (you probably can't get less than four anymore) that are as fast as you can afford. The thread that Anna pointed you to will get you a good SolidWorks machine in or under your price range, either as a build your own or from Dell or HP. None of them will be very fast on renders. I'm not sure you can get a really good render machine for your budget. Anna can tell you all about that.

                         

                        The Administration forum is the best place to learrn about hardware and performance issues. If you've got the time to read through some of the post there you will learn a lot.

                         

                        Jerry S.

                          • Re: Hardware suggestions?
                            Demitri Duwadi

                            Jerry,

                             

                            Thanks for the help, i'll take a look whenever I have free time, haha.

                             

                            I was just hoping to build a decent desktop that will last me a while and can render and run Solidworks smoothly. Like I said my build that was around $2,000 runs it flawlessly, but it uses two gaming cards (Nvidia 9800 GTX+'s) and that was back in 2009, so I thought maybe by now the prices on hardware that would be able to run it would be $1,500-$2,000 range.

                            • Re: Hardware suggestions?
                              Anna Wood

                              SolidWorks 2013 PV360 is a cpu based renderer.  That has not changed from previous releases. It is still using same render engine that is in Modo.

                               

                              For faster render times one needs a high clock speed cpu with a lot of cores and an adequate amount of RAM.

                               

                              Spend your money on the cpu first, then RAM, SSD drives if you can afford them, then the video card.

                               

                              Cheers,

                               

                              Anna