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We went from a 2.8 GHz P4 (with hyperthreading) to a 2.4 Core2Duo and noticed a significant performance increase. Both have 2 GB RAM, the C2D has a better video card. I ran a model with contact constraints that took 29 minutes on the P4, and it took 11 minutes on the C2D. Solidworks won't get that kind of boost, and many models that are done well probably won't see that big of an increase (maybe), but in general I can tell a difference.
BTW, we're running 2004 using Direct Sparse solver.