How to Configure Your SOLIDWORKS Workstation

Engineered To Perform

At BOXX, we’re engineers and creative professionals too. In fact, we rely on SOLIDWORKS every day. Our chassis (including the popular APEXX 2) are designed by BOXX engineers and proudly manufactured in the USA, but they aren’t built for sending emails or gaming. They’re crafted out of aircraft-quality aluminum and steel-strengthening components for one purpose and one purpose only: to provide you with the finest workstation available to get the job done. That means maximum airflow and cool, quiet operation—even with the most demanding hardware configurations.

Professional Overclocking

Selecting the right number of processing cores in your SOLIDWORKS workstation is critical. SOLIDWORKS is a frequency bound application. The frequency of that core determines performance more than any other variable; a workstation with less cores but higher frequency is ideal. Because of this, BOXX safely overclocks our SOLIDWORKS workstations up to 4.5GHz, delivering the fastest, most productive SOLIDWORKS computers on the market.

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Multiple CPU Cores?

Compute-intensive tasks like rendering and simulation are multi-threaded (meaning they commonly utilize multiple cores simultaneously). Therefore, if you incorporate these tasks into your SOLIDWORKS workflow, a workstation with more cores can provide better performance by reducing compute time. The APEXX 4 supports up to 36 Xeon CPU cores and is an excellent choice for multi-threaded applications. There are some downsides to using a workstation for regular rendering or simulation. The main problem with this is approach is that you effectively turn your SOLIDWORKS workstation into a “waitstation.” It’s not good business to pay engineers to sit and watch these tasks complete. A better approach is to offload rendering and simulation to a dedicated compute device. See below for options.

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Rendering and Simulation
When it comes to rendering and simulation, the best solution is to offload these time-consuming tasks to a dedicated machine. This allows you to maintain productivity on your main workstation, while getting rapid results on your compute device. The renderPRO is a personal, deskside computing solution specifically designed to tackle the most demanding rendering and simulation problems. The renderPRO is a quiet, Windows-based machine that supports up to 24 Xeon CPU cores and is designed to sit neatly on top of your main workstation or beside it.

Getting Graphic

One of the biggest misconceptions is that higher-end graphics cards will always offer better viewport performance. This is simply not the case. The majority of SOLIDWORKS video tasks are done on CPU and RAM.

If you want a K6000, for example, all of that power would likely go unused because the graphics card is waiting on information from the CPU. An NVIDIA Quadro K620 (low end of the Quadro family) will work fine in many workflows if you are budget-sensitive. The most popular graphics card we sell for our SOLIDWORKS computers is the NVIDIA Quadro K2200.

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What about Memory?

When the subject is configuring the correct SOLIDWORKS platform, a sufficient amount of RAM is critical. You need enough RAM so you don’t have to swap or borrow from the hard drive i.e., the virtual memory. In an ideal world, a user could buy a massive amount of RAM, install it in his machine, pull up the largest, most difficult assembly and test to determine whether the system could handle it. However, in the real world we know it doesn’t work that way. If you’re in the process of configuring or purchasing additional RAM, take a good look at what you’re currently using. You should begin with at least 16 GB. Is your system responsive? Does it execute tasks quickly? If not, you may need to increase your RAM.

Joe Pizzini

Joe Pizzini

Since 2013, BOXX Technical Marketing Manager Joe Pizzini has translated complex value propositions into succinct marketing collateral. Joe works closely with BOXX Engineering and key partners like Intel, NVIDIA, and Dassault Systemes to provide accurate, educational, and engaging content. Learn more about BOXX and SOLIDWORKS: http://www.boxxtech.com/solutions/manufacturing/product-design/solidworks
Joe Pizzini

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