Optimizing Workstation Performance for SOLIDWORKS

NASA Crawler Transporter model* from the SPECapc for SOLIDWORKS 2019 benchmark


The engineers using SOLIDWORKS are usually the linchpins in their company’s product development process, yet the departments in which they work typically have limited information about the performance of their central hardware tool: the professional workstation.

It seems basic but it is worth emphasizing: The faster the response time a design engineer can muster when using SOLIDWORKS on a professional-level workstation, the greater the benefits, including:

  •        Improved individual productivity
  •        Shortened production schedules
  •        Faster time to market
  •        Ability to do more testing and prototyping to ensure quality
  •        Quicker response time for design fixes

Improving hardware response time is why benchmarks exist. A rigorous benchmark incorporating a wide variety of realistic models and scenarios delivers results that translate directly to the day-to-day experience of a SOLIDWORKS user. It’s about measuring to get better, and it’s the reason the SPEC Applications Performance Characterization subcommittee developed the SPECapc for SOLIDWORKS benchmark.

Developed with Dassault Systemes

SPECapc is a non-profit organization comprised of leading hardware vendors. The group’s SOLIDWORKS benchmark is the result of ongoing cooperation with Dassault Systemes.

Hardware vendors use the SPECapc for SOLIDWORKS benchmark to optimize performance for systems running SOLIDWORKS 2019. Users run the benchmark and analyze results to make better-informed decisions when buying and configuring workstations. Dassault Systemes uses the benchmark internally for quality assurance testing of future SOLIDWORKS releases.

Testing a full range of functionality

SPECapc for SOLIDWORKS 2019 includes 10 updated and new tests exercising a full range of graphics and CPU functionality. The graphics tests measure performance for both standard and enhanced graphics modes. The SOLIDWORKS Visualize renderer is used on select models to measure CPU ray-tracing performance.

The benchmark incorporates order-independent transparency (OIT), a methodology for quickly displaying transparency, and full-scene anti-aliasing (FSAA) for higher-quality visuals. It can be run with either default anti-aliasing (edges/sketches only) or with FSAA enabled. Individual scores are generated for each test and composite scores are computed for graphics and CPU performance.


The super car model from the SPECapc for SOLIDWORKS 2019 benchmark


Models used in the benchmark include:

  •        Audi R8 (car) — 715 MB in memory, exercising graphics and Visualize CPU ray tracing
  •        Black owl (desktop computer) — 1.15 GB in memory, exercising graphics and Visualize CPU ray tracing
  •        Digger (backhoe) — 464 MB in memory, exercising graphics and Visualize CPU ray tracing
  •        Ferrari (car) — 533 MB in memory, exercising graphics and Visualize CPU ray tracing
  •        Jet engine — 665 MB in memory, exercising graphics and Visualize CPU ray tracing
  •        Menjac (motor assembly) — 514 MB in memory, exercising graphics
  •        Motor — 392 MB in memory, exercising graphics
  •        SpaceShipCrawler (NASA Crawler Transporter Model) — 2.3 GB in memory, exercising graphics
  •        Super car (gullwing door) — 822 MB in memory, exercising graphics
  •        Tesla tower — 495 MB in memory, exercising graphics

Available now for downloading

The SPECapc for SOLIDWORKS 2019 benchmark is available for immediate download on the SPEC website (www.spec.org/gwpg) under a two-tiered pricing structure: free for the user community and $2,500 for sellers of computer-related products and services. SPEC/GWPG members — which currently include AMD, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Intel, Lenovo, and Nvidia — receive benchmark licenses as a membership benefit.

* Model courtesy of Jay Patterson, an industrial designer and long-time SOLIDWORKS user.

Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.