Selecting the number of processing cores in your SolidWorks workstation is critical. SolidWorks is a frequency bound application (meaning that it predominantly uses only one core). Since 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 4.4GHz delivering the fastest, most productive SolidWorks computer on the market.
Multiple CPU Cores?
Compute 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.
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. renderPRO is a personal, deskside computing solution, specifically designed to tackle the most demanding rendering and simulation problems. 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.
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 K2200.
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BOXX engineers rely on SolidWorks everyday to design innovative workstation chassis and server enclosures. Dassault Systemes, makers of SolidWorks, recently published a case study highlighting how BOXX uses the software and the benefits of implementing SolidWorks Premium design software in their workflow. Read the case study.