Ever wonder which computer will best suit your SOLIDWORKS need? How much RAM, which processor, how many cores, or which video card? Have no fear, I’m going to show you a tool that can help ease your mind.

In 2011, SOLIDWORKS released the Performance Benchmark Test for comparing multiple computers using a uniform testing strategy. The test has three areas; CPU, I/O, and Graphics. Each step of the test (described below) is meant to exercise a specific area of the computer using SOLIDWORKS. Out of the box, standard settings are used to insure consistent settings are used to run the tests. The general tasks for the areas tested in each dataset are as follows:

  • Open the file [I/O]
  • Force a rebuild [CPU]
  • Rotate and zoom [Graphics]
  • Open drawing [I/O w/Multi-Threading]
  • Rotate and zoom [Graphics]
  • Add sheet [CPU] & [Graphics]
  • Add view [CPU] & [Graphics]
  • Render (parts only) [CPU w/Multi-Threading] *If the license allows it

Before starting the Benchmark, it’s recommended to reboot the machine.  This will help ensure a consistent test.  After you have restarted the machine, keep all programs closed, yes even Pandora, as it can alter the results.  To start the Benchmark, we will need to first open the SOLIDWORKS Rx Tool.  Click on your start icon and type “Rx” in the search box at the bottom.  This will filter out the versions of SOLIDWORKS Rx that are loaded on your system.

Once we have the Rx tool open, click the + in the upper right corner to access to Benchmark test area.  Yes, it really has been hiding over there since 2011.

Go ahead and click “Start Benchmark” (you’ve restarted your machine, right?).

For 2016, there are some new options that were not previously available. There is an option to uncheck Rendering, and an optional Simulation benchmark has been added. For 2015 and older versions, you are not be able to unselect the Rendering portion of your test.

Once your Benchmark has completed, you will receive a score in each category. The lower the scores, the better. You can click the View Other Results and search for your computer model or processor to compare.

In summary, this tool provides a uniform test to help you compare your current machine against the one you may be looking to purchase. It’s also a great tool to help you justify the cost of a new machine to management, a lower score means you’ll spend that much less time waiting and more time designing. I hope you found this information useful and as always, please feel free to contact CADimensions with any questions.


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