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Does a Phenom X4 Workstation Supports Solidworks 64 bit

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November 20, 2009 3:18:49 AM

AMD says phenom is 64 bit and support 64 bit
but solidworks says the 64 bit version is supported on xeon and opteron CPU's !
i do not have the budget and i think vga is more important (i like to buy a quadro fx 5600)
what do u think ? has anybody tested solidworks 64 bit on phenom x4 cpu's ? and am i right at my idea or i should definitely buy server boards ?
a b à CPUs
November 20, 2009 3:28:17 AM

It's supported on any 64 bit CPU, so long as you're also in a 64 bit OS. I'm running Solidworks 2009 Student Edition on my i7 right now in Windows 7 x64.
(Get as much RAM as you can afford by the way - I've used over 10GB while meshing or running finite element simulations).
November 20, 2009 10:03:06 AM

cjl said:
It's supported on any 64 bit CPU, so long as you're also in a 64 bit OS. I'm running Solidworks 2009 Student Edition on my i7 right now in Windows 7 x64.
(Get as much RAM as you can afford by the way - I've used over 10GB while meshing or running finite element simulations).


Hi !
1- is your solidworks version 64 bit ?

2- and can i ask what is your graphic and are u satisfied with your system performance on solidworks or not ? (cpu, vga, ram, ..) can u say you have a workstation really ? you know many people say workstations should use server boards and xeon or opteron cpus ? do u agree with that ?

3- by the way ? how big are your models and how many parts you have ?

4- and last question ?
you know ! core i7 is directly 64 bit ? but i dont know phenom is or not ?
Related resources
a b à CPUs
November 20, 2009 10:18:15 AM

All modern CPUs from AMD and Intel (with the exception of the Atom) are 64 bit, including the Phenom.

As for my system, yes my Solidworks version is 64 bit. My models vary - the more complicated ones run up to a couple hundred parts, but for the most part they are simpler. I'm quite satisfied with the performance, but my system is quite high end (mainly in the CPU and RAM).

My system specs are:
i7 965 @4.2GHz
4870 quadfire (2 4870x2s) (these are for gaming - solidworks doesn't really take advantage of crossfire, and the 4870 is not an ideal GPU for it anyways)
12GB DDR3-1600

It's kind of a combination gaming machine and workstation, honestly. It performs nicely, but a lower spec system would work well too. As I said above, one of the big things to keep in mind is to buy plenty of RAM. I would go for at least 8GB if you plan on working with finite element analysis and larger models.

You definitely don't need a server board or an opteron though. For someone working with solidworks 8 hours a day, a dual socket opteron would be nice, but it isn't needed. What kind of modeling will you be doing? That Quadro is an expensive card (which kind of is out of proportion to an otherwise somewhat budget system), and if you won't be doing much rendering, you'd be better off putting that money into CPUs and RAM.
November 20, 2009 12:35:32 PM

cjl said:
All modern CPUs from AMD and Intel (with the exception of the Atom) are 64 bit, including the Phenom.

As for my system, yes my Solidworks version is 64 bit. My models vary - the more complicated ones run up to a couple hundred parts, but for the most part they are simpler. I'm quite satisfied with the performance, but my system is quite high end (mainly in the CPU and RAM).

My system specs are:
i7 965 @4.2GHz
4870 quadfire (2 4870x2s) (these are for gaming - solidworks doesn't really take advantage of crossfire, and the 4870 is not an ideal GPU for it anyways)
12GB DDR3-1600

It's kind of a combination gaming machine and workstation, honestly. It performs nicely, but a lower spec system would work well too. As I said above, one of the big things to keep in mind is to buy plenty of RAM. I would go for at least 8GB if you plan on working with finite element analysis and larger models.

You definitely don't need a server board or an Opteron though. For someone working with Solidworks 8 hours a day, a dual socket opteron would be nice, but it isn't needed. What kind of modeling will you be doing? That Quadro is an expensive card (which kind of is out of proportion to an otherwise somewhat budget system), and if you won't be doing much rendering, you'd be better off putting that money into CPU's and RAM.



Hi !
I appreciate cjl for your time to answer me ! but a few things more !
i am some IT staff in an aerospace / defense company and we need the system there ! assume launchers, missiles, complex structures, ...

these are my questions ! thanks if u answer !

1- how much raising performance will be achieved if i buy a server board with dual socket opteron instead of a modern Phenom X4 ? some solidworks specialist (like javelin-tech) say dual cpu or multiple cores do not affect your SW performance too much but they suggest a good VGA ! and in the supported VGA list of SW2009 we can not see any VGA like the one you use ! all of them are ATI Fire or Nvidia Quadro !

2-why do you think CPU is more important than VGA ? do u realty believe in that ?

do you prefer Vista 64 or seven 64 ?

4-after all these, what do you suggest for our rocket scientists which are working with solidworks 64 bit - 2009 and may change it to 2010 very soon ! consider that the budget is limited !
this is the system i can afford ! what changes do u recommend ? (as you see the total budget is about 6k $ )


Mainboard :
ASUS - M4A79T Deluxe
or
ASUS - Rampage II Extreme

CPU :
AM3 - Phenom II X4 965 - 3.4GHz
4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 140W Quad-Core
or
Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core

RAM :
CORSAIR - Dual Channel 8GB - 1666-(2x4GB) / DHX

HARD :
Seagate Barracuda LP - SATA II - – 1 TB – 16mb Buffer
7200 rpm


VGA :
PNY NVIDIA QUADRO FX4800 1.5GB – GDDR3

Case :
GREEN or Cooler Master

Power :
Cooler Master 1000W
(RS-A00-ESBA)

Or

GREEN - GP1230B-EPS
(1230 Watts Real Output)

Monitor :
LG - 22" - W2286L - LED
LED Display, Res. 1680 x 1050




a b à CPUs
November 20, 2009 5:47:38 PM

It definitely doesn't need a xeon or an opteron. As I said, I'm running it on an i7 right now.

For a $6k budget, here's what I would recommend:

Graphics: ATI FirePro V8700 ($900): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: Supermicro Dual LGA1366 ($450): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPUs: 2x Intel Xeon W5590 ($3400):http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: 24GB DDR3-1333 ECC ($900): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That leaves around $500 for the rest. The reason I would recommend the multiprocessor setup is because finite element modeling in solidworks does take advantage of it, and it is within your budget.

If you won't be doing any finite element or fluid simulation at all, then you can save some money by going with the single processor (since they are the main thing that can take advantage of multiprocessing). I'd still recommend an i7 with your budget though.
a b à CPUs
November 20, 2009 6:35:15 PM

Gaming cards never show up on the approved list, though they work fine for simpler models. However, for the tasks you describe and the budget you have you will definitely want to get a FirePro or Quadro card.
November 20, 2009 7:01:12 PM

cjl said:
It definitely doesn't need a xeon or an opteron. As I said, I'm running it on an i7 right now.

For a $6k budget, here's what I would recommend:

Graphics: ATI FirePro V8700 ($900): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: Supermicro Dual LGA1366 ($450): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPUs: 2x Intel Xeon W5590 ($3400):http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: 24GB DDR3-1333 ECC ($900): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That leaves around $500 for the rest. The reason I would recommend the multiprocessor setup is because finite element modeling in solidworks does take advantage of it, and it is within your budget.

If you won't be doing any finite element or fluid simulation at all, then you can save some money by going with the single processor (since they are the main thing that can take advantage of multiprocessing). I'd still recommend an i7 with your budget though.


but u said we do not need server boards !!!! the system works about 8 hours a day !
and u should now that 6k $ is for all system including h.d.d. monitor case power ... (the power alone is about 300 $ or monitor about 500 $)
and also have in mind that in my country prices are much more ! e.g. the ram u suggested is about 1k $ here !!!
and why you do not care about vga ? what is the problem with having a good high end quadro fx 4600 ? a simple cpu with quadro fx 4800 is not better than a dual cpu with a V8700
as u know nvidia has been better than ati in solidworks !
a b à CPUs
November 20, 2009 7:36:50 PM

You don't need a server board. I suggested one because it is in your budget. There are definitely benefits to a server type setup, but that doesn't make it required. One significant benefit of the Xeons and Opterons is the support for ECC memory for example, which is nice if you need the absolute greatest reliability possible.

As for not caring about VGA? That FirePro V8700 competes quite nicely with the Quadros in most things, and it's a heck of a lot cheaper. It's a great graphics card.

For a lower budget than the above (but with higher graphics), a good choice would be:

Xeon W3580 ($1100)
FirePro V8750 ($1500) or QuadroFX 4800 ($1600)
Asus P6T Deluxe V2 ($300)
12GB DDR3-1333 ECC ($450, same as above but only a single set)

That leaves another $2500 or so for everything else, which is plenty of margin.

I'd recommend a good PSU, such as a Corsair HX850W.

A note about ATI vs Nvidia: Nvidia used to dominate in Solidworks. That isn't as true anymore though, and either of the above choices would work quite well. I believe Nvidia is still slightly ahead, but the margin is much smaller now.

If this is still too expensive, a V8700 would only be a slight step down from the cards in the above build, and it would save around $600.
November 21, 2009 3:46:32 PM

cjl said:
You don't need a server board. I suggested one because it is in your budget. There are definitely benefits to a server type setup, but that doesn't make it required. One significant benefit of the Xeons and Opterons is the support for ECC memory for example, which is nice if you need the absolute greatest reliability possible.

As for not caring about VGA? That FirePro V8700 competes quite nicely with the Quadros in most things, and it's a heck of a lot cheaper. It's a great graphics card.

For a lower budget than the above (but with higher graphics), a good choice would be:

Xeon W3580 ($1100)
FirePro V8750 ($1500) or QuadroFX 4800 ($1600)
Asus P6T Deluxe V2 ($300)
12GB DDR3-1333 ECC ($450, same as above but only a single set)

That leaves another $2500 or so for everything else, which is plenty of margin.

I'd recommend a good PSU, such as a Corsair HX850W.

A note about ATI vs Nvidia: Nvidia used to dominate in Solidworks. That isn't as true anymore though, and either of the above choices would work quite well. I believe Nvidia is still slightly ahead, but the margin is much smaller now.

If this is still too expensive, a V8700 would only be a slight step down from the cards in the above build, and it would save around $600.


Hi !
Thanks So Much !
I Have Some Uncertainties here !
First I Think Nvidia is Much More Better and worth the difference in price !
Second ! This is not the prices. Here FX 4800 is at least 3k $ !!!!
Third ! Why Do U Think ECC Rams Are good ! I read that they are more stable but even slower (one clock per action) than Non-ECC or Non-Buffered RAMs ! So They Suit Server Boards and Apps ! What do u think about this
a b à CPUs
November 22, 2009 1:34:14 AM

ECC is more stable, and for a workstation, stability is key. That's a large part of why I would go with them. In addition, memory speed is less important than memory quantity with SolidWorks, and the x58 platform with the tri-channel memory gives plenty of memory bandwidth even with ECC.

Oh, and the FX-4800 is $3k? Wow - is the ATI card cheaper? Could you maybe get a FirePro 8700 or a Quadro FX 3800? Are the other components that inflated in price too?
November 27, 2009 10:15:07 AM

Hey Cjl !
Hi Again
Can You Please Tell ME What is This Tesla (built By Nvidia) ?
is that a gpu or some kind if processing unit only ? is it very expensive ? is it good for solidworks ?
Thanks
November 27, 2009 10:15:36 AM

cjl said:
ECC is more stable, and for a workstation, stability is key. That's a large part of why I would go with them. In addition, memory speed is less important than memory quantity with SolidWorks, and the x58 platform with the tri-channel memory gives plenty of memory bandwidth even with ECC.

Oh, and the FX-4800 is $3k? Wow - is the ATI card cheaper? Could you maybe get a FirePro 8700 or a Quadro FX 3800? Are the other components that inflated in price too?



Hey Cjl !
Hi Again
Can You Please Tell ME What is This Tesla (built By Nvidia) ?
is that a gpu or some kind if processing unit only ? is it very expensive ? is it good for solidworks ?
Thanks
a b à CPUs
November 27, 2009 10:32:05 AM

the tesla is a very good card for renderings its a gpu with processing abilities and very expensive
November 27, 2009 12:11:21 PM

obsidian86 said:
the tesla is a very good card for renderings its a gpu with processing abilities and very expensive



Thanks So Much ! But What about my Q's ?
can be used as a graphic card or a vga is needed beside it ?
it it for apps like solidworks or it acts like a cpu for math and programming extensive apps ?
a b à CPUs
November 29, 2009 6:07:08 AM

The tesla isn't a graphics card, it is a special-use processor. It won't do any good at all in Solidworks. It is quite fast (many times faster than most CPUs) for specifically coded tasks, but Solidworks isn't written to utilize it. I'd stick with a standard graphics card for now.

Oh, and referring back to the comment about solidworks not using multi cores? It's strongly dependent on what you are doing. For example, I'm running a supersonic flow simulation in Solidworks right now, and here's what my task manager looks like:



It's claiming another 26 hours before it's done as well, and it's been going for over an hour and a half. For other tasks though, such as finite element modeling and design, it won't use more than 1 or 2 cores.
November 29, 2009 2:52:43 PM

cjl said:
The tesla isn't a graphics card, it is a special-use processor. It won't do any good at all in Solidworks. It is quite fast (many times faster than most CPUs) for specifically coded tasks, but Solidworks isn't written to utilize it. I'd stick with a standard graphics card for now.

Oh, and referring back to the comment about solidworks not using multi cores? It's strongly dependent on what you are doing. For example, I'm running a supersonic flow simulation in Solidworks right now, and here's what my task manager looks like:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c183/chris_lapanse/random%20crap/Solidworksflowsimulation.png

It's claiming another 26 hours before it's done as well, and it's been going for over an hour and a half. For other tasks though, such as finite element modeling and design, it won't use more than 1 or 2 cores.


Hi !
Thanks So Much For Your Valuable Answers !
I Will Ask Our Design Staff What Are They Doing Exactly And Let You Know !
But I Didn't Understand Your Task Manager Photo Completely !
Is This CPU Usage A Prove of Need For More Cores ? Or Is It A Sign of Lacking Enough CPU Speed ? Or Maybe RAM Weakness ?

a b à CPUs
November 30, 2009 12:21:24 AM

It's mostly to show that some tasks in Solidworks will use as many cores as you can give them. If I were doing certain other tasks, only one of the cores would be in use. Flow simulations are one of the tasks that will load every core you can give it (and it scales nearly perfectly - it will run almost exactly twice as fast on a quad core as it will on a dual).
November 30, 2009 6:15:04 AM

cjl said:
It's mostly to show that some tasks in Solidworks will use as many cores as you can give them. If I were doing certain other tasks, only one of the cores would be in use. Flow simulations are one of the tasks that will load every core you can give it (and it scales nearly perfectly - it will run almost exactly twice as fast on a quad core as it will on a dual).


I've recently changed my Major so I'll be using Solidworks a lot. I've read on Solidworks page that they recommend HT to be turned off because it doesn't add any extra performance. I've also seen a test which showed the results between HT on and HT off very similar. Can you verify this? Also, is 12GB that much better than 6GB in Solidworks? I ask because RAM prices have gone up a little.
a b à CPUs
November 30, 2009 6:27:42 AM

HT makes a significant difference in flow simulations, but not in anything else from what I've found. As for RAM, it is mainly used in meshing, especially in structural analysis. For finite element modeling, you can run out of RAM amazingly quickly, and having 12GB is quite nice sometimes. You can definitely get by with less, but you need to be somewhat selective of how you mesh things if you have less RAM (the "curvature-based mesh" option is an excellent choice to conserve RAM).
December 8, 2010 2:21:09 PM

cjl said:
The tesla isn't a graphics card, it is a special-use processor. It won't do any good at all in Solidworks. It is quite fast (many times faster than most CPUs) for specifically coded tasks, but Solidworks isn't written to utilize it. I'd stick with a standard graphics card for now.

Oh, and referring back to the comment about solidworks not using multi cores? It's strongly dependent on what you are doing. For example, I'm running a supersonic flow simulation in Solidworks right now, and here's what my task manager looks like:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c183/chris_lapanse/random%20crap/Solidworksflowsimulation.png

It's claiming another 26 hours before it's done as well, and it's been going for over an hour and a half. For other tasks though, such as finite element modeling and design, it won't use more than 1 or 2 cores.


Hi cjl,

Can I check with you whether I need to change any options to enable Solidworks Flow Simulation to make use of all the CPU cores?

FYI, i am using a i7-950 CPU with 12Gb DDR3 RAM. I was running some conjugate heat transfer problem in Flow Simulation - the CPU usage was only ~20% or less, but it still took quite a long time like 1 hour + to finish the simulation. I saw from your post that in your Flow Simulation the CPU usage is 100%! It was so amazing!!

Any idea what is happening for my situation?

Thanks a lot!
!