Puget Systems print logo

https://www.pugetsystems.com

Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/1816
Article Thumbnail

SOLIDWORKS 2020 SP1 Intel Core 10th Gen CPU Performance

Written on June 26, 2020 by William George
Share:

Introduction

Intel recently updated their mainstream Core processor series, and since we had tested SOLIDWORKS 2020 SP1 pretty recently we thought it would be good to run these new CPUs through the same testing to see how they compare with other Intel and AMD models. Our SOLIDWORKS benchmark suite covers performance in modeling, rendering, and simulations. In the past we have found this application to vary greatly in how it uses the CPU, with some functions being single-threaded while others are able to use all the cores effectively - and, of course, a spread of behavior in-between those extremes. So lets see how Intel's Core 10th Gen processors do...

Looking for an Engineering Workstation?

Puget Systems offers a range of powerful and reliable systems that are tailor-made for your unique workflow.

Configure a System!

Labs Consultation Service

Our Labs team is available to provide in-depth hardware recommendations based on your workflow.

Find Out More!

Test Hardware

Here are the detailed specs of the test platforms we used:

Intel Core 10th Gen Test Platform
CPU Intel Core i9 10900K
Intel Core i7 10700K
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte Z490 Vision D
RAM 4x DDR4-2933 16GB (64GB total)
Video Card NVIDIA Quadro P6000 24GB
Hard Drive Samsung 960 Pro 1TB
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
SOLIDWORKS 2020 SP1
AMD Ryzen Test Platform
CPU AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
AMD Ryzen 7 3800X
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte X570 AORUS ULTRA
RAM 4x DDR4-2933 16GB (64GB total)
Video Card NVIDIA Quadro P6000 24GB
Hard Drive Samsung 960 Pro 1TB
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
SOLIDWORKS 2020 SP1
Intel Core Test Platform
CPU Intel Core i9 9900K
Intel Core i7 9700K
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte Z390 Designare
RAM 4x DDR4-2666 16GB (64GB total)
Video Card NVIDIA Quadro P6000 24GB
Hard Drive Samsung 960 Pro 1TB
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
SOLIDWORKS 2020 SP1
AMD Threadripper Test Platform
CPU AMD TR 3990X
AMD TR 3970X
AMD TR 3960X
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3
Motherboard Gigabyte TRX40 AORUS Pro WiFi
RAM 4x DDR4-2933 16GB (64GB total)
Video Card NVIDIA Quadro P6000 24GB
Hard Drive Samsung 960 Pro 1TB
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
SOLIDWORKS 2020 SP1
Intel Core X Test Platform
CPU Intel Core i9 10980XE
Intel Core i9 10900X
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12DX i4
Motherboard Gigabyte X299 Designare EX
RAM 4x DDR4-2933 16GB (64GB total)
Video Card NVIDIA Quadro P6000 24GB
Hard Drive Samsung 960 Pro 1TB
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
SOLIDWORKS 2020 SP1

Benchmark Details

Our SOLIDWORKS benchmark suite was originally developed by one of my colleagues here at Puget Systems: Matt Bach. He put together a series of AutoIt scripts that run through testing a variety of the capabilities in SOLIDWORKS, which I have updated and added to over the years. I have been aided in that process by the help of many readers who have suggested changes, provided additional files for testing, and more. I have done my best to cite their contributions where applicable.

Most recently, before this last round of benchmarks, I added a rebuild test with the help of Issac Roberts, an Aerospace Engineer. I was having trouble because our former rebuild file was taking only fractions of a second for a full rebuild in SW 2020, far too short to get any actionable data. Issac provided an artificially complex file that was built specifically to take a lot longer to rebuild - more so that most real world assemblies, but it worked well to give us more measurable times so that we can look at the behavior of different CPUs in this area.

The whole battery of tests was run multiple times on each CPU, with the fastest result (lowest time) used for this article. We didn't have any significant outlier results and saw very little variance between runs, so we opted for this method over an average of scores. The results are broken up into individual graphs below and followed by our analysis.

Results & Analysis

Here are galleries of the results from each part of our SOLIDWORKS testing. AMD Threadripper chips are shown in red with Ryzen in orange. Intel processors are blue, similarly with Core X models in a darker shade and the mainstream Core - including the new 10th Gen models - in a lighter color. Those new models also have a glow around them on the graphs to make them easy to spot.

SOLIDWORKS start up, file open / close, rebuild, and motion study performance

In this first set of data, we can see that the new Intel Core 10th Gen processors are quite fast when it comes to starting up SOLIDWORKS itself as well as opening and saving files. In all three of those scenarios they outperformed the previous 9th Gen models. The motion study test had all of the Intel processors we tested effectively tied, though, with only a 1.1 second spread.

That brings us to rebuild testing, and this deserves some explanation. Our previous test file for rebuild was only taking fractions of a second in SW 2020, so a reader (Issac Roberts) reached out to me to help provide a more complex assembly that was specifically tailored to increase rebuild time... and boy did it work! However, it uncovered something odd: the times that SW itself reported for rebuilding the assembly were drastically different from the actual time that the system was unresponsive while working on it. As such, I started recording both numbers - and have provided them here on separate charts. In both cases, AMD's processors were faster for rebuilding than the Intel chips we tested - but the difference in actual, real-world time was far smaller than the numbers which SW reports. Remember that getting to these results required extra work, though, and most files won't take anywhere near this long to rebuild.

Various SOLIDWORKS simulation tests

Simulations in SOLIDWORKS come in many varieties, and show equally varied performance across the CPUs we tested. Intel's new Core i9 10900K fared quite well here, though: it gave the fastest performance in our Stress, Thermal, and Airflow simulations. With larger, more complex projects in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation it no longer took top honors, but still performed very well for its price and matched or beat AMD chips in the same price range.

However, despite being in the same series, the Core i7 10700K did not fare well in most of our simulation tests. It did fine in the Stress test, but in all five of the others it placed near the back of the pack... sometimes even behind the previous-gen i7 9700K. I cannot explain why it performed so abysmally in these workloads, since it did so well (an in line with what I was expecting) in the previous section - but suffice it to say, if you are working with either SOLIDWORKS Simulation or Flow Simulation you'll want to avoid this model.

SOLIDWORKS PhotoView 360 rendering

CPU-based rendering tends to scale very well with core count, so PhotoView 360 is a place where high core count processors really shine. Because of that, the new 10th Gen Core processors do not come anywhere near rivaling AMD's monster Threadripper chips. Even at similar price points, the Ryzen models outperform everything Intel has to offer. If your primary pain point is waiting on PhotoView 360, it might be good to look at some of our rendering workstations rather than our SOLIDWORKS-optimized systems.

In the past we have sometimes looked at the CPU's impact on part and assembly manipulation, but that is primarily limited by the video card rather than the processor. For performance data on that, check out our recent SOLIDWORKS 2020 SP1 GPU performance article.

Are the new Intel Core 10th Gen processors good for SOLIDWORKS?

For general usage in SOLIDWORKS, yes: the new processors from Intel in this generation perform very well. The Intel Core i9 10900K in particular is an excellent choice, and will likely become our go-to processor for SOLIDWORKS modeling workstations.

However, it is worth noting that the Core i7 10700K has some limitations. It is far behind the 10900K and even older Core series processors in many simulation tests, so if that is something you do a lot of I would avoid that model. If you are working with complex projects in Flow Simulation, I would even consider an Intel Core i9 10980XE or AMD Threadripper 3960X / 3970X instead.

Looking for a SOLIDWORKS Workstation?

Puget Systems offers a range of poweful and reliable systems that are tailor-made for your unique workflow.

Configure a System!

Labs Consultation Service

Our Labs team is available to provide in-depth hardware recommendations based on your workflow.

Find Out More!
Tags: Dassault, Systemes, CPU, Processor, Performance, Intel, Core, i7, i9, Solidworks, AMD, AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen, AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen, Threadripper, Core X, Ryzen, Rendering, Intel 10th Gen
Alan SW

Thanks for the update very helpful to see how GHz vs cores is mapping out for various aspects of the software :) Definately something strange going on with the rebuild though at odds with all other results even things like file open that would typically require some rebuild. On paper the AMD gap vs Intel should be narrow but the single thread speed is still showing for everything but that rebuild test.

Is that just a single part rebuild where the amd show quicker? There are some expceptions but the vast majority of features should be more about GHz than number of cores, depends on the makeup of the file for instance a cut with many holes may be done In parallel to an extent but many other features cannot.

Other exceptions include in an assmebly rebuild if all parts are set to the same image quality then rebuild of that aspect can be multithreaded now however er that requires significant effort on the customer side for a large model to ensure it is set as such so is not too typical atleast yet. Drawings with many views can also be done in paralel to an extent with a sleeratr process

I concur that lately the performance evaluation isn't accurate though

I'd be interested to see what happens with some other models for instance what happens if you rebuild something like the carrier part model from the standard SOLIDWORKS benchmarking tool within install directory/SOLIDWORKS/sldbenchmarking/macro

I'm not a fan of the SW RX benchmarking tool it's not very consistent right now but the files came from the forum community originally so files are sound. Finding the puncholder model from there has an issue in the latest release also though.

Would also be good to see some benchmarks for visualize since photoview isn't really used that much anymore and hasn't been enhanced for a few releases. There is an official benchmark but hasn't been updated since rtx support was added
https://www.solidworks.com/...

Posted on 2020-06-27 11:33:45
Michael Grimm

Good information. Thank you for gathering it all.
It would be interesting to see a data refresh on the generational improvement from say the 6700k up through the 10900k.
Rough apples to apples, this could be around a 40% performance improvement with increases in core count and processor speeds.
It could serve as an upgrade justification for machines that are starting to show their age.

Posted on 2020-07-01 14:25:59