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Laptop recommendation

Laptop recommendation

I always thought multi-threaded processing was a logical limitation of ProE (pardon me... Creo Parametric Two-Point-Oh). How can feature 1297 regenerate before feature 1296? Yes, other modeling functions take advantage of the extra processor cores, but (and correct me if I'm wrong) the longest wait times most often occur from simple model regeneration.

And if this is true, then the fastest individual core processor is the Holy Grail of the modeling community since everything is going slower speed multi-core/multi-threaded.

Does anyone know if other CAD programs such as Solidworks or Catia are limited in this way?

-Ter

Laptop recommendation

I haven't come across many processor-intensive applications that properly multi-thread - I'd be interested to know of ones which do. Are there even many games which fully utilise more than a couple of cores?

Mechanica will use all the available cores for a percentage of some analysis types, and I'm guessing that various other specialised analysis codes probably do. I gather that image processing can produce multiple threads, though I don't know whether that's on a single image, or many.

I know enough about programming to appreciate that it's difficult, but I think programmers are going to have to get creative. For instance, using PESC's model tree structure, perhaps the software could first identify independent 'branches' and then regenerate each one in a separate thread...

It would also be nice if each window ran in a separate thread so that if one is busy imported a 150 MB Parasolid file (just for example!), you can continue working on another model with the same licence... but that's a different argument. 😉

Jonathan

Laptop recommendation

Image processing does use multiple cores. In the past you could see that it broke the image up into squares and filled them in as each one finished processing.

I haven't done any hi-quality rendering in ages so I don't know if that's still true.

David Haigh

Laptop recommendation

Unigraphics, I mean NX, is also limited and has very few functions that use multi-processors. Drafting regeneration is one area where NX does on the modeling side. On the manufacturing side, they do take advantage of multiple processors when calculating a tool path. The FEA routines are also multiprocessor threaded since the code is based on Nastran. There is some work being done with the Parasolid kernel which will benefit NX as well as SolidEdge and SolidWorks.

I would take a faster single core machine for CAD over a slower multicore one any day. Even a box with 2 single core processors will yield better performance than a single quadcore chip.

Laptop recommendation

This has been an interesting thread, and I have come up with a few observations and comments.

Lets start with programs that use multi cores and beyond. CFD when it was Blue Ridge Numerics had a purchasable option (distributed computing I thing) which used multi computers in an array to solve faster plus when on a single computer it would use all cores equally. I would like to see data on how fast it was if you were to use their distributed computing option. From what I remember it was very expensive, but if you could steal one or two cores from every computer on your companies network how cool would that be. It should be nearly a linier scale speed increase for every CPU added to the array solving the problem.

No why PTC has not pushed harder into multi threading I do not know. This is something they should prioritize in my eyes. But honestly is it really needed? For long computations I say yes, but for everyday design not really.

Over the last 25 years of using the software on faster and faster hardware I do not feel that there is the 5-10X or more speed improvements that the hardware has made. Speed improvement is very subjection able in the design arena. If we have seen speed increased, we are wasting that gain in additional spinning or somthing (surfing...shhhh). Here is my validation of that. Sometime way back in 1993 ish, I was doing a proe vs CDRS vs Alias 3D modeling design benchmark. During our first day I was trucking along modeling like mad and had more than 4 hours of work complete and of course did not save once, when Pro/E crashed. I thought I was doomed but a quick edit to the trail file and after a 20 min run watching every thing I just did for 4 hours I was back in business. I saved right away and only lost 20 min. So todays computers are faster but it would still take the 4 hours to do the actual work, and the trail file would run in maybe 5 minutes or less now, but where is the real speed gains 4 hours to do the work is still 4 hours no matter how fast the computer.

So more cores, faster processors, more ram, blah blah blah it doesn't matter. What you should most consider is reliability because your job depends on it. Having a super fast multi core processor will not make you design faster it will only make switching programs and some other things feel better. Having a computer that runs everyday all day for 5 or more years at a time is a better solution.

I have recently been experimenting with speed based upon the 3D printer explosion. Preparing an STL file for build on a home 3D printer takes a fair amount of time. From 5 - 60 minutes on my dual core laptop. Same files on my 8 core desktop range from 1-15 min. This is substantial improvement and the only thing my desktop has over my laptop is more cores so yes it seems the slicing software that turns STL files into gcode is either taking advantage of the extra cores or the additional 2 Gig of ram my desktop has. My point being is choose the machine to fit your software's purposes. Fast in one area does not mean fast in another.

Ron

Laptop recommendation

Today i did a structural analysis using 32 cores on 4 'nodes' connected
by glassfibre (using Abaqus FEA software). It scales almost linearly
with the number of cores, as long as your network is quick enough. At
the same time a colleague of mine was doing a CFD calculation using 120
cores on 15 nodes... for CFD calculations you can never have too much
CPU power.

It may be too much too ask for all software designers to rearrange
their software completely. Hopefully some smart kid will come and create
a tool that will compile software to use multiple cores automatically.
Which is probably even more difficult to do, but since there is a huge
market for it and high demand, who knows?

If they do pull it off, we can go to real-time modeling. No more
waiting for regenerations on that big casting model, but seeing changes
happen real-time 🙂

Best regards,
Patrick Asselman

Highlighted

Laptop recommendation

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Users,
Well, my old desktop workstation finally bit the dust, so I need a new system. I'm looking for laptop workstation recommendations that are good Wildfire/CREO performers (as well as SW). I'm self employed and don't have a huge budget to work from, so top-of-the-line is probably out of my range. I'm looking for a 64 bit, 17" laptop workstation. Please give your recommendations for Mfr., model, processor, especially STABLE graphics cards. Also ideas of things/brands to avoid would be helpful as well.
Thanks!
Jeff
--Jeff Sampson -

Laptop recommendation

We have a few Dell M6800 workstations with 2.8 Ghz i7 processors (mine has an i7-4900MQ, not sure if they all do), 16GB of memory, a 230 GB SSD and Nvidia K3100M graphics. I’m running Nvidia driver 340.66 which has been pretty good. I’ve also got twin Dell U2414H monitors and it handles all 3 screens just fine, except for an annoying screen flicker whenever I start up any CAD application.

Not cheap, but rock solid and pretty fast running WF4 through Creo 2 as well as SW 2013 and up.

--
--
Doug Schaefer | Engineering Manager
Crow Works

Laptop recommendation

Jeff,

Being the hardware geek that I am, I have done a lot of research on many
different models... so my top 3 would be Dell, Sager, and Lenovo.
However, 90% of the time if my customer is looking for a mobile
workstation, we go with Dell. It's hard to beat their professional
"Precision" model of workstation.

I personally have a "roadrunner" machine that I use when on-site for client
reviews or concepting purposes. Its not my daily user, but once a week or
so it gets a pretty good workout. Here is the specs:

Dell Precision M6600 17"
Win7 Pro - 64-bit
i7-2760QM @2.4Ghz
Quadro 3000M (1920 X 1080)
16GB RAM 256GB SSD
9Cell Battery
Purchased in April of 2012

I still get positive comments from clients about the M6600 performance
compared to their in-house machines. This machine is Rock Solid and I'm
completely happy with it for how I need to use it. The only complaint I
would have is the battery doesn't last as long as it used to... (after
about 1.5Hrs I need to plug it in.) Then again, it is almost 3 years
old...

Good Luck
Bernie

Bernie Gruman
Owner / Designer / Builder
www.GrumanCreations.com


On Mon, Feb 9, 2015 at 9:59 AM, Jeff Sampson <->
wrote:

>
> Users,
>
> Well, my old desktop workstation finally bit the dust, so I need a new
> system. I'm looking for laptop workstation recommendations that are good
> Wildfire/CREO performers (as well as SW). I'm self employed and don't have
> a huge budget to work from, so top-of-the-line is probably out of my
> range. I'm looking for a 64 bit, 17" laptop workstation. Please give your
> recommendations for Mfr., model, processor, especially STABLE graphics
> cards. Also ideas of things/brands to avoid would be helpful as well.
>
> Thanks!
>
> Jeff
>
> --
> Jeff Sampson Engineering
> -
>

Laptop recommendation

Jeff - I second what Bernie said. I have nearly the same machine and it has served me very well for the last three years. My 3 yr. on site warranty just expired - I will probably replace it on the next several months.



I have had good experiences with the Dell refurb (Outlet) store. I recommend budgeting for and getting the on site coverage - I have used it several times over the years and was glad to have spent the $200 extra for it.



I also echo Doug's preference of an SSD for the main drive. It is not only fast, but seems to keep its speed over the life of a Windows install for longer than a spinner drive. And the 17" Dell Precisions have an extra bay - so I have a 750 Gb spinner in there for a redundant working backup and other data...



Mmm... new computer... You got me thinking now.



-Nate