SolidWorks on X3100

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by wheelhot, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    #1
    Okay, I know that recently the MacBook get SantaRosa chips. So I was wondering, how fast will SolidWorks work on the new MacBook w/ X3100 graphic card and how much ram is recommended
     
  2. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #2
    it will work however what os are you using as this will be more important for the ram etc. Graphics don't play a major part in soldworks in my view, it will run on low powered chips but just seem a little slower on some things.
     
  3. wheelhot thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #3
    Since I hate Vista, mostlikely I'll be using Win XP. So I guess it should be okay. So which is better? 2GB or 4GB?

    And can someone explain to me why a 1+1GB Ram combo works better then a 2GB ram?
     
  4. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #4
    iirc bootcamp and virtualisation only gives 2GB of ram anyway so 2GB, 4GB is better if it can be fully used (especially when the graphics take it from there).

    1+!1 is better for bandwidth, you get dual channel which gives a performance boost.
     
  5. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #5
    I would not advise a Mac on Boot Camp for Solidworks, period, although the X3100 would likely work for simple projects. Generally I'd advise a genuine, quality portable workstation such as the Lenovo Thinkpad T/p's, Dell Precisions and HP w's (base models can be fairly affordable) as opposed to toys like the Macbook Pro.

    We use Thinkpads and Precisions - and we all have separate Macbook Pros.
     
  6. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

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    #6
    about the 2x1GB RAM combo v 1x2GB RAM solo....

    RAM is read in dual slots...so the processor will spend a fraction more time understanding there's only one slot.......but it's so minute it doesn't matter
     
  7. wheelhot thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Why Im not considering getting those? Cause it has a OS named Vista in it. Period.
     
  8. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #8
    Which - these days - works pretty well, and Solidworks has support for it now. Keep up. If you're working with an older version of SW, then opt for XP.
     
  9. Cloudane macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Can you get SolidWorks for OS X? Or do you just mean under Windows via Bootcamp?

    We went for very high end PC-based workstations where I work. Not my decision, but if it's for Windows anyway it's better off that way IMO. They were at least comparable with a Mac Pro (Xeons, SAS HDD etc).

    Vista has no place in a business setting right now. I'm using it at home with no problems, but I'd never use such a new and bleeding-edge OS for business. Thankfully most manufacturers let you downgrade. (The damage has already been done with its reputation amongst consumers unfortunately, and even if it's stable now I'm not sure its rep will ever recover)
     
  10. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Well considering solidworks is a bit picky when it comes to vista, xp is the best option for making sure it will work.

    However I disagree with the need for a workstation machine, solidworks does not require the same graphics power as a program such as 3ds max (I use both) and you will be fine with most 'home user' cards, I've used it on a geforce 5600 and some dodgy via laptop chip at one point so it can't be that much of a strain, iirc the x3100 should compare to the 5600 easily in performance.
    SW2008 seems to run fine in a windows xp virtual machine in vista64 and that lists the graphics as a viachrome something or other with 8meg - not exactly earth shattering performance but it works. And before anyone says that solidworks requires a workstation card because thats what they say in specs, it's only listed to make it seem more important than it is sort of thing. I have two identical rigs except for the graphics card, one has a workstation card and I see no real difference between the two machines in solidworks and thats with large number of parts in a file too.
     
  11. wheelhot thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #11
    Dats why Im goin for XP. I dont think there is a SW for Mac.

    Anyway thanks, at least I now can be assured that SW would work on the MacBook
     
  12. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #12
    Absolutely agree re: not much performance difference between consumer and workstation GPUs - but the reason you buy a workstation, mobile or fixed, extends beyond the GPU. These apps do hog significant amounts of CPU cycles and what you want - need - is a machine which is stable under high loads. The Macs are not as suitable in such instances - especially the 'consumer' Macs - than a machine that is designated as a workstation.

    I'd assume that if you're going to the trouble of buying Solidworks, you'd be spending a fair amount of time on it and would want it to work properly, all the time. Which is why I said you probably wouldn't want a toy like the Macs. You could get them sure, you could build yourself some crappy PC - but as some of the guys we take on have become very much aware, there is definitely something to be said for running job-critical apps on proper machines.
     
  13. wheelhot thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #13
    For me its sort of a no choice. Before Vista come out, I do consider some Windows based PC. But since Vista is practically the preinstalled OS in every major laptop manufacturer, I decided to drop the idea.

    My cause has a laptop that is much stronger then a MacBook but Vista still load slow, and hogs up the memory. I need to disable a few apps for him just to make it run faster but I cant imagine what happen when the harddisk is full of data.
     
  14. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #14
    Even if you buy into the remnants of the anti-Vista hype, it's perfectly possible to get professional laptops with XP. I don't know of any good machines which don't offer a choice.
     
  15. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Sesshi - solidworks only puts a full load on a system when its using photoworks (rendering), importing or one using of the other plugins. Its very rare (except on the ram) for solidworks to be fully utilising a system and besides a windows system is as stable as you make it - the same chassis with a workstation card is no more stable than one with a gamer card, the drivers can cause issues with both as can the rest of the os. I do agree that maybe it would be better to look at a windows machine - dell seem to have good 'workstation' options at reasonable prices and they do have the option of xp but the op might be better off looking at a cheap desktop machine as unless the op is buying an external monitor the laptop is kind of lacking in screen real estate which really does help with cad programs.
     
  16. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #16
    Obviously it involves variables - OP's budget, etc. I don't know what you do and in what types of environments you work work in, but machines which are capable of working continuously in high temperatures high-CPU-usage scenarios have definitely proven more useful for us in CAD/CAM duties. But we aren't talking desktop workstations here.

    One of the reasons why I mentioned buying a proper mobile workstation - apart from the fact that these are also engineered for harsher usage, is that you can get fairly densely packed pixels on some, with machines like the Dell Precision M4300 offering even 1900 x 1200 on a 15" screen which can aid viewing (as long as your eyesight is up to it - I can't actually recommend WUXGA on 15")

    I also mentioned they can be quite affordable. Compare the two - before further discounts, ~$1800 gets you a 2Ghz / 2Gb Santa Rosa Dell Precision M4300 with a tough, well-cooled all-magnesium bathtub shell (a shell, not an uber-bendy skin as on the Macbook Pro), including a Quadro FX360M, 1600 x 1020 WSXGA+ screen on a 15" display, 160Gb 7200RPM HDD and a 3-year, next-business-day onsite warranty.
    With Apple, the same money gets you a 2Ghz Santa Rosa Macbook with a variable-quality polycarbonate shell that concedes somewhat more to style than cooling / functional efficiency, GMA graphics, 1200 x 800 screen, 160Gb 5400RPM HDD and a 3-year, mail/carry-in warranty which has usually a minimum turnaround of a week. In my Macbook experience last year it always took two weeks at least, and it's been within a week only a couple of times on the MBP.

    Granted, the Macbook is around 600g lighter but even if you leave out the fact that the Precision is engineered far better to take a beating (both physically and in terms of load) than the Macbook, which would you honestly choose for Solidworks and related duties on the move?
     
  17. wheelhot thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #17
    Oh well, guess I should also add that I would be playing some normal games with it. (CnC, Warcraft and etc). I checked the M4300. Burn CD. Everything is good it seems and thank god they offer XP.

    How good is a Quadro FX360M? it says it comes with OpenGL Workstation graphics.

    And whats the deal bout a Quadro and a GeForce? Aint all graphic purpose is the same? to render 3D graphics?
     
  18. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #18
    well a quadro is probably better than a x3100 at games anyway. The quadro is based around the geforce core but has been optimised for cad aplications. 3D apps require a different type of rendering to a game.

    Sesshi - the reason I was saying my reasoning is more due to the fact that as the op is on a mac forum I would assume they want to use os-x at some point and due to sj and co not thinking outside the general consumer market for laptops there are no workstation options in a macbook/pro.
     
  19. wheelhot thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #19
    Well you got it right. The only reason why I want a mac is cuz of Mac OS X, then I wouldn't need to worry bout virus or spyware when surfing the net. Darn there is no mobile workstation mac.

    Oh yeah is there any limitations in using GeForce card for 3D Designing purposes?
     
  20. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Generally slower (refresh of screen models) in 3d programs compared with quadro/firegl. Will probably lose a few of the extra touches with the displays but nothing to serious. Actual render times will be pretty much the same with either.

    If you're going to be doing heavy 3d work then I would say get the workstation card, if its lightweight occasional go for the geforce.
     
  21. wheelhot thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #21
    Hmmm...guess a X3100 wont make the cut. I wonder which is better? A GeForce FX 5200 or X3100. My current comp is running a 5 year old FX 5200 and it can run solid work, juz slower ( i think its the ram) and now I dont think I can run it anymore since my PC is super slow (something problem)
     
  22. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #22
    well reinstall windows on the desktop machine - however if you're struggling with solidworks I would say its most likely lack of ram not the speed of ram which is an issue.
     
  23. wheelhot thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #23
    yeah, I guess lack of ram, my comp has only 512MB of ram
     
  24. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #24
    yep thats the issue, 2GB is the minimum I would recommend for solidworks
     
  25. wheelhot thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #25
    Well guess I solved my PC slow issue. I checked everything. No virus, ventilation is okay and hard disk space okay and registry is free of issues. Its speed is much better now. No need to replace my desktop so I guess I can do my Solid Works on my PC (just need to upgrade RAM, but I dont think its worth it since my RAM is the older version, not DDR2). So now I can use my future MacBook for future college stuffs
     

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