Workstation advice.

We are looking at putting together a higher end workstation for working with SolidWorks and COSMOS. I am wondering on a couple of things:

Is there any improvement from 32bit to 64bit? Any advantage of dual core processing? Dual Processor? Workstation card vs high end gamer card?

Sorry if these quesitons seem obvious but I am not a user of SolidWorks, just the one qouting the systems. I would just like to know areas to target improvement rather than just upgrading something that wont help.

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If you have large files and run into memory issues, then 64 bit theoretically should help. I don't have any real experience to back that up.

SolidWorks itself doesn't get much use out of multiple cores or processors, although it does get a little. PhotoWorks will use multiple cores or processors and speed up quite a bit. Having another core or processor to run other applications while SolidWorks is tying up one is nice.

You can often get adequate performance out of a good game card, provided you don't have too many windows open at once. That might or might not be a big hit for your people. Your VAR will blame any problems on the game card, whereas they are liable to be more responsive if you have an approved card and drivers.

Faster processors always help. Personally, I find middle of the pack workstation graphics cards to be good enough, with very little gain from the high end cards, but other people swear by their very expensive cards. Faster memory is good. Faster disk drives are nice too, but how much they help depends on your work style.

In all cases, my own bias is to aim a couple of notches below the newest and fastest, where the bang for my buck has a sweet spot.

Jerry Steiger Tripod Data Systems "take the garbage out, dear"

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Jerry Steiger

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