On June 22nd I attended the SolidWorks usergroup meeting where one of the subjects was “performance”. The host reviewed an interesting test performed in the US of A. (http://blog.cati.com/2011/03/maximizing-solidworks-performance-results.html).
After the review an interesting discussion went on about the significance of these results. What struck me the most is that roughly half of the most significant impact is not related to more memory, multiple cores, solid state drives or any other state-of-the art hardware. No, still half of the influence comes from the way we USE the software. A lot can be gained in setting the right options, keep your guidelines in assembly structure and work along smart procedures. This only confirms our experience in the field where sometimes we can prove a 5-fold or more speed improvement (loading, saving and rebuild) if we can restructure assemblies according to our best practices.
Let me be clear: Hardware is important. 2 or 4 cores make a difference in some tasks, 12 GB is better than 4GB RAM, the graphics board should be of a minimum specification etc., but… it’s good to know that half the performance still comes from our most important hardware, our brain.