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Archive for the ‘Windows’ Category

Speed Up Civil 3D with a 64-bit Operating System, Part 1: The Benefits

September 1, 2011 6 comments

Windows 7 64-bit Operating System for Civil 3DI am going to make this THE shortest and easiest tech blog post you’ve ever read: Go install Windows 7 64-bit on your Civil 3D workstation. Now!

The end.

Like the idea, but need a bit more information? Good. No one likes a sheep unless you need a sweater or are making kabobs. Let’s look at some reasons why Win7 64-bit is the way to go if you are doing some serious Civil 3D work.

Value

We can separate the big boys from the posers with one question: Do you want to get as much value as possible from your workstation investment? If the answer is yes, then you have to take a serious look at Win7 64-bit. Civil 3D workstations are capable of some amazing things with new releases of software becoming more and more powerful. But if you want those point clouds and massive topo surfaces to render as quickly as possible, you need to give your workstation room to work. That means bringing as much RAM to the table as possible.

Old-fashioned 32-bit systems (even Win7 32-bit) have a measly 4GB maximum of possible RAM and only a little of 3GB of that will be available to Civil 3D! This creates a processing bottleneck that will slow down your system and make you wonder why you even upgraded your Civil 3D. Modern 64-bit systems operate with a MINIMUM 4GB requirement and go upwards of 128GB and more, depending on your OS choice! The processing difference between 4GB on 32-bit and, say, 16GB on 64-bit is like night and day. This will give you more value from the same hardware investment.

Heavy Lifting

Each new release of Civil 3D and most CAD applications bring new and improved capabilities. From grater surface detail to larger and larger point clouds, all of these features are welcome with open arms by users. But these great new features also bring more processing overhead to CAD workstations that may already struggling. Older systems running 32-bit operating systems will show their age as these new features require greater amounts of memory, faster processing and longer rendering times.

By contrast, CAD workstations sporting modern 64-bit operating systems are ready for these challenges. As mentioned before, a 64-bit operating systems is nearly limitless in the amount of RAM it can apply to complicated tasks. But in addition to raw RAM, a 64-bit operating system using RAM more efficiently in its memory allocation and computational processing. This means that meg for meg, a 64-bit workstation manages its processor and RAM more efficiently than its older 32-bit counterpart!

Wait, there’s more. Upgrading to a 64-bit operating system affects your non-CAD tasks as well. We’ll talk about that topic next time!

Author: Curt Moreno

TwitterChat Archive: SolidWorks Optimization with Josh Mings, SolidSmack

August 1, 2011 Leave a comment

SolidWorks Optimization with Josh Mings

by cadalyst_mag

Dell- and Cadalyst-Sponsored TwitterChat abput optimizing your system for SolidWorks.
RT @DellEnterprise: Live #CAD chat! Join Dell, @Cadalyst_Mag, & @SolidSmack at #DellCAD, Thursday 4pm East. Info- http://del.ly/6019Rzi5

Robinson11976


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July 28, 2011

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RT @Cadalyst_Mag: Using #SolidWorks? Join our @SolidSmack TwitterChat today 3pm CST #dellcad http://t.co/3juQzy1

SolidSmack


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July 28, 2011

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RT @SolidSmack: RT @Cadalyst_Mag: Using #SolidWorks? Join our @SolidSmack TwitterChat today 3pm CST #dellcad http://t.co/3juQzy1

bcbenton


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July 28, 2011

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Do you use SolidWorks? Join our chat with @SolidSmack & @Cadalyst_Mag that starts –in just 3 hours– using #DellCAD http://del.ly/6012RzUe

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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RT @DellSMBnews: Do you use SolidWorks? Join our chat with @SolidSmack & @Cadalyst_Mag that starts –in just 3 hours– using #DellCAD http://del.ly/6012RzUe

DanitaBlackwood


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July 28, 2011

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RT @DellSMBnews: Join us, @SolidSmack and @Cadalyst_Mag TODAY at 3pm Central for a TwitterChat on #SolidWorks. Hastag = #DellCAD http://del.ly/6012Rzmu

LaurenatDell


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July 28, 2011

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RT @DellSMBnews: Join us, @SolidSmack and @Cadalyst_Mag TODAY at 3pm Central for a TwitterChat on #SolidWorks. Hastag = #DellCAD http://del.ly/6012Rzmu

LPT


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July 28, 2011

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RT: Do you use SolidWorks? Join our chat with @SolidSmack & @Cadalyst_Mag that starts –in just 3 hours– using #DellCAD http://t.co/vY2U7gd

DellChannel


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July 28, 2011

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RT @DellSMBnews: Join us, @SolidSmack and @Cadalyst_Mag TODAY at 3pm Central for a TwitterChat on #SolidWorks. Hastag = #DellCAD http://del.ly/6012Rzmu

DellSmbUS


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July 28, 2011

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#DellCAD TwitterChat in 1 hour with @SolidSmack: Performance optimization with #SolidWorks. http://t.co/3juQzy1

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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30 min until our tweetchat w/ @SolidSmack & @Cadalyst_Mag to talk SolidWorks performance & workstations. #DellCAD http://del.ly/6011RzSt

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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RT @DellSMBnews: 30 min until our tweetchat w/ @SolidSmack & @Cadalyst_Mag to talk SolidWorks performance & workstations. #DellCAD http://del.ly/6011RzSt

digitalworldsam


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July 28, 2011

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20 minutes till @joshmings fills your tweet stream with sweet #SolidWorks Performance Q&A. Grab a ham and follow #DellCAD @Cadalyst_Mag

SolidSmack


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July 28, 2011

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Live Twitter chat on CAD starting now! See #DellCAD to join in the conversation.

DellEnterprise


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July 28, 2011

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#DellCAD TweetChat in 5 min with @SolidSmack. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s talk #SolidWorks. http://t.co/3juQzy1

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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Twitter chat with @solidsmack starting in 4 minutes. Shantanu Kedar from the SolidWorks Partner Team will be helping out on our end #DellCAD

SolidWorks


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July 28, 2011

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getting ready to hang with @joshmings to chat about SolidWorks performance and workstations – join #DellCAD (I’ll be there as @DellSMBnews)

LPT


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July 28, 2011

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RT: @DellEnterprise Live Twitter chat on CAD starting now! See #DellCAD to join in the conversation.

DellChannel


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July 28, 2011

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Welcome to the #DellCAD TwitterChat with @SolidSmack. We’re talking about #SolidWorks optimization right now.

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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I’m Michelle with @Cadalyst_Mag. Please use #DellCAD to follow along as we chat with Josh Mings of @SolidSmack about #SolidWorks.

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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One of Cadalyst’s favorite bloggers, Josh Mings @SolidSmack is ready for your questions. Use #DellCAD to ask a ?.

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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We’re excited to be partnering with @CADalyst_Mag and @SolidSmack today to talk workstations and SolidWorks performance at #DellCAD!

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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Want to optimize the gravy bits out of #SolidWorks on your workstation? Tell us your story at #DellCAD right about… now.

SolidSmack


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July 28, 2011

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Please introduce yourself at any time in the conversation by using the #DellCAD hashtag.

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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#DellCAD tweetchat starting now. Join the discussion about optimizing your workstation performance for #SolidWorks

LaurenatDell


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July 28, 2011

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Remember to use #DellCAD in your tweets to join in the conversation about optimizing #SolidWorks.

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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My favorite way to optimize SolidWorks? Smart modeling practice – minimize external ref, reduce relations, complex features last #DellCAD

SolidSmack


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July 28, 2011

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checking out #DellCAD looking forward to what Josh has to say
John

waldenweb


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July 28, 2011

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RT @Cadalyst_Mag: I’m Michelle with @Cadalyst_Mag. Please use #DellCAD to follow along as we chat with Josh Mings of @SolidSmack about #SolidWorks.

bcbenton


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July 28, 2011

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RT @LaurenatDell: #DellCAD tweetchat starting now. Join the discussion about optimizing your workstation performance for #SolidWorks

bcbenton


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July 28, 2011

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@waldenweb nice to see ya John. How’s the SolidWorks performance these days? #DellCAD

SolidSmack


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July 28, 2011

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Jumping into TwitterChat now w/ @SolidSmack #DellCAD – I’m mostly a PDM/PLM guy, but Josh is 2 cool to miss and I’ve been a SWX fan for yrs

jonathanpscott


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July 28, 2011

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#SolidWorks optimization on the hardware side? Maximize CPU speed. You’ll be glad you did. #DellCAD

SolidSmack


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July 28, 2011

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RT @jonathanpscott: Jumping into TwitterChat now w/ @SolidSmack #DellCAD – I’m mostly a PDM/PLM guy, but Josh is 2 cool to miss and I’ve been a SWX fan for yrs

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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RT @LaurenatDell: #DellCAD tweetchat starting now. Join the discussion about optimizing your workstation performance for #SolidWorks

CamilleATX


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July 28, 2011

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How do you optimize file colaboration with Solidworks? #DellCAD

bcbenton


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July 28, 2011

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RT @SolidSmack: #SolidWorks optimization on the hardware side? Maximize CPU speed. You’ll be glad you did. #DellCAD

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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#DellCAD: Josh, we’ve got a reader who needs to upgrade to run the latest #SolidWorks. What do you recommend?

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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RT @LPT: getting ready to hang with @joshmings to chat about SolidWorks performance and workstations – join #DellCAD

JohnEvansDesign


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July 28, 2011

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Running SW2010 on Windows 7 64bit with 8G Ram, working pretty well #DellCAD

waldenweb


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July 28, 2011

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If upgrading to SolidWorks 2011, go Windows 7 64bit, 6GB RAM minimum (It’s cheap!), 1GB graphics card is nice too. @Cadalyst_Mag #DellCAD

SolidSmack


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July 28, 2011

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Ooh, question about #SolidWorks file collaboration optimization on #DellCAD – now you’ve got my full attention!

jonathanpscott


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July 28, 2011

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RT @Cadalyst_Mag: #DellCAD: Josh, we’ve got a reader who needs to upgrade to run the latest #SolidWorks. What do you recommend?

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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RT @johnevansdesign: RT @LPT: getting ready to hang with @joshmings to chat about SolidWorks performance and workstations – join #DellCAD

bcbenton


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July 28, 2011

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RT @Cadalyst_Mag: One of Cadalyst’s favorite bloggers, Josh Mings @SolidSmack is ready for your questions. Use #DellCAD to ask a ?.

olegshilovitsky


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July 28, 2011

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@waldenweb – 8GB of RAM — worth it, you think? I believe the more RAM, the better. #DellCAD

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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@bcbenton file collaboration: two ways – 1) work off network with established file name convention #DellCAD

SolidSmack


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July 28, 2011

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RT @SolidSmack: If upgrading to SolidWorks 2011, go Windows 7 64bit, 6GB RAM minimum (It’s cheap!), 1GB graphics card is nice too. @Cadalyst_Mag #DellCAD

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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@bcbenton file collaboration (cont) 2) invest in PDM system. sad but true with that. pricey but worth it for med to large company. #DellCAD

SolidSmack


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July 28, 2011

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On the @solidsmack tweet stream listening to @joshmings #SolidWorks performance Q&A #dellcad

olegshilovitsky


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July 28, 2011

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RT @SolidSmack: If upgrading to SolidWorks 2011, go Windows 7 64bit, 6GB RAM minimum (It’s cheap!), 1GB graphics card is nice too. @Cadalyst_Mag #DellCAD

Lanett78


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July 28, 2011

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@Cadalyst_Mag – your reader that is upgrading might find our workstation advisor tool helpful, too: http://del.ly/6011RztB #DellCAD

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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RT @JohnEvansDesign: RT @LPT: getting ready to hang with @joshmings to chat about SolidWorks performance and workstations – join #DellCAD

vzinkus


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July 28, 2011

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I like answer #2 to @bcbenton question on SWX file collaboration – use PDM if you can afford it. You get collab AND other benefits #DellCAD

jonathanpscott


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July 28, 2011

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Did you know Dell Precision workstations are specifically designed for professionals like those of you who use #SolidWorks? #DellCAD

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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@Cadalyst_Mag @waldenweb running one rig with 2 Processors and 24GB of RAM…. wooooow, worth it. #DellCAD

SolidSmack


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July 28, 2011

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lightweight components and large assembly mode will help with the optimization. #Dellcad

lazytrax


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July 28, 2011

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@jonathanpscott what are your thoughts on how PDM helps optimize SolidWorks and Workstation? #DellCAD

SolidSmack


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July 28, 2011

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I just drooled a little: @SolidSmack @waldenweb running one rig with 2 Processors and 24GB of RAM…. wooooow, worth it. #DellCAD

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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Questions about CAD hardware configurations? Ask a #Dell expert – @DellRonnie – on #DellCAD

LaurenatDell


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July 28, 2011

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true, and SpeedPacks! @lazytrax: lazytrax: lightweight components and large assembly mode will help with SolidWorks optimization. #Dellcad

SolidSmack


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July 28, 2011

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#DellCAD @SolidSmack One big way is thru view/search ability – non-PDM SWX users sometimes load everything into session just to find 1 part

jonathanpscott


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July 28, 2011

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@SolidSmack @bcbenton 1/file share or 2/PDM is pretty much all what available today mainstream for collaboration. #dellcad

olegshilovitsky


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July 28, 2011

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#DellCAD: We’ve got another reader who is new to #SolidWorks RealView. Any tips on hardware or software optimization?

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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#DellCAD @SolidSmack Another PDM plus is managing the 3D->2D link. SWX is OK on the 2D->3D direction. But can cost time to find drws from 3D

jonathanpscott


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July 28, 2011

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RT @dellsmbnews: @Cadalyst_Mag your reader that’s upgrading might find our workstation advisor tool helpful http://del.ly/6011RztB #DellCAD

bcbenton


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July 28, 2011

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RT @LaurenatDell: Questions about CAD hardware configurations? Ask a #Dell expert – @DellRonnie – on #DellCAD

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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Is anyone using/not using #SolidWorks RealView? Why or why not? #DellCAD

SolidSmack


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July 28, 2011

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RT @Cadalyst_Mag: One of Cadalyst’s favorite bloggers, Josh Mings @SolidSmack is ready for your questions. Use #DellCAD to ask a ?.

tonyisme


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July 28, 2011

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If there are any specific #Dell questions about CAD workstation configurations, let me know! #DellCAD

DellRonnie


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July 28, 2011

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unreal RT @Cadalyst_Mag: I just drooled a little: @SolidSmack @waldenweb running one rig with 2 Processors and 24GB of RAM.. #DellCAD

JohnEvansDesign


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July 28, 2011

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@Cadalyst_Mag One way to ensure a good RealView experience is to have a professional level graphics card. #DellCAD http://bit.ly/brRb6X

SolidWorks


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July 28, 2011

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#DellCAD @bcbenton One more collab tip for SWX is using “multi-user env” options – bad news is it doesn’t always play nice with PDM systems.

jonathanpscott


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July 28, 2011

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A SolidWorks certified GPU will help with RealView. Can view here… some req’ additional file http://bit.ly/oyunZT @Cadalyst_Mag #DellCAD

SolidSmack


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July 28, 2011

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@Cadalyst_Mag – speaking of drooling… here’s a fun workstation-related video for motorcycle fans joining #DellCAD http://del.ly/6013Rzt3

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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Introduce yourself at any time in the conversation by using the #DellCAD hashtag.

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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#Dellcad RealView feels distracting/unnecessary, not real. Zebra stripes w/surfaces and preview w/PW pretty much removes the need also

tonyisme


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July 28, 2011

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#Dellcad that should be: preview with PhotoView, PV, not PW

tonyisme


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July 28, 2011

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RT @bcbenton: RT @dellsmbnews: @Cadalyst_Mag your reader that’s upgrading might find our workstation advisor tool helpful http://del.ly/6011RztB #DellCAD

Kylee_Dell


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July 28, 2011

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RT @DellSMBnews: @Cadalyst_Mag – speaking of drooling… here’s a fun workstation-related video for motorcycle fans joining #DellCAD http://del.ly/6013Rzt3

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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@SolidWorks: Graphics cards! Such a hot topic on #CADspeed. Great link: http://t.co/jy0baxR #DellCAD

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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def for heavy surface modeling! @tonyisme: Zebra stripes w/surfaces and preview w/PW pretty much removes the need for RealView #Dellcad

SolidSmack


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July 28, 2011

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RT @DellSMBnews: Did you know Dell Precision workstations are specifically designed for professionals like those of you who use #SolidWorks? #DellCAD

cadesigntek


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July 28, 2011

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RT @LaurenatDell: Questions about CAD hardware configurations? Ask a #Dell expert – @DellRonnie – on #DellCAD

cadesigntek


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July 28, 2011

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Questions about CAD hardware configurations? Ask a #Dell expert – @DellRonnie – on #DellCAD #dellcad

Kylee_Dell


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July 28, 2011

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and not to leave F1 fans in #DellCAD out, we’ve also got video of Dell workstations helping Cosworth build engines: http://del.ly/6016Rztu

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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#DellCAD Anybody using Solid State Drives to help their #SolidWorks performance? Made a huge difference on my laptop!

jonathanpscott


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July 28, 2011

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#DellCAD If you missed Josh’s blog on #CADspeed: Optimize #SolidWorks & be a happier user – http://t.co/BJ1A8MC

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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RT @SolidSmack: Is anyone using/not using #SolidWorks RealView? Why or why not? #DellCAD

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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Do you have a dedicated computer just for #SolidWorks? or do you run everything on one? #DellCAD

SolidSmack


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July 28, 2011

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Another hot topic – opinions? @jonathanpscott: #DellCAD Anybody using Solid State Drives to help their #SolidWorks performance?

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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Dell Precision certified Workstations are optimized for #Solidworks. Check out our latest workstations: http://t.co/YylUTNW #DellCAD

DellRonnie


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July 28, 2011

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@solidsmack I run SWX alongside all my other apps – but then again, I am a PDM guy… #DellCAD

jonathanpscott


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July 28, 2011

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RT @Cadalyst_Mag: #DellCAD If you missed Josh’s blog on #CADspeed: Optimize #SolidWorks & be a happier user – http://t.co/BJ1A8MC

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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Have you checked out the CADspeed blog yet http://cadspeed.wordpress.com #dellcad

Kylee_Dell


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July 28, 2011

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@jonathanpscott #Dellcad ssd impr. file loading a lot. Not much to gain on modeling or sim performance though. The CPU still needs to chew

tonyisme


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July 28, 2011

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RT @jonathanpscott: #DellCAD Anybody using Solid State Drives to help their #SolidWorks performance? Made a huge difference on my laptop!

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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@jonathanpscott exactly! you are running SolidWorks (btw me too), but actually not using it (lol) @solidsmack #dellcad

olegshilovitsky


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July 28, 2011

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@olegshilovitsky #DellCAD Oleg – you are right about that! LOL I rarely model much more than a plate. :)

jonathanpscott


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July 28, 2011

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@Cadalyst_Mag @jonathanpscott @solidsmack I’m using SSD. Not only for Solidworks. It helps a lot for performance. #dellcad

olegshilovitsky


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July 28, 2011

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@cadcompany : Questions about CAD hardware configurations? Ask a #Dell expert – @DellRonnie – on #DellCAD

PattyGroenland


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July 28, 2011

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Follow a workstation guru > RT @DellRonnie: Dell Precision certified Workstations are optimized for #Solidworks. dell.com/precision #DellCAD

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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RT @olegshilovitsky: @Cadalyst_Mag @jonathanpscott @solidsmack I’m using SSD. Not only for Solidworks. It helps a lot for performance. #dellcad

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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SSD and SATA combination environment is a good way to optimize speed and storage. SSD’s getting cheaper. @tonyisme @jonathanpscott #DellCAD

SolidSmack


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July 28, 2011

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@DellRonnie: Any advice on switching to SSD? #DellCAD

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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RT @SolidSmack: SSD and SATA combination environment is a good way to optimize speed and storage. SSD’s getting cheaper. @tonyisme @jonathanpscott #DellCAD

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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RT @Kylee_Dell: Have you checked out the CADspeed blog yet http://cadspeed.wordpress.com #dellcad

LaurenatDell


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July 28, 2011

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#DellCAD Not all SSDs are created equally – remember to check the specs. Its like the difference between 4200 RPM drives and 10k RPM drives.

jonathanpscott


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July 28, 2011

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@SolidSmack @jonathanpscott #Dellcad SSD for system disk & SATA for storage/simulation dumping ground <- would be my ideal combo

tonyisme


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July 28, 2011

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@tonyisme Sounds like a good combo. #DellCAD @DellRonnie – are there Precisions that have multiple HDD config options?

jonathanpscott


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July 28, 2011

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RT @jonathanpscott: #DellCAD Not all SSDs are created equally – check the specs. Its like the diff between 4200 RPM and 10k RPM drives.

SolidSmack


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July 28, 2011

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RT @jonathanpscott: #DellCAD Anybody using Solid State Drives to help their #SolidWorks performance? Made a huge difference on my laptop!

Lanett78


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July 28, 2011

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In case any #DellCAD tweeters need a new workstation quick, 17’’ Precision M6600 w/LCD touch screen now Ships Fast http://del.ly/6014Rztk

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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@jonathanpscott @tonyisme Yes! All of our Precision workstations support multiple HDD configs with RAID options #DellCAD

DellRonnie


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July 28, 2011

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This #DellCAD TwitterChat is sponsored by #Dell. Thanks to @DellSMBNews for their support!

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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@SolidSmack: Is anyone using #SolidWorks RealView? Not often – hurts my eyes when doing detail work #DellCAD

cambridgedesign


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July 28, 2011

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Thanks also to @AMD_Unprocessed for its support for #DellCAD TwitterChat and the #CADspeed blog.

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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Special thanks to one of our favorite bloggers, Josh Mings @SolidSmack for a great #DellCAD TwitterChat.

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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#DellCAD: @solidworks Thanks to the #SolidWorks team for their support!

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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@DellSMBnews you need to remove the insanely annoying floating “wanna chat” box. Seriously #Dellcad #offtopic

tonyisme


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July 28, 2011

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A full transcript will be available after the TwitterChat. Watch for #DellCAD or follow @Cadalyst_Mag for the link.

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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@Cadalyst_Mag – you’re very welcome. And thanks to you, @SolidSmack and everyone else who joined us for #DellCAD today!

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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The #DellCAD TwitterChat is officially closed. Please feel free to keep chatting amongst yourselves. Thanks to all for participating!

Cadalyst_Mag


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July 28, 2011

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RT @Cadalyst_Mag: A full transcript will be available after the TwitterChat. Watch for #DellCAD or follow @Cadalyst_Mag for the link.

olegshilovitsky


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July 28, 2011

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#DellCAD Thanks, Josh (@SolidSmack). Good TwitterChat.

jonathanpscott


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July 28, 2011

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@Cadalyst_Mag great initiative! #Dellcad

tonyisme


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July 28, 2011

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learned about tweet chat made by #dellcad and @solidsmack. maybe we need to have one about #PLM?

olegshilovitsky


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July 28, 2011

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Also, check out the #SolidWorks performance article here on the CADSpeed blog http://bit.ly/papOs0 #DellCAD

SolidSmack


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July 28, 2011

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Thanks @solidsmack @cadalyst_mag @DellSMBNews for a nice TwitterChat today #DellCAD

razorleaf


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July 28, 2011

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While today’s #DellCAD tweetchat has officially ended the conversation doesn’t have to stop! Continue to use the hashtag, follow @DellRonnie

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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RT @SolidSmack: Also, check out the #SolidWorks performance article here on the CADSpeed blog http://bit.ly/papOs0 #DellCAD

JohnEvansDesign


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July 28, 2011

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Also > RT @SolidSmack: [...] wondering about SolidWorks/Workstation performance email josh@solidsmack.com or stop by solidsmack.com #DellCAD

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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And > RT @Cadalyst_Mag: A full transcript will be available after the TwitterChat. Watch for #DellCAD or follow @Cadalyst_Mag for the link.

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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@razorleaf – you’re very welcome! thank you for joining #DellCAD ~LPT

DellSMBnews


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July 28, 2011

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RT @DellSMBnews: In case any #DellCAD tweeters need a new workstation quick, 17’’ Precision M6600 w/LCD touch screen now Ships Fast http://del.ly/6014Rztk

DellChannel


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July 28, 2011

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RT @DellSMBnews: In case any #DellCAD tweeters need a new workstation quick, 17’’ Precision M6600 w/LCD touch screen now Ships Fast http://del.ly/6014Rztk

adaptivecorp


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July 28, 2011

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RT @DellEnterprise: Live Twitter chat on CAD starting now! See #DellCAD to join in the conversation.

mandheer


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July 28, 2011

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Optimize AutoCAD Civil 3D Performance: Hardware, Operating System and Workflow Upgrades

July 25, 2011 2 comments

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2012Many AutoCAD Civil 3D users are aware that upgrading to a 64-bit operating system, preferably Windows 7 and Windows Vista (in that order), will give the biggest return on investment when looking at improving performance.  Other opportunities to improve performance also exist.

One is multiple or multi-core processors.  For the most part, AutoCAD Civil 3D runs as a single process, which means it will not utilize more than one processor, even if they are available.  The exception to this is rendering, where multiple or multi-core processors can result in as much as a 250% decrease in render time.  Though Civil 3D does not take advantage of multi-core processing, having multiple processors can still be beneficial since it enables you to run processes, such as anti-virus and firewall software, as well as other applications—such as Outlook—on separate processors and provide a more dedicated processor for AutoCAD Civil 3D. If you are a user who multitasks throughout the day and runs several applications at the same time, you may see added benefits in multiple or multi-core processors.

When contemplating hard drives, you should consider the data transfer rate.  Faster data transfer rates will help decrease the time it takes to open Civil 3D, as well as load and save drawings that are stored locally.  In addition, a faster transfer rate can increase performance when utilizing the hard drive for virtual memory, especially with 32-bit operating systems.

Beyond hardware and operating system changes, there are tactics you can implement to improve the performance of your day-to-day work in Civil 3D.  These include

  • Using code set styles with no fill or a solid fill. Stay away from hatch patterns.
  • Avoid using the option to grid clip profile views until producing construction documents.  When working with pipe networks, turn off hatching, pipe cleanup and masking until producing construction documents.  Using the option ‘Display as boundary’ is also optimal.
  • Use single-label components versus multiples.
  • When working with surfaces use 1) external point files versus COGO points, 2) surface snapshots when possible, and 3) Level of Detail (LOD) display
  • When working with corridors, turn off rebuild automatically and don’t display regions you aren’t working with. Additionally, create cross sections in a separate drawing.

This combination of operating system, hardware, and workflow adjustments can help to optimize your experience working with AutoCAD Civil 3D.

Authors: Karen Weiss, Transportation and Land Infrastructure Industry Marketing Manager, Autodesk; Jason Hickey, Senior Support Specialist, Autodesk

Avoid Common Mistakes When You Set Up Vectorworks

July 8, 2011 2 comments

With any design program, no matter how novice or experienced you may be, you’re probably prone to making the occasional error.  Start off the right way by checking the basic system recommendations before installing Vectorworks CAD software. System requirements can be found on the Nemetschek Vectorworks website. Also spend some time learning how you can optimize your desktop or workstation and get the most out of your Vectorworks experience.

With Vectorworks software, users at all levels have very likely made some common mistakes. All of them are related to settings and shortcuts that are intended to make design work faster and more enjoyable, but for the uninformed user these shortcuts can also cause some frustration. But fear not—they are all very easy to remedy.

Problems with Plug-Ins

Vectorworks is rich in plug-in objects, such as doors and windows, which help users efficiently place intelligent objects in their designs. However, if you’re not familiar with these plug-ins, you might find difficulty inserting doors and windows into your walls. This is because these objects have ‘modes’ which provide several additional controls when using the tools. If a door or window isn’t inserting, it may be because “Wall Insertion Mode” has been accidentally turned off, thus preventing you from inserting doors/windows into walls. It’s simple to fix. Just enable the Wall Insertion Mode by clicking on the icon in the mode bar.

Problems with Plug-Ins

Skittish Selection Tool

Have you ever run into a problem where you suddenly can’t use your selection tool to resize something? If you’re like most users, you probably have. Just like our first common mistake, this behavior is caused by accidentally enabling a mode in the mode bar. In this case, you have enabled the mode “Disable Interactive Scaling,” which means you’re no longer able to interactively re-size an object with the selection tool. Again, this has a simple fix. With the selection tool selected, simply click on the Disable Interactive Scaling button in the mode bar to turn it off.

<Skittish Selection Tool

Cursor Cue Concerns

Keyboard shortcuts can be a very wonderful thing. Once you learn them, they save you time and dramatically improve your drafting/modeling efficiency. But, as helpful as they can be, these shortcuts can sometimes lead to errors. For example, you may have experienced suddenly losing all your SmartCursor Cues (visual screen hints that appear when hovering over specific points of objects, such as endpoint, center, midpoint, etc.). The cause of this sudden loss of cues is quite simple. You’ve likely accidentally hit the “Y” key, which has disabled your cursor cues. The quick fix for this? Hit the “Y” key again.

Cursor Cue Concerns

I hope these tips will help you avoid some of the common mistakes users make and allow you to maximize your efficiency when working with Vectorworks. For more Tech Tips, please visit the Vectorworks YouTube Channel.

Author: Juan Almansa, Product Support Manager, Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc.

A CAD Manager’s Guide to Hardware Upgrades, Part 2

June 21, 2011 5 comments

The first post in this series discussed upgrade procedures under various organizational structures. Now, we dive into prioritizing upgrades. One thing is certain: as long as CAD software increases in power there will always be a need for upgrading and replacing CAD workstations.

Hardware Upgrades for CAD ManagersUpgrades Based on Workload

While some companies have a policy of replacing all of the CAD workstations simultaneously, others provide workstations based on workload. “Typically I have prioritized computer upgrades in offices in a method similar to a nurse’s triage at a hospital,” Chris Currie wrote in the Cadalyst LinkedIn group.

Currie’s practice is certainly not unusual in the CAD world. With any one office participating in several disciplines or practices, it is very common for users in the same office or department to have differing needs. That is to say that the entry level CAD professional may not be doing the more complex, intense work of a senior employee.

Reusing Hardware Based on Functionality

Often companies seek cost savings in the area of hardware by moving workstations down. Drafters performing complex work may receive new workstations while more junior drafters receive the workstation being replaced. In effect, everyone gets a “newer,” more powerful workstation while providing a cost savings to the company.

Standardizing the Process

CAD software becoming increasingly powerful each year and the need for upgraded hardware does not look to end any time soon. It would help any CAD manager to standardize the process for upgrades to make the process less difficult. Take the lessons learned from this year’s hardware upgrade and document them to help you during future upgrades.

Whether your hardware upgrade procedure is well defined or a haphazard per event trial, leave us a comment below and tell us about it. CADspeed would love to hear from you whatever your process for requesting and providing new hardware may be.

Author: Curt Moreno

A CAD Manager’s Guide to Hardware Upgrades, Part 1

June 16, 2011 1 comment

Previously on CADspeed, we’ve talked about upgrading CAD hardware from the IT perspective. Now let’s talk about the same subject, but from the perspective of the CAD manager’s desk.

It is that time of the year again when summer is in full effect and the fiscal year is well under way. The new releases of your favorite software programs are starting to roll in and you cannot wait to get them all installed. But, are you sure that your hardware is up to the task of all that new software? Will your current workstation have enough RAM? Will that old video card be enough to create the shiny 3D images on the developer’s website? As the CAD manager, these are all things that need consideration. So, exactly how do you go about the process of deciding what hardware needs to be replaced, who gets new workstations and what do you do with the old hardware?

The Responsibilities of IT Personnel vs. CAD Managers

We discussed hardware upgrades with several CAD professionals in the LinkedIn Cadalyst group to learn about their upgrade procedures. Some participants said their company has a dedicated IT professional who steps in to assist the CAD manager in hardware decisions. In some cases, the IT department had set schedule for hardware upgrades and cycling out workstations.

In other cases, IT would fulfill upgrade requests on an “as needed” basis. While this can be a real time saver for the CAD manager, it can easily turn into a difficult time sink. Difficulties can arise when IT does not fully understand the needs of the CAD department or its software.

Convincing the Decision Makers

One CAD manager said that his IT department did not fully understand the needs of modern CAD software. “I have a constant uphill struggle to convince the [IT] policy makers that CAD and GIS stations exist in much more demanding environment.” This type of situation results in hours and hours of research for CAD managers. Time is spent visiting developer and hardware maker websites and collecting data to convince the policy makers. All of which is needed because the IT department may have a standard, preapproved, specification for office computers. However, as most CAD professionals already know, the hardware needed to run Microsoft Word is very different from that needed to run GIS software. All too often, this situation resolves into an adversarial relationship between the CAD and IT departments.

On the other end of the spectrum is the CAD manager with little or no IT support. Whether or not there is a designated IT department in the company, these CAD managers are the main support for the CAD department. This creates a situation where the CAD manager has increased input on the need and specification for CAD hardware making for a Wild West tech situation. Of course, it is always nice to have more input on the hardware used every day, but this too can equate to a great deal of time and effort. In addition to researching and being aware of changing hardware needs, the CAD manager is now responsible for the success of that hardware and the reallocation of old hardware. That can be a good deal of unwanted pressure for any CAD manager.

Finally, somewhere between the above situations, is the mix of IT support and CAD manager input. This is probably the most common situation found in engineering and architecture offices everywhere. CAD managers and IT work together to create a specification that will suit the particular workflow. While IT may be key to acquiring, assembling and deploying hardware, it often falls to the CAD manager to recommend which users get the newest hardware.

Next we will talk about prioritizing upgrades.

Author: Curt Moreno

Hardware Configurations for Solid Edge and Other CAD Applications

June 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Since high performance, high scalability workstations can cost a bit more than traditional desktops or laptops, people should do some comparison shopping first. An entry-level desktop workstation can be both price competitive and still offer many features of traditionally higher priced workstations. So what should you look for when you are comparing hardware features?

Dual Core vs. Quad Core

One thing to consider is that CAD is still mostly a single-threaded application (yeah, there are some places it is not like rendering and FEA and it is slowly creeping into other aspects of CAD), but if you mainly do CAD modeling, max clock speed is the goal. On a desktop workstation, the quad core offers highest frequency (3.2 GHz) vs. the dual core (2.53 GHz). While six cores are not necessary for Solid Edge, you should consider what other applications you will be running, perhaps simultaneously, to determine the total number of cores you will need.

On a mobile workstation, however, both the quad core and dual core processors offer the same frequencies (max turbo), the quad core does so at a much higher price point. The base frequency on the quad core is lower (2.50 GHz).

More Power

Higher power graphics and more memory are both are important for CAD when loading complex models and assemblies and of course manipulating them fluidly. It is the workstation where the delineation between these components (memory, OpenGL graphics and CPU speed) and a normal desktop is most noticeable.

A couple folks on the Solid Edge forum pointed out they have gotten some good deals at the Dell Outlet store. These are not brand new systems and the inventory can fluctuate, but if you are on a tight budget this option may be for you. I’d hate to manage a CAD team where every designer has a different model, but for an individual or small shop, it might be worth considering.

Below are some sample configurations to help you in your research. These configurations were provided by Dell so Solid Edge users could have some comparisons during the Solid Edge ST4 Global Launch Event, held June 15-16, 2011, in Huntsville, Alabama.

Hardware Configurations for CAD Workstations

Hardware Configurations for CAD Workstations

Hardware Configurations for Mobile CAD Workstations

Hardware Configurations for Mobile CAD Workstations

Author: Mark Burhop – Programs Director, Velocity Technology Ecosystem – Siemens PLM.
Find Mark Burhop on Twitter http://twitter.com/burhop

How Advances in Mobility Technology Will Affect the CAD Workplace, Part 2

May 26, 2011 2 comments

How Mobile Technology Will Affect the CAD WorkplaceIn my last post, I theorized how advances in mobility technology will affect the CAD workplace. Now, what are these wandering CAD minstrels going to work on? Oh, that is the beauty of it all.

In this vision of the future that I have, mobile CAD applications and platforms will pop up everywhere. Today your CAD workstation weighs about, what … 15 pounds? What if it weighed one pound? What if it weighed less than pound? With current tablet technology, that is precisely what a mobile CAD station weighs! Imagine a future where technology brings us interfaces that are just a screen and no thicker or perhaps screens that fold or roll up for storage.

Think back to your childhood when we all watched the Warner Brothers cartoon that depicted the “House of the Future.” Remember all of those outlandish and whimsical imaginations of the robotic maid and the rehydrated seven-course meal? Use that mindset and imagine a world where your CAD interface isn’t on your tablet or phone. Imagine that is so archaic that it is laughable.

No, the future of mobile CAD is a world with holographic interfaces. It is a world where augmented related toolsets combined with GPS tracking and accelerometers allow us to see the unseen. Architects and planners will be able to visit a bare site and through the window of their “tablet” see the future construction in real space! They will walk around and see if the sink is too far from the kitchen island. If it is, they will use a tactile interface to revise the design and update the server files.

Right Here, Right Now

Would you like to know what the absolutely best thing about my insane vision of the future is? It is here, now. We are walking around in a world of people who are never unplugged. Information is flying at us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and the little screens in our pockets and bags are lighting up and buzzing. Now that developers have seen the future begun to create software for this mobile tech, we are off and flying!

Maybe the screens aren’t folded and put into back pockets and the interfaces aren’t tactile, holographic systems. Nevertheless, the power to leave your desk behind and get at least some of your work done on the go is here. Now! So upload or email your drawing to your cloud or mobile device. Take your dog to the park and enjoy the breeze while he plays and you review those General Notes. If something needs to be changed, do it there on the bench. Do it today because who can say where technology will let us work on our CAD files in the future.

 Author: Curt Moreno

Select the Right System Configuration for AutoCAD 2012

May 10, 2011 9 comments

Whether you are an individual user upgrading to AutoCAD 2012 design and documentation software or a CAD manager/IT professional upgrading the entire company, selecting the right system configuration is essential. The wrong decisions can cause years of frustration for the user. To build a system with greater longevity and better performance, use the recommended system requirements over the minimum requirements. In addition, when buying new hardware, consider certified hardware from Autodesk hardware partners. This is the hardware used in the development of the product.

Processor

As AutoCAD functionality continues to expand, multicore functions have been incorporated into the product, most notably in background publishing and mental ray rendering. Every available core is used and rendering is cut to a fraction of the time required on a single-core system. When it comes to rendering, the more cores the better.

Video Card

In AutoCAD, graphics cards are most important if you are working with 3D models, particularly when applying visualization effects such as materials, shadows and lighting. That said, system stability can be greatly increased if you use AutoCAD Certified graphics and drivers. You will also notice better orbiting, panning and zooming performance with at least 256 MB of RAM.

Hard Drive

During operation AutoCAD writes multiple files to the hard drive. For example, when AutoCAD performs AUTOSAVES, it writes a temporary file to disk. We have seen performance degradation in the current generation of solid state drives. We recommend standard SATA drives (7,200 or 10,000 RPMs) because of their higher reliability and faster write times.

Operating System and RAM

Operating system and RAM go hand in hand. With Windows 7, Microsoft has made great strides in stability, memory use and general quality. All modern systems should excel on Windows 7 (64-bit), when using at least 4+ GB of RAM instead of the 2 GB that 32-bit operating systems are limited to. When working on larger data sets, you will see better stability as well as reduced load and interaction times. If you are looking for a little extra performance, we also suggest going with as much RAM as possible to enable your system to crunch those big jobs in a flash.

Author: Randall Young, Autodesk Lead Engineer, Hardware Certification

Plan a CAD Software and Hardware Upgrade, Part 2: Define Needs, Measure Productivity

April 27, 2011 2 comments
Define your CAD needs, Measure your productivity

To plan a hardware or software upgrade, define your CAD needs and measure your current level of productivity.

The first part of this series about upgrading CAD software and hardware talked about using the Information Technology Lifecycle to help define how computer software and hardware can support your company’s business goals. These first three steps help you define the needs and measure your current productivity levels.

Step 1

Define your company’s needs to understand how it uses technology. The truth is that if you are a CAD user, technology is highly relevant to your job function. In fact, we’d go so far as to say the two elements are inseparable. Summarize your company’s need as succinctly as possible. My company develops and manufactures widgets that are designed with ABC CAD software and produced via XYZ CAM software using DEFG equipment.

Step 2

Measure your technology pain points and their impact on the organization’s productivity. Here’s where users get to really show how an upgrade can make their life easier. Are systems timing out? Crashing frequently? Are you missing deadlines because of system inefficiencies? Do you need better collaboration tools? List the problems and how they make your job harder, because these things are making your IT department’s job harder too.

Step 3

Analyze what works and what needs to be improved. Chances are not everything is problematic, so figure out what works well, too. By identifying what is working right, you can better define the areas that need to be improved.

Next we’ll discuss how to recommend solutions.

Authors: Mark Shaw and James Ecklund

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