Does Hyperthreading improve NX performance?
Hyper-threading was Intel's strategy to make a single processor look multiple processors. As such, it is possible to see some performance improvement through SMP, if multi-threading is enabled in your bios. Intel has claimed a 30% performance improvement with hyper-threading, but in reality most applicatons see a much smaller improvement (5-20%).
The NX Release Notes do discuss SMP and mulit-core processing, and it's potential advantages. The quick version is, enable SMP if you have it, but don't necessarily assume you will see a performance improvement.
Minimum System Requirements for NX
Defining the minimum system requirements is difficult because key requirements, most notably memory, can vary dramatically from user to user. The following are general guidelines that you should consider:
Although raw processor speed has a major impact on system performance, other factors also contribute to overall performance; for example, the type of disk drive (SCSI, ATA, or Serial ATA), disk speed, memory speed, graphics adapter, and bus speeds.
The general rule is that "the faster the processor, the better the performance is," but this only applies when comparing like architectures.
For example, it is difficult to arrive at performance expectations for an Intel processor when compared to an AMD processor just by looking at their respective processor speeds. There is also a general trend today to de-emphasize processor speeds and move to multi-core processors, which actually can have lower processor speeds.
Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) is supported in NX mostly via Parasolid, although a small number of NX capabilities have some threading. In general, it is not possible to quote a figure for the general performance improvement achieved by using SMP, since this improvement depends on the nature of the
operations you are performing. You need to evaluate your actual performance gains using your own models. Functional areas that are SMP enabled in Parasolid include:
Hidden line rendering
SMP is enabled by default with the variable UGII_SMP_ENABLE, which is located in the ugii_env_ug.dat file.
Multi-core processors are similar to SMP because there are two or more actual processor cores but they are delivered in single processor packages. Siemens PLM Software has found that multi-core performance characteristics are similar to SMP. The one advantage of multi-core processors over SMP is that this
technology has proliferated much faster than SMP and is now common in workstations, servers, and laptops.
Multi-core technology is complex and, depending on the configuration, can actually have a negative impact on performance. This is due to the potential conflict of multiple cores sharing system resources, such as cache, memory, and bus bandwidth, as well the need for the system to manage and control an increasing number of cores. Increasing the number of cores does not always translate into better performance. Although additional cores can improve NX performance, processor speed is still a vital measurement of NX performance.
Many systems enable you to turn off cores via the bios, which can enable you to compare performance with a different number of cores that are active. Some users may find that turning off some cores will actually improve performance. One micro-architecture (Intel) even does this automatically, shutting down
unused cores and increasing the clock speed of the others.
The hardware vendors continue to improve their processor micro-architectures to better address the limitations of older multi-core technologies. New subsystems better integrate memory and other peripherals directly to the processors, resulting in major performance improvements. Buses are being
eliminated, cores are better managed, and channel speeds continue to improve.
- Turn SMP on only if you have an SMP system. Having it on in a single-processor system incurs a slight overhead.
- Turn SMP on if you have a multi-core system.
- Never assume that by simply adding more cores you will see better performance. Always test first.
For Windows 7, the minimum amount of memory is 4 GB, but we recommend 8 GB or 16 GB of memory as a starting point. Large models and assemblies or running multiple processes concurrently could boost the required memory for adequate performance.
Notes and References
OS Version: 764SP1