NX Does adding multiple cores or using SMP improve NX performance?

NX System Administration



Does adding multiple cores or using SMP 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. Below is some information from the NX Release Notes;

System Requirements Guidelines (NX12 Release Notes)

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 before purchasing a system.

Processor performance

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:

 --Validity checking 
 --Boolean operations 
 --Hidden line rendering 
 --Closest approach 
 --Mass properties

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.

In summary:

 --Turn SMP on only if you have an SMP system. Having it on in a  single-processor system incurs a slight  
 --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. 


The minimum recommended amount of memory to run native NX is 8GB. If you are running NX with Teamcenter (Teamcenter Integration for NX), the minimum recommended is 12 GB. However, because NX is capable of handling large assemblies and very complex parts, many of our customers use workstations with 32GB of RAM, and some even use 64GB, 96GB, or more.

For the optimum user experience and application performance, we recommend that you install as much RAM as can be installed in the client workstation that is running NX.

As a guideline, so that you get the best possible performance when using NX, ensure that the amount of physical memory (RAM) in your workstations is always larger than the amount of memory consumed by NX, plus all the other applications that are running at the same time on the same machine. This can be done by using a tool such as Windows Task Manager or Resource Monitor.

The minimum memory requirements varies and depends on various factors including:

  • Complexity of the geometry within individual parts
  • Size of the assemblies that are loaded
    • Less memory is required if the assemblies contain multiple instances of the same components.
    • More memory is required when large assemblies contain lots of unique components with complex geometry.
  • Use of Teamcenter in addition to NX
    • Some additional memory is required when using Teamcenter 4-tier.
    • A even greater amount of memory is required when using Teamcenter 2-tier.
  • Fully loading exact assemblies versus using lightweight assemblies and partial loading
  • Generating CAM toolpaths for very complex geometry, such as an automotive engine block or gearbox
  • Updating large assembly drawings

Notes and References

Hardware/Software Configuration

Platform: INTL64
OS: window
OS Version: 764SP1
Product: NX
Application: SYSTEM
Version: V11.0.2

Ref: 001-9044547

KB Article ID# PL8003149



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