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To Thread or Not to Thread? (Hyper Threading)

SOLIDWORKS Performance Tech Tip

Written by Krystal Petersen, IT Support

What is Hyper Threading?

Hyper Threading is Intel Based technology that enables a computer’s CPU to work on multiple streams of information at the same time. In doing this, it streamlines the processes and allows for more performance and efficiency… in theory. Sometimes, what makes for a streamlined process can be problematic to some processes and programs. It isn’t often that Hyper Threading is problematic or required as most programs now have been written or developed with multi-stream or multi-core processors in mind.

In SOLIDWORKS the following operations are known to be parallel and can take advantage of CPU multi-threading:

  • Open SOLIDWORKS documents, drawings and assemblies
  • Photoworks rendering
  • Simulation calculations
  • Draw compare
  • Update drawing views

A large amount of SOLIDWORKS operations are sequential and single-threaded; therefore, Multi-Threading/Hyper Threading does not make much of a difference in such operations. In some cases, single-threaded operations can be degraded due to slower frequencies and additional pipeline stages that are necessary to accommodate thread-switching hardware. Therefore, SOLIDWORKS may not see much performance improvement when using Hyper Threading.

The system hardware and operating system have greater impact on SOLIDWORKS performance than multi-threading. The best solution is to have a large amount of RAM and a more powerful CPU and GPU which can handle the high demands.

Here are some examples for high demand users:

  1. For modelling and Drawing details: There is no need to spend a lot of many on cores. However, they will have better efficiency with a fast hard drives (RAID 0), fast available memory (16GB) and a 64 bit (OS).
  2. For Analysis and Photo rendering: With more cores, you will see better performance, but the base recommendations are pretty much the same.

However, there are times when one may feel as though they need to turn off Hyper Threading, and here are the steps to take to turn it off:

Step One: Save all your work and reboot the computer. Failure to do so could result in lost information.

Step Two: While in the process of rebooting, before the Windows screen appears make sure to press the key that will get you into the BIOS menu. (This can either be ESC, F1, F2, F8, F10 or Delete key)

Locate the Hyper Threading control panel once the boot menu is open, which is typically under a sub-menu of one of the following: CPU, Processor, Performance, Advanced BIOS, CPU Feature, Tweaker etc.

Step Three: It should be called CPU Hyper-Threading, Hyper-Threading Function, Hyper-Threading Technology or Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology. It should be set to Enabled by default.

Once the Hyper Threading is enabled or disabled depending on your needs, press escape a few times to get to the Exit screen and then type Yes or Y to let the system exit while saving the changes at the same time.

HP Hyper Threading in BIOS

HP Hyper Threading in BIOS

Dell Hyper Threading in BIOS

Dell Hyper Threading in BIOS

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