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Dec 13, 2005


Evan Yares

No, 64-bit is actually closer to 0% faster.

The most significant performance bottlenecks in modern CAD programs come from memory allocation overhead, and operating system calls -- things which 64-bit processors do nothing to improve.

Floating point (math) operations have mostly been 64-bit for the last 20 years. So there's no gain there.

The only certain advantage that 64-bit processors have is the ability to handle large amounts of memory.

Since companies such as AMD are putting all their heavy development behind their 64-bit processors, you can generally expect that they will be faster than 32-bit processors. But not because of having more bits to work with.

I have real-world experience with 64-bit optimized software architecture. I see literally *no* performance gain with 64-bit computing versus 32-bit computing.

Where I do see a big gain is with multi-core processors -- but this is when using a multi-threaded object model. You won't find that kind of technology in any mid-market CAD products that I know of.

The only CAD vendors who are likely to have any kind of multi-threaded support in their products are those with a Unix heritage -- Pro/E, Catia, and NX, in particular. I believe UGS has demostrated some performance improvements with multi-core processors, but I'd have to look it up to be sure.

In contrast, CAE vendors tend to develop multi-threaded programs. The nature of the problem lends itself to this. So, if you're an FEA or simulation user, you can certainly justify a multi-core machine.

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