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Molly

Computer Hardware v RockWorks Performance

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We've had a number of customers inquire lately about the relationship between the power of their computers versus the performance of RockWorks. Here are some thoughts from our programmers re: the best ways to improve speed cost-effectively:

1. RAM: By a great margin the most cost effective way to speed up RockWorks is to increase the amount of RAM on your machine, since swapping memory pages for virtual memory is extremely slow. We recommend 1+ Gb of RAM.

2. Processor: Using a computer with a faster processor is somewhat effective, but you can't easily change processors without buying a new computer and it will need to have lots of memory anyway to take advantage of the faster speeds.

3. Video Card: This will have very little effect since the 3D graphics are CPU and memory bound and will take very little advantage of hardware acceleration.

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We've had a number of customers inquire lately about the relationship between the power of their computers versus the performance of RockWorks.  Here are some thoughts from our programmers re: the best ways to improve speed cost-effectively:

1. RAM: By a great margin the most cost effective way to speed up RockWorks is to increase the amount of RAM on your machine, since swapping memory pages for virtual memory is extremely slow.  We recommend 1+ Gb of RAM.

2. Processor: Using a computer with a faster processor is somewhat effective, but you can't easily change processors without buying a new computer and it will need to have lots of memory anyway to take advantage of the faster speeds.

3. Video Card: This will have very little effect since the 3D graphics are CPU and memory bound and will take very little advantage of hardware acceleration.

That is too bad about the graphics. This is why I export everything to arcscene. How ever lately it seems they changed things and they made RockPlot 3D hardware accelerated. I have 512mb professional video cards in my machines running 2GB+ of ram.

The biggest benefit to me is the ability of importing gslib or kriged 3D grids. I don't use the xyzc import function. I simply make sure both RockWorks settings are the same as the other kriging programs and then make a dummy .mod file and paste the c or variable data into the ascii .mod file.

Long live the ascii 3D grid.

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It's been a few years now, and time to update the RockWorks performance v hardware issue. Here are some additional thoughts from the programming staff:

Q: Will RockWorks run faster if I get a quad core instead of a dual core processor?

A: RockWorks only does minor multi-threaded tasks which means that you won’t get any performance increase from using a multi-core CPU. However it will make your OS and other applications more responsive while RockWorks is processing.

Q: Will RW14 run on 64bit Windows Vista? Is there a 64bit version of RW14?

A: RockWorks at this time is strictly a 32bit application. While it should run in 64bit Windows (we haven’t tested) there will be a slight decrease in speed.

Q: Will a beefed up graphics card increase responsiveness in RockPlot3D?

A: RockPlot3D is designed to work on a wide range of Video Cards and uses the CPU for many tasks. An expensive accelerated 3D Video Card will not provide a large increase in performance.

Q: What's the best bet for increasing performance of RockWorks14?

A: For the best performance we recommend buying more memory.

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Although I like Rockworks a lot for its many useful features, I sometimes get frustrated when handling large solid models and other objects in RP3D, even with hardware acceleration turned on for my OpenGL Video Card on my DELL M65 mobile workstation.

Does Rockware intend to improve/alter the program to make 3D visualisation more fluent and easy to handle in the near future?

This matter might be the stumbling block for my company to substantially expand our number of licences in the near future. Would be a real pity...

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