One of the hot topics on the various SolidWorks forums is always performance and benchmarking. Users are always looking to see how their system compares to others and also trying to find out what the best combination of hardware is when purchasing a new system.
In SolidWorks 2011 this process has been made a lot easier. Located in your Start Menu SolidWorks folder is a new program called SolidWorks Performance Test. You can find it by going to Start > All Programs > SolidWorks 2011 > SolidWorks Tools > SolidWorks Performance Test.
Once you launch the program you will be presented with the screen below. Keep in mind that you will need to have SolidWorks 2011 and PhotoView 360 in order to run this test. They also recommend that you restart your computer right before running the benchmark.
It took my system just under 30 minutes to run this test and it presented me with the results below. The test opens a part, assembly, and drawing, and then does a render of the part. It will run this same process 5 times in order to get accurate readings.
Once the benchmark has been completed you will be given the opportunity to share your scores with other users on the SolidWorks Benchmark Site. Simply give your system a name and specify whether it is a desktop of laptop.
Once submitted you will be automatically taken to the Benchmark Site so that you can see how your system compares with others. The thing I really like about this is that if you upgrade your hardware and rerun the benchmark it will update your entry on the site. This is as long as it is the same computer.
Below is the site address in case you would like to visit it without running the benchmark.
I would highly suggest running this benchmark and seeing how your system compares to others.