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  • MacSolidWorks Level 1 Level 1
    Okay, I've got another cool SolidWorks thing to try out on the MacPro.

    I've got SolidWorks 2007 X64 edition running on a Virtual Machine within Mac OSX using VMware Fusion.

    Fusion allows one to install a 64bit OS (ie. Microsoft XP x64), assign multiple processors (I'm using 2 cores of the MacPro) and use a moderate amount of RAM.

    So, I've got 64bit SW running on a 64bit VM...freakin' sweet!


    Mac Pro   Mac OS X (10.4.8)   Microsoft XP x64 Professional/ XP Professional (32-bit)
  • MacDrummer Level 1 Level 1
    MSW -
    I'm with you all the way on converting the established CAD crowd. I did a boat-load of research on this topic before dropping BIG cash on my Pro Mac AND SolidWorks 2007 Pro.

    I've been wasting money and time (but I repeat myself) fussing with Parallels... It's time for BootCamp. I don't think I'll mess with Vista unless SolidWorks says we need it. But knowing the boyz from Redmond, Vista won't be stable until my 4y.o. daughter reaches college... (sorry, unnecessary kick).

    At any rate - a HUGE debt of gratitude to you for blazing this trail for us SolidWorks Mac knuckle-heads.

    I'll have to study EVERY line of this page and these posts, but I'm sure it'll be beyond helpful.


    Pro Mac - loaded!   Mac OS X (10.4.8)   Dual 3.0Ghtz, 4GBs RAM, 2 TBs, QuadroFX1400, 30" Cinema, SolidWorks
  • SolidWorksXP64 Level 1 Level 1
    How is the preformance of rotating 3D models around in real time?

    How is the stability?
  • MacSolidWorks Level 1 Level 1
    You know, I've actually been impressed with the performance.

    I setup the VM to have 2 virtual processors and 512MB ram on the VM. For all intents and purposes the smoothness of rotation and graphics are almost on par with the bootcamp setup described earlier. I even have my SpaceBall 4000FLX working (using a serial to usb adapter) in SWx64 on the VM. My models actually rotate more smoothly using the spaceball on the VM than they do in BootCamp...go figure.

    I know this may be a tough pill to swallow, but it's really true. I've noticed very little difference between the virtual machine and the real machine, except for the load times from the disk.

    However, there are some drawbacks:

    1. Currently, there is no SATA drive support in the Fusion VM. Meaning the virtual disk is not able to support SATA drive access times from the virtual or real disks. VMware is working on this.

    2. The VM cannot access a real drive directly. Meaning there is no ability to use the BootCamp partition as the VM C: drive. Good news is on the horizon for this problem, VMware informed me that they have this functionality in place, but it is not available on the Beta release of Fusion yet.

    3. The VM cannot write to a NTFS formatted drive...yet.

    As far as stability is concerned. I have NOT crashed ONCE since I've been using it. My machine has been running for 3 days with no errors or major bugs.

    The Beta version of VMware Fusion has a diagnostic debug program that runs with the VM at all times (this is mandatory, you can't turn it off) that slows the machine down, but I must say it's performance is astounding for what it is.

    If you want to see my posts on the matter search for MacSolidWorks on the VMware discussion forums:

    Mac Pro   Mac OS X (10.4.8)   Microsoft XP x64 Professional/ XP Professional (32-bit)
  • MacDrummer Level 1 Level 1
    Based solely on your research and obvious expertise, I'm sold on 64-bit XP Pro and running SW2007 64 bit.

    I will be going with Bootcamp because I'm tired of Parallels ignoring 2 GBs of my 4 GBs of RAM - additionally, Parallels is blind to Active X - something that has basically taken down my entire XP-OS environment!

    As for HD arrangements, I've ordered 3 new 500GB Hitachi 7,200-rpm 3.0sec seek HDs - for slots 2, 3, and 4 (these will match identically the stock HD that came with my Pro Mac.

    My intention is to go with a RAID, striped and mirrored. This all purely for back-up reasons although I'm anticipating some improvements in the over-all disk seek times. I'm interested to know what your thoughts are on this RAID set-up...

    I'll report back to this thread on how things progress - once the drives show up of course.

    Pro Mac - loaded!   Mac OS X (10.4.8)   Dual 3.0Ghtz, 4GBs RAM, 2 TBs, QuadroFX1400, 30" Cinema, SolidWorks
  • MacSolidWorks Level 1 Level 1
    That sounds like some serious money your're putting into this. I'm glad your confidence is high regarding this highly Beta setup, you're a brave man.

    Please rember that BootCamp is still in Beta and NO way will Apple support XPx64 on BootCamp. Fair warning.

    As far as the raid setup, I suggest reading the MacProJournal website for information regarding implementation.

    From what I've read you will experience some different issues with installation of BootCamp and BC related windows software, so be prepared for a bit of a headache. However, you seem very motivated so I'm sure you'll get it going in no time.

    Good luck with your experiment, looking forward to reading about your success.


    Mac Pro   Mac OS X (10.4.8)   Microsoft XP x64 Professional/ XP Professional (32-bit)
  • Jimotto Level 1 Level 1
    I have a Mac Pro 3gHz, 8GB RAM, 4x500GB, ATI1700 card and have Stripped (Raid 0) two of the drives. During a move of a 2.02GB file to the Raid0 drive set, I timed the move by the little timer under the file name and it read 5+ seconds. Which works out to 400+ MB/sec. This sounds a little fazt but in reading some articals on Stripped Drives I saw speeds of up to 390MB/sec and more is some cases.

    I want to know where you all are getting the means to clock your file movement and other actions within your computer.

    Thanks for any insight on this issue.


    MacBook Pro 2.1GHz   Mac OS X (10.4.7)   Refurbished
  • MacSolidWorks Level 1 Level 1
    Just look up a program called HDtune or Sandra(I think). It's free and it works on Microsoft XP.

    I just installed it and did the benchmark test, pretty easy, even for a guy like me.

  • Greg Linhares Level 1 Level 1
    As a heavy SolidWorks 2007 x64 and 3dsMax 9 x64 user, I too am now looking into purchasing a new Mac Pro (with the intent of running Windows XP64) and have been reading discussions on this forum all day.

    I have been working across dual platforms for quite some time now. I currently have a PowerMac G5, Dual 2Ghz machine that I use exclusively as a video editing workstation (running Final Cut Pro Studio 5) and a new Dell Precision 690 Quad 3.0Ghz with 4GB of RAM.

    I was originally feeling a little hesitant with the idea of investing in a single new home computer (Mac Pro) that I could use for both my modeling, rendering, and video editing, but seeing how, after much pain and frustration, there are others out there who have successfully made it work, I am feeling a lot more confident in taking the leap and purchasing this new machine.

    I'm still a little confused about a couple of things though, and was wondering if someone might be able to give me some sound advice.

    1. I've been reading some conflicting reports about which is the best method for installing Windows XP64. Seems to me that the easiest way would be to install it on a separate hard drive with an NTFS format rather than partition a single drive using BootCamp. I have to admit, I am completely unfamiliar with BootCamp, but from what I "think" I understand about it is that it allows one to switch from the Mac OS X to Windows XP without having to reboot the machine entirely. If this is correct, then I really don't see that as being necessary for my purposes. I would be entirely thrilled even if I had to shut down and reboot into Windows from another HD. At any rate, the simple question is, what method would be the most effective and least problematic?

    2. What is the deal with Windows XP not recognizing any more than 1.98 GB of RAM??? What if I'm ordering a box with 4GB or 8GB? I would be pretty upset if I spent that much money on RAM and could not fully utilize it.

    3. Is there anything that anyone could tell me that would help me to feel more confident that the Mac Pro would be a good choice for running both OS X and Windows XP64? I sure would like to believe that, but am still a little skeptical.

    Any comments would be greatly appreciated!

    PowerMac G5   Mac OS X (10.4.3)   Dual 2GHz Processors - 1GB RAM
  • MacDrummer Level 1 Level 1
    Hi Greg,

    I'll jump into the arena with some info. perhaps it will offer a little bit of help.

    I WAS running Parallels and Windows XP Pro 32-bit. That was off of one 500GB HD (the stock 7,200rpm Seagate Barracuda). I'm running the latest OS-X v10.4.8. Parallels has disappointed me greatly; I'm done with it and switching to Bootcamp!

    I installed all updates that came my way - for XP, Mac OS-X and Solidworks. I think the update for Active X did-in my Parallels XP setup - as I haven't had a successful boot into XP for weeks. (My office is moving and thus my time is spent tech-ing everyone else;s troubles such that I cannot even attend to my own...) A re-install for everything (XP and Solidworks) is inevitable.

    At any rate, over the weekend I finally had a chance to install 3 more 500GB HDs - for a whooping 2 TBs of on-board storage. I'm dropping the notion of striping and mirroring those drives and instead will using them for various boot options:
    1st drive for the main use Mac OS-X boot drive
    2nd drive for the XP 64-bit boot (for Solidworks use) with Bootcamp
    3rd drive for testing Leopard (as an Apple developer)
    4th drive - backing up data from the other drives

    Perhaps this isn't the best use of HD space, but as for sustainable, boot-able usage - it makes the most sense for now.

    I know this is all a bit of a cop-out from the gutsy things everyone else is working with, but as for me and my work flow - it makes the most sense. I need reliability, not too much experimentation.

    I welcome other's analysis of my system. Oh, one detail - 4 GBs of RAM and I'm running the Quadro-FX 1400 graphics card.


    Pro Mac - loaded!   Mac OS X (10.4.8)   Dual 3.0Ghtz, 4GBs RAM, 2 TBs, QuadroFX1400, 30" Cinema, SolidWorks
  • Greg Linhares Level 1 Level 1
    Thanks Mike!
    I appreciate your response very much. It's sounds to me like you're doing almost exactly what I have been envisioning myself. That is to allocate one drive for OS X and another separate drive for Windows XP64.

    I'm looking at getting the MacPro quad 3GHz with 4GB of RAM and the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 (exactly the same configuration of my existing Dell PC that I use in the office)

    I don't know much about BootCamp yet, I thought it was only for running XP on the same hard drive, but it sounds like I could be mistaken. So have you been successful in the method you've suggested yet, or are you still not quite there yet?

  • Steven Davidson Level 2 Level 2
    Regarding the 2GB Parallels limitation, this was resolved a while back - a simple upgrade will fix that.

    In your case, I would lean heavily towards VMWare over Parallels, for a couple of reasons: first, as a professional user with heavy software requirements (SW 64 is a pretty hardcore application, requirements-wise), VMWare is simply a better fit. Parallels, IMHO, really gears themselves towards the casual/home user, and are positioned more as a replacement to Virtual PC than a serious VMWare competitor. This is clearly reflected in the ability of VMWare Fusion beta to support not only 64-bit VMs, but also the support of multiple cores.

    Second, and perhaps more importantly, is DirectX support. Given the size of the organization, their professional focus, and their close relationship to Microsoft, VMWare is much more likely to provide accelerated DX support in their Virtual Machine than is Parallels. It's not a trivial task, and VMWare has a much larger R&D and Development staff than Parallels.

    My 2 cents' anyhow. Congrats on getting this excellent piece of software working on your Mac Pro! Now if SolidWorks would only release a Mac-Native version of the application, you'd really be set...
  • MacDrummer Level 1 Level 1
    Thanks Steven - for your insight and suggestions. I posted that one a ways back, and since then have directed my focus towards Bootcamp - I was completely ignorant of the VMWare you spoke of until I read your post.

    So - I will research it and see how it compares to the strengths of Bootcamp.

    In the meantime, I've added three additional 500 GB HDs (for a total of 2 TBs of on-board storage). My initial intent was to stripe and mirror these drives into a 1 TB drive - but after mulling-over the complexities of getting Bootcamp and XP, etc. to work on such an arrangement - I'm sticking with 4 separate drives.

    One for regular MacOS-X boot, one for an experimental Leopard boot, one for the XP boot and SW2007 operations - and one for basic back-up (although there are inherent size limitations here - obviously... I don't plan on loading each drive to its capacity - but we all know how drives fill up...)

    Stay tuned for a follow-up report - and again I say thanks for your contribution to this thread. Now - if Dessault heard our collective pleas and made a Mac-native SW!!

    Pro Mac - loaded!   Mac OS X (10.4.8)   Dual 3.0Ghtz, 4GBs RAM, 2 TBs, QuadroFX1400, 30" Cinema, SolidWorks
  • Chris Thompson Level 1 Level 1
    Thanks to MSW for all the posts. Since I was a SolidWorks user sometime ago I decided to try some of my heavy hitters on the MacPro with WinXP 64. I have been running UGS NX4, FEMAP, NASTRAN, and ANSYS on the Mac since first reading these posts (the x64 version of SW is still installed as well). I can say that the MacPro beats the pants off the HP's and Dell's I have used in the past.

  • MacSolidWorks Level 1 Level 1
    Regarding the 2GB Parallels limitation, this was
    resolved a while back - a simple upgrade will fix

    When was this resolved? I was unaware that the 2GB limitation was fixed. Of course, I don't have more than 2 Gigs, but I'd like to know where you found the solution.

    In addition, I'm still using my VM ware setup for presentations and the like, unfortunately VM can't write to an NTFS drive so any work I do cannot be saved unless I write to a FAT32.

    I'm really looking forward to more development on the Virtual Machine, it appears to be a fantastic solution for those designers who model small assemblies.


    Mac Pro   Mac OS X (10.4.8)   Microsoft XP x64 Professional/ XP Professional (32-bit)