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rg006 (Mechanical)
20 Mar 12 9:09
Hello,
I just got a new computer and have been using NX6 on it.  It is much faster and I do like it quite a bit.  It is a Dell Precision M6600 running windows 7 64 bit.  When I run NX6 the processor usage only gets up to about 7 percent.  It seems like there should be a way to make the processor run at full speed to make NX6 run even fast.  Any ideas on how to do this?  I would rather not overclock anything just yet (new computer and all).  
Thanks,
JohnRBaker (Mechanical)
20 Mar 12 9:58
How many 'cores' are there in this machine?  

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
UG/NX Museum:   http://www.plmworld.org/p/cm/ld/fid=209

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
 

looslib (Mechanical)
20 Mar 12 10:06
Dual quad-core machine with hyperthreading turned on will show CPU uasage as ~7% when 1 process is at 100%.

NX is not multithreaded, so its 100% usage is only taxing the total system at 7%.
 

"Wildfires are dangerous, hard to control, and economically catastrophic."

Ben Loosli

rg006 (Mechanical)
20 Mar 12 10:27
John,
There are 4 cores.

I tried to see what I could do to get the CPU usage up, so I opened 2 sessons of NX4 and 2 sessions of NX6, 1 session of Vericut, and about 10 ie windows.  Had programs generating in all the UG sessions and a vericut program running.  Got the cpu up to about 20 to 30 percent.  

I just thought there should be a way to max out the processor and make everything run faster.  

Thank you.
JohnRBaker (Mechanical)
20 Mar 12 10:34
With a 4-core system, the best that the Windows task utility will ever report, even if you've maxed-out the entire system, would be 25%.  As Ben alluded to, the 'formula' for what the system is reporting is based on 100 divided by the number of cores.  Don't ask why it's done this way, that's just the way Microsoft decided to handle this issue.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
UG/NX Museum:   http://www.plmworld.org/p/cm/ld/fid=209

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
 

looslib (Mechanical)
20 Mar 12 10:36
What does Task Manager show for each process of NX under the Processes tab? The Performance tab is a rolling average of the system processes.
 

"Wildfires are dangerous, hard to control, and economically catastrophic."

Ben Loosli

rg006 (Mechanical)
20 Mar 12 10:53
Right now I have 4 NX6 sessions open and 1 NX4 open.  I generating a pretty long program in one of the NX6 sessions.  All of the nx sessions are going between 00 and 01 percent usage.  My ram usage is up to 60% (4GB total).  

I guess my desire is that the CPU usage would just max out so that the program generation would complete faster.  I guess the GPU could be causing the delay and the CPU is just kind of sitting around waiting for most of the time?   
markrief (Industrial)
20 Mar 12 15:01
If you are generating CAM operations, you can use Parallel Generate instead of Generate. The system will generate each operation on a different core.

Mark Rief
Product Manager
Siemens PLM

rg006 (Mechanical)
20 Mar 12 15:04
Hello markrief,
what is this magic you speak of?  Parrellel generation?  How do you do that?  I only see the generate button currently.  
Thank you.
JohnRBaker (Mechanical)
20 Mar 12 15:45
One other thing, in order to leverage multiple-cores/CPUs (I don't think this matters for what Mark is talking about but it does the rest of NX) you need to enable the SMP mode.  Either in the system profile (this is where I've set mine as it'll cover all NX sessions running on my system) or in the 'ugii_env.dat' file (for each version of NX installed), you need to set the following variable:

UGII_SMP_ENABLE=1

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
UG/NX Museum:   http://www.plmworld.org/p/cm/ld/fid=209

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
 

rg006 (Mechanical)
20 Mar 12 16:12
Hey John,
What does SMP mode actually do? I set the env var and I do notice that it runs different.  Before setting the variable the generated path ran slowly but smoothly.  Now its jumpy and is not as smooth.
Thank you,
JohnRBaker (Mechanical)
20 Mar 12 17:07
SMP stands for 'Statistical Multi-Processing'.  This is what the Software needs to be able to do in order to take advantage of multiple-cores, which is a hardware issue.  So turning this option ON will enable NX to utilize multiple cores at one time when executing code.  Now don't get TOO excited about this since only a limited amount of NX code if able to multi-thread (another 'geek' term for you).  In the case of NX this is generally limited to the modeling area where the Parasolid kernel is doing much of the work.  So the list of operations which can multi-thread (maximum of four simultaneous threads or four cores) include such things as Boolean operations, facet generation, hidden-line-removal, mass property calculations, etc.  These are all basic Parasolid operations which can take advantage of up to four cores at one time.

Now there are a couple of other 'special' situations which also benefit from multi-cores, one of them being the new 'parallel tool path generation' that Mark talked about.  This is not really multi-threading in the classical sense, but rather multi-processing where a second process it launched in an un/under-used core which then runs in 'parallel' to the regular NX process.  Another example of where this is done is if you use the built-in Movie capture functionality which was added in NX 6.0.  Again, this is an example of multi-processing and not really multi-threading.  And in these special cases that variable has no effect, rather the system just knows that this can work or not based on the system configuration, whereas for the SMP or multi-threading support inside the software, this must be enabled (using the environment variable) BEFORE NX is launched in order to make sure that NX will run in that mode.

Anyway, I hope I didn't confuse you too much.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
UG/NX Museum:   http://www.plmworld.org/p/cm/ld/fid=209

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
 

rg006 (Mechanical)
21 Mar 12 8:48
Hey John,
Thank you for the info.  I am not too confused, my inner geek is coming out a little though.  Does parrellel tool path generation run automatically or do you have a different option in UG to select?  
Thank you,
JohnRBaker (Mechanical)
21 Mar 12 10:35
Sorry, you'll have to get that info from a 'CAM' guy like Mark.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
UG/NX Museum:   http://www.plmworld.org/p/cm/ld/fid=209

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
 

wmalan (Aerospace)
21 Mar 12 23:31
I would add in my experience that NX is pretty efficient on the cam side compared to others. (I've done side by side with MC and v5 and find this to be true with the same type of cam operations). That said, if you want to "max out" your cpu just do an Autodiff of a very large aircraft part in Vericut. winky smile

--
Bill
DaSalo (Mechanical)
22 Mar 12 3:48
rg006,
You need to specifically choose the parallel generate task instead of the normal generate. In NX 7.5 and 8 there is a separate icon for this. I'm not sure what is available in NX6. You can just run down the line and create a cue of operations that are assigned to the parallel generate function and it will just knock them off one after another behind the scenes. It works very well.

NX 7.5.4, NX 8.0.1.5
Tecnomatix Quality 8.0.1.3
PC-DMIS 2011 MR1

Tingsryd (Industrial)
22 Mar 12 10:24
Be sure to select one operation at a time when processing with parallel generate.  If you select multiple operations it will behave as regular generate and will process them in order using one core, not in parallel using multiple cores.

As for hyperthreading I seem to remember and old post that NX did not play well with it.  Anyone else have info on it?     

NX 7.5
  

JohnRBaker (Mechanical)
22 Mar 12 10:44
Yes, our position is to still avoid enabling 'hyperthreading'.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
UG/NX Museum:   http://www.plmworld.org/p/cm/ld/fid=209

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
 

rg006 (Mechanical)
22 Mar 12 16:27
Thanks for all of the information.  Currently, I do not see an option for parrellel generation in NX6.0.5.3, unless there is an env. var. to set that will activate it.   

UG NX3/NX4/NX6
Vericut 5/6/7
AutoCAD LT

Helpful Member!  markrief (Industrial)
22 Mar 12 16:59
Here's the scoop on Parallel Generate in CAM.

Parallel Generate was first introduced in NX 7, and enhanced in 7.5 and 8.

You access it with right mouse button on the selected operation(s). You can also turn on the button on the Operations tool bar.

Currently (NX 8) there are 2 customer defaults to control the behavior:

Maximim Concurrent Processes - Set this from 1 to 8. Windows will distribute the processes across the cores as needed.

Create Multiple Processes - On/Off - if you select multiple operations at once, you can process them sequentially in one process, or have the system split them up if there are no interdependencies (such as IPW).

If you want to start processing and then go home for the night, you should also look at batch processing, which has been available for over ten years.

Mark Rief
Product Manager
Siemens PLM

Tingsryd (Industrial)
22 Mar 12 17:58
I was just going to post he does have it in nx6.  Thanks for the complete info on parallel processing.  We will be migrating to 8 shortly (hopefully) so I did not have the the new changes in 8.

@rg006
One thing I would like to add...if you set your maximum concurrent processes to the same as the number of cores you have, processing on all core at once may make your UI sluggish.  On my quad core computer I set it to three.

Now if only I could talk my manager into a 6-core or dual 4-core computer.   

NX 7.5
  

rg006 (Mechanical)
22 Mar 12 18:50
Well, it looks like I have a lot of fun to look forward to when we finally move to NX7.0 sometime in 2015.  I finally just got to start using NX6 this year....  at least I have a shinny box with NX8 written on it sitting in the corner collecting dust.  
Thanks for all the help guys.   

UG NX3/NX4/NX6
Vericut 5/6/7
AutoCAD LT

Tingsryd (Industrial)
22 Mar 12 19:00
Wow, I had bad typo...
Should read..."I was just going to post he doesn't have it in nx6."

Yes, there are some very nice changes in 7, 7.5 and 8.  I am anxious to use 8 as well.



 

NX 7.5
  

markrief (Industrial)
26 Mar 12 9:42
I agree - if you do not want to slow down your interractive session, set the max processes to one less than your total cores.  

Mark Rief
Product Manager
Siemens PLM

Toost (Mechanical)
26 Mar 12 12:13
RG006:
 Do you ONLY have 4Gb in total in Windows 7 64 bit ?
  Then i would suggest that your tests with multiple sessions the limiting factor is the RAM, not the CPU or GPU.
 You are waiting for the computer to swap internal memory to disk.
I think that Siemens recommends 8 Gb for Windows 7 64 bit as minimum. (?)

Check the task manager and look up the "ugraf.exe" in the "processes" view and note how much memory it has allocated.

Regards,
 Tomas
rg006 (Mechanical)
26 Mar 12 12:30
Hello Toost,
The most I have ever got my RAM usage up to is 73% with 6 sessions of NX running, veritcut running, and about 10 ie windows open (just for fun).  Right now, I have two assemblies (each has about 6-10 piece parts), and about 5 other parts open and my RAM usage is getting up to about 2.2GB (49%) right now.  

I do plan on upgrading the RAM sometime as needed, but right now I am just testing to see what kind of performance I can get out of the box.  I plan on getting it to 8GB of RAM in the future.  

Thanks for the information,

UG NX3/NX4/NX6
Vericut 5/6/7
AutoCAD LT

rg006 (Mechanical)
26 Mar 12 12:42
Toost,
I forgot to say that the memory allocation for one session of NX6 with an assembly that has 15 piece parts is 232MB.
Thanks,

UG NX3/NX4/NX6
Vericut 5/6/7
AutoCAD LT

Tingsryd (Industrial)
26 Mar 12 12:47
By the way...
Currently our cnc programmers' computers have 12GB of ram.  On our average projects we are seeing 4-6GB ram usage but our larger parts are using 6-8GB and recently I had a certain operation max my ram.  I assume it maxxed then ran out of virtual memory because the result was not expected.  That particular operation was z-level profile using a reference tool and the part model was fairly large.  Those crunch fairly hard and perhaps I should've separated that cut into two operations.     

NX 7.5
  

JerryLynch (Mechanical)
11 Apr 12 23:16
So a lot of this discussion has been on multiple cores. How does NX utilize more than one processor? We, my company, have NX7 and have workstations that run Intel Xeon W3550 (quad-core 3.06 GHz with hyper-threading) or 2xIntel Xeon E5506 (quad-core 2.13GHz no hyper-threading) and I was wondering which would be a better setup all other things the same (win7 64-bit, 16gb ram, quadro 600)?

Thanks
Helpful Member!  JohnRBaker (Mechanical)
12 Apr 12 1:15
First things first, turn OFF hyper-threading.

Being that any single session of NX can only utilize a maximum of four cores (except for NX Nastran, can do much better), unless you're going to be running other compute intenseive applications simultaneously with NX, I'd opt for the first configuration.

But in the end, if you have access to both systems, run some tests of your own.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
UG/NX Museum:   http://www.plmworld.org/p/cm/ld/fid=209

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
 

miguelone (Automotive)
16 Apr 12 17:24
This information seems similar to what has been posted here for the past few years. I don't know why this has not posted yet, but our IT dept an update a week or two ago (NX7.5.4.4), and I am using two and four cores, OUTSIDE the parasolid kernel (blends, shell, offset - heck seems like everything is lighting up the Task Manager).
This is no fluke, because the file I am working in took about an hour or more to update in March. Now, minutes (haven't clocked it). I guess I am wondering why this has occurred without a whisper from anybody. It was brought in with a GM update that "got rid of the cat" (GM contractor's know what I mean).
I have run SMP for years on several machines, with several config's with about the same performance boost (not much, but better than a sharp stick in the eye). Some config'ed by the same IT guy that did this one; he did nothing remarkably different. Any ideas?
rg006 (Mechanical)
17 Apr 12 8:56
Sounds like the IT guy decided to do some overclocking to me.

UG NX3/NX4/NX6
Vericut 5/6/7
AutoCAD LT

Tingsryd (Industrial)
17 Apr 12 9:08
Updates can take a painfully long time if settings are not specified correctly.  IMO, that is probably more the case than the user's computer getting switched out with some kind of learning, neural net, self-aware, sky-net computing device.

I'm not sayin...just sayin, LOL.
  

NX 7.5
  

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