Slow? Hardware Advice

Hi Guys,

I recently put together a system for a client who have today come back to me complaining that it is too slow. forgive me for being vague, but the information and reasons I have been given is next to nothing other than they are using grasshopper and that they want a XEON processor to which i explained there are a number of options in heading down that avenue and I will need some more information. So at this stage I have asked the gentleman to get some more information from his staff member as to what exactly is the problem.

Here is the system specifications.

Intel i7-8700K CPU (not overclocked)
32GB 2400Mhz NON-ECC RAM
Quadro P4000 8GB GPU
Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD
RM750x PSU

one thing I may suspect but I am only guessing at this stage until they get back to me is that they may be pulling the work from the HDD instead of the SSD, correct me if I am wrong. Any help or guidance to point me in the direction of what could be the bottle-necking problem will be greatly appreciated

Thank you in advance.

Relative performance to R5?

What type of work do they do? Rendering, Modeling, 2D Drafting? Any Particular Plugins?

Hi Rickson,

they are a shed manufacturer. from what I understand they do rendering, modelling and 3D Drafting. There is a bit of a language barrier which is part of the issue with the lack of information. He is saying that the ‘calculation’ part the work is where it is slow, and is wanting to change to a XEON 4110 Processor. I am not sure of the plugins, I am still trying to get information from them.

Again i apologise for the lack of information.

here is a some of the plugins used.

Lunchbox, bee, weavebird, kangaroo and geco.


hard to tell. Hardware seems totally ok for a workstation. That does not exclude hardware issues. I rather suspect algorithmic problems. Often people expect enormous speed gains by newer hardware. However most CAD operations are still single core. I have used 10 year old hardware and it still wasn‘t that much slower. So if your client facing performance issues, it may be worth filtering out the bottleneck with the gh internal profiler and ask here for improvements. I have seen threads where a calculation of 10 minutes was optimised down to 10 ms.

As far as rendering, usually, the more cores the better.

Oddly enough, a GTX 1080 gaming card has about twice the GPU power as Quadro P4000.

What is your machine doing when you feel it is not fast enough?

Rotating view: Video Card / CPU Processor.
Rendering Scene: CPU cores.
Loading File: SSD Hard Drive.
Doing an operation on many parts: CPU Speed, perhaps memory speed, a little.

The difficult part: high core count processors for fast rendering often makes other CAD-design operations a little slower because the clock speed is slower. You just can’t beat something with a lot of cores for rendering because it is a job that can be broken up between many cores.

BTW, if you your project is very large, you should check your memory usage, but 32GB should be sufficient for perhaps 70% of what I see on the forums. BTW, I usually shut off virtual memory in Windows because it doesn’t really manage it well, in that it will often page out/in while the computer still has plenty of RAM memory, but if you are running low on memory, you should not shut off virtual memory.

BTW, I haven’t done much with Grasshopper, but… You are aware that some Grasshopper elements are multi-threaded?

Thank you for all of the feedback everyone, at this stage I have suggested they look into optimisation and referred them to here.

Thanks again,

If Matt could post some slow indicative def we could indeed examine ways to boost performance.

PS: But no fast hardware can make Rhino (a surface modeler) a solid modeler (if slow solid modelling is an issue).