Resource Monitor for Weakest-Link Benchmarking

21 Jul, 2015 By: Robert Green

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Are your essential workstation components acting as bottlenecks and hampering your performance? Windows users already have a quick and painless way to find out.

Sometimes we spend so much time digging into new programs and features that we forget the little gems that have been installed on our systems for years. One such slick tool is the unassuming Microsoft Windows Resource Monitor.

To perform system benchmarks to determine how well your memory, CPU, and disk systems are performing, be sure to open all three viewing panes as shown here, then load up your CAD software with the biggest models you work with and let the games begin. For optimal benchmarking, follow these steps:

  • Run your CAD session on one screen and place the Resource Monitor on your other screen so you can keep your eye on it at all times. (If you use a single screen, then just shrink your CAD window down a bit instead.)
  • Start a time-consuming process such as a file load, rendering, plot, or analysis. To get more benchmarking history, simply repeat the steps several times.
  • As the process runs, watch the CPU tab of the Resource Monitor and then track the percentages you see. Also look at the Disk and Memory tabs.

Now evaluate your system by comparing the three categories of results:

  • If your Disk tab is at very high levels of activity while CPU and memory values are lower, then your disk is the limiting performance factor in your system and you likely need a solid state drive (SSD).
  • If your Memory tab is at very high levels, then a RAM upgrade is likely required to speed processing and reduce swapping.
  • If your Disk and Memory tabs are running lower than your CPU, then your system is in great shape, because the CPU is being fully utilized and is not waiting on the disk or memory subsystems.

See how easy that was? Nothing to buy or download, just classic Windows technology.

Note: In Windows 7, Resource Monitor can be found at the bottom of the Task Manager’s Performance tab, as shown here. For Windows 8, just type “Resource Monitor” into the Start box.

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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