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What is the difference between standard, advanced, and multi-threaded solvers?

Answer: The differences between these solver options are described as follows:

Solver Options:

• Standard solver

• best for small problems

• utilizes only single core/CPU

• provides full instability information, which is useful for checking model stability before a
long analysis

• Advanced solver

• default setting

• best for medium to the largest problems

• can utilize all cores/CPUs

• utilizes disk to handle very large models

• provides limited instability information

• Multi-threaded solver

• best for medium to large problems

• fully utilizes all cores/CPUs

• fully runs in RAM for speed

• provides no instability information

• Recommendations:

• Use the Standard or Advanced (default) solver to check for stability early in the
development of models.

• Modal analysis using eigen vectors can help find instabilities.

• Switch to the Multi-threaded solver for speed when the model is well developed and
stable.

• Use the Advanced solver instead if the model is too large and the Multi-threaded solver
reports memory limitations.

• Alternatively for the Multi-threaded solver, using the 64-bit version of the product
(ETABS, SAP2000, CSiBridge) and/or running the analysis in a separate process (see
below) can help avoid memory problems on a machine with enough RAM.

Analysis Process Options:


• GUI process

• best for small problems

• analysis runs within the software, such as with SAFE.exe

• benefit: less disk operations (I/O) are performed

• drawback: the software itself consumes memory, leaving less available for analysis,
which slows operations and prevents the ability to run larger models

• Separate process

• best for medium to large problems

• the analysis model is written to the disk and read by CSI.SAPFire.Driver.exe, then
analysis is run within CSI.SAPFire.Driver.exe

• benefit: the analysis engine has access to more memory, therefore larger problems can
be solved and analysis runs faster

• drawback: time is lost to write and read the analysis model

• Auto

• default setting

• the necessary memory is estimated, then compared to the physical ram available. If
enough RAM is available, the analysis runs in GUI process. If not, it is shelled out to
CSI.SAPFire.Driver.exe.

Other Options:

• Always run 32-bit analysis

• only applies to Separate Process (and Auto when it shells out the analysis), which is run
in GUI Process when the 32-bit version is used

• on a 64-bit system (64-bit CPU and 64-bit OS), 64-bit analysis runs by default when
shelled out, and the option must be checked to run the 32-bit version

• forcing the 32-bit version is not advisable without reason since the 64-bit analysis
version is faster and can solve larger problems