PLAXIS 2D 2010 is a 32-bit application, but with the advantage of calculating phases simultaneously when these phases are independent. An example: take a project that has three phases and both Phase 2 and Phase 3 will start from Phase 1. This makes Phase 2 and Phase 3 independent of each other. With PLAXIS 2D2010 you can now calculate Phase 2 and Phase 3 simultaneously when Phase 1 is finished and when you have at least 2 CPU cores available. Another advantage is that the calculation kernel can do the matrix decomposition over multiple CPU cores, making calculations with advanced soil models, like the Hardening Soil model, faster. Especially for calculation phases with a lot of steps (e.g. Dynamics), this can give an improvement of 20%.
The best way to improve your calculation speed for 2D 2010 is:
With the release of PLAXIS 2D 2011, Plaxis moves another step forward for fast and efficient Finite Element calculations: a single-phase calculation will now use all available CPU cores for the fastest possible phase calculation. As a side effect, the algorithm for parallel phases that was available in PLAXIS 2D 2010 cannot be used to avoid system overload (multiple phases all using the same amount of CPU cores).Note that this calculation is currently still 32 bit, but the calculation can now handle more than 10,000 15-noded elements.
For the best calculation performance for PLAXIS 2D 2011:
In the PLAXIS 2D 2011.01 update, Plaxis adds another calculation improvement: the 64-bit calculation kernel. Now larger models can be calculated: in the 64-bit calculation kernel the memory limit is determined by the maximum available RAM memory in the computer system, improving the 2 GB limit of the 32-bit kernel. And in most cases, the 64-bit calculation kernel will improve the calculation time.
Note that the software can still run on a 32 bit Windows version, in which it will fall back to the 32-bit calculation behaviour.
For the best calculation performance for PLAXIS 2D 2011.01:
In order to further increase the speed and robustness of PLAXIS 2D calculations, starting with the PLAXIS 2D 2012 version, calculations are now always made on files stored on a local disk: the data necessary for the calculation is copied to the Windows TEMP folder when starting the calculation. Once the calculation is finished, it will move the resulting data from the Windows TEMP folder to the final save location.With this change calculations on Plaxis files stored in a network location become faster and more robust due to less network traffic.
For the best calculation performance for PLAXIS 2D 2012 and PLAXIS 2D Classic:
With the release of PLAXIS 2D AE, the data structure of the PLAXIS 3D 2013 program is followed. This means that all data will be stored in the Windows TEMP folder until the user undertakes a save action: only then the data is moved to the saved destination.
For good calculation performance:
With the release of PLAXIS 2D 2017, the Input/Output GUI, mesh generator and calculation kernel are now all compiled in 64-bit, taking advantage of increased RAM memory usage.
In PLAXIS 3D 2010 and later, a 64-bit calculation kernel is available. In order to use such a 64-bit calculation kernel, it must be run on a 64-bits version of a Microsoft Operating System. In that case, the calculation kernel's memory limitation is based on the available RAM in the system, rather than the 32-bit limitation of about 2 GB. These 64-bit calculation kernels are available via the Bentley Geotechnical SELECT Entitlement [GSE] (former PLAXIS-VIP) Licence.For PLAXIS 3D2010, the system of independent phase calculation is also introduced, so a multi-core processor will have some advantages.For the best calculation performance using a 64-bit calculation kernel:
With the release of PLAXIS 3D2011, Plaxis will allow for the usage of different solvers, including a multicore 64-bit solver. With this new calculation option, a single-phase calculation can be calculated using multiple CPU cores. For the best calculation performance:
Note that all Plaxis programs can still run on a 32-bit Windows Operating System, but it will run with the 32-bit limitation of using a maximum of 3.8 GB of RAM. In most cases, this is not a practical limitation for 2D.
With the release of PLAXIS 3D 2016, the Input/Output GUI, mesh generator and calculation kernel are now all compiled in 64-bit, taking advantage of increased RAM memory usage. Also, the entire geometry model is now taking advantage of a fully parametric geometric data model.
Is PLAXIS 3D 64-bit?
[Tips and Tricks]
Is PLAXIS 3D enabled for multicore?
Memory usage in dynamic calculations
PLAXIS 3D 2016: Fully parametric geometry