While software like AutoCAD serves the vast majority of design needs for large sections of the design and engineering industry, there is still a lot of scope for truly high-end design applications.
Siemens NX brings these highly specialized, high-end CAD, CAM, CAE and PLM functions to desktop workstations. This means that NX is more than just a design package, but also a system for engineering simulation and manufacturing. As soon as a piece of software needs to accurately simulate real-world physics we move into the realm of high-performance computing and therefore choosing the right machine to run NX is a very important consideration if you want to complete job in a timely fashion.
NX will run on Mac OS, Unix-like systems and any Windows version from XP onwards. What really matters to NX is not your OS, but the hardware you give it to work with.
Unlike AutoCAD which will run on very modest machines and is for the most part single threaded, NX is a well-threaded application. It is appetite for threads is not unlimited however, so single threaded performance still matters a lot. The problem is that the more cores you have on a single die the lower the available thermal limit is for each active core. So a Xeon processor with a 3.5Ghz turbo frequency will only achieve those speeds if you are only using a fraction of its cores. If all cores are fully loaded they may drop down by nearly half as much in terms of frequency.
It is therefore worth looking for a processor that has a small difference between its turbo speed and nominal minimum. This usually means Xeons with 12 or 8 cores. Of course another strategy is to use better cooling on high core-count CPUs to allow for more thermal leeway.
NX also makes a strong case for a dual socket computer where the thermal load is spread between two separate CPU dies. This means that you can both a high core-count AND high clock speed. The ideal money-is-no-object configuration would be a dual socket system with many cores and high-performance cooling to keep single-thread performance as high as possible.
Since NX is core hungry you will need a system that can feed all the threads with data. A high-speed SSD as a primary drive and at least 16GB (32GB preferred) of RAM will be needed.
Operating systems supported by Siemens NX:
Microsoft Windows 10
Microsoft Windows 8 and 8.1
Microsoft Windows 7 Pro and Enterprise editions
SuSE Linux Enterprise Server/Desktop 1 1 SP1
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server/Desktop 6.0