Is PLAXIS 3D enabled for multicore?

ApplicationPLAXIS 3D
VersionPLAXIS 3D
Date created30 May 2011
Date modified30 May 2011

Yes, it is. In fact, a dual-core CPU is required for PLAXIS 3D. More than two cores are supported under the Geotechnical SELECT Entitlements [VIP] licence.

Input program

The PLAXIS 3D Input program can perform multicore operations: this is used amongst others during the intersection process (going from soil/structures mode to e.g. mesh mode), when loading large PLAXIS 3D projects, during rendering, etc.. Because of the availability of multicore, the whole user experience is a lot smoother for large PLAXIS 3D projects.

Calculation in PLAXIS 3D 2010: parallel independent phases

Although the PLAXIS 3D 2010 calculation kernel itself is optimised for a single-threaded calculation for each phase, the PLAXIS 3D 2010 program uses a smart routine to optimise the calculation time for the calculation of all phases: it can assign different calculation phases to separate cores. However, a depending phase can only be calculated if the previous is already calculated successfully. This means that when you have a single line of phases, multicore is not utilised. But if you have several phases starting from the same phase, they can all be calculated independently of each other. This is especially useful when calculating a safety analysis for several stages in your project, as these can be calculated next to the normal sequence of your staged construction phases. Depending on your project and the number of cores and the available memory this can speed up your calculation quite a lot.

Calculation in PLAXIS 3D 2011 and later: multicore calculations

Since the release of PLAXIS 3D 2011, the user may choose different solver types to solve the matrix equations: PLAXIS 3D 2011: multicore settings

For more information about these solvers, please refer to the Reference Manual.

The user may also set the Max cores to use. This number specifies how many cores will be used per phase calculation. If the number is larger than the number of available cores in your computer, the calculation will only use the available physical cores. E.g. on a quad core PC using the default 256 Max cores to use, you will use 4 cores for the phase calculation in a multi-core calculation (Picos or Pardiso solver).
Note that the calculation will only start a phase calculation when there are enough CPU cores available to launch a phase calculation.


Depending on the setup of the calculation, the following may happen:

Without a VIP licence, the number of used cores during the calculation is limited to two cores.

Trouble shooting

See also