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I don't think there will be much more than consensus on what hardware works "best", especially since gazebo isn't the only thing that affects how gazebo appears to operate. But I few would disagree the more cores the better (4+ might make most happy), as much ram as you can afford (4G RAM might makes most happy).. Check here for a conversation about graphics cards.. but remember that everyone's expectations/needs aren't the same..

The most important thing I think you should do, regardless of your hardware, is make sure your software plays nice.. and this include your window manager (eg. instead of unity, use gnome-session-fallback and then use classic no effects.... or use xfce).. also take a look at parameters like the near and far clip in your world files... and also pay attention to the other applications that you're running and their CPU utilization (especially if you're using less than 4 cores).. If you're a ROS user you can tweak the rates of the other nodes that share the processor(s).

Finally, take the factor metric with a grain of salt.. in general simulation time is "squishy" and deriving the factor involves averaging over a window and then dividing by simulation time, by a sampling of real time, it's still a "squishy" metric. It's all we appear to have right now though..