In this video we’re looking at hardware configurations for running SolidWorks 3D CAD software. Whether you’re purchasing a new machine to run SolidWorks or considering how to update an existing machine, we will look at everything from processors to RAM and graphics cards to hard drives. At the end of the video you will have a better idea of where you should and where you should not invest your money. The first thing to understand, is that there isn’t a ‘one size fits’ all machine for SolidWorks. Before we start looking at machine specs, We need to ask ourselves what is it we want SolidWorks to do? Are we just interested in simple part modelling? Maybe we want to use its photo realistic rendering tools Or perhaps we need to perform some stress testing and flow analysis? All of these factors are going to determine the best way for us to invest our money. Now historically Desktops were the go-to machine for CAD but now desktops and mobile workstations can achieve almost identical performance. So the first question we need to ask is : Do I need to use SolidWorks wherever I go? If the answer is yes, then we recommend the Dell Precision range of mobile workstations. If the answer is No, well based purely on price and ability to upgrade, a desktop machine should be a serious consideration. To help understand how your use of SolidWorks affects the choice of machine we’re going to look at hardware specifications for three different SolidWorks scenarios. To start with we’ll look at SolidWorks used mainly as a design tool. Then, SolidWorks as a visualization tool and finally will look at SolidWorks used as a simulation tool. If you’re using SolidWorks purely as a design tool by modeling parts, putting together assemblies and creating 2D drawings these are the things to look out for. Lets start with your processor. Core SolidWorks is predominantly single threaded which means it only solves one task at a time. Because of this you should be looking for turbo boost technology instead of investing in a machine with lots of cores. Find yourself an Intel chip with a high turbo boost speed that can churn through your tasks faster and dont worry too much of how many processor cores your machine has. Next, RAM. Now this is often the first thing people go to upgrade when their machine isnt performing very well but it isn’t always the correct fix. More RAM will only benefit you if you’re actually running out in the first place. The best advice we can offer here is to buy a machine with spare memory slots. These can be used at a later stage or if your budget allows, Invest in more RAM than you currently need to give yourself that extra memory ready for the future. For most users the sweet spot is between 16 and 32 gig. Now our graphics card. When designing in SolidWorks we spend all day zooming, panning, rotating and interrogating our models. All of this is driven by the graphics card. It sounds obvious, but a graphics card with the most power is going to enable SolidWorks to perform these operations smoother and faster. But we can’t stress this enough, Gaming cards are not supported for SolidWorks and they will cause you issues. You must get yourself a professional CAD grade card. We always recommend something from Nvidia Quadro range. These are proven cards that have the best performance and they have the best support. So what about using SolidWorks for photo realistic renders and animations? For this kind of work we use SolidWorks Visualize which is unlike other renderers as it harnesses Nvidia’s Iray technology directly from your graphics card. The result of this is much faster rendering times. Spending that little bit extra on a graphics card will pay you back by rendering your work faster and making you more productive But for the majority of users the very highest Spec graphics cards really aren’t justified. What we recommend is a mid to mid high range card with at least 4 gigabytes of memory. The more modest graphics cards purchased today can be replaced more frequently in the future allowing you to make best use of the latest technology. So let’s look at RAM. Well naturally, rendering operations use a large amount of memory therefore it isn’t uncommon to need large amounts of RAM. If you’re serious about rendering. We would suggest looking to invest in at least 32 gigabytes. Finally, let’s look at hardware considerations if we plan to use SolidWorks as a simulation tool. There are some quite significant differences between a machine for SolidWorks when used primarily as a design tool and SolidWorks when it’s being used as a simulation tool. The main difference is in how it harnesses processing power. Unlike in the two previous scenarios SolidWorks simulation is multithreaded. Therefore investing in a CPU with multiple cores will increase performance. However you are still going to be using SolidWorks as a design tool. So not only do you want the multiple cores but you want them to have good turbo boost speed. There is one other thing to consider though and this bridges your choice between both processor and memory. The Xeon range of processors from Intel supports something called ECC memory for the purposes of this video it’s enough to highlight that ECC is particularly useful when running lengthy simulations. Both of these components will cost you more money, so if you’re not running lengthy complex simulations very often, then you probably won’t see the benefit of either. So consider carefully before adding these items to your shopping list. Regardless of how you plan to use SolidWorks, there are of course some general considerations to make when choosing hardware. Once you’ve chosen your Processor, RAM and Graphics card. Make sure that the machine you’ve chosen, comes with a Solid State hard drive. Although this isn’t necessary to run SolidWorks itself, an SSD will improve your overall performance by allowing applications to load faster and files to open quicker the larger SSD drives can be expensive. So for some extra storage capacity consider adding a cheaper traditional hard drive too. When selecting an operating system, you should understand that SolidWorks is a 64 bit Windows application. At present, there is support for Windows 7 and 10. Our recommendation would be to go for Windows 10 professional. It’s the most recent and we always prefer to invest in the latest technology. If you’re running a Mac there is no native install but you can run SolidWorks through either Parallels or Boot camp. So all in all, these are the things you should be thinking about before purchasing any new machine for SolidWorks. We hope you find it useful. If so don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and make sure you check out the link in the description below for up to date pre-built machine specs.


49 Comments

DP Tech · January 8, 2019 at 11:13 pm

Hello!
I bought an ASUS ROG Zephyrus M notebook with in GTX 1060 6Gb, but I also bought an eGPU case – AkiTio Node Pro.
I'd like to use it at home, like a "workstation" and output to external monitor.
I added to the eGPU a Quadro K5000 and had a lot of issues with drivers. (Quadro vs. GeForce) Can't use external monitor.
I wrote to Nvidia support, but they wont support this kind of combination. (they gave me a link to a forum with theme from 2010; and now is 2019 )
Indeed the Quadro K5000 in AkiTio Node Pro connecting via ThunderBolt 3 showing better result in SolidWorks (nearly the same, like the GTX 1060)
So, if I will buy a Quadro P4000 GPU to use it like an eGPU, will it perform better in my case?
Or can you somehow to affect Nvidia that they do somethig with drivers?
No one will give me a Quadro P4000 for test, but there are no sense to by an ~1000$ Quadro P4000 GPU with this kind of driver issues and leave it on the shelve after failed test.
The AkiTio Node Pro is alredy on the on the shelve. (~500$)

Emre Akın · January 13, 2019 at 10:18 pm

Thanks for your high quality content!

Ezequiel Pedroza · January 14, 2019 at 5:20 pm

Very helpful

M A Motin Sobuj · January 23, 2019 at 10:55 am

Thank you sir

Gbenga John · April 11, 2019 at 11:57 pm

Hello, I am a Civil engineering student looking to purchase a laptop for solidworks, I am looking to buy the hp x360 15.6 inch that has 16gig ram, Nvidia graphics card, 512 SSD, and core i7 8th Gen. My question is will this be good enough for me to run solidworks smoothly or not. Thank you In anticipation of your response.

DudALonE · April 25, 2019 at 11:37 pm

what about uhd graphic card in the ultra books

Tarun Mulani · May 4, 2019 at 5:08 pm

Which is better and why
Dell precision 5530 top model with 4gb qudro p2000 vs Dell precision 7730 top model with 16gb qudro p5000

Karim Benny · May 5, 2019 at 12:33 pm

for begineers and students I recommend low end laptops and for high end use your schools or Job desktop. meaning that you use your laptop for presenatation and small design fixes and desktop for simulation and vice verse. and dont forget get to move your body

Daniel Aguila · June 21, 2019 at 2:34 am

Thank you for the very informative video! Would you recommend the Surface pro 6? I have been thinking on getting one with 16gb, 256 storage.

Speed · June 26, 2019 at 8:17 pm

So, for those of us students that won't buy a workstation with AMD or Nvidia quadro GPU cards, what other gpu's could we consider?

Rishu Raj Sharma · July 2, 2019 at 4:21 pm

Thank you.

Emmett McGregor · July 12, 2019 at 11:47 pm

Solid advice, thanks for the breakdown.

CRACK UPSC Mission 2022 · July 23, 2019 at 2:18 pm

Can we add external graphics card for laptop

CRACK UPSC Mission 2022 · July 23, 2019 at 2:19 pm

Can we add external graphics card for laptop

Oliver Cairn · August 1, 2019 at 1:45 pm

so an i9 9900k?

CHUJOR OBARIJIMA · August 2, 2019 at 11:21 am

awesome enlightenment.

Matias Vega · August 10, 2019 at 5:16 pm

Can we use a Ryzen instead of a Xeon?

Dexter · August 20, 2019 at 1:51 am

For last 12 years I work as automotive design engineer and for last 4 years I work also as design engineer in domain of optoelectronics and optomechanics,nanotechnology,micro lens technology etc.I have some assemblies with more than 40K components at 6x6mm and guess what,I use advanced binned GTX1080ti..I use both QUADO and standard gaming cards but only difference is customer support and thats it.Long time ago we had some cards like Quadro FX 4800 with noticeable difference but right now the cards are more advanced with large amount of memory and there is no reason to buy QUADRO card unles you are a Pixar or you need someone to hold your balls in day to day work for that extra money.

Hamza Ilarzeg · August 21, 2019 at 5:55 am

Clean and professional.

jerry struijkenkamp · August 22, 2019 at 11:38 pm

Sponserd by Dell

Anil Kutty · August 23, 2019 at 4:47 pm

Thank you very much for your support. This ideas are really recommended for a Senior Design Engineer

Zoran Sekulovski · August 26, 2019 at 12:49 pm

Just buy a Ryzen and forget about what this Joe said in the video. He has shown 0 knowledge in hardware. Ryzen suppprts ECC, but you dont need it with SolidWorks anyway. Also, FirePro from AMD are much more affordable for same performance. I can only conclude that this was sponsored video. And that is something that needs to be mentioned.

Hamza Alnoman · September 3, 2019 at 8:27 am

thank you

does this apply for design and visualization on 3D MAX also

Koushiic Durai · September 8, 2019 at 12:06 pm

It's about time you have a Mac OS version of solid works guys!! It's about time!!

TheJcGlobal c · September 12, 2019 at 5:04 am

Vaio.

Ravindrasinh jadeja · September 12, 2019 at 9:38 pm

Please sir make one video on best budget pc for 3d design pc configuration

Emil Jose · September 22, 2019 at 4:53 pm

I want a laptop for programming…could you help me with that

Boom Planet · September 25, 2019 at 4:56 pm

aight imma head out to buy a laptop with a "quadro" gpu hope my broke ass can find one cheap.

David Micevski · October 1, 2019 at 8:45 am

Quadro graphics cards are hard to come by on a laptop. What would you recommend from the Rtx range of graphics cards?

Solid Solutions - Professional Design Solutions · October 23, 2019 at 11:15 am

If you liked the video, dont forget to subscribe here! – https://www.youtube.com/user/SolidSolutionsManLtd?sub_confirmation=1

NikosApla · October 23, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Can someone help me pick hardware parts to build a new pc for civil engineering (as a Job not a student pc)?

Jay Foreman · October 30, 2019 at 4:32 pm

Buying a laptop for my wife for cad, sketchup ,vray etc. Is the asus G531GVE5-PK19. Its 9th gen i7 , 16gb ddr4 and nvidia rtx2060. No clue about this stuff so any help is appreciated

Stevieboy130664 · October 31, 2019 at 8:16 pm

Does running SW non natively on Mac have a performance penalty compare to an equal spec windows machine?

Asif Ahmed · November 6, 2019 at 3:23 pm

please suggest me around 1000$ laptop for soildworks

Tronfighter 25 · November 12, 2019 at 10:28 pm

An SSHD is a different thing to an SSD.

Nanez ferrer · November 17, 2019 at 11:14 am

what laptop should i get ?

Focusin · November 21, 2019 at 9:26 pm

Dassault Systemes should know that a workstation is not affordable. I do have an 8 gen i7, 32 gb of RAM, but my GPU is a gaming one, a RX 570, not supported but nothing a couple of tweaks in the registry could not fix. Just a Quadro alone costs the same as the setup mentioned above or even more. That's just a complete madness.
A very helpful video will be one in were you explain what's the bare minimum you'll need to build a decent and affordable semi-pro workstation. Hope you take that into consideration 👍

Paddy Edits · November 22, 2019 at 4:08 am

Waht will be the overall price in indian rupee

Jacob Frame · December 5, 2019 at 8:07 pm

I have a "proper" SolidWorks approved graphics card and it still gives me troubles….

francesco bertelli · December 9, 2019 at 8:30 pm

i've been thinking to buy the new XPS 5540 with i7 processor, nvidia quadro T2000 and 16GB RAM, in order to use principally CAD 3D(creo,catia,solidworks) and simulation (inventor, ansys). in your opinion the machine which i would buy it's a good machine? o i can find some issue?

Amoconda · December 11, 2019 at 4:35 pm

Exactly what I needed to know. Thanks!

Stanley Sam · December 12, 2019 at 5:51 am

Need a help I'm a beginner in autodesk inventor would you recommend me to go for ThinkPad t590 corei5 8th gen
8gb ram , 2gb mx250 graphic card

Maryam Raisya · December 14, 2019 at 5:33 pm

Ryzen 5 better than i5 generation 8 or not?

Rachna Anand · December 24, 2019 at 4:26 am

Good work buddy

Nur a Shams · January 2, 2020 at 3:11 am

Im going for a ryzen 7 build with 3700x, corsair 16×2 gb ram, rtx 2070 card , nvme solid state drive, necessary components.

Account User · January 3, 2020 at 2:26 pm

What about SolidCAM, CPUs with more cores or turbo boost? I guess GPU is not that important.

Typhon 1 · January 8, 2020 at 4:12 pm

Is macbook pro 15 with 555x good ?

JC Not · January 10, 2020 at 11:30 pm

Really comprehensive, but what’s with the constant brand pushing? You trying to get 5 bucks off of me?

Raymond Victorio Fabian · January 10, 2020 at 11:43 pm

Could I run it with an i5 & 16 GBs of RAM? My homework is just basic part modeling exercises from the textbook for the most part.

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