SOLIDWORKS 2013 System Requirements
We get a lot of support inquiries dealing with what kind of PC is the best to run Solidworks. Here are a few tips from the MCAD tech staff on selecting your next SOLIDWORKS system.
• Windows 7 Professional x64 – recommended and preferred.
• Windows 8 Professional x 64 – supported.
• Vista Business x64 SP2 – supported but not preferred.
• XP x64 – Not supported.
• 32 bit Windows – not recommended.
• 64 bit: 8 GB, or more – recommended for large assembly work and Simulation.
• 32 bit – 4 GB – not recommended.
• A SOLIDWORKS certified OpenGL workstation card with 2GB of RAM – recommended.
• A SOLIDWORKS certified OpenGL workstation card with 1GB of RAM – minimum requirement.
• Visit http://www.solidworks.com/sw/videocardtesting.html for a list of certified cards and drivers.
• Nvidia Quadro or ATI FirePro.
• Intel integrated graphics and gaming cards (Nvidia GeForce and ATI Radeon) are not certified and not recommended.
• Quadro NVS are not recommended; they are 2D only cards.
• While a certified video card is important SOLIDWORKS is a CPU bound application, you’ll see more performance gains from a faster CPU.
• Current generation Intel or AMD processor – as fast as you can afford.
• The Intel i7 Sandy Bridge series are the fastest CPU’s today.
• SOLIDWORKS will take advantage of multi core and multi CPU architectures. Typically these processors give about a 10-15% increase in performance.
• All SOLIDWORKS Simulation products take advantage multi core and multi CPU architectures.
• SOLIDWORKS will only take advantage of two cores on a quad core CPU.
• 7200 RPM SATA minimum.
• RAID 0 configuration if drive speed is critical.
• SSD (solid state drive) if speed is critical.
• Very few laptops that have the certified graphics cards for SolidWorks:
o Dell Precision mobile workstations.
o HP EliteBook mobile workstations.
o Lenovo Thinkpad W series.
• SOLIDWORKS has created a benchmark to gauge system performance.
• See what other SOLIDWORKS users have for hardware and their performance to make a better informed decision.
NOTE – Though these recommendations are a good starting point for specing out a SOLIDWORKS machine, it is always a good idea to conduct your own hardware/software tests before purchasing any workstation, computer hardware, or video card for SolidWorks.