SOLIDWORKS System Requirements

These requirements apply to all SOLIDWORKS products except where noted. Use this information to ensure you are always working with a SOLIDWORKS-supported and optimized system for hardware, operating system and Microsoft products.

Operating Systems

SOLIDWORKS 2019
(EDU 2019-2020)
SOLIDWORKS 2020
(EDU 2020-2021)
SOLIDWORKS 2021
(EDU 2021-2022)
Client Products (e.g. SOLIDWORKS)
Windows 10, 64-bit Yes Yes Yes
Windows 7 SP1, 64-bit Yes Yes No
Server Products (e.g. SOLIDWORKS PDM)
Windows Server 2019 Yes

(2019 SP3)

Yes Yes
Windows Server 2016 Yes Yes Yes
Windows Server 2012 R2 Yes No No
eDrawings for Mac
macOS Big Sur (11.0) No No Yes
macOS Catalina (10.15) No Yes Yes
macOS Mojave (10.14) Yes Yes Yes
macOS High Sierra (10.13) Yes Yes No
macOS Sierra (10.12) Yes No No

RAM

  • 16 GB or more, SOLIDWORKS
  • 32 GB or more – recommended for large assembly work and Simulation

Video Card

  • Visit https://www.solidworks.com/support/hardware-certification for a list of certified cards and drivers.
  • Nvidia Quadro or AMD FirePro or AMD Radeon Pro.
  • Intergrated Intel HD graphics and gaming cards (Nvidia GeForce for example) 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.
  • For SOLIDWORKS 2019, the new performance pipeline requires Nvidia Quadro series cards Kepler, Maxwell, Pascal and Volta that support OpenGL 4.5.

CPU

  • 3.3GHz or Higher
  • Current generation Intel or AMD with SSE2 support processor – as fast as you can afford.
  • The Intel i7 Generation 8 Coffee Lake series are the fastest CPU’s today.
  • SOLIDWORKS will take advantage of multi core and multi CPU architectures up to 4 cores.
  • All SOLIDWORKS Simulation products take advantage multi core and multi CPU architectures.

Hard Drive

  • Sata Controlled SSD (solid state drive) recommended at minimum.
  • New PCIe M.2 drives are strongly recommended for use for the primary drive.

Disk Space

  • PDM Contributor or Viewer: 10 GB or more
  • PDM Web Client or Web Server: 5 GB or more
  • PDM Archive Server or Database Server: 50 GB or more
  • SOLIDWORKS Manage: 10 GB or more

SOLIDWORKS System Requirements reference guide

Grab your copy of the SOLIDWORKS System Requirements reference guide today!

Download the Guide

SOLIDWORKS System Requirements for Laptops

Very few laptops have the certified graphics cards for SolidWorks. This list below is a good place to start.

  • Boxx MXL Laptops.
  • Dell Precision mobile workstations.
  • HP EliteBook mobile workstations.
  • Lenovo Thinkpad W series.

SOLIDWORKS Benchmarks

SOLIDWORKS has created a benchmark to gauge system performance.
https://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/benchmarks.htm

See what other SOLIDWORKS users have for hardware and their performance to make a better informed decision.
https://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/shareyourscore.htm

SOLIDWORKS Hypervisors (Virtual Environments)

SOLIDWORKS 2019 SOLIDWORKS 2020 SOLIDWORKS 2021
VMware vSphere ESXi 6.5 6.7 6.7 U3
VMware Workstation 14 15 15.5
Microsoft Hyper-V 2016 2019 2019
Parallels Desktop, Mac 14 14 TBA
Citrix XenServer 7.4 7.6 8.2
  • SOLIDWORKS and eDrawings require a GPU for optimal performance in a virtualized environment. SolidWorks has tested and certified graphics cards for virtualized environments. For a complete listing, check Certified Cards and Drivers.
  • Check Hardware Benchmarks for applications and references that can be used to help determine hardware performance.
  • SOLIDWORKS Composer is not supported in virtualized environments.

Microsoft/Apple Products Support Lifecycle (SOLIDWORKS 2018 and older)

Products Start of Support End of Support1
Windows 8.1, 64-bit SW 2014 SP1 SW 2018 SP5
Windows 7, 32-bit SW 2010 SP1 SW 2014 SP5
Windows Vista, 64-bit SW 2008 SP3.1 SW 2013 SP5
Windows Vista, 32-bit SW 2008 SP0 SW 2013 SP5
Windows XP, 64-bit SW 2006 SP4 SW 2012 SP5
Windows XP, 32-bit SW 2001Plus SP0 SW 2013 SP5
Windows Server 2012 SW 2014 SP0 SW 2018 SP5
Windows Server 2008 R2, SP1 SW 2009 SW 2017 SP5
Windows Server 2008 SW 2008 SW 2014 SP5
SQL Server 2008 R2 SW 2010 SP4 SW 2017 SP5
IE 10 SW 2013 SP0 SW 2016 SP5
IE 9 SW 2011 SP4 SW 2015 SP5
IE 8 SW 2009 SP5 SW 2014 SP5
Excel, Word 2010 SW 2010 SP5 SW 2018 SP5
Excel, Word 2007 SW 2008 SP1 SW 2014 SP5
OS X El Capitan (10.11) eDrawings 2017 eDrawings 2018
OS X Yosemite (10.10) eDrawings 2015 eDrawings 2018

Antivirus Products

Guidelines to help ensure SOLIDWORKS installation success and optimal runtime performance

  • Use a trusted antivirus product.
  • Keep your antivirus product updated to the latest version.
  • Stay updated with the latest antivirus definition/signature file (This defines the known current vulnerabilities and exemptions).
  • To ensure optimum performance, it is not recommended to install antivirus software on the SOLIDWORKS PDM vault server.
  • Consider creating exemptions for SOLIDWORKS file types and folder locations to improve SOLIDWORKS file based runtime performance such as File Open/Save/Save As and PDM Vault Checkin/Checkout.
  • If you encounter install or runtime errors or warnings from your antivirus product, first check the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base for known issues or contact your SOLIDWORKS reseller.

Additional Notes:
Though these are the recommended SOLIDWORKS system requirements, it is always a good idea to conduct your own hardware/software tests before purchasing any workstation, computer hardware, or video card for SOLIDWORKS.

  1. End Of Support (EOS) corresponds to the last SOLIDWORKS release where a Microsoft product is supported (This is synchronized with the Microsoft Mainstream Support End Date). SOLIDWORKS releases after the EOS are not supported for the said Microsoft product and SOLIDWORKS installation is blocked in the case of an operating system.
  2. SOLIDWORKS Product Support Lifecycle defines the End Of Support for SOLIDWORKS versions.
  3. SolidWorks recommends using the latest Microsoft update of Windows, Office and Internet Explorer.
  4. SolidWorks supports each Windows 10 release for applicable SOLIDWORKS releases as long as it is still covered by both the SOLIDWORKS Product Support Lifecycle and Microsoft Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet.
  5. SolidWorks recommends using a Windows Server operating system for all SOLIDWORKS server-based products. Refer to the Microsoft Windows Server documentation to select the Windows Server edition that meets your needs.
  6. Windows Home Editions and Windows To Go are not supported.
  7. Apple Mac ® based machines running Windows using Boot Camp are not supported.
  8. SOLIDWORKS 2018 on Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 requires the Microsoft April 2014 update
  9. It is not recommended to install any instances of other applications on the SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive or Database Server. For PDM Professional, it is recommended the Archive and Database servers are two separate, dedicated machines.
  10. SolidWorks does not test or certify VPN (Virtual Private Network) solutions but provides best-effort support. Users may be directed to work directly with their VPN provider to resolve issues on a case-by-case basis.
  11. Beginning with SOLIDWORKS 2020, DVD distribution media will only be provided on request. Please contact Computer Aided Technology if you require a physical copy of the software.

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