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SOLIDWORKS Hardware Advice and Requirements

When specifying a machine for SOLIDWORKS many factors need to be considered.

A compromise has to be met between speed and cost. This page covers the major hardware and software decisions to give you the best performance for your budget. We also want to avoid you spending money on unnecessarily expensive systems/ components that will not benefit SOLIDWORKS products or in the worst case perform poorly compared to an optimal system.

We generally recommend that a machine be replaced after 3-5 Years. A good idea is to reallocate older machines to less demanding users, elsewhere within the company. A machine that has become too slow for SOLIDWORKS can still be a fast general purpose machine.

Hardware Fundamentals


SOLIDWORKS is essentially a single threaded application (i.e. it can’t do the next calculation before it calculates the last) most tasks use more than 1-2 processors. However given the fastest single/ lightly threaded CPU’s are those with 6-8 cores this is currently our recommendation. These additional cores may also be useful for Simulation tools, CPU based rendering tools such as SOLIDWORKS Visualize and multi-tasking.  

Memory / RAM

For most users 16GB RAM will be sufficient but if you are working with Complex datasets, Simulation, Rendering then 32GB or more may be required. Generally testing with your current workflows and monitoring the memory usage is the best guide. Adding more RAM will not increase performance unless you are running out. If unsure you can specify a system with spare slots to allow upgrade or contact our support team.

Graphics Cards

SOLIDWORKS only supports a limited number of workstation grade graphics cards.

There are two main manufacturers/ranges of cards supported “NVIDA Quadro” and “AMD”. The majority of the cards used by SOLIDWORKS users are NVidia Quadro cards and historically the drivers for these cards have been better and more stable than AMD.

Hard Disks

For most users a 250GB SSD drive is the minimum we would recommend your programs and operating system. Larger capacity SSD drives getting progressively more expensive with the current sweet point in cost vs size being 512GB.

Most users store their SOLIDWORKS files on a server Ideally Product Data Management (PDM) but you will probably still have a requirement to store some data locally. 

See our Hardware Guide for more information on expected performance improvements between the different specifications or contact Hardware@solidsolutions.co.uk

This guide takes a look at all the system requirements needed to run SOLIDWORKS, as well as offering useful information on hardware needed to run SOLIDWORKS. You can also look at our Dell Hardware page where we have teamed up with Dell to offer Desktops and Laptop workstations to cater for a range of needs.

Download Hardware Guide

We are here to help…

Finally, remember support is there to help you with your choices. Processors, graphics cards and memory prices can change monthly. We will happily review any proposed machine and suggest any changes that would provide better value for money. Give us a suggested budget, let us know how many components are in a typical large assembly and we will suggest any improvements needed.


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