SolidWorks is a solid modeling computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided engineering (CAE) computer program.
Selecting the number of processing cores in your workstation is critical. 2D design and 3D modeling within the software relies primarily on a single processor core. Since the clockspeed of that core determines performance more than any other variable, a workstation with less cores (but higher clockspeed) is ideal. Therefore we recommend a 4- to 8-core processor with a clockspeed of 3.0GHz and above.
If you plan on using the workstation for rendering/simulation in addition to design and modeling, then the more cores the better.
Rendering is a highly multi-threaded process and will take advantage of all the CPU cores available in your system. It's important to consider how often you will utilize multi-threaded features like rendering. If you rarely utilize this feature, then a single 8 to 10 core processor might be a better choice.
In general, 3-6GB of RAM per CPU core is recommended. For example, if you select a single 12-core processor, 32GB will suffice for basic tasks or 64GB for more demanding workloads.
We recommend having two drives which provides the best performance:
- Primary Drive: SSD for the operating system and software
- Secondary Drive: another SSD, or for better performance, an NVMe Flash Storage Drive (the "HP Z Turbo Drive") for active project files
If you need additional storage for large, infrequently accessed files, we also recommend one or more 4TB, 6TB or 8TB+ hard drives. Hard drives also work well for storing export files as the export/rendering process is generally not write intensive.
For manufacturing, product design, architecture and engineering applications, we recommend an NVIDIA Quadro graphics cards as opposed to GeForce cards. Quadro cards are officially tested and supported by companies like Autodesk and Dassault. Most importantly, unlike GeForce cards, they have double precision floating point calculations (FP64) capability enabled, which is essential for these types of applications.
If working mostly with 2D models, we recommend the Quadro P1000 or Quadro P2000.
If 3D modeling plays a large part in your workflow, we recommend a Quadro P4000 or Quadro RTX 4000.
The HP Z8 G4 Workstation is recommended if you would like dual processors and/or multiple high performance graphics cards.
The HP Z6 G4 Workstation is recommended if you would like to start with a single high-end processor and single high-performance graphics card with the potential of upgrading in the future. With the Z6 G4, you can add a second matching processor and double the memory using the optional second processor riser. The power supply will also support two mid-range graphics cards.
The HP Z4 G4 Workstation is recommended for majority of workflows. Since Intel now produces single Core i9 and Xeon processors with up to 18-cores and high clock speed, there is no need for dual processors unless you will have heavy CPU rendering or intensive tasks demanding more than 18-cores. Also, the HP Z4 G4 has an optional 1000W power supply that will support the most powerful graphics cards inluding the GeForce RTX 2080Ti and Quadro RTX 6000.