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 base 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 4 to 8 core processor might be a better choice.
If you select a 4-core processor and are working mostly with 2D models, we recommend at least 16GB RAM, but ideally 32GB RAM.
If you select a 6- or 8-core processor and 3D modeling plays a large part in your workflow, 32GB RAM is most common. 64GB is recommended if your designs / projects are very large.
Majority of CAD workstations are fine with one 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB NVMe SSD.
If your CAD projects are extremely large and you want to maximize performance, we recommend two SSDs:
- Primary Drive: NVMe SSD for the operating system and applications
- Secondary Drive: NVMe SSD for active projects; a dedicated SSD will offer optimal performance
For long term storage, backup, or infrequently accessed files, we recommend a 2TB or 4TB SATA SSD. If you require larger storage, you can also go with a 4TB to 18TB hard drive.
M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD performs at ~2500MB/s
2.5-inch SATA SSD performs at ~500MB/s
3.5-inch SATA Hard Drive performs at ~250MB/s
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 4GB or Quadro P2200 5GB.
If 3D modeling plays a large part in your workflow, we recommend a Quadro A2000 6GB, Quadro A2000 12GB, or Quadro RTX A4000 16GB.