Graphics Workstations & Rendering Systems for SolidWorks

Understand the parameters that make an ideal SolidWorks system

What is SolidWorks?

SolidWorks incorporates CAD (Computer Aided Design) elements, but it is much more than that. It is a full software suite which incorporates CAD and CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) capabilities, and is primarily focused on components, machinery and 3D parts - hence its widespread use in the engineering and manufacturing industries. If your projects involve surface modelling, such as in the automotive or aerospace sectors, then CATIA will be a better option for you.

What makes the best system for SolidWorks?

Although there is no one ideal workstation for SolidWorks, this page will guide you through the most important factors to consider. The best place to start is your intended usage of SolidWorks - designing and modelling will work well on a lower powered workstation whereas rendering and simulation will require more powerful hardware. Similarly you should also consider whether SolidWorks will be used standalone or whether other design or rendering packages will be used in your workflow - the below recommendations and guidance focus primarily on the requirements for SolidWorks software alone, so you may want to read other application pages to understand how systems specifications may be impacted if multiple software applications are used together.

3XS Workstation

What CPU should I choose for SolidWorks?

If primarily doing design and modelling work SolidWorks runs best on CPUs with a high frequency and high IPC, such as a AMD Ryzen 9 or Intel Core i9. Simulation and rendering work will use more CPU cores, so a higher core count CPU such as an AMD Threadripper and Threadripper Pro is recommended.

What GPU do I need for SolidWorks?

SolidWorks is a software application that relies on the CPU for the majority of tasks so an mid- range professional-grade NVDIA GPU will suffice if working with simple assemblies - such as an NVIDIA T1000. When using 3D models, especially larger ones we would recommend a higher specification GPU, such as an NVIDIA RTX GPU card, to cope with the more complex graphics

In both cases, we would recommend a professional-grade NVIDIA GPU, as although their consumer counterparts may offer similar performance on paper, they will not be officially certified for SolidWorks usage, so you may struggle to get support from the GPU manufacturer or Dassault Systemes should you encounter a software issue.

How much RAM is recommended for SolidWorks?

The minimum RAM that we would recommend for SolidWorks is 32GB. As previously stated, if you require several models open alongside each other, or other applications open together then increasing the memory to 64GB is probably wise. Likewise, if you opt for a higher end CPU, it makes sense to match the RAM to the CPU capability for a more powerful system all round.

What storage does SolidWorks need?

We always recommend using an SSD for the boot drive that will host your OS, SolidWorks itself, and any active projects you are working on. The high speed of SSDs allows your system to boot, launch applications, and load files many times faster than any traditional hard drive. Alternatively, as your work projects increase you may want to consider a second SSD or higher capacity HDD - depending on your budget - so your OS, SolidWorks and live projects benefit from SSD speed, but your archived work uses the HDD where speed isn’t a necessity and costs can be lowered. Another archive solution could be to employ an external NAS device allowing sharing and RAID protection.

When it comes to deciding on drive capacity, this will very much depend on your number of files and the model sizes. You should also consider the space required by other applications and their associated files too.

Recommended SolidWorks Modelling Workstation Specifications

Workstation specifications
High-End Entry-Level
CPU AMD Ryzen 9 / Intel Core i9 AMD Ryzen 9 / Intel Core i9
RAM 64GB 32GB
GPU NVIDIA RTX A4000 NVIDIA T1000
Storage SSD SSD

Recommended SolidWorks Simulation Workstation Specifications

Workstation specifications
High-End Entry-Level
CPU AMD
Threadripper PRO
AMD
Threadripper
RAM 128GB 64GB
GPU NVIDIA RTX A6000* NVIDIA RTX A5000
Storage SSD + SSD SSD + HDD

* Consider adding a second RTX A6000 GPU for extremely complex CAE simulations

The Best Workstations for SolidWorks

Click the links below to view the range of graphics systems. We offer pre-configured systems that are ready to go or can custom build a system to your preferred specification.

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