Any software, in addition to a proper operating system, requires good hardware to run fast and smooth. By hardware we usually mean CPU processing power, amount of RAM and RAM speed, amount of free space on the hard drive and graphics card specifications. Of course, in engineering software, we can usually run the software with medium system specifications, but if we want to use all its power, we must use powerful systems known as workstations.
The method of choosing a suitable desktop or laptop to run Solidworks software is a question for many users.
In this article, we try to talk about the computer specifications suitable for using SolidWorks. Before continuing the article, we want to explain the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit Windows (operating system).
What is the difference between Windows x64 and x86 or 32 bit and which is better for installing SolidWorks?
A very important point when installing SolidWorks is, does SolidWorks support your current Windows? For example, SolidWorks 2021, 2020 and 2019 will not run on Windows 8.1. Or SolidWorks 2021, which is the latest version of the software, no longer supports Windows 7. To find out which versions of SolidWorks each operating system supports, we need to refer to the SolidWorks website and operating system section.
Now the question we ask is which version of 32-bit or 64-bit Windows is suitable for solid. The main difference between 32-bit Windows, also known as x86 windows, and the 64-bit version is that 32-bit Windows supports a maximum of 4 GB of RAM due to the type of architecture and memory addressing. This means that if you buy a powerful laptop with 32 GB of RAM and install Windows 8.1 32-bit version on it, you can only use 4 GB of RAM! Besides, many 32-bit malware do not run on 64-bit Windows.
That's why the best option is to use Windows X64 to run and install Solidworks.
In general, there is no specific limit on the minimum configuration to run SolidWorks. (Unless your computer has very poor configuration or specifications) In fact, you can run SolidWorks with an Intel Core i3 processor and 4 or 8 GB of RAM. At the same time, Solidworks offers the minimum system specifications as follows:
Solidworks 2020 and 2021 minimum hardware requirement
Processor (CPU): 3.3 GHz or higher clock speed
Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit
Memory: 32GB (16GB minimum)
Hard Drive: Solid State Drive (SSD), maintaining at least 20GB free space
NVIDIA Quadro P600 (entry level), P1000 / 2000 (mid-range) or P4000 (high-end)
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 (entry level), WX 4100 (mid-range) or WX 5100 (high-end)
In 3D modeling, sketching, and assembly, SolidWorks typically uses the power equivalent to 1 CPU core. In this way, as the speed and frequency of the main CPU increase, SolidWorks performs better in its primary environments, including part, assembly, and drawing. The recommended CPU frequency for Solidworks, especially the 2021 and 2020 versions, is 3Ghz to 3.3 GHz. By processing speed of each core (Core) in the CPU, we mean the normal processing frequency (Clock speed). So with that said, for modeling, assembly, and drawing in SolidWorks, the benchmark and CPU score in single-core mode should be high.
Therefore, although the number of cores and CPU threads in different environments such as simulation environment, fluid simulation and heat transfer, rendering and animation of SolidWorks software has a great impact, but in the initial environments of solid software, single-core processor speed That has an impact. One of the great websites where you can check the specifications of each processor and compare it with other CPUs or so-called benchmark, is https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php .
High RAM and graphics card quality are more useful in assembly environment. These two characteristics are most effective in complex SolidWorks assemblies with a large number of components.
Using a high-speed hard drive and SSDs as the main Windows drive that also has SolidWorks installed will increase the speed and load of Solidworks, but its absence will not be a problem.
When using Solidworks Simulation and especially meshing parts or assemblies in SolidWorks and performing the trial and error process when performing SolidWorks simulation, all the main processor cores are activated and more CPU cores are more useful in this environment. Also, when performing Meshing operations for a model in SolidWorks stress analysis and CFD environment, the high amount of RAM helps to do smaller meshing, which is necessary for situations where high simulation accuracy is required.
The graphics card and its specifications have little effect on the speed of the SolidWorks simulation and simulation environment.
Solidworks photo view - Rendering
It is important to note that Solidworks software uses the main processor when rendering, and in SolidWorks, the graphics card does not interfere much in rendering.
Therefore, the stronger the CPU and the more cores it has, the faster the rendering speed will be.
It should be noted that the English code after the name of the processor represents its family. U-code CPUs, which are ultra-low consumption and are used in many laptops today, generally have 2 main cores and 2 virtual cores.
Meanwhile, processors with Q, QM, and HQ codes have 4 main cores and 4 virtual cores (thread), and their use increases the speed of rendering, animation, as well as simulation, and simulation in SolidWorks.
It is interesting to know that from the 8th generation onwards, Intel Core i7 processors, U code CPUs also have 4 main cores and 4 virtual cores. For example, if you use the Intel Core i7-8550U processor to run SolidWorks software, this processor, which belongs to the 8th generation of Intel products, has 4 cores and 8 threads, unlike the previous series of U code. We suggest that you visit the benchmark site www.cpubenchmark.net for a specialized review of the processor performance status, and after searching for the processor you want, read its specifications carefully.
In addition to all this, the new Xeon series processors are also good options for rendering, making industrial animation with SolidWorks, and performing simulation and simulation in SolidWorks.
Another good option for choosing a Solidworks CPU is to use the Intel Core i9 series. This series of Intel processors have a relatively good number of cores and threads, and at the same time, its price is usually cheaper than the Intel Zeon series.
One of the questions about Suitable CPU for Solidworks is, does SolidWorks software run with AMD CPU. The answer to this question is yes. SolidWorks runs on PCs and laptops with AMD processors. AMD processors usually have more cores than Intel CPUs due to their lower price. For example, the AMD Thread ripper series is one of the options for SolidWorks desktop and workstation and performs well in Solidworks rendering, Solidworks Simulation and CFD fluid simulation.
As explained, ordinary graphics cards are also capable of running SolidWorks. Rendering and creating animation is the responsibility of the main processor or CPU. Note that if you use graphics cards approved by Solidworks, you can download their driver from the SolidWorks site and use some special features such as Real view. Of course, the price of these graphics cards is very high and it is not necessary to use them except in special cases. In many cases, users even use Onboard graphics cards.
SolidWorks-approved graphics cards include:
NVIDIA Quadro series
AMD FirePro series
Link to the approved graphics card review page based on system specifications
SolidWorks does not require much memory (RAM) when running. In SolidWorks software, we need memory and RAM when, for example, we want to open an assembly with a large number of parts or work in areas such as simulation and simulation.
One of the cases where SolidWorks requires high RAM and memory is the meshing operation in static analysis and stress analysis of SolidWorks-Solidworks simulation meshing.
In the field of fluid simulation and heat transfer of solidwork and especially mesh, a three-dimensional model requires high memory or RAM to start the simulation.
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