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Hardware recommendations for SOLIDWORKS products

Dear planetsoftware customers and SOLIDWORKS users!

In this article we give you an overview and recommendations for using certain hardware components for the use of the current SOLIDWORKS products. These may differ from the official SOLIDWORKS system requirements and apply to the acquisition of a new system. Even older systems with inferior components usually work with SOLIDWORKS without any problems.

Requirements:

  • Processor: 4 GHz or higher (turbo clock rate up to 5 GHz if possible)
  • Operating system: Windows 10 64-bit
  • Memory: 32 GB (at least 16 GB)
  • Hard drive: Solid State Drive (SSD) or NVMe M.2 with at least 256 GB of storage space
  • Graphic card:
  1. Standard modules: NVIDIA Quadro P1000 (workstation), NVIDIA Quadro T1000 (mobile) or AMD Radeon Pro WX3200
  2. Large assemblies with simple parts: NVIDIA Quadro P2000 (workstation), NVIDIA Quadro T2000 (mobile) or AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100
  3. Large assemblies with complex parts: NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000/4000 or AMD Radeon Pro WX 8200/9100

* Definition of large assembly:> 500 individual components *

Basically should all components matched to one another for optimal performance be. Individually assembled systems can be an inexpensive option, but components that are either incompatible or work inefficiently together can be selected and combined with one another. Cooling, thermal management and power supply are important and often underestimated aspects of an optimally functioning system. Purchasing a complete system from a well-known manufacturer ensures that all components work together properly and be supplied with suitable drivers for a long time. We generally recommend purchasing a complete system for professional use.

You can find some of our recommended configurations here.

What are the minimum requirements for SOLIDWORKS 2020?

The current minimum requirements can be found directly on the SOLIDWORKS hardware requirements page.

Which processor (CPU) is recommended for SOLIDWORKS 2020?

SOLIDWORKS supported both Intel and AMD processors.

The building process in SOLIDWORKS is basically linear (parent-child relationship of features) and can therefore only use a single core. The construction performance can be increased by the highest possible cycle rates or turbo cycle rates as well as sufficient cooling.

Please note that the respective turbo clock rates represent the maximum speed of the CPU that can be reached or maintained for a certain period of time. It may well be that this speed is not achieved in all scenarios or over a longer period of time. In particular, the cooling performance and the total power consumption of the CPU play a role here. The task manager or tools such as CPU-Z reveal the current clock rate.

Some functions in SOLIDWORKS support multithreading and make it possible to distribute the workload across multiple processor cores. Products such as SOLIDWORKS Simulation and PhotoView 360 can use multithreading for calculations. This also applies to certain areas in SOLIDWORKS, such as the activities on the user interface. In these use cases, performance can be improved if there are more processor cores.

Remember, the fastest machine is no substitute for good design practice. Minimizing contextual references, using large assembly mode, and other performance tools reduce the load on the processor and improve performance.

You can test and compare the performance of your hardware using the SOLIDWORKS benchmark and the PassMark benchmark tool.

Which operating system is recommended for SOLIDWORKS 2020?

SOLIDWORKS 2020 officially supports Windows 7 SP1, 64Bit and Windows 10, 64Bit.

Does SOLIDWORKS 2020 work in virtual environments?

Certain virtual environments are supported. For more information, see the SOLIDWORKS Virtual Environment support page. Basically, a virtual environment for SOLIDWORKS differs in the necessary 3D acceleration from a conventional VDI or terminal server solution.

Does SOLIDWORKS support Windows Home Editions?

No. SOLIDWORKS does not support Windows Home Editions. If you are using a Windows Home Edition, you may not have any problems; However, SOLIDWORKS does not guarantee proper functionality.

How much memory (RAM) is recommended for SOLIDWORKS 2020?

The minimum RAM requirement listed on the SOLIDWORKS System Requirements page is 16 GB. This is usually sufficient for small and medium-sized assemblies. However, larger assemblies and simulation studies may require more memory. We recommend 32 GB in order to avoid that there is still enough memory available as the models grow. In order to facilitate a possible upgrade, we also recommend that you ensure that there are free slots when purchasing suitable hardware.
The currently used memory can be monitored with the Windows Task Manager.

Error detection (ECC) memory modules can be used with SOLIDWORKS. Using a parity check prevents memory errors and increases the stability of the system. The use of ECC memory requires a compatible CPU and chipset. The Intel product database provides information here, for example. We recommend using it primarily for longer calculations, e.g. with SOLIDWORKS simulation.

What type of hard drive is recommended for SOLIDWORKS 2020?

The performance of a modern SSD is superior to an HDD in every area and is now standard in every new complete system. Through the connection of the SSD via NVMe and PCI Express, the throughput has been increased again significantly in recent years. For data-intensive tasks such as opening or saving assemblies, the use of an SSD leads to a massively reduced loading time.

Please note that opening files from a local SSD hard drive can be many times faster than opening files from a network drive on a file server.

Make sure that there is enough hard drive space after installation for Windows to run effectively. In order to guarantee a long life expectancy of an SSD, at least 20 GB or 10% of the total capacity should always remain free.

Which graphics card is recommended for SOLIDWORKS 2020?

The NVIDIA Quadro, AMD FirePro or AMD Radeon Pro series are certified graphics cards for SOLIDWORKS. A graphics card with hardware OpenGL acceleration offers superior performance and stability, especially when viewing 3D models (updating, rotating, zooming, panning).

  • The graphics cards of the Quadro Txxxx (mobile), Pxxxx (workstation) and RTXxxxx (mobile and workstation) are the current generation of NVIDIA
  • The Radeon Pro WX series graphics cards are the latest generation from AMD

Basically, the use of a fast graphics card mainly affects the display performance (refreshing, rotating, zooming, panning) and only a minor effect on the performance when executing commands in SOLIDWORKS. The loading times are also only marginally influenced by the graphics card.

The exception is SOLIDWORKS Visualize. Here the GPU is used directly for rendering, so that the graphics card used has a significant effect on the overall performance. All previous versions of SOLIDWORKS Visualize support NVIDIA Quadro graphics cards. Starting with SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2020, AMD Radeon Pro graphics cards are also supported.

A full list of certified graphics cards and the associated certified driver for each SOLIDWORKS version can be found on the SOLIDWORKS support page. Certified drivers are provided for the last three major releases of SOLIDWORKS.

Graphics cards for games or multimedia applications such as NVIDIA GeForce or AMD Radeon (not Radeon Pro) do not offer optimized performance or stability for SOLIDWORKS. These maps are optimized for a small number of polygons that are displayed on the screen, but with a high frame rate. CAD applications have the opposite requirement. Using a combination of certified graphics card and driver provides a stable basis for running SOLIDWORKS.

The use of two physical graphics cards (AMD Crossfire, NVIDIA SLI) is not recommended for SOLIDWORKS.

What versions of Microsoft Office are compatible with SOLIDWORKS 2020?

SOLIDWORKS can use Microsoft Excel to create bills of materials, design tables, etc. After the release of a new Microsoft Office major version, adjustments may have to be made in SOLIDWORKS. Therefore, the support of the latest Office main version cannot be guaranteed in every combination with SOLIDWORKS and is subsequently submitted or maintained by appropriate service packs.

SOLIDWORKS 2020 is compatible with Microsoft Office 2013, 2016, and 2019. Check the Microsoft Products table on the appropriate SOLIDWORKS support page.

Should I save my files locally on my computer or on a network drive?

Files should be edited locally for maximum performance and stability. Working on a network drive is generally supported, but it is many times slower, especially when opening and saving. The data management products SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard or SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional offer automatic management of your files between a server and the local storage space. This ensures maximum performance and stability. Central backup is also possible. These are some of the many main advantages of a data management system. SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard is already included in SOLIDWORKS Professional. Learn more about SOLIDWORKS PDM.

In principle, regular data backups are mandatory for every working method. Instructions for backing up SOLIDWORKS PDM can be found here.

What is the difference between SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard and Professional?

SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard is included in the license of SOLIDWORKS Professional and SOLIDWORKS Premium. Many main functions such as centralized work, secure access and version control are supported.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional also offers many other functions in the area of ‚Äč‚Äčautomation and replication between multiple locations.

Our product matrix enables a clear comparison.

What are the hardware recommendations for SOLIDWORKS PDM 2020?

We recommend using a dedicated server to run SOLIDWORKS PDM. The required performance scales with the number of users. Check the server requirements on the SOLIDWORKS support page or contact us either at [email protected].at or + 43- (0) -50 246.

planetsoftware also supports you with PDM implementation and upgrade services, with which you can get started quickly.

If you have any questions, we will of course be happy to help you personally.

> certified hardware for SOLIDWORKS

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