Solidworks is a heavy-hitting CAD and CAE software package that covers just about every aspect of product design and production. This software is an example of a “solid modeling” solution where physical fidelity is given top priority. This is one of the main reasons Solidworks is favored in design work where the final product will be an actual, physical object.
After more than 20 years of development, Solidworks is not a finely tuned tool that takes the realities of design and manufacturing into account. It automates many difficult design and engineering calculations and allows users to automate many changes that need to be made when certain aspects of a design are changed. Various Solidworks packages also include extensive simulations of things like heat and physical stresses, which allow you to check your design’s performance before creating physical prototypes.
Solidworks provides us with a pretty clear idea of the sort of hardware it requires. 8GB of RAM is the absolute bottom and we would recommend at least double that. Most importantly, Solidworks should be used with GPU cards that have been certified to work with it. In other words, you should use Quadro or FirePro card that has been certified for use with Solidworks, to ensure that you get 100% accurate and reliable results.
Based on benchmarking results we can see that Solidworks prefers speed over core count, so fast hyperthreaded quad cores are preferable. Nvidia Quadro cards also seem to outperform the competition when used with Solidworks in particular.
Operating systems supported by Solidworks
Windows 10 64-Bit (Pro)
Windows 8.1 64-bit (pro)
Windows 7 64-bit (Professional and Ultimate)