As everything in the world of technology has, SolidWorks hardware requirements have advanced. If you have been using this CAD computer program, it is important for you to know whether your current device is a recommended laptop for SolidWorks, or whether it is time for you to update your system.
We are going to break down the new SolidWorks hardware requirements for you, so you can look at your current device and know what to look for if you are in the market for a new one.
To begin with, let’s go over the data management system requirements. SolidWorks 2020 requires you to have a Windows 10, 64-bit operating system. You will also want either the Windows Server 2019 or Windows Server 2016 to go along with that. While SolidWorks works with Windows devices, you could instead use eDrawings or eDrawings Professional 2020, since they can be supported on Mac systems, like the macOS Catalina 10.15 and the macOS Mojave 10.14.
As far as Microsoft SQL and Office go, SolidWorks is compatible with all of the recent SQLs, from SQL 2012 to SQL 2019. It also will work well with Microsoft Office 2013, 2016, and 2019. You do not need to worry about updating your Microsoft SQL to the latest version, thankfully.
You also need to know that SolidWorks will not support any Windows Home Editions. You might not see any issue if you decide to try it out, but you still need to be aware that SolidWorks is not recommending it, which means that it might not behave as well as it would had you used a supported operating system.
Moving onto the hardware requirements for SolidWorks, there are several things to keep in mind. The processor requirements have not changed for SolidWorks 2020 from the requirement of 2019. That means that you will still need a processor that is a minimum of 3.3 GHZ. The RAM likewise has not changed for 2020 and you will still need 16 GB or more of RAM and a PDM contributor of 8 GB or more. That said, you really should consider going with 32 GB of RAM if you want. It would be ideal to have the RAM split between two 16 GB of memory chips, rather than one 32 GB chip. That way, you will not completely wear down the system when you are using SolidWorks.
The change comes with the hypervisor. Where SolidWorks 2019 required a VMware vSphere ESXi of 6.5, the 2020 version has bumped that up to 6.7. You will also want a VMware Workstation that is 15 as well as the Microsoft Hyper-V of 2019.
Look at the CPU requirements for SolidWorks 2020, it is first important to know that it will support both AMD and Intel processors. This will give you a few options as far as laptops go. You will want to opt for a single-core CPU, but you can still increase your overall performance by putting in a faster clock speed in your CPU.
The CPU’s max speeds should not be considered the speeds that you are going to get all of the time as well. Your processor will fluctuate, especially with the demands that SolidWorks will put on the processor. Its workload demands are a little bit intense. It is also important to remember that while faster processors sound better on the outside, they will not do you much good if they crash and burn out. Thankfully, SolidWorks has a performance test and a PassMark benchmark tool that you can use to make sure that the system that you have is going to work for what you expect it to.
The last recommendation that we are going to look at is the hard drive for SolidWorks 2020. You really need to stick with a solid-state drive (SSD), since its speeds are going to be 10 times faster than the standard hard disk drive. They are ultimately the better investment.
If it seems like your current laptop is not up for SolidWorks 2020, you really should consider upgrading to a more powerful machine that will be able to run it. That way, you can use the program without any trouble.