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Laptop/Desktop with Workstation GPU compatible with SolidWorks? [closed]

Laptop/Desktop with Workstation GPU compatible with SolidWorks? [closed]

I have a friend who will be using SolidWorks soon. She wants to get a new laptop, but SolidWorks is only certified with workstation graphics cards. What laptops do you use with SolidWorks and what is the cheapest laptop with a workstation GPU available?

Asked by: Guest | Views: 26
Total answers/comments: 2
Guest [Entry]

"Edit: here's the SolidWorks Hardware FAQ which states:

How much RAM is needed to run SolidWorks?

Based on Javelin’s benchmark testing
and our experience with typical
customer usage, we recommend starting
with at least 4GB of RAM. Depending on
the size and complexity of your
assemblies increased RAM may be the
best investment for performance
improvement. For assemblies with more
than 1000 components and parts with
more than 300 features 8GB of RAM or
more is recommended.

What type of video card do you recommend?

Although SolidWorks is designed to
work with any generic graphics card
that supports Windows (MINIMUM
resolution would be 1024x768 or higher
with 32K colors or more), a graphics
card with hardware OpenGL acceleration
will provide improved performance,
especially in 3D model viewing
(repaints, spins, zooms and pans).
Detailed info on video card support
and testing is available at:


Video cards designed for “gaming” or
multi-media applications do NOT offer
maximum performance for SolidWorks and
other 3D CAD applications.
Game/multi-media cards are optimized
for a low number of polygons displayed
on the screen, and a high frame rate.
CAD applications have essentially the
opposite requirement, polygon count is
high (all the details in your design
model) and the image does not change
rapidly, so high frame rates are not
as critical.

Does SolidWorks make use of multiple and/or dual core processors?

SolidWorks is multi-threaded. Many of
the user interface activities such as
redraw and dialog box interaction,
etc., take advantage of this
technology. However, the solving
process used for parametric modeling
is by nature very linear and cannot
take full advantage of multiple or
dual core processors. Opening
documents in SolidWorks 2010 is now
multi-threaded. When you retrieve a
large part, drawing, or assembly
document, the document immediately
displays in a view-only state while
the actual document and all its
components are retrieved in the
background. During the view-only
state, you can use all functions
supported in the SolidWorks Viewer
(Zoom, Rotate, and so on), but you
cannot switch to another document or
start to open another document. After
the retrieval is complete, SolidWorks
changes to the normal edit state.

If she doesn't connect a secondary screen with a high resolution, I actually don't expect the GPU (even in a laptop) to have any trouble with running SolidWorks. The resolution of the main screen simply isn't high enough to stress the system that much.

With Windows 7 you have to take Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise and I would recommend the 64 bit version, so she can use more RAM (only if available).

Any gaming laptop's GPU (dedicated, not integrated) should be powerfull enough to drive SolidWorks, do note that a notebook will never give you the same performance/dollar as a desktop.

Given that on the desktop you can get a kickass GPU for 150$, which simply isn't available for a GPU due to it's size and heat production. So any gaming desktop would probably do.

Note: all the above depends on your budget, but personally I wouldn't use a laptop for heavy duty work"
Guest [Entry]

I usually buy from Dell's precision laptop line. Dell is our corporate preferred vendor and the precision laptops have workstation class GPUs. IMHO gobs of RAM (&64bit OS) are more important than GPU or CPU speed.