SolidWorks is a computer-aided design and engineering computer program. It is one of the most popular and useful 3D CAD modeling platforms today.
It was released in 1995 and became popular in less time. In 2013, according to a publisher, more than 165,000 companies were using SolidWorks. Also, at that time, more than two million engineers and designers were using SolidWorks, which was part of those 165,000 organizations. And in 2019, its usage has become doubled.
There are many alternatives to SolidWorks, like FreeCAD, Fusion 360, and Onshape, but no one can beat SolidWorks.
So, to use this frequency-oriented software, you must have a high-end laptop. If you are looking for the best laptop to run SolidWorks, then go through our list, where you will find the seven best machines for SolidWorks.
Best Laptops for SolidWorks
Acer Aspire E15 Laptop – Best Budget Laptop for SolidWorks
- 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U Processor (Up to 3.4GHz)
- 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-lit IPS Display
- 8GB Dual Channel Memory & 256GB SSD
- Up to 15-hours of battery life.Adapter: 65 W
- Windows 10 Home
Processor: If you are looking for the best laptop to run SolidWorks, then this Acer Aspire E15 is ideal for you. It is featured with an 8th generation Intel Quad-Core i7-8550U processor with 1.8GHz clock frequency and hyper-threading. This clock frequency can go up to 4.0 GHz.
Its clock rate will help you to do modeling, and its four cores will assist you in drawing and simulation tasks.
RAM: It comes with 8GB RAM that is ideal for simple parts, page drawings, and assemblies. But it is expandable up to 16GB to deal with multi-sheet drawings and convoluted parts along with large assemblies.
GPU: The laptop comes with NVidia GeForce MX150 GPU with 2GB dedicated GDDR5 VRAM.
Storage: Its 256GB SSD storage is not great, but still, you will be able to open and save assemblies quickly as compared to HDD.
Display: Its 15.6-inch screen with Full HD (1920 x 1080) LED-lit IPS display is ideal for SolidWorks.
Battery: The laptop offers up to 15 hours of battery life.
Ports: There are two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, an HDMI, one USB-C 3.1 port, an SD card reader, and a headphone/microphone combo jack.
This laptop is best for SolidWorks simulation and multiple-sheet drawing. It has a fast processor and is ideal for the mid-range workload. Also, its screen resolution is ideal for SolidWorks. Its storage capacity is limited.
Microsoft Surface Book 2 – Best Portable Laptop for SolidWorks
- Microsoft Surface Book 2 Features a 7th generation Intel Dual Core i5 Processor, 256 GB of storage, 8 GB RAM, and up to 17 hours of video playback
- Includes an Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated GPU; Full size SDXC card reader
- The fastest Surface Book yet, with 2x more power. Aspect ratio: 3:2, contrast ratio: 1600:1
- Vibrant PixelSense Display: now available with an improved 13.5" touchscreen
- Four versatile modes of use and new USB C port
Battery: Microsoft Surface Book 2 is another best machines that you can purchase for the completion of your SolidWorks projects. It is a 2-in-1 machine that has an amazing battery life of up to 17 hours.
Processor: It comes with an 8th generation Intel Quad-Core i7-8650U processor. Its clock speed can boost up to 4.2 GHz.
Its higher clock speed helps you to deal with designing, modeling, drawing, and drafting, no matter whether you are a student or a professional. Also, its 4-cores allow you to work with rendering and simulation.
RAM: Its 16GB RAM is ideal for working with large assemblies.
GPU: The laptop features NVidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU with dedicated 2GB GDDR5 graphics memory.
Storage: It comes with PCle NVMe based 1TB SSD drive. It is the fastest drive technology you can get. With this type of SSD and 1TB storage capacity, you will be able to open larger assemblies in no time.
Display: The system comes with a 13.5-inch wide touchscreen with PixelSense display and pen input (3000 x 2000 pixels). Its screen size is smaller than the Acer Aspire E15, but its resolution is mind-blowing.
Modes of Use: You have four different modes of use. There is a laptop mode, tablet mode, studio mode, and view mode.
Ports: There are two USB Type-A ports, one USB Type-C port, an SD card reader, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and two Surface Connect ports.
With the decent build quality and robust performance, this laptop is recommended for SolidWorks. Its fastest SSD is the best feature that can turn things around too quickly. Its battery drains while in sleep mode.
Lenovo ThinkPad P50 – Best Workstation Laptop for SolidWorks
- Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5 Quad-Core Processor (4 cores, 2.8 GHz up to 3.70 GHz, 8MB SmartCache) with vPro Technology
- Nvidia Quadro M2000M 4GB GDDR5 | 256 GB SSD M.2 Opal2 | 16GB DDR4 (MAX 32GB)
- 15.6" FHD (1920x1080) IPS | Backlit Keys | FingerPrint Reader
- Thunderbolt 3 Type-C | 4xUSB3.0 | RJ-45 | Mini DisplayPort | HDMI
- Pre-installed Windows 7 Professional 64-bit upgradeable to Windows 10 Pro
Processor: This Lenovo ThinkPad is the best workstation laptop for SolidWorks. It is only designed for professionals. So, if you are a student, then this laptop will not suit you. It is featured with a high-end 2.8 GHz Intel Quad-Core Xeon E3-1505M v5 processor. With Turbo Boost technology, its clock speed can boost up to 3.7 GHz.
Display: The laptop has a 15.6-inch widescreen with Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS display. This screen resolution is ideal for SolidWorks.
RAM: With 16GB DDR4 RAM, you can easily and quickly load complex models and drawings in your SolidWorks software. For large assemblies, this RAM size is recommended. But you can also upgrade your RAM up to 32GB.
Storage: It comes with a 256GB SATA III SSD that is not the fastest drive like the PCle NVMe, but still, you can easily handle medium-sized assemblies. Also, you can upgrade your SATA III to PCle NVMe without any problem.
GPU: The system is powered by a professional NVidia Quadro M2000M graphics card. It comes with a 4GB GDDR5 RAM size.
Battery: You can use the laptop for 7 hours before the need for charging.
Ports: There is an SD card reader, four USB 3.0 ports, Mini DisplayPort, a headphone/microphone combo jack, one Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port, RJ-45, and HDMI, and an AC port.
Its processor and graphics card will surely enhance your working experience on SolidWorks. Also, its SATA III SSD is the second-fastest drive in the market that is also upgradeable. Its build quality is not up to the mark.
MSI WE72 7RJ-1032US Laptop – Best Laptop for CAD and 3D Modeling
- Intel Core i7 2.8 GHz
- 32GB (16G*2) DDR4 2400MHz
- 512GB M.2 SATA
- 17.3-Inch Screen
- Operating System: Windows 10
Processor: Another best workstation laptop that you can buy to run SolidWorks is the MSI 17.3 laptop. It is powered by a 2.8 GHz, 7th generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor. Its clock frequency can boost up to 3.8 GHz. This processor is 8-10% faster than i7- 6700HQ.
RAM: Its 32GB DDR4 RAM is great for multitasking. This 32GB is divided into two 16GB RAM slots. With this RAM, you can handle extremely complex parts, very large assemblies, and simulations.
GPU: The laptop comes with Quadro M2200 GPU with 4GB GDDR5 RAM. This graphics card is better than what Lenovo ThinkPad is offering.
Storage: The 512GB SATA III SSD reads and writes data fast. Its storage capacity is double that of the Lenovo ThinkPad P50. But for much faster performance, you can upgrade to PCle NVMe.
Display: It comes with a 17.3-inch Full HD IPS display. With 1920 x 1080 screen resolution, you will be able to view sharper visuals.
Battery: If we talk about its battery life, then your laptop can only work for about 5 hours with a fully charged battery.
Ports: Two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, a USB-C Gen 2 port, Mini DisplayPort, and a headphone/microphone combo jack.
Its amazing RAM size is the most appealing thing about this laptop. Its processor and GPU are also quite powerful. In a nutshell, it is the best machine for CAD and 3D modeling. It is quite an expensive product. Also, its fan makes noise.
HP Omen 17.3-inch Gaming Laptop – Best Laptop under $1500
Display: HP Omen 17.3 is a gaming laptop, but it will not disappoint you when working on SolidWorks. It has a 17.3-inch widescreen that comes with FHD (1920 x 1080) WLED-backlit display featuring IPS and anti-glare technology.
Processor: If we focus on its processor, then it comes with a 2.8 GHz Intel Quad-Core i7-7700HQ processor (6MB Cache). Its clock speed can go up to 3.8 GHz. The higher clock speed helps the processor to do faster calculations, and the HQ label assists in handling large assemblies quite well.
RAM: The HP Omen comes with 12GB DDR4 SDRAM. Its RAM size is not on the higher side as compared to Microsoft Surface Book 2, but still, you can work with small assemblies. One RAM slot is 4GB, and another slot is of 8GB.
GPU: It comes with NVidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti with dedicated 4GB GDDR5 RAM.
Storage: It features a dual-storage option. One is the 1TB HDD, and the second one is the 128GB SSD. The combination of a hard disk drive and a solid-state drive will help you a lot when working with SolidWorks. Also, its SSD is PCle NVMe based, which is the fastest drive in the market.
Ports: The laptop is equipped with an SD media card reader, two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, an HDMI, RJ-45, and a microphone/headphone combo jack.
Battery: Its battery life is up to 5 hours.
Overall, its performance is quite satisfactory. It has a fast processor, and its dual storage option is the best inclusion. Its battery life is short. Also, its cooling system is not up to the mark.
Alienware AW17R4-7003SLV-PUS Gaming Laptop – Best Laptop under $1800
- 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ (Quad-Core, 6MB Cache, up to 3.8GHz w/ Turbo Boost)
- 8GB DDR4 at 2400MHz included; 32GB Maximum
- 256GB SSD (boot)+ 1TB 7200RPM SATA HDD; No optical Drive
- 17.3 inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Anti-Glare 300-nits Display with Tobii IR Eye-tracking
- Windows 10 Operating System; Silver
Processor: This gaming laptop from Alienware comes with a 7th generation Intel Quad-Core i7-7700HQ processor (6MB Cache). With Turbo Boost technology, its clock frequency can go up to 3.8 GHz. It is a gaming laptop, but it doesn’t mean you can’t run SolidWorks properly. It meets all the specifications recommended for SolidWorks.
GPU: If we talk about the graphics processing unit, then it is NVidia GeForce GTX 1060. It comes with 6GB GDDR5 graphics memory.
RAM: With 8GB DDR4 RAM, you can create simple parts, assembly, and drawings.
Storage: The laptop is featured with dual storage options like the HP Omen 17.3. There is a 1TB hard disk drive and a 256GB solid-state drive.
Display: The system comes with a 17.3-inch screen. With an FHD display featuring IPS and anti-glare technology, you will be amazed by the quality of the visuals.
Battery: When fully charged, you will be able to run your laptop for up to 6 hours.
Ports: It is featured with three USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI 2.0, one Thunderbolt 3, and a Mini DisplayPort.
The dual-storage option is the best inclusion. It runs faster and smoother. Overall, its performance is quite decent. It is a heavyweight product. Also, it heats up quickly.
Dell i5577-5335BLK-PUS Inspiron 15 Gaming Laptop – Cheapest Laptop for SolidWorks
- 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad Core (6MB Cache, Base Frequency 2.8 GHz, Max Turbo Frequency up to 3.8 GHz)
- 16GB, 2400MHz, DDR4; up to 32GB (additional memory sold separately) [16G2D]
- 512GB Pie Solid State Drive , No Optical Drive option
- 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED-Backlit Display
- Windows 10 Home 64-bit English
Processor: The Dell Inspiron 15 is another gaming laptop that can run SolidWorks. It is equipped with a 7th generation Intel Quad-Core i5-7300HQ processor (6MB Cache) with up to 3.5 GHz.
RAM: It comes with 8GB DDR4 RAM, but you can upgrade it up to 32GB according to your needs.
GPU: If we focus on its graphics card, then it is NVidia GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB GDDR5 RAM.
Storage: It is featured with 256GB SSD storage.
Display: It has a 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) LED-backlit display with an anti-glare panel.
Battery: Its battery can last up to 7 hours.
Ports: There are three USB 3.0 ports, RJ-45, HDMI, Micro SD card reader, and microphone/headphone jack.
It is an inexpensive machine that students can easily purchase. Its expandable RAM, fast processor, and decent storage capacity make it one of the preferred laptops. There is no IPS technology, and it has average battery life. Also, it has some bloatware.
Here we are going to tell you about those things that you must look at when buying the best machine to run SolidWorks. So, what are those things? Take a look.
The first thing that requires your consideration is the processor. But here, you have to focus on both the clock speed and the number of cores.
It is necessary to have a processor with a higher clock frequency because SolidWorks is a frequency-oriented application. With higher frequency, your laptop will be able to perform calculations much faster. Almost every task, such as part assembling and modeling, rotating models, saving assemblies, and so on, needs calculations. And faster calculations can only be done if the clock speed is on the higher side. Make sure that the clock speed of the processor is at least 3 GHz.
And for smooth simulation and rendering, the processor must have multiple cores. Make sure that the number of cores is at least four.
The second most important thing to consider is Random Access Memory. It is the short-term memory of the computer from where the CPU retrieves data of the current file or project. With large RAM, you will be able to handle large-size assemblies, and multiple sheet drawings and will multi-task well.
For simple and small assembly and drawings, 8GB of RAM is enough. But to handle complex drawings and models and large assemblies, 16GB is recommended. For professionals, 16GB to 32GB is ideal, and for extreme creators, 64GB would be suitable.
Solid-state State Drives are much faster than traditional Hard Disk Drives. SSDs are now becoming preferable day by day. Also, CAD works are highly recommended. So, there is no need to go for HDDs when you have the fastest drive available in the market at reasonable rates.
An SSD will help you to launch your SolidWorks app and open your assemblies much faster as compared to HDDs. The fastest drive in SSDs is the PCle NVMe which can open larger assemblies much faster. But SATA III is also not a bad option. That is also faster than HDD.
If you are going for HDD storage, make sure it is 1TB, and if you are selecting SSD storage, then it must be at least 256GB. Otherwise, 512GB SSD is recommended.
SolidWorks is not compatible with every graphics card, or you can say not all the graphics cards support SolidWorks. Therefore, always try to go with a GPU that is compatible with SolidWorks. The selection of the card also depends on the demands of your projects.
If you are professional, then you must have a high-end graphics card, or you can also select a workstation card. Nvidia GeForce and AMD Radeon have various high-end graphics cards that you can consider.
And if you are a student, then you can go for a consumer card.
Are gaming laptops suitable for SolidWorks?
Yes, there are some gaming laptops that you can buy to run your SolidWorks software without any problem. In our list, we have mentioned three gaming laptops that are suitable for SolidWorks.
But here is one thing you should keep in mind all graphics cards are not compatible with SolidWorks software, so you should check the graphics card of the laptop to make sure it is compatible with SolidWorks.
Is it necessary to have a dedicated graphics card to run SolidWorks?
No, it is not necessary to invest in a dedicated GPU, but with an integrated graphics card, you will face problems while rendering. Therefore, it is better to go for a dedicated GPU rather than an integrated one.
Can you run SolidWorks on Mac?
No, you can’t run SolidWorks on Mac; it is only built for Windows. Therefore, we haven’t added any MacBooks to our list.
Is it necessary to have a high-resolution screen for SolidWorks?
No, it is not necessary. A Full HD display is enough for SolidWorks.
What specifications do I need to run SolidWorks 2019?
- Windows 7 (64-bit) or Windows 10 (64-bit) – Keep in mind that Windows Home editions don’t support SolidWorks.
- A quad-core processor is recommended with at least 3.3 GHz clock speed
- Minimum 16GB RAM, but 32GB is recommended
- Must be SSD with at least 20GB free space
- NVidia Quadro P600, P1000, P2000, and P4000; AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100, WX 4100, and WX 5100 graphics cards are considered the best ones. Keep in mind your NVidia GPU must be from Quadro, P, and GP Series. Also, you can have GV and RTX Series GPUs from NVidia and WX Series from AMD Radeon.