Nothing beats SolidWorks for designing and developing large-scale mechanical products when you’re just starting in mechanical coursework.
But you’ll also need a good laptop to perform optimally, right? Which, of course, is difficult to do with a million options.
Most users (such as engineering students) will work on projects that require nothing more than a consumer-grade laptop with a discrete graphics processing unit (GPU) (which costs around $700).
Whereas some professionals (such as those working for a car company) may require a workstation laptop with a workstation GPU and plenty of VRAM (which can range from $1500 to $4000).
System Requirements For Using Solidworks:
While conducting research, I have discovered a few technical facts about laptops. To begin, whether running a standard design app or a CAD app on your laptop, you’ll need enough graphics and flash memory.
To run Solidworks on your system reliably, your system must meet some minimum requirements, including basic 2D modeling and academic needs.
SolidWorks includes a variety of resources, each with its own set of system requirements.
The system specifications are recommended below as a starting point for 3D modeling, simulations, and rendering.
|Particular||Minimum requirements||Recommended requirements|
|CPU||9th Gen Intel Core i5||8th Gen Intel Core i7 or better|
|Storage||256GB SSD||1TB SSD or Dual Storage|
|Display||15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)||15.6-inch IPS type FHD / UHD (1920 x 1080)|
|GPU||2GB NVIDIA GeForce MX150||2GB+ NVIDIA Quadro or 2GB+ AMD Radeon Pro|
|Battery||Up to 4 Hours||Up to 8 hours|
The amount of memory required to run the application may differ from the estimated calculation above.
For example, the memory required to run the application may be greater than that, but it must not be less than the above-mentioned required memory space.
5 Best Laptops 💻 For Solidworks 2023
Let’s look at five of the greatest laptops available today that were built to run intensive applications like SolidWorks.
Lenovo ThinkPad P15
HP ZBook 14u G6
Razor Blade 15
Dell G3 15
ASUS TUF FX505
5 Best Laptops For Solidworks 2023
I have compiled a list of the finest Soliworks laptops for your needs.
Lenovo ThinkPad P15 is a machine that combines all of the necessary features, such as excellent compatibility, powerful processing components, good upgradable storage, and more.
The system includes an Intel Core i7-10750H processor, considered a top performer by many users, with clock speeds reaching up to 5GHz.
On the other hand, the 12MB onboard cache memory stands out because it allows the CPU to render data from the RAM.
Aside from that, thanks to its existing CPU calibrated with Error Correcting Code, it is one of the best options for performing complex SolidWorks computing.
The chipset can manage SolidWorks’ most complex features, such as Computational Fluid Dynamics and Finite Element Analysis.
The NVIDIA Quadro T1000 also includes a decent workstation GPU with 4GB VRAM. This unit lets you easily handle large assemblies while offering exceptional GPU-accelerated rendering performance utilizing the embedded CUDA cores.
RAM & Storage
This system offers RAM support of 64GB, which is more than adequate. The system also has a massive 1TB SSD PCIe NVMe module that performs admirably in storage.
Regarding the operating system, the device comes with Windows 10 Pro pre-installed.
Lenovo includes a 15.6-inch display as standard, with a total display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The Full HD IPS panel is clear and has good viewing angles.
Other productivity features include a responsive touchpad, a backlit keyboard, an HD webcam, and an integrated fingerprint scanner. This laptop has the feel of a workstation while weighing nearly 6.04 pounds.
Lenovo has done a good job with ports by including Thunderbolt 3 ports and other USB legacy slots.
The 90 Whr battery in this device can comfortably last up to 5 hours.
- Outstanding processor with ECC memory
- Workstation-grade GPU
- RAM can be upgraded
- Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Moderate battery life
The ThinkPad P15 from Lenovo is likely the best laptop for SolidWorks due to its 10th Gen processor.
If you want a similar model, consider the ThinkPad P15s from the same company, which has an Intel Core i7-10510U processor that can run at 4.9GHz. It comes with 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.
HP ZBook 14u G6
- Intel Core i7-8565U
- AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200
- 14-inch IPS screen
- 32GB RAM
- 4 GB GDDR5 VRAM
The HP ZBook 14u G6 laptop can run SolidWorks and other heavy CAD-based software like AutoCAD. This laptop is a complete game-changer, bringing a slew of computing prowess to boost professional productivity.
This laptop is powered by an Intel Core i7-8565U processor capable of turbo-clocking at speeds of up to 4.6GHz. The quad-core processor easily handles larger assemblies. HP provides the SolidWorks-certified AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200 with 4 GB GDDR5 VRAM.
The best thing about this GPU is that it supports OpenGL and allows for Al-Enhanced 3D modeling, photo editing, Ray tracing, and other GPU-intensive tasks.
RAM & Storage
The 32GB RAM is more than enough to handle simulation and rendering, even if there are more than 500 parts to work with when building assemblies.
The current 2TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage unit is among the fastest on the market, allowing you to save and open larger assemblies easily. Regarding operating systems, HP includes Windows 10 Pro out of the box.
This HP model has a 14-inch IPS screen with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. The Full HD display is ideal for outdoor use due to its narrow bezel and Anti-Glare paneling.
As an excellent productivity add-on, a responsive touchpad and an excellent speaker system follow the custom backlit spill-resistant keyboard. HP has a built-in command unit that distributes processing steam based on demand.
This computer also includes a handy webcam-microphone combo for Zoom meetings. It also has an infrared privacy camera for face authentication with Windows Hello.
The HP ZBook 14u G6 is a lightweight workstation laptop that weighs only 3.27 pounds. The port layout is adequate, with one Thunderbolt 3, two USB Type-A 3.1 Gen1 ports, an HDMI 1.4b port, and other important slots for improving functionality included.
Perhaps the only drawback of this device is that its battery isn’t class-leading, but it still manages to last around 6.5 hours on moderate use.
- Anti-Glare filter
- The CPU supports multithreading, and multi-sheet drafts can be handled.
- SolidWorks GPU certified for 3D modeling
- Rapid 1TB PCIe SSD
- AI-Assisted Modeling is supported
- Older CPU model
Overall, the HP ZBook 14u G6 is a powerful performer and a dependable SolidWorks-certified laptop, making it an excellent choice for mid-level SolidWorks professionals.
Razor Blade 15
- Intel Core i7-10750H
- GeForce RTX 2070 + 8GB VRAM
- 15.6-inch display
- 16GB RAM
If you’re looking for a drawing and modeling-focused SolidWorks-supported notebook that doubles as a high-end gaming laptop, the new and improved Razer Blade 15 is a good option.
Processor The 10th generation Intel Core i7-10750H processor, with a turbo clock speed of 5GHz, allows for faster calculations. This chipset’s six cores are capable of Hyper-Threading and will put you at ease with basic simulations.
With this processor, you can also work on multi-sheet modeling and drawing without lags or hiccups.
The GPU is an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 that collaborates with the processor to handle larger assemblies and GPU-accelerated 3D rendering.
Because of the CUDA cores and 8GB of VRAM, it is possible to handle assemblies with over 500 parts. Furthermore, the Max-Q layout and Turing architecture help to improve power efficiency.
RAM & Storage
The 16GB RAM may not appear much, but it can easily handle error-free assemblies. The 512GB SSD storage unit can render data faster than the Windows 10 operating system can boot up.
The 15.6-inch display is exceptionally bright and provides excellent visibility, especially when viewing renders. The Full HD Panel has a structural feature that extends from edge to edge, slimmer bezels, and a total display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.
The 144Hz refresh rate enhances the appearance of renders, simulations, 3D models, and gaming experiences. So, if you’re looking for a laptop that can run SolidWorks and games, this one won’t disappoint you.
Razer offers a fantastic keyboard with Chroma Per-Key RGB backlit support, a responsive touchpad, integrated speakers, and a functional webcam. This notebook weighs 4.63 pounds and has many useful ports, such as USB 3.1, Thunderbolt 3, and more.
The battery on display also offers a steady 6-hour backup.
- RAY Tracing
- AI-Assisted Rendering
- Powerful GPU with Turing Architecture Class-leading display
- Good battery
- Sleek chassis
- Overheating issue
- Fan noise issue
This Razer Blade 15 model is an exceptional model under $2,000 that easily supports SolidWorks and other advanced CAD and 3D modeling and rendering applications like AutoCAD.
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4. Dell G3 15
Undoubtedly, the Dell G3 15 is one of the best laptops for SolidWorks and other CAD software such as AutoCAD, Fusion 360, and other 2D and 3D modeling.
Despite being a gaming notebook, the feature sets are compatible with various professional needs.
Since SolidWorks makes heavy use of the CPU unit, it’s important to have a powerful chipset like the Intel Core i7-10750H. This mobile SoC’s single-core strength is shown by its 5GHz turbo clock frequency.
The RTX 2060 GPU assists the Hexa-core chipset. The existing graphics card and 6GB of video RAM produce the best possible CAD renders.
While the Turing-based GPU handles GPU-accelerated modeling tasks, particularly industry-grade renditions, the 16GB DDR4 RAM provides adequate support.
Dell includes a sizable amount of system memory to speed up CAD processes while making it easier for the device to assist the featured processor.
RAM & Storage
The Dell G3 15 is most likely the best option regarding storage requirements. The 512GB SSD boot drive is adequate for managing the Windows 10 operating system and its associated applications.
It is also capable of storing completed projects and renders. Furthermore, Dell includes a fairly reliable 15.6-inch screen with an overall 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution.
Other display-related features include anti-glare properties, power-efficient LED-backlit technology, and narrow bezels on top of the IPS panel.
Professional productivity is enhanced by a WASD-compatible backlit keyboard, a metallic palm rest, and an innovative thermal layout led by dual fans and strategically placed vents.
The laptop, however, is anything but portable, weighing close to 5.18 pounds. On the other hand, the port layout complies with a slew of professional requirements, with Type-C, USB 3.1, HDMI 2.0, and the elusive Thunderbolt 3 as standard inclusions.
Dell is also expected to make room for Gig Ethernet and Wi-Fi 5 support to establish faster connections.
Battery life is close to 6 hours, comparable to similar models. Regardless of the vertical, the Dell G3 15 is a dependable machine for SolidWorks and relevant 2D and 3D processes.
- Hexa-core processor
- Powerful GPU
- Alienware Command Center
- Class-leading thermal layout
- Slightly heavier than usual
- Not a suitable laptop for high-end gamers
The overall specifications of this laptop are pretty good in its class, making it a favorite among those looking for a Dell laptop for SolidWorks.
Although the ASUS TUF FX505 isn’t the most powerful notebook for SolidWorks and related parametric modeling work, it’s one of the best sub-$800 options on the market.
This model, powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 3750H processor, is at least 12% faster than a comparable i7 processor, specifically the i7-9750H CPU.
This mobile SoC’s Zen+ cores and SMT support enable better design ideation, planning, and prototyping.
Some SolidWorks processes, such as opening multiple files, can use multiple threads simultaneously, and this CPU is ideal for this.
In addition, the processing system can easily create basic mechatronics systems.
Furthermore, this ASUS standard clamshell notebook includes many useful productivity-boosting features that make 2D and 3D modeling more enjoyable in practice.
The 4GHz clock speed is useful for single-threaded modeling and rendering of complex electrical and mechanical components.
Regarding graphics-intensive workloads, SolidWorks can greatly benefit from the RTX 2060 GPU and 6GB of dedicated VRAM.
Even though most parametric modeling software solutions require a lot of CPU power, a good GPU can speed up renders and projects in a virtualized environment.
RAM & Storage
Regarding memory allocation, the 16GB RAM is quite fast and can handle basic files and prototypes.
Furthermore, the 512GB SSD is a usable allotment because most projects, files, and renders require significant space.
The storage device, however, is still fast enough to serve as a boot drive for the Windows 10 Home operating system.
Because of the standard pixel count of 1920 x 1080, the 15.6-inch screen is sufficiently bright. ASUS, on the other hand, uses NanoEdge paneling to increase functional screen real estate while also improving visual quality.
If you enjoy leisure gaming, display-focused features such as a 120Hz refresh rate are handy.
The ASUS TUF FX505 has a more productive form factor thanks to its MIL-STD-graded chassis, dependable keyboard with backlit support, and advanced ADC-powered thermal layout. Despite its tough exterior, the model weighs only 4.85 pounds.
As part of the SenseMI enhancement, this is one of the few SolidWorks laptops on the market that allows you to choose between gaming and professional modes for allocating resources and modifying autonomy.
However, given the higher TDP levels of AMD processors, the standard battery backup of up to 4 hours is mediocre but acceptable. Connectivity options include USB Type-C, USB 3.1, HDMI 2.0, and Wi-Fi 5.
- Powerful GPU
- Powerful processor
- Durable structure
- Efficient thermal layout
- Slight heating issues
- Not suitable for advanced 3D designing and rendering
What Features Should a Solidworks Laptop Have?
If you’re in the market for a laptop for use with Solidworks, here are some specifications to keep in mind:
1. Graphics Card
This resource-heavy application needs a dedicated graphics processor with plenty of RAM. Most recent NVidia graphics cards should be compatible with Solidworks.
A laptop’s Integrated graphics are insufficient for running Solidworks or other CAD software.
You may use any NVidia graphics card—GeForce GTX, RTX, or Quadro—to execute this software, but a laptop workstation equipped with a Quadro card will give you the best performance.
No matter what version of Solidworks you’re using, the website suggests upgrading to a laptop with an NVidia Quadro graphics card.
It would be best to examine your current laptop’s memory and processing speed before shopping for the finest laptop for Solidworks. Your Solidworks projects can’t function without this temporary storage space.
Sticks will be discussed when we clarify the differences between RAM and its close relative, flash memory. The main difference between RAM and flash memory is that the latter can keep its data even when the power goes off.
Let’s discuss dimensions right now. The minimum recommended RAM for viewing a Solidworks project is 8GB, while the minimum recommended RAM for doing any work inside the software is 16 GB.
More intricate projects may need 32GB of RAM, but that amount is already pushing the limits of practicality. Unless you work on complex projects, you can get away with a modest amount of RAM.
Workstation laptops need robust processors to meet the program’s GPU-accelerated rendering needs.
Since it is CPU-bound, Solidworks can’t be run on a weak processor. This application is designed for use on a computer with at least a 4-core 64-bit Intel Core or AMD processor.
Invest in a laptop with a Hexa-core CPU, such as the Intel Core i7-10750H, if you can. You’ll need the additional power, so don’t balk at the skyrocketing cost of this chip.
In addition, a higher clock speed is preferred, albeit more so for aesthetic reasons and to speed up loading times and improve quality of life.
4. Space Storage
Do you feel certain you’ve located a solid laptop for use with Solidworks?
It features a powerful processor (Intel Core i7-10750H), a large amount of RAM, and a powerful graphics card (NVidia GeForce GTX).
What about space, though?
The ideal laptop for Solidworks will have a huge storage capacity since files created by the latest application versions are often rather enormous.
If you want your laptop to run smoothly and efficiently, choose one with at least a 512GB SATA SSD, preferably an NVMe SSD.
Most laptops I’ve discussed here contain solid-state drives (SSDs) with 512GB or more capacity.
5. Size and Clarity of the Display
If you want to use Solidworks for either school or business, you’ll need a screen that can accurately show the program’s vivid colors.
Thankfully, 15.6-inch screens and Full HD resolution are the norms for laptops designed for Solidworks. The native resolution of a screen of such size is 1920 x 1080.
6. Runtime of a Battery
You’ll probably be wired when sketching and producing designs. As a result, having a long battery life on your mobile workstation isn’t crucial, but it’s still a good idea in an emergency.
Make sure your laptop has a battery life of at least 7 to 9 hours if you need to depend on it at any time.
Real-world usage will reduce this, but ideally, your laptop will live long enough to locate an electrical outlet. In any other case, it’s recommended that you maintain an active internet connection.
Is GPU important for using Solidworks?
Because SolidWorks is primarily CPU-intensive, you must focus on the processor. The best approach is to choose a processor with a higher turbo clocking speed for faster calculations, adequate cache memory, and ECC memory for more complex simulations.
Which is the best GPU for Using High-end SolidWorks?
Regarding GPUs, only workstation-grade models provide the best performance for SolidWorks. While AMD Radeon Pro and NVIDIA Quadro are two of the most popular, we recommend NVIDIA for better GPU-accelerated rendering thanks to CUDA cores.
Is 16GB of built-in RAM sufficient for running SolidWorks?
Initially, 16GB is sufficient for all basic rendering, simulations, modeling, drawing, and operational analysis. However, if your assemblies contain errors and grow in size due to more complex prototypes, you may need to consider expanding them. Graphics memory is required to run graphics applications on your laptop. If you’re working on a SolidWorks-based application, you’ll need 8-16GB of RAM on your laptop. Aside from that, you’ll need at least 16GB of memory space on your hard drive to store those applications.
Can you use SolidWorks on laptop with an Integrated Graphics card?
You can run most SolidWorks operations such as flow simulations, stress analysis, 2D drawing, and more if you have a powerful CPU and an integrated GPU like Intel HD 4000. An integrated GPU will suffice unless you work with many assemblies requiring photorealistic modeling. However, having a dedicated GPU to reduce CPU load and enable 3D modeling and viewing is always preferable.
Which is the most important component in SolidWorks laptops, precisely for professional usage?
Because SolidWorks is primarily CPU-intensive, you should focus on the processor. If you’re doing more complex simulations, the ideal method is to choose a processor with a higher turbo clocking speed for speedier computations, adequate cache memory, and ECC memory.
Why is the Intel Xeon one of the most popular SolidWorks processors?
The Intel Xeon Processor has a reasonable clock speed. Still, the built-in ECC (Error Correcting Code) memory is the real benefit, which aids in complex computations requiring concepts like Fluid Dynamics and Error Analysis.
How can you improve the performance of SolidWorks on your current laptop?
If you have a mid-range notebook and want to improve SolidWorks performance, go to the Visual Effects area of Windows and select the best performance option while setting the choice for it to optimal. Disable add-ins, increase the processor clock speed and rely more on the Rigid for subassembly solutions. This improves performance by 10% to 15%.
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Conclusion: Best Laptops For Solidworks 2023
I hope you’ve decided which laptop is best for your project based on its size and complexity.
But I want to point out that a more powerful machine is always preferable; it will be useful in the future.
What will you do, for example, if the upgradeability options on your laptop have run out? You will have no choice but to replace your laptop.
Remember that a high-quality laptop increases productivity and allows you to work at your best.
As a student, you are well aware of the difficulty and breadth of your assignments. These scenarios and tasks are unlikely to change significantly throughout your education.
In this case, you don’t need to spend extra money on your laptop to make it future-proof. Thank you for taking the time to read.