Designers and engineers have to run tons of powerful programs on their laptops every day, one of which most likely is Solidworks or a similar hardcore program. This software has been in the industry for over two decades, and to run Solidworks smoothly and efficiently (with no crashes or lags), you need a great computer.
Whether you're working on basic mechanical courses or developing large-scale mechanical product designs and prototypes, nothing beats SolidWorks. But for optimal performance, you also need a solid laptop, right? Which of course is not easy to choose from with a million options available.
How to choose the best laptop for Solidworks
Most users (such as engineering students) will be working on projects that only require a consumer-grade laptop with a dGPU (which costs around $700).
while some professionals (for example, working for an automotive company) may need to buy a workstation laptop with a workstation GPU and lots of VRAM (which can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000).
Now, let's take a look at five of the best laptops designed specifically to handle applications as powerful as SolidWorks.
The options listed in this post are limited to expensive workstations or just for high-end professional needs. These models are also useful for tasks such as basic design, modeling, part simulation, and rendering.
Lenovo ThinkPad P15 laptop for solidworks
Lenovo ThinkPad P15 is a machine that combines all the necessary features, such as excellent compatibility, powerful computing components, good upgradeable memory, and more.
The system is equipped with an Intel Core i7-10750H processor which is considered by many users to be a top performer, with clock speeds reaching 5GHz.
The built-in 12MB cache memory, on the other hand, stands out because it provides enough space for the CPU to render data from RAM.
Aside from that, it is one of the best options for performing complex SolidWorks calculations, thanks to its existing CPU that has been calibrated with error correction code.
The chipset is capable of handling some of SolidWorks' more complex features, such as computational fluid dynamics and finite element analysis.
The NVIDIA Quadro T1000 also includes a decent workstation GPU with 4GB of VRAM. This unit allows you to easily manage large assemblies while delivering exceptional GPU-accelerated rendering performance using the built-in CUDA cores.
RAM and storage space
This system offers 64GB RAM support, which is more than adequate to begin with. Also in terms of storage space, the system has a huge 1 TB PCIe NVMe SSD module that offers admirable performance.
In terms of 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.
A responsive touchpad, backlit keyboard, HD webcam, and integrated fingerprint scanner are among other productivity features. This laptop has the feel of a workstation while weighing nearly 6.04 lbs.
Lenovo has done a good job with the ports by including Thunderbolt 3 ports and other legacy USB slots.
The 90 Wh battery fitted in this device is comfortably capable of lasting up to 5 hours.
- Outstanding processor with ECC memory
- Workstation-grade GPU
- RAM can be upgraded
- Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Moderate battery life
Dell Precision 5760 laptop for solidworks
Weighing just under five pounds, this Dell laptop model is the lightest of the company's many workstations (although not the lightest laptop overall). This 1920 x 1200 pixel laptop features a Full HD display that outperforms many other laptops on the market.
It also offers excellent graphics from the NVIDIA Geforce RTX A200 graphics card, as well as up to 100% Adobe RGB for the most accurate picture. In terms of unique features, the laptop is Energy Star compliant and has a backlit keyboard.
“This car is a dream,” explained one customer at Google. “Enjoy every minute of use. It works well, looks incredible and works like a beast. Perfect. There is nothing wrong".
Another satisfied customer added that this is a step up from the Intel Core i7-10750H: With this laptop, “what used to take one minute or more of processing time now takes less than 15 seconds.”
Razer Blade 15 laptop for solidworks
The new and improved Razer Blade 15 is a good choice if you're looking for a SolidWorks-supported laptop with a focus on drawing and modeling that also doubles as a high-end gaming laptop.
The 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H processor with 5 GHz of attainable turbo clock speed enables faster calculations. The 6 cores of this chipset are capable of Hyper-Threading and allow you to be comfortable with basic simulations. With this processor at the helm, you can also work on multi-sheet modeling and drawing without lag or hitch.
The existing NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 GPU works in tandem with the CPU and helps you handle larger builds and GPU-accelerated 3D rendering. Managing assemblies of more than 500 parts is possible thanks to CUDA cores and 8 GB of VRAM. Plus, the Max-Q layout and Turing architecture help improve power efficiency.
The 16GB RAM might not sound like much, but can still easily handle error-free builds. The 512GB SSD storage unit is capable of rendering data faster than Windows 10 operating system fast boot.
Dell XPS 13 laptop for solidworks
For the lightest laptop, this efficient model from Dell weighs in at just 2.8 pounds and is hard to beat in terms of portability. Dell proves that a small chassis does not mean less processing power, memory and efficiency.
This efficient laptop is great for engineers, designers or students who need to take their work with them on the road or to other locations. Battery life is something it doesn't excel at. At the same time, it corresponds to the average life of other similar laptops and is higher than that of gaming laptops.
“I am amazed at the startup time,” one customer wrote, “and despite having nine tabs open on the web with programming software on another monitor, in addition to running three Excel workbooks, this beast runs at lightning speed and definitely exceeds my expectations."
HP ZBook 14u G6 laptop for solidworks
The HP ZBook 14u G6 is a laptop that can run SolidWorks as well as other heavy CAD based software like AutoCAD. This laptop completely changes the rules of the game by offering tons of computing power to increase your professional productivity.
This laptop is powered by an Intel Core i7-8565U processor that can turbo clock speed up to 4.6 GHz. Larger teams are easily handled by a quad-core processor. HP provides a SolidWorks Certified AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200 card with 4GB GDDR5 VRAM.
The best thing about this GPU is that it supports OpenGL and allows Al-Enhanced 3D modeling, photo editing, ray tracing, and other GPU intensive tasks.
RAM and storage
32 GB of RAM is more than enough to support simulation and rendering. Even if there are more than 500 parts to work with when building teams.
The current 2TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage unit is one of the fastest on the market, allowing you to easily save and open larger assemblies. When it comes to operating systems, HP includes Windows 10 Pro right out of the box.
This HP model features a 14-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The Full HD display has a narrow bezel and anti-glare finish, making it ideal for outdoor use.
A responsive touchpad and excellent speaker system follow the custom, backlit, spill-resistant keyboard as an excellent productivity add-on. HP has an integrated command unit that allocates the process
Webcam and micro
This computer also comes with a handy webcam and microphone combo for Zoom meetings. It also has an infrared privacy camera for Windows Hello face authentication.
The HP ZBook 14u G6 is a lightweight workstation notebook that weighs just 3.27 pounds. The port layout is reasonable, with a Thunderbolt 3, two USB Type-A 3.1 Gen1 ports, an HDMI 1.4b port, and other key slots to enhance functionality.
Perhaps the only downside to this device is that its battery isn't class-leading, but it still lasts around 6.5 hours with moderate use.
MSI GS66 laptop for solidworks
There aren't many better laptops on the market for CAD applications than the MSI GS66. Packed with a 10th generation processor and high performance graphics card, this laptop is more than capable of handling whatever you throw at it. If there was any list of laptops recommended by Solidworks, this one would make it to the top.
The device is based on the Intel Core i7-10750H chipset, capable of developing a maximum clock speed of up to 5 GHz. The processor is effectively assisted by the RTX 2070 GPU, which makes it easy to display designs. Since the graphics card supports DLSS and RTRT technologies, it becomes easier to stimulate physical processes such as vibrations and fluid flow.
Inspired by CAD workstations, the MSI GS66 houses 16GB of high-speed RAM. The existing chunk of system memory works great with a six-core processor and supports better parametric estimation, models, and rendering.
We were expecting a larger storage drive than the 1 TB SSD module. However, the solid state drive is good for booting the Windows 10 operating system, in the blink of an eye, making it a great Windows laptop as well.
The 15.6-inch display is sharp and boasts excellent viewing angles. The overall resolution of 1902 x 1080 pixels is also a commendable addition. Coming to screen refresh rates, the 240Hz assignment is more of a gamer-friendly attribute, but it still has a role to play when it comes to CAD design processes.
Professionals and college students can also use the backlit keyboard and high-resolution acoustic setup. Keeping the device cooling within allowable standards is the innovative Cooler Boost 5 configuration, with 7 heat dissipation tubes to work with. The advanced thermal layout has your back if you end up working on multiple applications like Catia, FreeCAD, and SolidWorks.
The MSI GS66 also features a rather diverse connectivity suite, including USB Type-C, Type-A, HDMI, and high-speed wireless standards. The 8 hour battery backup is still quite good.
Dell G3 15 laptop for solidworks
Dell G3 15 is easily one of the best laptops for SolidWorks and other CAD software like AutoCAD, Fusion 360 and other 2D and 3D models. Despite being a gaming notebook, the feature sets are compatible with many professional requirements.
Since SolidWorks is more of a CPU intensive application, the Intel Core i7-10750H chipset is certainly a feature to watch out for. At 5GHz, the turbo clock frequency of this mobile SoC readily validates its single-core prowess. The Hexa-core chipset is expertly assisted by the RTX 2060 GPU. The existing graphics card and 6GB of video RAM work together to design the best CAD renderings possible.
While the Turing-based GPU takes care of GPU-accelerated modeling tasks, especially industrial-grade renderings, it gets proper support from the 16GB DDR4 RAM. Dell incorporates a good amount of system memory to speed up CAD processes while making it easier for the device to service the featured processor.
As far as storage requirements go, the Dell G3 15 is probably the best option to invest in.
Microsoft Surface Book 3 laptop for solidworks
The dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q graphics processor and Intel Core i7 processor mean this Microsoft laptop is capable of running multiple programs simultaneously and can successfully meet the needs of advanced users.
It has an amazing 4K resolution display that keeps graphics, models and rendering crisp and clear. This is ideal for users who may be read-only participants or PDM contributors in Solidworks. With 17 hours of battery life, this laptop allows you to work all day long - without the need for a battery backup.
Many users find this PC perfect for their needs and praise its performance. "Great computer," wrote the client. "Will use for business purposes, including Solidworks and Microsoft Suite."
Another added how well other programs did as well. "I was particularly impressed with how smooth it ran while working on several 3D CAD projects in Autodesk Fusion 360," they explained. "My desktop computer does have problems with Fusion ... In contrast, the Surface Book 3 showed no interruptions when it was connected to the same 4K monitor."
A wide range of laptops will serve Solidworks users well, but what exactly do you need from a laptop that can run Solidworks and other CAD software? Quite a few functions actually.
Details such as the large amount of storage space and the many cores a laptop offers, down to the way the graphics card and HD display show ray tracing, rendering and other images, can affect the translation quality and performance of the program.
Our buying guide below, along with our top picks of some of the best laptops in this category on the market, will assist anyone looking for a good Solidwork laptop with their selection process.
If your laptop's settings are inadequate, it will be difficult to develop a SolidWorks programming application. SolidWorks software is required for building a wide range of applications related to planning, visuals, editing, modeling, prototyping, and so on. If your laptop's settings do not meet the requirements to run the application, you should accept and abandon the idea of developing a software-based SolidWorks application on your laptop.
System requirements for using Solidworks
We discovered some technical facts about laptops during our research.
- For starters, if you are running a standard design application or a CAD application on your laptop, you will need adequate graphics memory and flash memory.
- In order to run Solidworks stably on your system, there are some minimum prerequisites that your system must meet, considering basic 2D modeling and academic requirements. SolidWorks includes a variety of features, each with its own set of system requirements.
- As a starting point for 3D modeling, simulations and rendering, the recommended list of system specifications is listed below.
Let me remind you that when calculating in SOLIDWORKS, the GPU is not involved, so at this stage it doesn’t matter what video card you have. And given that the world is striving for cloud solutions, it is not a fact that such technology will appear at all before you are asked to perform calculations in a matter of minutes on the server of any corporation.
So what to choose as a working machine? After reading this article, you may have a lot of new questions, but you can certainly now agree with the statement that the better the characteristics of a computer, the better.
The faster the processor and RAM, the better. Choose based on the base clock speed, not the maximum, which can only give a short-term effect of increasing performance.
It is preferable to store the operating system, SOLISWORKS and all files of the problem being solved on SSD, this further reduces the solution time.
Do you have a few engineers on your team who solve not very difficult problems, but sometimes you have to deal with something very serious? The solution is to install a single powerful computer, to which a running static or non-linear study simulation can be uploaded from another computer connected to the LAN domain. By unloading a simulation, you can continue working in SOLIDWORKS on a coordinator computer that is running parallel tasks. The advantage of this solution is that there is no need to purchase a license for this "powerful computer" if no one will directly work on it. Only the coordinator computer requires the use of a SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium license.