Best Workstation For SOLIDWORKS
When it comes to 3D design, few are unaware of Dassault Systemes world-renowned SOLIDWORKS application suite. SOLIDWORKS is a highly flexible package enabling users to not only design 2D or 3D models. SOLIDWORKS Simulation allows for highly advanced simulation/analysis to be performed on those models, and SOLIDWORKS Visualize enables users to create stunning imagery for the project.
It is no surprise then that due to the cutting edge features of SOLIDWORKS, the application is one of the world’s most popular among engineers. SOLIDWORKS is a fantastic 3D design software package, but to use the software effectively, you need a workstation with just the right specifications.
So what characteristics does the perfect SOLIDWORKS workstation possess?
We have years of experience optimising Workstations for SOLIDWORKS for our customers. Using this knowledge, we have identified key characteristics to aid with performance levels. We are going to share our findings with you to help you get the most from your next SOLIDWORKS solution. So let’s jump into what you need to know.
CPU Frequency Over Cores:
Processors with many cores are in fashion nowadays. These processors typically contain a greater number of cores and threads on a single chip. What people often do not realise is that because of the way SOLIDWORKS operates, it generally runs better on a workstation with a lower number of fast cores. We highly recommend the latest AMD Rzyen and Intel Core processor ranges to our customers using SOLIDWORKS for modelling due to their exceptionally high clock speeds.
On the other hand, other tasks within SOLIDWORKS such as rendering or simulations, use a higher number of cores. If you use these types of functions regularly, you may be interested in a more expensive multi-core processor options such as AMD Ryzen Threadripper or Intel X-Core. These solutions are exceptionally well balanced, capable of performing both single-threaded and multi-core workflows effectively.
It is crucial to find the right amount of Random Access Memory (RAM) for you. Data usage grows larger as your projects incorporate more parts and features. To deal with the vast amount of data that comes with your model’s design, you need a large capacity of RAM and tasks such as simulation may also require even more memory.
To efficiently perform complicated calculations, your system needs to access large data sets quickly. When your workstation suffers from a memory shortage, it resorts to loading & saving data to and from much slower hard drives. To avoid performance issues due to insufficient memory, we highly recommend configuring SOLIDWORKS workstations with at least 16-32GB for general users and 64GB for extensive projects.
Deciding which graphic card is right for you is important as well. Should you go for a professional NVIDIA Quadro or AMD Radeon Pro WX graphics? Yes, complicated tasks like RealView, Wire Frame View and Relative View require more refined graphics. ‘Gaming’ graphic cards (like Nvidia Geforce or AMD Radeon) work, however, they will likely cause graphical glitches and make some features of the application such as Realview Graphics inaccessible.
NVIDIA Quadro and AMD Radeon Pro WX are great graphics card options for SOLIDWORKS users. These graphics cards have high capacity onboard memory, and they run off of drivers specifically optimised for SOLIDWORKS. Dassault Systemes® fully ISV (Independent System Vendor) certify these graphics options to guarantee strong performance and high levels of stability within SOLIDWORKS.
For SOLIDWORKS Visualize users, we recommend NVIDIA graphics. Visualize is built upon the proprietary NVIDIA CUDA technology meaning that AMD based cards are not compatible. Furthermore, for maximum performance configuring your system with as many cards as possible is highly recommended.
Solid State Drives (SSD) are more expensive than traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDD), but many SOLIDWORKS users now opt for these storage options as standard. SSD’s are incredibly beneficial when loading projects, saving files and launching applications. Replacing a HDD with a SSD could even be considered as an upgrade option to your existing computer infrastructure.
We recommend our customers install their operating system, applications and project files on to a NVMe SSD to maximise performance. The fantastic read and write capabilities of these drives offer users the very best performance available today. If costs are a bit too high for your budget, then a SATA based SSD will also provide fantastic performance, and a secondary traditional HDD is often used for cheaper bulk storage of project files.