SOLIDWORKS 2023 Hardware Recommendations

Article by Scott Durksen, CSWE updated February 7, 2023

Co-author: Emmanuel Kim, Technical Manager, Applications, TriMech

You have made a serious investment purchasing SOLIDWORKS 2023 that will ultimately help your engineers, designers, and drafters to be more productive. While navigating through the challenging process of choosing their new CAD system, clients often overlook SOLIDWORKS 2023 system requirements and the importance of having the appropriate hardware to support their new purchase.

To help minimize your frustrations and maximize your capabilities, TriMech has compiled this recommended SOLIDWORKS 2023 hardware guide to aid you in the process of upgrading or purchasing new hardware. SOLIDWORKS provides a general list of minimum requirements and recommendations on their website. We suggest using the following recommendations in tandem with those requirements.

Common SOLIDWORKS Hardware Misconceptions

“DIY your SOLIDWORKS 2023 system to save money!”

Though building and configuring your own SOLIDWORKS CAD system (workstation) can be fun, TriMech strongly recommends purchasing a pre-configured system from a reputable hardware manufacturer. These workstations have been tested, optimized, and certified to run professional applications like SOLIDWORKS. Your businesses time is better used designing and building great designs with SOLIDWORKS, not troubleshooting compatibility issues with your hardware components.

“Higher numbers are always better”

Do not simply look at raw numbers and specifications when comparing components. Many components will tout similar model numbers and specifications but perform very differently. Consult an IT professional or TriMech technical consultant for additional assistance when assessing hardware components.

“SOLIDWORKS performance is the same every release”

Besides the dozens of new features and enhancements, SOLIDWORKS also takes more and more advantage of hardware technology in each new release. Consider upgrading your SOLIDWORKS to the newest and best version to benefit from these hardware based performance enhancements.

TriMech Recommended SOLIDWORKS 2023 Hardware Configurations

Below, the TriMech technical team has compiled a general hardware recommendations. These recommendations are made based on the purchase of a NEW computer.

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User NeedsLight design changes on moderately complex assembly designs. Build moderately complex parts, detailed drawings, sophisticated schematics diagrams, and first pass photo-rendering.For complex SW parts, large assemblies, sophisticated multi-page drawings. Run first-pass finite element analysis (FEA), kinematic studies and photo render complex scenes faster.Build complex surfaces, sheet metal, and plastic parts, intricate large assemblies and more sophisticated multi-page detailed drawings.Build complex surfaces, sheet metal, and plastic parts, intricate large assemblies and more sophisticated multi-page detailed drawings.
Processor (1)Current Generation Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen or better.Current Generation Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen / Ryzen Pro or better.Fastest Intel Core i9, Xeon, or AMD Ryzen Pro; consider multiple processors in parallelFastest Intel Core i9, Xeon, or AMD Ryzen Pro; consider multiple processors in parallel
RAM32GBs or more32GBs or more64GB or more96GB or more
Hard Drive (2)512GBs+
NVMe PCIe SSD and / or RAID storage solutions.
NVMe PCIe SSD and / or RAID storage solutions.
NVMe PCIe SSD and / or RAID storage solutions.
Card (3)
NVIDIA P400, or better;
AMD Radeon Pro WX 2100, 3200;
Intel HD Graphics P4000 or better.
NVIDIA RTX A2000, or better;
AMD Radeon Pro WX 5500 or better.
NVIDIA RTX A4500, or better;
Radeon Pro WX 6600 or better. Consider multiple cards in parallel.
NVIDIA RTX A5000, or better;
Radeon Pro WX 6800 or better. Consider multiple cards in parallel.
Operating SystemWindows 10 Pro (64-bit)Windows 10 Pro (64-bit)Windows 10 Pro (64-bit)Windows 10 Pro (64-bit)
Additional SoftwareMicrosoft Office 2016 or newerMicrosoft Office 2016 or newerMicrosoft Office 2016 or newerMicrosoft Office 2016 or newer
Dell Precision 3260, HP, Z2, Z4;
Lenovo ThinkStation P330 or better.
Dell Precision 3660;
HP Z2, Z4, Z6;
Lenovo ThinkStation P520 or better.
Dell Precision 5820;
HP Z6, Z8;
Lenovo ThinkStation P720 or better.
Dell Precision 7820;
HP Z8;
Lenovo ThinkStation P720 or better.
Dell Precision 3571;
HP ZBook Firefly / Fury 15;
Lenovo ThinkPad P14s or better.
Dell Precision 5770;
HP ZBook Firefly / Fury / Studio, 15, 17;
Lenovo ThinkPad P15s or better.
Dell Precision 7670;
HP ZBook Firefly / Fury / Studio, 15, 17;
Lenovo ThinkPad P15, P1 or better.
Dell Precision 7770;
HP ZBook Firefly / Fury / Studio, 15, 17;
Lenovo ThinkPad P15, P1 or better.


  1. Multi-processing can greatly aid rendering and analysis computations.
  2. Requires hard disk space to install application and ample free space for files and swap space (virtual memory).
  3. Consult SOLIDWORKS Hardware Certification page for exact model numbers.

Core Systems Considerations

Processor (CPU)

  • The processor can be the single most influential component to your systems overall performance. Generally speaking, the faster the processor, the faster SOLIDWORKS will perform, but here are some other options to consider.
  • When purchasing a new computer, TriMech would not recommend anything below a current generation Intel Core i7 or a current generation AMD Ryzen processor.
  • Newer series CPUs may show similar clock speeds and cores to previous series CPUs. However, improvements to the overall architecture can yield overall improved performance beyond what raw specifications may indicate.
  • The multiple processors, cores, and hyper-threading that come in today’s processors are not widely utilized within the core SOLIDWORKS modeling application. For general modeling, aim for higher clock speeds over number of cores.
  • Though multi-processing is not heavily utilized within the core SOLIDWORKS modeling program, they can be helpful to run multiple applications simultaneously on your computer.
  • SOLIDWORKS add-ins like SOLIDWORKS Simulation, and SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation do utilize multi-processing capabilities extensively. Prioritize number of cores over clock speed for Simulation workstations.

System Memory (RAM)

System memory is another important component for overall system performance. The amount of RAM directly correlates to the number and size of programs that can run at any given moment on your system. The more RAM you have, the more and larger the programs you can run at peak performance. Not enough system memory results in poor system performance.

  • SOLIDWORKS recommends at least 16 GBs of RAM.
  • TriMech recommends at least 32 GBs of RAM, at least 64 GBs if you are conducting regular FEA and CFD simulations.
  • Additional RAM will not improve performance if sufficient memory space is available. If physical memory resources are exhausted, virtual memory may be used causing poor performance.

Graphics Card

The graphics card is one of the most commonly overlooked component when configuring a SOLIDWORKS workstation. Your graphics  card affects how smoothly the images on screen rotate, zoom, pan, and refresh. Graphics cards can also enable visualization features to display images more realistically.

  • It is highly recommended to purchase a workstation class graphics card to run SOLIDWORKS optimally. Consumer class graphics cards are optimized to play the newest video games, but not to run professional applications like 3D CAD and are the most common source of SOLIDWORKS instability.
  • The SOLIDWORKS Hardware Certification page provides a comprehensive list of supported graphics cards and certified drivers. Some features, like RealView graphical rendering requires a supported card.
  • SOLIDWORKS only supports OpenGL hardware acceleration. Additionally, SOLIDWORKS 2019 and newer leverages OpenGL 4.5 for improved performance with the Enhanced Graphics Performance option enabled.
  • SOLIDWORKS Visualize utilizes different GPU architectures for rendering in hybrid and GPU modes. Refer to SOLIDWORKS Visualize requirements for more information.

Hard Drives

Other than acting as storage space for applications and files, the hard drive can play a vital role in your system’s overall performance.

  • For optimal performance, SOLIDWORKS recommends a high-speed Solid State Drive (SSD). Though older SATA based SSDs will yield a significant improvement over disk based storage, TriMech would recommends newer higher bandwidth NVMe/PCIe over SATA based SSDs.
  • When selecting a drive capacity, allow for a sufficient amount of free space on the drive for virtual memory and scratch space. Drives, especially disk based non-SSDs, run optimally when sufficient “empty” hard drive space is provided.
  • Only Windows-based storage is supported. NAS or SAN storage is not officially tested or supported by SOLIDWORKS.

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Supporting Software Considerations

Operating System

SOLIDWORKS 2023 is only supported under the Windows operating systems.

  • Windows 11 is supported with SW 2022 SP2 and newer.
  • SOLIDWORKS 2020 was the last version that supported Windows 7 SP1, (64bit).
  • eDrawings 2023 is supported under the macOS 11.0 (Big Sur) or higher operating systems.
  • Refer to the SOLIDWORKS system requirements page for additional information.

SOLIDWORKS Network License (SNL) Server

Many clients prefer their licenses to be internally networked opposed to activated as standalone licenses. Operating system and hardware requirements for license servers are slightly different than their clients.

  • The 2023 SOLIDWORKS Network License (SNL) Server is only supported under the Windows 10, Windows 11, Windows Server 2016, 2019 and 2022.
  • SOLIDWORKS offers support for certain Virtual Environments. Please review the list of approved virtualized environments on the SOLIDWORKS system requirements page.
  • For Network Licensing, Ports 25734, and 25735 must be open through your firewall for license access.

Partner Software

There are related software packages that work with SOLIDWORKS. Certain older versions of these software packages are not supported by these companies in later revisions of SOLIDWORKS. Check with your reseller or the manufacturer of the software for compatibility and support.

  • SOLIDWORKS 2023 supports the use of Microsoft Office 2016 or newer. Word and Excel are needed in order to generate Design Tables, analytical reports, and Excel based BOMs.
  • SOLIDWORKS recommends a trusted antivirus product updated to the latest version. Consider adding exemptions for SOLIDWORKS file types in the antivirus software to improve performance with Open/Save/Save As operations.

SOLIDWORKS PDM 2023 System Requirements

SOLIDWORKS PDM uses SOLIDWORKS SolidNetwork Licensing (SNL). Review the SOLIDWORKS Network License Server requirements in addition to these requirements.

  • For best performance, TriMech highly recommends a dedicated server environment. Other configurations, such as servers with the addition of domain controllers, have been found to introduce variables that should be avoided whenever possible.
  • SOLIDWORKS PDM 2023 Database and Archive servers are only supported in the Windows Server 2016, 2019, and 2022 operating system environments.
  • SOLIDWORKS recommends at least 8GB of RAM or more for Archive and Database servers. Consult your TriMech SOLIDWORKS PDM Implementer for recommended memory amounts based on your usage and server configuration.
  • The processor should be a relatively current Intel or AMD processor. Consult your TriMech SOLIDWORKS PDM Implementer for recommended specifications based on your usage and server configuration.
  • SOLIDWORKS PDM Web 2 service requires the Microsoft Internal Information Service (IIS).
  • SOLIDWORKS has recently offered support under certain Virtual Environments. Please review the list of approved virtualized environments on the SOLIDWORKS system requirements page.

eDrawings Requirements

eDrawings 2023 is only supported on Windows 10, Windows 11, macOS 11.0 or newer.

  • The eDrawings 10.X.X mobile app is supported on both iOS and Android mobile devices.
  • eDrawings 2023 will support HTC VIVE™ and HTC VIVE Pro™ virtual reality devices for VR viewing of your eDrawing models.

SOLIDWORKS Visualize Requirements

SOLIDWORKS Visualize is a photo rendering and animation application that can utilize both the CPU and GPU for rendering tasks (hybrid mode). Along with the general SOLIDWORKS 2023 hardware recommendations, here are some additional considerations if you plan on using SOLIDWORKS Visualize.

  • For hybrid and GPU based renderings, SOLIDWORKS Visualize requires NVIDIA iRay support with CUDA 11 or newer based graphics cards
  • SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2022 supports ProRender GPUs found on Radeon and FirePro series graphics cards for hybrid mode.
  • SOLIDWORKS Visualize needs at least 2GBs of GPU memory to enable hybrid rendering modes and at least 4GBs to enable the Denoiser feature. 4GBs or more is recommended.
  • If budget and motherboard allows, consider dual or quad NVIDIA graphics cards to operate rendering and graphics processes in parallel.
  • Check this SOLIDWORKS Visualize Benchmark page for system performance results and additional system configurations recommendations for your SOLIDWORKS Visualize rendering clients.

SOLIDWORKS Network Recommendations

SOLIDWORKS is tested only with Microsoft’s Windows Networking and Active Directory network environments. Novell networks and non-Windows based network storage devices are not tested, supported or recommended.

  • TCP/IP network service is required when using SOLIDWORKS PDM.
  • Client Workstations require a minimum connection speed of 100Mbps for reliable SOLIDWORKS PDM Server Access. WAN environments have special considerations for bandwidth and latency. Consult your TriMech SOLIDWORKS PDM Implementer for additional information.

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Scott Durksen, CSWE

Scott is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.