Finding the best laptops for SolidWorks can be tricky since SolidWorks is a high-end, versatile software. Inaccurate information can lead you to choose what you think is the best laptop for Solidworks, only to find out that it can’t handle the complexity and size of your projects.
- Our Best Laptop for SolidWorks Reviews
- Best Laptop for SolidWorks Overall: Gigabyte Aero 15-X9-RT5P
- Best SolidWorks Laptop for the Money: Asus ROG Strix Scar II
- Best Cheap Laptop for SolidWorks: Acer Predator Helios 300
- Best Compact Laptop for SolidWorks: Microsoft Surface Book 2
- Best Portable Laptop for SolidWorks: Acer Predator Triton 500
- Best Workstation Laptop For SolidWorks: HP ZBook 15v G5
- Best SolidWorks Laptop for Drawing and Modeling: Razer Blade 15
- Best SolidWorks Laptop for Students: Lenovo Ideapad L340
- Best SolidWorks Laptop for 3D Modeling: Lenovo ThinkPad P53
- Best SolidWorks Laptop with 32GB RAM: MSI GS65 Stealth-002
- Laptop for SolidWorks Features and Considerations
- Wrap Up
Our Best Laptop for SolidWorks Reviews
Best Laptop for SolidWorks Overall: Gigabyte Aero 15-X9-RT5P
The Gigabyte Aero-15-X9-RT5P laptop is our choice for the best laptop for Solidworks, with thin bezels around the screen and boasts of solid design with 15.6 inches full HD screen display.
When it comes to performance and processing power, the Gigabyte Aero-15-X9-RT5P Laptop features a powerful 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7 8750H processor. This intel i7 processor comes with six cores for processing data, which is more than other processors for SolidWorks like the Intel Core i7 7700hq or the Intel Core i7 8550u. You can also boost the Intel Core i7 processor to 4.1 GHz using turbo if you need to increase its performance.
Along with the Intel Core i7, you can use the laptop’s RAM of 16GB DDR4 to run SolidWorks effectively. The system’s RAM of 16GB is derived from a single channel and the SO-Dim technology. Dim uses integrated circuits that consume little power while delivering impressive RAM output.
This 15.6 inches full HD screen uses IPS display technology with an impressive 144-hertz display refresh rate to allow you to view data and other content from different angles with the best color depth accuracy.
Additionally, our pick for the best laptop also comes with anti-glare display technology that makes sure the content displayed is not distorted in any way. If you like working late at night, the backlit keyboard on this laptop will help you brave it out while you’re burning the midnight oil.
While other laptops come with 128GB SSD, this laptop features PCIe NVMe SSD 1TB storage capacity, large enough to store a large amount of data. NVMe is an advanced level of standard storage that enables you to store your files in large quantities without slowing down your laptop or affecting performance.
To speed things up, this laptop features an amazing NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics memory card, which is better than other cards like NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070. While not the best card for a laptop this card is the third-fastest GPU and boasts of an 8 GB capacity to enable you to work with difficult graphics interfaces and software.
With so much performance power, it’s only natural this laptop heats up over extended periods. However, the Gigabyte Aero-15-X9-RT5P laptop comes with two specially designed cooling systems and inbuilt fans for GPU and processor to dissipate the heat effectively.
Finally, the Gigabyte Aero-15-X9-RT5P laptop comes with a 94.24 watt-hour battery life that runs for over 7 hours to make things easier for you, especially when working on those power-intensive projects and software to make sure your tasks are not interrupted by short battery life.
What We Like
- Two fans for cooling the system
- Six cores for processing data and software
- PCIe NVMe 1TB SSD storage capacity
- 16GB of RAM
- Windows 10 Pro Operating System
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Graphics card
- 15.6 inches full HD screen display
- Over 7 Hours of Battery Life
- Slim and compact
What We Don’t Like
- No dual-channel RAM
- Heats up easily
- We would’ve preffered an Nvidia Quadro
- The fan can be a bit noisy sometimes
- 15.6" 3mm Ultra-thin bezel | LG FHD 144Hz 1920x1080 IPS Anti-Glare display LCD | X-Rite Pantone...
- Intel Core i7-8750H (2.2Ghz-4.1GHz) | NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 GDDR6 8GB Supports NVIDIA Optimus...
- 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Samsung DRAM module | M.2 NVMe PCIe 1TB Intel 760P SSD | Windows 10 Pro
Best SolidWorks Laptop for the Money: Asus ROG Strix Scar II
The Asus ROG Strix Scar II laptop comes with an 8th generation Intel Core i7 8750H CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU video card, 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution display, and 512GB SSD of storage that can give you enough performance to tackle any project easily and the best value for money.
Along with the Nvidia GTX card GPU, if you are the type of person that likes multi-tasking when working on SolidWorks, it’s best you have enough RAM to be able to handle several tasks at the same time. Fortunately, with this laptop, you will get RAM 16GB DDR4 along with the Intel Core i7, which is more powerful than other laptop processors for SolidWorks like the Intel Core i7 7700hq or Intel Core i7 8550u.
This laptop features a 1TB HDD FireCuda Hybrid drive and 512GB SSD PCIe of storage. 512 GB SSD storage gives you both enough space to store your data and five times more speed compared to the standard 1TB HDD storage.
Along with the 512 GB SSD of storage, the 17.3 inch Full HD display screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution of this laptop is able to handle a larger view of your SolidWorks projects to give you a better viewing experience. Additionally, the customizable RGB keyboard on the Asus laptop will enable you to work comfortably in low-light conditions. So, you won’t have to strain your eyes when working in dimly lit places with this laptop display.
This laptop comes with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2070 GPU graphics card with 8 GB vRAM that further improves the speed to ensure the ROG modes like this one of the Asus Rog Zephyrus laptop deliver a powerful performance and beautiful 1920 x 1080 resolution.
Although you may expect a 17 inch display laptop to be a little bulky, surprisingly, this laptop only weighs 6.5 pounds. The large display 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution and powerful specifications make the Strix Scar II laptop a perfect machine for having several windows open side to side and multi-tasking.
Despite the size, the body is only 1-inch thin, which means it won’t occupy a lot of space in your best workstation laptop.
What We Like
- 8th Generation Processor Intel Core i7 8750H
- Customizable RGB keyboard
- Windows 10 Operating System
- 1TB HDD FireCuda Hybrid drive with 512 GB PCIe SSD
- 17.3 inches Full HD display with 1920 x 1080 pixels max resolution
- Great NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU
- USB 3.0 and USB Type-C Ports
- Great battery life
- Great performance output
- Lightweight and wide display
- 16GB RAM DDR4 RAM
What We Don’t Like
- Fans can get louder during heavy workload
- It doesn’t use an Nvidia Quadro graphics card
- The keypad requires time to master it
- Difficult to find upgrading hardware
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 8GB GDDR6
- Intel Core i7-8750H Hexa-Core Processor
- 144Hz 3ms 17.3” Full HD (1920x1080) IPS Type Display
Best Cheap Laptop for SolidWorks: Acer Predator Helios 300
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a great budget laptop, like the Acer Aspire, and one of the best laptops for SolidWorks if you’re in a budget. That doesn’t mean it’s low-end, this laptop comes with a 9th gen Intel Core i7 9750H CPU, a 256GB SSD, RAM 16GB, 1920 x 1080 pixels display resolution, and Windows 10 as the operating system.
Along with the 9th gen Intel Core i7 and the Ram 16GB DDR4, this laptop comes with a 6 GB VRAM NVIDIA GXT 1660 Ti graphics card. We only wish it used an Nvidia Quadro RTX GPU, that’s more centered for workstation or gaming laptop models like the MSI WE72 7RJ or the Asus Rog Zephyrus laptop.
The 15.6 inches screen size is great while the display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels is high enough to give you crisp imagery without straining the graphics core. Its IPS panel has a 144-hertz display refresh rate, which with the Ram 16GB DDR4 memory will help you enjoy if you plan to play some games after completing your studies or work.
When it comes to port selection, you will get a sole audio jack, one USB Type C Port and three USB 3.0 ports. There are also mini-display and HDMI ports.
Additionally, the keyboard has a good amount of key travel distance that helps it to feel robust when typing. However, it is not all good news. Despite the reasonable travel and the firm base, the buttons are a bit soft. This means they are a little spongy than the keyboards on one of the best laptops for SolidWorks.
If you only handle small jobs on SolidWorks, you will find the Acer laptop a great choice. Although you may feel the storage capacity is a bit limited, this laptop comes with a Hard Drive Bay and a free SSD (solid state drive) slot for easy storage upgrades.
What We Like
- Smooth trackpad that supports gestures
- 9th gen Intel Core i7 9750H CPU
- 6 GB VRAM NVIDIA GXT 1660 Ti GPU graphics card
- 16GB RAM memory
- Impressive display
- 256GB SSD which you can upgrade
- Operating System Windows 10
- Free SSD slot for easy storage upgrades
- Reasonable travel and firm base
- Great battery life
- High-quality Screen
- Solid 1080 pixels gaming ability
What We Don’t Like
- Heavy and weak exterior
- No card reader or thunderbolt 3
- Average build quality
- 9th Generation Intel Core i7 9750H 6 Core Processor (Up to 4.5GHz) with Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphics with 6GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM
- 15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED backlit IPS Display (144Hz Refresh Rate, 3ms...
Best Compact Laptop for SolidWorks: Microsoft Surface Book 2
Students or professionals looking for the smallest laptop that supports the SolidWorks software may find the Microsoft Surface Book 2 laptop an excellent option.
The laptop delivers impressive speed and performance, thanks to its 8th generation Intel Core i7 8650U quad-core CPU and 256 GB SSD of storage that ensure every program runs smoothly. You can turbo boost the 8th gen Intel Core i7 8550u quad-core processor to 4.2ghz. This way, the Quad Core i7 will give help you enhance the performance of the laptop.
This is also a great laptop for CAD (computer-aided design) as part of non-mobile workstation laptops for SolidWorks. It’s also well-engineered to meet the demanding needs of heavy-duty applications. The laptop’s 8 GB RAM, 256GB SSD and NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU (similar to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070) makes it an ideal choice for people that like multi-tasking on the best display and those that prefer machines that load data fast.
If 8GB DDR4 of RAM memory doesn’t sound that impressive to you, rest easy knowing you can upgrade the memory RAM to be 16GB RAM.
This laptop comes with 1 TB HDD and 256GB SSD. This powerful combination allows the laptop to store all your professional or personal data in the 1 TB while the 256GB SSD allows you to boot the laptop in no time.
At 256GB SSD, the storage capacity provides the Microsoft laptop with both speed and space as 256 GB reduce the time software like SolidWorks take to load, increasing your performance and productivity.
Along with the Intel Core i7 quad core processor and the 256GB SSD, the laptop comes with an NVIDIA GTX 1060 powerful graphics card a 13.5 inches FHD display for an optimum performance.
In addition to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, this SolidWorks laptop boasts of a 144-hertz display rate and has an IPS display panel.
Surface Book 2 is that it tends to heat up quickly. This is normal with complex models like the MSI WE72 7RJ, with powerful graphics and cards like the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070. However, the laptop has a cooling system to deal with this flaw even though some users complain that the system is not well developed. The laptop is also lightweight as it only weighs 4 pounds.
Finally, the Surface Book 2 laptop comes with a battery life that will give you up to 18 working hours before you need to reach for a power supply.
What We Like
- Perfect for intentisve tasks
- Processor Intel Core Quad Core i7 8650H processor (4 cores)
- 1 TB HDD and 256GB SSD capacity
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card
- 13.5 inches Full HD IPS display
- 8GB RAM is good enough (which you can upgrade to 16GB RAM)
- Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
- Ideal for running SolidWorks
- Best performance output
- Surface pen
What We Don’t Like
- Poor cooling system
- Wish the NVIDIA GeForce GTX was an Nvidia Quadro instead
- Heats up quickly
- Slightly loud keyboard
- Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8650U (quad-core) with up to 4.20 GHz Max Turbo
- Memory: 8GB RAM 1866Mhz LPDDR3
- Storage: 256GB Solid State Drive. Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 discrete GPU w/2GB GDDR5...
Best Portable Laptop for SolidWorks: Acer Predator Triton 500
If you are looking for a powerful and ultra-thin SolidWorks laptop, you may want to check out the Acer PredatorTriton 500 model. The laptop offers NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card, 512GB NVMe PCIe solid-state drive, 16GB DDR4 RAM 2666 megahertz, an Intel Core i7 9750H processor, and Windows 10 as operating system.
We only wish this laptop used a graphics card more directed to mobile workstation laptops for running SolidWorks, like the Nvidia Quadro instead of the Nvidia Geforce.
Along with the Intel Core i7, 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD, the Triton 500 laptop offers a fast, standard PCIe NVMe SSD drive as it allows the laptop to boot into the operating system (windows 10) quickly. Unfortunately, these can fill up quickly if you have large amounts of data or files. If that’s your case you can always upgrade to 1TB SSD.
It has a standard Ethernet port, which is rare on most of the best laptops for SolidWorks. Also, the DoubleShot Pro networking technology means you will enjoy a stress-free Wi-Fi connection.
We’ve found that one area that most of the best laptops for SolidWorks tend to ignore is the cooling system. However, our experience with one of the best laptops for SolidWorks shows that this laptop performs well in this area.
Although the laptop heats up when using Solidworks on your lap for a long time, it copes well when used on a desk. There is also a bit of fan noise; however, under standard use, you won’t notice the fans on the best laptops for SolidWorks.
Finally, this laptop has a 15.6 full HD display with a 144-hertz display rate and 1080 pixels IPS panel. The display is also bright enough to allow you to view your content, rich in color, and provides decent viewing angles.
What We Like
- Great graphics performance
- Great processor, Intel Core i7
- Fast file transfer speed
- 15.6 full HD display
- Excellent performance
- Great 16GB of RAM (which you can increase to 32GB RAM)
- Portable design
- Multiple USB 3.0 ports
- Windows 10 Home as an Operating System
- Comfortable keyboard
What We Don’t Like
- Short battery life, wish we could get at least 7 hours
- Weak audio
- Loud fans
- 8th Generation Intel Core i7 8750H 6 Core Processor (Upto 4.1GHz) with Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 overclock Graphics with Max Q design and 8 GB of dedicated GDDR6 DRAM....
- 15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) LED backlit IPS 144Hz refresh rate display with NVIDIA G SYNC...
Best Workstation Laptop For SolidWorks: HP ZBook 15v G5
Whether you are using SolidWorks for professional or schoolwork, the HP Zbook 15V G5 provides a reliable blend of features at your disposal. This is our best laptop for people looking for a mobile workstation to tackle data analysis, CAD work, video editing, 3D animation, and rendering.
The HP Zbook 15V G5 comes uniquely equipped for fast calculations. Thanks to the Intel Core i7-8750H processor. Although it is not the latest or fastest in the market, this CPU can flawlessly accomplish most SolidWorks tasks at a speed of up to 4.10GHz. The processor is further boosted by 9MB of cache memory.
This laptop also packs the powerful NVIDIA Quadro P600 GPU that comes with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM. This makes GPU-intensive rendering on SolidWorks a painless experience. The dedicated GPU accelerated rendering combination with 16GB of expandable RAM makes the HP Zbook 15V G5 an ideal choice when it comes to SolidWorks.
The laptop also boasts of a dual-storage module which ensures that all your projects are safely stored. This includes 512GB SSD for faster performance and a 1TB HDD for permanent storage. In turn, loading and rendering of big assemblies become incredibly easier.
In terms of display, the HP Zbook 15V G5 outputs on a 15.6 inch FHD screen size with 1920 x 1080 pixels. This makes working with complex projects easier as you are able to clearly see what you are working on.
What We Like
- Powerful workstation dedicated GPU
- Upgradeable RAM
- Generous dual storage for large projects (512GB SSD and 1TB HDD)
- Thunderbolt 3 port for fast file transfer
What We Don’t Like
- The ethernet port is a bit stiff
- The glossy display might hurt unprotected eyes
- 8th Generation Intel i7-8750H 6-Core (2.20 GHz up to 4.10GHz, 9 MB Cache), NVIDIA Quadro P600 with 4...
- 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Touchscreen Glossy Display, 1 x 10/100/1000 Mb/s Gigabit Ethernet...
- 16GB DDR4 SDRAM Memory, Standard Backlight notebook keyboard with numeric keypad, Kensington Lock...
Best SolidWorks Laptop for Drawing and Modeling: Razer Blade 15
If most of your projects on SolidWorks are drawing or modeling-centric, the Razer Blade 15 will easily cut it for you. While the Razor Blade 15 Notebook is mostly billed as a gaming laptop, we found its specs sheet to be equally excellent for SolidWorks.
To start with, the Razer Blade 15 features a 6-core 10th gen Intel Core i7-10750H processor with up to 5GHz clock speed makes for speedy calculations and rendering. This allows for Hyper-Threading to boost speed and breeze through basic simulations on SolidWorks.
With the Core i7 processor, the Razer Blade 15 can effortlessly deal with multi-sheet modeling and other tasks like drawing without any lag or bottlenecking your laptop’s performance. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 GPU boosts the processor speed further. This allows the Razer Blade 15 to handle large assemblies like dedicated GPU-accelerated 3D rendering.
What is more, the 8GB VRAM and CUDA cores make it possible to handle larger assemblies for more than 500 parts. The Max-Q GPU technology in combination with the Turing architecture allows for top-notch rendering while also improving power efficiency.
While some SolidWorks professionals might not think much of the 16GB RAM, it goes a long way to ensure error-free assemblies. In addition, the 512GB SSD will ensure a quicker Windows booting and faster data rendering.
What We Like
- Powerful GPU with Turing Architecture
- Long battery life
- Incredible display
- Supports AI-Assisted Rendering
What We Don’t Like
- CPU performance could be better
- A bit heavy
- No USB 3.1 Type C Ports, only USB 3.0
- More power: The 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H processor provides the ultimate level of performance...
- Ray-tracing: The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 with Max-Q Design is powered by the NVIDIA Turing GPU...
- More frames: Incredible performance paired with the fast 144Hz 15. 6" full HD thin bezel display...
Best SolidWorks Laptop for Students: Lenovo Ideapad L340
If you are a student on a budget and want a reliable laptop that comes with the NVIDIA GTX1650 GPU, we recommend the Lenovo Ideapad L340. While the price tag doesn’t quite reflect a mid-range laptop capable of hardcore creative tasks, this laptop can effortlessly handle most classroom SolidWorks tasks.
This is a great option if you are looking to do basic level rendering or 2D and 3D drawing on a budget. An Intel Core i5-9300H powers the Ideapad L340 which is, by SolidWorks standards, on the lower end of performance charts.
However, if you are doing basic projects that are not processor or GPU-intensive, the Ideapad L340 will suffice. The processor speed clocks at 4.10GHz and comes with a cache memory of 8MB. This allows for speedy calculations while doing some basic data analysis on SolidWorks.
The Core i5 chipset also supports OpenGL and DirectX technologies which makes it an alluring pick for SolidWorks budget buyers. To add to this, the laptop also supports Turing shading to give your projects a professional touch.
There is also 8GB DDR4 of RAM which, just like the processor, doesn’t bring much to the table for expert creatives. However, with this memory, you will be able to handle small projects with ease. This in combination with the 512GB PCIe SSD, boosts the laptop’s overall performance while also advocating for shorter Windows 10 OS booting times.
What We Like
- Decent processing speed with HyperThreading support
- Vibrant display
- Comfortable keyboard
- Upgradeable RAM
- Long-lasting battery
- USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 Type Ports for fast file transfer
What We Don’t Like
- Only good for basic-level SolidWorks tasks
- A new dimension of gaming performance awaits - with 9th-generation Intel Core i5 processors, the...
- Take it to the next level - With the latest NVIDIA GeForce Graphics behind you, you can tame the...
- A portal to a new sound dimension - hardwired into every Idea Pad L340 gaming is advanced Dopoundsy...
Best SolidWorks Laptop for 3D Modeling: Lenovo ThinkPad P53
For SolidWorks users that specialize in 3D modeling, the Lenovo ThinkPad P53 is a great pick. Lenovo offers a great mobile workstation in this model. It packs a generous 15.6-inch display, with fast hardware, a variety of ports, and memory expandability.
The Lenovo ThinkPad P53 has a powerful GPU with a really affordable price tag. Although this laptop doesn’t have the mighty Core i9 CPU as most SolidWorks professionals would prefer, it still drives a hard bargain.
So, while rendering will be a bit slower, the powerful GPU will allow you to handle bigger simulations. We are talking about the NVIDIA Quadro T1000 with 4GB VRAM memory. With this kind of GPU, you can work on bigger SolidWorks projects without blowing your budget.
In addition, the 32GB of RAM and 1TB NVMe SSD makes 3D modeling on this laptop a memorable experience. In addition, the 17.3-inch FHD IPS display makes rendering and modeling much easier by providing a generous working area. The 1920 x 1080 pixels is also anti-glare which means your eyes won’t be hurt even when you work for long hours.
What We Like
- Powerful graphics
- Generous high-quality display
- Powerful processor, even if it’s not a Core i9
- Comfortable and speedy keyboard
- Sky-high memory and storage options
What We Don’t Like
- Bulky at 7.7 pounds
- Processor: Intel Core i7-10750H Six Core Processor (12MB Cache, 2.6GHz-5.0GHz) 45W
- RAM: 32GB DDR4 2933MHz | Hard Drive: 1TB NVMe Solid State Drive
- Keyboard: 6-Row, Spill Resistant, LED Backlit Keyboard with Numeric Keypad | Operating System:...
Best SolidWorks Laptop with 32GB RAM: MSI GS65 Stealth-002
MSI bills the GS65 Stealth-002 as a productivity laptop and we couldn’t agree more. This laptop is a great pick for creatives especially those using the SolidWorks platform. The laptop employs an impressive hardware combination that makes this laptop an easy pick for modeling, rendering, data analysis, and drawing.
While the MSI GS65 Stealth-002 laptop comes with a different hardware configuration, we prefer the 32GB DDR4 RAM variant. This makes this particular laptop a great workstation option if you are dealing with large assemblies that require robust performance power.
The Intel Core i7-8750H processor in this laptop does a great job at ensuring faster rendering and calculations as well as steady overall laptop performance. In addition, the MSI GS65 Stealth-002 packs the powerful NVIDIA GeForce RTX2070 graphics card, making it one of our best picks for graphics-intensive SolidWorks projects.
There is also a generous 512GB PCIe SSD storage, more than your average 128GB SSD. Being SSD, you get fast data storage and boot times for the laptop and the SolidWorks software.
If you are afraid of overheating, pick the GS65 Stealth-00. It comes with a robust cooling system that includes 3 fans and 6 copper heat pipes. This helps to reduce heat production and subsequently increase battery life.
What We Like
- Powerful graphics
- 32GB RAM to be future proof
- Decent Intel Core i7 processor
- Enough storage
What We Don’t Like
- No USB 3.1 type C ports, only USB 3.0
- The fans could be better
- Display: 15.6 144Hz 7ms, IPS-Level FHD,Anti-Glare 1920x1080
- Processor: Core i7-8750H 2.2 - 4.1GHz | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1070 8G GDDR5
- System Memory: 32GB (16G*2) DDR4 2400MHz 2 Sockets; Max Memory 32GB | Storage: 512GB NVME SSD
Laptop for SolidWorks Features and Considerations
Before buying a new laptop, it will be a good idea to figure out the types of projects you will be working on. This is because it is not easy to tell the hardware configuration that will suit you due to diversity in project sizes. That said, here is what to look for when shopping for the best laptop for SolidWorks:
GPU (Graphics Card)
There are moments when the SolidWorks software slows down and crashes. One of the major causes of this is usually the GPU or the dedicated graphics cards. Since it’s a chip embedded directly on the motherboard, this means you can’t simply replace these graphics cards and that it’ll cause you a considerable problem if it’s damaged.
Since you will be stuck with this card for the entire duration you will be using Solidworks on your laptop; you should ensure it is compatible with the latest versions of the SolidWorks software. Like other requirements, the GPU you require depends on your level of experience when it comes to using SolidWorks and your projects.
For instance, if you are an engineer or student getting started with SolidWorks and looking for low budget models, then an excellent option would be a consumer card.
If you are on a tight budget or are new to SolidWorks, then consumer cards are a perfect choice because they are affordable. You don’t have to worry that you will not be able to run SolidWorks if you do not buy a supported card.
This is because nowadays, SolidWorks is compatible with gaming/consumer cards. You can choose a consumer card if you’re not working on intensive simulation or rendering. So, any Nvidia and AMD graphics card or gaming laptop card like the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti will work for you.
If you only do drafting, drawing, and modeling because they do not require a high-end graphics card, then you can also choose a consumer card.
However, bear in mind that opting for a large amount of VRAM is only recommended when you are working with large textures and patterns. Also, if you want to work RealView with the gaming/consumer cards, you will have to use RealHack.
So, what are the challenges of using consumer cards?
First, unlike mobile workstation laptop cards like the Nvidia Quadro, they’re not designed for CAD applications even though they provide the same programming interface as mobile workstation laptop cards.
Finally, if you face any challenges, you won’t get any support from SolidWorks of the GPU manufacturer.
On the other hand, if you are a professional, you will have to look for a high-end mobile workstation card or graphics card like the Nvidia Quadro to get the highest FPS (frames per second) with a extremely complex and large assembly.
It’s easy to pick mobile workstation laptop cards like the Nvidia quadro; however, you have to ensure they are tested and certified by SolidWorks. One advantage of using cards like the Nvidia quadro is that they work flawlessly without any issues since they are tested to minimize crashes and bugs.
It’s also important to mention that GPU drivers cause most graphics cards problem sizes. For example, the Nvidia Quadro latest driver may not work as expected, even if it is downloaded from the official Nvidia quadro GPU manufacturer website. Make sure to download the older version, which also applies to the mobile workstation laptop cards like the Nvidia quadro.
RAM defines the number of individual windows the best laptop can handle. RAM also defines the size of multi-sheet drawing as well as assembly size. For example, a large RAM will enable you to tackle a large assembly while modeling. RAM requirements depend on a small or large assembly size.
If you intend to load a large assembly, complex drawings and models in SolidWorks, you will require a larger RAM size. When running a heavy simulation, a lot of data has to be loaded. This also applies to the dataset sizes.
In case your laptop runs out of RAM because of the hard drive caching, then the load time will increase since the hard drive will become slower than the RAM. In addition, if you are working with large assemblies, we recommend choosing 16GB DDR4 RAM to 32 GB RAM
If you are creating simple drawings, assembly, and parts, then 8 GB RAM will be enough. Some projects, such as rendering, simulations, and rotating models, require 4 GB to 8 GB RAM to work properly.
When considering the storage of your laptop, you will have to choose between HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) and SSDs (Solid State Drives). Nowadays, SSDs are not as costly as before and have become standard for CAD works. So, there is no reason for opting for the HDDs, specially when operating systems versions like Windows 7 and Windows 10 can both boot quickly with an SSD.
Also, do not be lured by a 7200 RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) drive just because they provide a larger capacity to run Solidworks and seem to be faster than 5400 RPM drives. This is because HDDs are slower than SSD, and even the sluggish SSD is many times faster than a 7200 RPM drive (fastest HDD).
For this reason, we highly recommend going for an SSD laptop for SolidWorks as it delivers faster performance. In case you run out of storage because of low GB SSD storage, which happens with models with 128GB SSD, you can use both HDD and SSD hard drives or even an external drive.
Some recommended laptop models provide this feature during purchase while you may have to upgrade it on other best laptops for SolidWorks. Fortunately, none of the laptops in these reviews come with 128GB SSD
Using both hard drives in a Solidworks laptop is a good idea because you can use HDD to store long-term data and an SSD to install any project files you may be working on, SolidWorks and the operating system. SDD is highly recommended on the best laptops for SolidWorks because of its assembly size. SDDs on your laptop reduce the saving and opening time for assembly since they have faster data retrieval speed.
It’s important to mention that if the assembly is large, it will take longer to open. So, you will have to invest in a laptop with the fastest drives, such as the NVME PCIe SSD, if you are working on large assemblies. Instead of a PCIe NVME SSD, you can go for SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) III which are standard SSDs and easily found in most high-end workstation laptop models like the MSI WE72 7RJ.
The CPU is an important factor to consider when choosing a SolidWorks laptop because the specification of complex models like the Intel Core i7 7700hq or Intel Core i5 CPU will determine the tasks you can use the CPU to perform regularly. For instance, modeling is a single-threaded application that relies heavily on the clock speed or rate of your laptop’s core processor. So, you will require a 3.8 ghz (gigahertz) frequency processor for smooth working.
Additionally, the extra processor threads or CPU cores are useful for simulations and drawing tasks. Nowadays, you can easily get a quad-core processor (a CPU with 4 cores) like the Intel Core i7 7700hq, with Hyper-Threading in budget best laptops for SolidWorks like the Lenovo ThinkPad p50, Dell Inspiron, the HP Zbook, or Dell Precision.
However, a laptop CPU with more internal cache and a higher clock speed or rate is much better. So, what is the CPU clock speed or rate, and how does it impact a high performance?
Clock rate on your CPU refers to the amount of time your laptop can take to perform calculations. If the clock rate on the CPU is higher, the processor will carry out the calculations quickly. SolidWorks is a frequency-bound software since it uses parametric modeling.
As such, a higher frequency processor like the Intel i7 7700hq processor or even Intel Core i5 CPU will be ideal because a processor like the Intel core i5 can perform better with the software. Also, you should consider the number of cores of your processor because a processor with many cores like the Intel Core i7 7700hq can perform several calculations faster compared to a processor that’s single core.
Many of the best laptops for SolidWorks not included in these reviews like the Lenovo Thinkpad p50 feature a great Intel Core i7 7700hq core processor.
Screen Quality and Size
Since you will be spending more time staring at the screen of your laptop while working on your tasks, it’s important to consider the high-quality of the display. That doesn’t mean you’ll need a 4k display laptop for SolidWorks since a 4K display can be a bit of overkill. You can judge the high-quality of your display and screen using the following metrics:
- Color Gamut
- Panel type
These attributes can help you to judge most laptop screens available on the market accurately. For instance, IPS panels are an excellent choice for providing wide view angles and color-sensitive projects. So, it’s good to select an IPS full HD display for a SolidWorks workstation.
However, SolidWorks versions released before 2019 have an issue with high and 4k resolution screens. This is because to run SolidWorks you need lots of custom margins and fonts, which tend to create display problems, especially when using Windows scaling. To solve this display issue, get a full HD IPS display for SolidWorks as it won’t cause DPI scaling issues.
When it comes to display contrast and brightness, more is better. For example, 300 cd is found on most of the best laptops for SolidWorks like Lenovo ThinkPad p50, while others offer above 350 cd. Additionally, an 800:1 contrast ratio is ideal for CAD software workstations.
You will appreciate it if your workstation’s battery life can last for at least 6 hours. So, your laptop will require more battery backup energy, especially if you are always on the go. As such, a battery life with a long runtime will be ideal as it will allow you to complete working on your projects.
Since there is no exact way to measure the duration of your battery life can last, the number of cells can give you an idea of how long the battery life can serve you. Generally, even other best laptops for SolidWorks like Lenovo Thinkpad tend to have the best performance, so you will have to use more than six-cell batteries to balance the backup time and have better battery life.
It’s important to think about the tasks you will be handling, as this will help you buy a laptop with the right specifications for your projects. For example, a laptop like the Lenovo Thinkpad with 8 GB RAM is an excellent choice for people that handle previous operating system versions like Windows 7 or light-duty tasks occasionally since to run SolidWorks you need 4 GB.
On the other hand, professionals will need 32 GB of RAM to tackle complex assemblies because they rely on their best laptops for SolidWorks for job assignments.
All the best laptops on our list have different specifications based on their price range. However, finding the best specs with a reasonable price range does not affect the performance of the best laptops. One thing they have in common is that they work great with the SolidWorks software.
Therefore, before choosing your best laptop, read the specs in this buyer’s guide carefully to help you pick a laptop that can serve your needs.