Every expert needs the right tools in order to get their job done properly. The same can be said for Solidworks users. While the program is powerful and versatile, it's only as good as the workstation it's run on.
This guide will help you understand what to look for when shopping for a Solidworks workstation. With the right computer, you'll be able to take full advantage of everything this amazing software has to offer.
What Is Solidworks?
Solidworks is a prominent Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) software designed for the purpose of creating fast and accurate 3D and 2D models. It's used primarily by engineers and others in related fields as a tool for rapid prototyping and designing and is crucial to the success of many businesses.
While there are other solutions similar to its nature on the market, Solidworks remains a leading engineering and design platform that is largely considered an industry standard. It stands out through its robust array of capabilities, offering a degree of control and detail unrivaled by most other pieces of software.
Just some of the things Solidworks is used for include:
● Making fast and precise 2D drawings and 3D models of complex parts and assemblies
● Designing items with the insight of manufacturability checks and cost estimation tools
● Collaborating with team members on projects and controlling revisions
What's A Solidworks Workstation?
Solidworks is an extremely complex and capable tool that's often used in very professional contexts. It's not just something you can download onto your phone and try out on the go, either. Solidworks is a desktop application that requires a computer with very specific capabilities to function optimally.
A Solidworks workstation is a term used to describe a computer that's been outfitted with the hardware necessary to run Solidworks effectively. This usually includes a powerful processor, plenty of RAM, and a top-of-the-line graphics card.
What's The Difference Between A Desktop And a Workstation?
While the term 'workstation' can often be used relatively broadly, it's important to know that there is a difference between your traditional desktop setup and an actual workstation. What sets them apart?
A regular desktop PC is one that's designed for general use. It's the kind of computer you might buy to do some light web browsing, watch movies, or play the occasional game. It's not going to be too powerful, and it's not going to cost too much.
On the other hand, a workstation is designed with power and performance in mind above all else. It's the kind of computer you might buy if you were a video editor, graphic designer, or engineer. These devices are usually more expensive than regular desktop PCs, but they offer a lot more in terms of raw power.
What Are The Solidworks System Requirements?
Now that we know what Solidworks is and what a Solidworks workstation is, let's take a look at the specific system requirements for running the software. Keep in mind that these are Solidworks minimum requirements - to get the most out of Solidworks, you'll want to exceed them if possible.
· Processor: Current Generation Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen
· Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10
· RAM: 16GB
· Hard Drive Space: 250+ GBs SSD Drive
· Graphics Card: Intel HD Graphics, NVIDIA Quadro, AMD Radeon Pro
Types of Workstations for Solidworks
While there is no single device or setup that's considered the best computer for Solidworks, there are a couple of types of PC configurations you should keep in mind when shopping. These are the most popular types of workstations you'll find on the market, each with its own set of pros and cons.
· Desktop Workstation: A concept you may already be familiar with, a desktop-style workstation is one where a PC system will have its components integrated individually atop a desk or flat surface. This includes the monitor, which is placed on the desk, as well as the CPU unit, keyboard, and mouse.
The main benefit of this type of workstation is its flexibility - since all the components are separate, you can select them individually and put them together yourself. Even better, if you're ever needing to replace or upgrade a certain component, you can do so without affecting the others. And because this setup tends to consist of larger hardware, it often results in better performance overall as compared to other types of workstations.
The downside to this type of workstation is that it usually requires more physical space on your desk, and all its cables can be a bit messy and unsightly. It's also generally going to cost more than an all-in-one solution since you're buying each component separately.
· Laptop Workstation: A laptop, or mobile, workstation is very similar to a desktop-style workstation, with one key exception - almost everything is integrated into a single, portable device. That means the monitor, CPU unit, keyboard, and mouse are all built into the same physical body.
The big benefit of a laptop-style workstation is its portability. If you're someone who likes to move around often, or if you need to take your work with you on the go, this type of setup is going to be very appealing. It's also going to be easier to keep organized since there are fewer cables involved.
The caveat of a laptop for Solidworks is that, because everything is integrated, it can be more difficult (and expensive) to upgrade individual components. And since laptop hardware tends to be smaller than desktop hardware, you might not get the same level of raw power and performance.
The Benefits of Having a Workstation Equipped With Solidworks
There are plenty of reasons to consider investing in a workstation that's been equipped specifically for running Solidworks. After all, by doing so you're getting access to the wealth of great resources and functions offered by the tool. Here are just a few benefits that you can look forward to.
· Save Time with Simulation Tools: One of the most impressive features of Solidworks is its built-in simulation tools. These allow you to test your designs to see how they'll hold up in the real world, without having to create a physical prototype. This can save you a lot of time and money in the long run, since you can catch errors and design flaws early on in the process.
· Create Complex Designs quickly and easily: With Solidworks, you'll be able to create complex designs quickly and easily. The software is equipped with a variety of features and tools that make the design process much simpler, even for complicated projects.
· Get Feedback And Approval Faster: Since Solidworks is such a widely used program, you'll be able to get feedback and approval from clients and colleagues much faster. They'll be able to open and view your designs without any issues, which can help speed up the overall approval process.
· Stay Competitive In Your Field: By having a workstation that's equipped with Solidworks, you'll be able to stay competitive in your field. With the program's powerful tools and features, you'll be able to create designs that are on par with (or even better than) what your competitors are doing.
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Solidworks Computer and Workstation
If you've decided that a Solidworks workstation is right for you, there are a few things you'll need to keep top of mind when browsing your options. These factors can help you narrow down the field and find the perfect workstation for your needs.
· Workstation Type: There are two main types of workstations on the market - desktop and laptop. Each has its own set of pros and cons, so it's important to decide which type is right for you before making a purchase.
On one hand, Solidworks certified laptops offer portability and tend to be more user-friendly. However, they can be more expensive and might not offer the same level of raw power as a desktop workstation.
On the other hand, desktop workstations offer plenty of power and performance but can be less portable and more difficult to set up. Be sure to consider your specific needs before making a decision.
Operating System: The first thing to consider is the operating system that you want your workstation to run on. Solidworks is compatible with both prominent forms, so you'll need to decide which platform you prefer. Just keep in mind that one of the main Solidworks computer requirements is one that is up-to-date enough to run the program.
· Hardware: Next, you'll need to think about the hardware that you want or need in your workstation. This includes things like the processor, graphics card, amount of RAM, and so on.
It's important to consider what sort of tasks you'll be using Solidworks for most often, as that can help you determine which specs are most important.
For example, if you're mostly doing 2D drafting, you won't need as powerful of a graphics card as someone who's regularly doing 3D rendering. Alternatively, if you plan on doing a lot of simulations, you'll probably need more RAM than someone who doesn't. Of course, be sure to select hardware that meets Solidworks requirements and is able to run the software well.
· Connectivity and Peripherals: Another important factor to consider is connectivity and peripherals. Make sure that the workstation you're considering has all the ports and connections that you need, as well as any other peripherals that you might want to use.
Some examples include things like an external mouse, keyboard, or storage device. A Solidworks laptop might also need an external graphics card or other hardware in order to run the program properly.
Again, it all comes down to what type of workstation you're using, what you'll be using it for, and what your specific needs are.
Your Use Case
One of the most important factors to consider when shopping is your specific use case. In other words, what exactly do you need a Solidworks workstation for?
Are you a student who needs something for school projects? Are you a professional designer who uses it for work? Do you need it for a hobby?
Your use case will dictate what type of workstation you need, as well as the specific specs and features that it should have.
For example, a laptop for Solidworks student use will likely be different than one that a professional needs. The former might not need as much power or storage, while the latter might need more RAM or a better graphics card.
No matter what your specific use case is, be sure to keep it in mind when shopping for a Solidworks workstation. It'll help you narrow down your selection to products that tick off both Solidworks recommended specs and your individual needs.
Finally, be sure to read reviews before making your purchase. This is especially important if you're buying a workstation online, but it can also be helpful if you're buying in-store.
Look for reviews from other Solidworks users, as they'll likely have insights that others don't. See what they have to say about things like performance, build quality, customer service, and so on. You can also browse articles from industry leaders online, which sometimes choose to identify their specific recommended laptop for Solidworks.
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In the market for a workstation? Trust Lenovo. Whether you're on the hunt for the best laptop for Solidworks on the market or a comprehensive desktop setup, we have something for you.