SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD, PDM

SOLIDWORKS 2018 Requirements and Recommendations

By TriMech on October 1, 2017

Purchasing a new CAD system like SOLIDWORKS comes with certain boxes to be checked. One to-do that can't be missed is having the correct hardware to support your new purchase. One of the most-asked questions is in reference to buying and upgrading equipment to ensure that they will still work with the SOLIDWORKS system requirements. Our Engineering Team has a list of recommendations along with each version of SOLIDWORKS system requirements in one place to ensure you have the correct hardware. Here are the system requirements and recommendations.

>> Download our complete recommendations for the current version of SOLIDWORKS
>> Download our complete recommendations specifically for SOLIDWORKS PDM

SOLIDWORKS System Requirements

These requirements apply to all SOLIDWORKS products except where noted. Use this information to ensure you are always working with a SOLIDWORKS-supported and optimized system for hardware, operating system and Microsoft products.

SOLIDWORKS Products for Windows

  SOLIDWORKS 2017
(EDU 2017-2018)
SOLIDWORKS 2018
(EDU 2018-2019)
 
Operating System  
Windows 10, 64-bit Yes Yes  
Windows 8.1, 64-bit Yes Yes  
Windows 7 SP1, 64-bit Yes Yes  
Virtual environments (See chart below) (See chart below)  
Hardware  
Processor Intel or AMD with SSE2 support.
64-bit operating system required
RAM 8 GB or more
 
Install Media DVD drive or broadband internet connection
Software  
Microsoft Excel and Word 2010, 2013, 2016 2010, 2013, 2016  
Network

Microsoft Windows networking. Novell networks and non-Windows network storage devices are not supported

 
Antivirus

SOLIDWORKS recommends:

  • Use a trusted antivirus product. 
  • Keep your antivirus product updated to the latest version.
  • Stay updated with the latest antivirus definition/signature file (This defines the known current vulnerabilities and exemptions). 
  • Consider creating exemptions for SOLIDWORKS file types and folder locations to improve SOLIDWORKS file based runtime performance such as File Open/Save/Save As and PDM Vault Checkin/Checkout.
 

 

Supported Virtual Environments (Hypervisors)

Virtualization Environment SOLIDWORKS 2017 SOLIDWORKS 2018
VMware vSphere ESXi 6.0 (SW2017 SP02) 6.0
VMware Workstation 9 9
Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 2012
Parallels Desktop, Mac 10 10
Citrix XenServer 6.2 6.2
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac is only supported for the non-server SOLIDWORKS products.
  • Support for virtual environments listed in the above table applies to SOLIDWORKS 2015 and later. Virtual environments are not supported in earlier releases.
  • SOLIDWORKS and eDrawings require a GPU for optimal performance in a virtualized environment. 

SOLIDWORKS Server Products

  SOLIDWORKS 2017 SOLIDWORKS 2018
Operating Systems
Windows Server 2016 Yes (2017 SP2) Yes
Windows Server 2012 R2 Yes Yes
Windows Server 2012 Yes Yes
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Yes No
SQL Server (SOLIDWORKS Electrical Server)
SQL 2016 Yes Yes
SQL 2014 Yes Yes
SQL 2012 Yes Yes

 

Microsoft Products 

Microsoft Products Start of Life End of Life*
Windows 10, 64-bit 2015 SP5 Active
Windows 8.1, 64-bit 2014 SP1 2018 SP5
Windows 8.0, 64-bit 2013 SP0 2015 SP5
Windows 7, 64-bit 2010 SP1 2020 SP5
Windows 7, 32-bit 2010 SP1 2014 SP5
Windows Vista, 64-bit 2008 SP3.1 2013 SP5
Windows Vista, 32-bit 2008 SP0 2013 SP5
Windows XP, 64-bit 2006 SP4 2012 SP5
Windows XP, 32-bit 2001Plus SP0 2013 SP5
Windows Server 2016 2017 SP2 Active
Windows Server 2012 R2 2014 SP3 2019 SP5
Windows Server 2012 2014 SP0 2018 SP5
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 2009 2017 SP05
Windows Server 2008 2008 2014 SP5
SQL Server 2016 2017 SP0 Active
SQL Server 2014 2015 SP0 Active
SQL Server 2012 2013 SP2 Active
SQL Server 2008 R2  2010 SP4 2017 SP5
IE 11 2014 SP3 Active
IE 10 2013 SP0 2016 SP5
IE 9 2011 SP4 2015 SP5
IE 8 2009 SP5 2014 SP5
Excel, Word 2016
(64-bit recommended)
2016 SP3 Active
Excel, Word 2013 2013 SP4 2020 SP5
Excel, Word 2010 2010 SP5 2018 SP5
Excel, Word 2007 2008 SP1 2014 SP5
  • End Of Life (EOL) corresponds to the last SOLIDWORKS release where a Microsoft product is supported (This is synchronized with the Microsoft Mainstream Support End Date). SOLIDWORKS releases after the EOL are not supported for the said Microsoft product and SOLIDWORKS installation is blocked in the case of an operating system.
  • SOLIDWORKS Product Support Lifecycle defines the End Of Support for SOLIDWORKS versions.
  • SOLIDWORKS recommends using the latest Microsoft update of Windows, Office and Internet Explorer.
  • SOLIDWORKS recommends using a Windows Server operating system for all SOLIDWORKS server-based products.
  • Windows Server operating system support applies to Standard and Enterprise editions only.
  • Windows Home Editions and Windows To Go are not supported.
  • Microsoft Office 'Click-To-Run' feature is supported for SOLIDWORKS 2017 and later.
  • Apple Mac® based machines running Windows using Boot Camp are not supported.
  • SOLIDWORKS 2018 on Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 requires the Microsoft April 2014 update.
  • SOLIDWORKS does not test or certify VPN (Virtual Private Network) solutions but provides best-effort support. Users may be directed to work directly with their VPN provider to resolve issues on a case-by-case basis.
  • Beginning with SOLIDWORKS 2020, DVD distribution media will only be provided on request. 

TriMech Recommended Hardware Configurations

Below, the TriMech technical team has compiled a general hardware recommendations list for three general levels of SOLIDWORKS user. These are guidelines and TriMech's Customer Support Center will be happy to help you customize to fit your specific needs. (These recommendations are made based on the purchase of a NEW computer.)

Entry Level SOLIDWORKS

This profile is for SOLIDWORKS 2018 users with light-to-no analysis tools, assemblies up to 300 parts, some sheet metal and light surfacing.

Processor* Current Generation Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen/Ryzen Pro or better
RAM 16GBs or more
Hard Drive* 250+GBs; 7200RPM (or faster)
Operating System Windows 7 (64-bit)
Windows 8.1 (64-bit)
Windows 10 (64-bit)
Additional Software Microsoft Office 2010 or newer; Adobe Acrobat XI or newer; Internet Explorer 11.X or newer
Video Card NVIDIA Quadro K620, 620 or better; AMD FirePro W5130, Radeon Pro WX 4100; Intel HD Graphics P4000 or better
Suggested Desktop Models (Download full guide)
Suggested Laptop Models (Download full guide)

 

Mid-Range SOLIDWORKS

This profile is for SOLIDWORKS 2018 users with ~500 part assemblies, somewhat complex parts, demanding sheet metal designs, moderate surfacing and/or FEA/CFD analysis.

Processor* Current Generation Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen/Ryzen Pro or better
RAM 32GBs or more
Hard Drive* 1TB+ SSD and RAID storage solutions
Operating System Windows 7 (64-bit)
Windows 8.1 (64-bit)
Windows 10 (64-bit)
Additional Software Microsoft Office 2010 or newer; Adobe Acrobat XI or newer; Internet Explorer 11.X or newer
Video Card NVIDIA Quadro K2200, 2200, or better; AMD FirePro W5170, M4100, Radeon Pro WX 4100 or better
Suggested Desktop Models (Download full guide)
Suggested Laptop Models (Download full guide)

 

High-End SOLIDWORKS

This profile is for SOLIDWORKS 2018 users with 1000 or more part assemblies, complex sheet metal parts, complex surfaces, and/or FEA/CFD analysis.

Processor* Fastest Intel Core i7, Xeon, or AMD Ryzen Pro; consider multiple processors in parallel
RAM 64GBs or more
Hard Drive* 1TB+ SSD and RAID storage solutions
Operating System Windows 7 (64-bit)
Windows 8.1 (64-bit)
Windows 10 (64-bit)
Additional Software Microsoft Office 2010 or newer; Adobe Acrobat XI or newer; Internet Explorer 11.X or newer
Video Card NVIDIA Quadro K5200, 5200, or better; AMD FirePro W7170, M6100, Radeon Pro WX 5100 or better
Suggested Desktop Models (Download full guide)
Suggested Laptop Models (Download full guide)
  • Multi-processing can greatly aid rendering and analysis computations.
  • Requires hard disk space to install application and ample free space for files and swap space.

For even more detailed specifications and suggested hardware specifications for this SOLIDWORKS release, download our complete recommendations guide.