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page title icon The 5 Best Laptops for Solidworks: A Complete Guide for 2022

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| Updated on October 13, 2022

Are you an engineer or design student who frequently uses Solidworks? You’ll need a powerful device! Read this guide to the 5 best laptops for Solidworks!

Solidworks boasts a suite of programs utilized by students and professionals worldwide. However, the laptop you’ll need for Solidworks will depend on your needs.

Even if you don’t use Solidworks, you may require another CAD program for work or your classes. No matter your program, you’ll need a powerful device to run it.

With so many laptop configurations available, how will you know which laptop models to look at?

I’ve covered some of the best laptops for Solidworks here, so read on!

The 5 Best Laptops for Solidworks Software

The 5 Best Laptops for Solidworks Software
Image feature: HP; MSI

Here are some of the best laptops for Solidworks!

1) Best Overall – MSI WS76

MSI WS76

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Features:

  • 17.3-inch 144Hz FHD display
  • 11th-gen Intel Core i9 chip
  • 32GB of RAM
  • NVidia Quadro RTX A3000 GPU
  • 1TB SSD

The best laptop for Solidworks is the MSI WS76. This laptop’s i9 CPU is stronger than an i7 10750H, plus this laptop features the Windows 10 Pro operating system.

With this operating system, your laptop and all its data will be kept safe, thanks to Pro’s advanced security functions like Bitlocker. The WS76’s security functions extend outside, too!

Professionals who need a secure workstation will appreciate the built-in fingerprint reader of this laptop. However, don’t think that this laptop won’t allow data transfers!

You’ll find a full-sized SD card reader and 2 USB-C ports adorning this laptop’s sides, and an HDMI port in case you need to give a presentation on your latest project.

The WS76 is an all-metal workhorse that’s surprisingly light and sturdy but has more than enough power for Solidworks and other CAD programs. You can pick up this laptop here.

Sale
MSI WS76 Workstation Laptop: 17.3" 144Hz...
  • Visual Performance: The 17.3" 144Hz FHD has you covered for any situation...
  • Redefined Power: The 11th Gen. Intel Core i9 processor, delivers high...
  • Quadro Performance: NVIDIA Quadro RTX A3000 brings real-time ray tracing, AI,...

PROS

  • Very long battery life
  • Professional amounts of RAM
  • Excellent selection of USB ports

CONS

  • Only has 2 USB-A ports
  • Some units may have backlight bleed

2) Best Value – HP ZBook Studio G8

HP ZBook Studio G8

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Features:

  • 15.6-inch FHD display
  • 11th-gen Intel Core i7 chip
  • 32GB of RAM
  • NVidia RTX A2000
  • Windows Hello integration

This hefty and powerful HP laptop is designed to support 3D modeling and other GPU-intensive tasks. The price is jaw-dropping, but this laptop has some fairly powerful parts.

Let’s start with its Intel core chip, the i7-11800H. This chip has a base speed of 2.5GHz, but can reach 4.8GHz thanks to its built-in Intel turbo boost technology!

The Studio G8 also has 32GB of RAM to match its processor, so it can run complex projects without breaking a sweat.

Apart from internals, this laptop is convenient to unlock and use, thanks to its integrated fingerprint scanner and facial recognition webcam. You can skip typing in passwords!

One issue I have with the Studio G8 is its GPU. While it’s an NVidia GeForce RTX model, it only has 4GB of VRAM, which limits what you can do on this device.

Due to its slightly weaker GPU, the Studio G8 is better suited for students and simpler projects. You can pick up a ZBook Studio G8 here.

HP ZBook Studio G8 15.6" Mobile...
  • Intel Core i7 2.50 GHz processor provides lightning fast speed and peak...
  • With 32 GB of memory, users can run many programs without losing execution
  • 15.6" display with 1920 x 1080 resolution showcases movies, games and photos...

PROS

  • Surprisingly lightweight for its size
  • Built-in HP Fast Charge tech
  • Anti-Glare display

CONS

  • Fairly expensive
  • Only packs 4GB of VRAM

3) Best Budget – Asus TUF Dash 15

Asus TUF Dash 15

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Features:

  • 15.6-inch 144Hz display
  • 12th-gen Intel Core i7 chip
  • NVidia GeForce RTX 3060
  • 16GB of RAM
  • 512GB SSD

Normally, this Asus TUF gaming laptop would be considered a “high-end” option, but it’s more affordable than other laptops for Solidworks. Despite its title here, this laptop has lots to offer!

This year’s TUF Dash 15 has been refreshed to include a webcam so that you can hop onto meetings or calls at work. It also keeps the previous year’s subtle redesign.

Moving to the internals, this laptop is perfectly capable of running 3D-design software thanks to its 10-core processor and 6GB of VRAM. Note that you won’t find Solidworks drivers for this GPU.

Of course, this is still a gaming laptop. Once you’ve closed Solidworks, you can enjoy the TUF Dash 15’s 144Hz screen and unwind with some gaming!

You can learn more about this durable and affordable laptop at the official Asus site [R] and pick it up here.

Sale
ASUS TUF Dash 15 (2022) Gaming Laptop,...
  • SUPERCHARGED RTX GRAPHICS - Gameplay graphics are silky smooth with the NVIDIA...
  • MUX SWITCH BOOST - A MUX Switch lets the GPU communicate directly with the...
  • READY FOR ANYTHING - Use your gaming laptop to stream and multi-task with ease...

PROS

  • MIL-STD 810H-certified
  • Storage is upgradeable
  • Finally has a webcam

CONS

  • Tacky logo on the back panel
  • Small amount of deck flex

4) Dell Precision 5760

Dell Precision 5760

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Features

  • 17-inch display
  • 11th-gen Intel Core i7 chip
  • NVidia GeForce RTX A3000
  • 32GB of RAM
  • 512GB SSD

This Dell laptop features an RTX A3000 Quadro card, a step from the previous generation’s NVidia Turing GPU architecture. The Precision 5760 is like a dream made from moonlight.

With an almost bezel-less 17-inch display and weighing almost 5lbs, this behemoth would normally be extremely power-hungry. However, this desktop-replacement device defies that trend.

You can stay fairly mobile thanks to this laptop’s almost 9 hours of battery life, which is more than enough for a full day of work. You also won’t need to worry about transfer speeds!

The Precision 5760 has 512GB of storage space. While I would’ve appreciated more space, 512GB is still enough for a start.

This laptop has one unfortunate design choice, and that’s its ports. You’ll find 4 USB-C ports along its sides and nothing else. You can pick up the Precision 5760 here.

Dell Precision 5000 5760 17" Mobile...
  • Intel Core i7 2.50 GHz processor provides lightning fast speed and peak...
  • With 32 GB of memory, users can run many programs without losing execution
  • Exceptionally large 17" diagonal display provides 1920 x 1200 resolution

PROS

  • Extremely slim bezels lets you see more detail
  • Strong and consistent battery life
  • Slim yet sturdy

CONS

  • Stock storage doesn’t match the price
  • Limited USB ports selection

5) Razer Blade 15

Razer Blade 15

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Features

  • 15.6-inch QHD display
  • 12th-gen Intel Core i7 chip
  • NVidia RTX 3070Ti
  • 16GB of RAM
  • 1TB SSD

The newest iteration of the Razer Blade 15 isn’t just a gaming notebook; it’s also perfect for Solidworks!

The Blade can output incredible performance thanks to its 14-core processor and 8GB of VRAM. You won’t have to worry about Solidworks hanging with this laptop.

Older iterations of this laptop featured NVidia’s Max-Q technology, but this generation’s advanced thermal design ensures that this laptop will stay cool even while under load.

While this laptop may stay cool, it won’t last too long while unplugged. Razer’s uncompromising parts You can pick up the Razer Blade here.

Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop: NVIDIA...
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU: The new GeForce RTX 3070 Ti is up to 70% faster...
  • 12th Gen Intel Core i7 14-Core CPU: Experience cutting-edge power with the newly...
  • QHD 240Hz Display: High refresh rate meets high resolution to provide a...

PROS

  • Built-in vapor chamber for better cooling
  • Backlit keyboard for dim conditions
  • Classic sleek Razer design

CONS

  • Classic (expensive) Razer pricing
  • The display isn’t as bright as its competitors

Buyer’s Guide to Choosing the Best Laptops for Solidworks Software

The Solidworks programming application requires a powerful device, which is why the manufacturers recommend getting a workstation laptop for Solidworks.

So what will you need?

Here are some specs your laptop will need if you want it to run Solidworks tasks.

Note that among all these features, the CPU and GPU are far and away the most vital parts of your Solidworks system.

What Are the Specs to Consider When Choosing the Best Laptop for Solidworks?

You’ll need a minimum amount of processing and graphical power if you want to run Solidworks software.

Here are some of the specs you should consider before you pick up a laptop for Solidworks:

Graphics Card

You’ll need high GPU memory to run this demanding program, so you’ll need a discrete graphics card. Most NVidia cards from the last few years will work for Solidworks.

Running Solidworks and other CAD software will take a lot of graphical processing power, so you can’t rely on your laptop’s integrated graphics.

This program will run with an NVidia GeForce GTX, RTX, or Quadro card, but picking up a workstation laptop with a Quadro card is advisable.

The Solidworks website recommends getting a laptop model with an NVidia Quadro graphics card, regardless of which version of Solidworks you’re running. [R]

CPU

Your workstation laptop will need a powerful processor to match all of the GPU-accelerated rendering that this program requires.

Solidworks requires a strong chip because it’s a CPU-bound program. You’ll need at least a 4-core 64-bit CPU Intel Core or AMD chip to run this program effectively.

If you can, I’d recommend picking up a laptop with a Hexa-core processor like an Intel Core i7-10750H. While this powerful chip will cause the price to shoot up, you’ll need the extra power.

A faster clock speed is also preferable, but it’s better for reducing loading times and quality of life than out of necessity.

RAM

Before you look for the best laptop for Solidworks, you’ll need to check how much RAM you have and how fast it is. This temporary storage is vital for your Solidworks projects.

Before getting into the discussion of sticks, it’s important to differentiate RAM from its similarly-named cousin flash memory. They’re different because RAM cannot retain data without power, but flash memory can.

Now let’s talk size. Viewing a Solidworks project will require 8GB of RAM, but you’ll need 16GB if you want to do anything within the program, as per their official requirements. [R]

More complex projects may require 32GB of RAM, but that’s already reaching the upper practical limit. You’ll only need so much RAM unless you handle extremely advanced projects.

Cooling System

After narrowing your list of laptop models to Intel Core and NVidia Geforce GTX-equipped laptops, the next thing on your mind should be the cooling system.

If you push an Intel Core i7-10750H chip to the absolute limits of its clock speed, your system will generate lots of heat and may end up thermal throttling.

Before you can test out ray tracing on your new advanced GPU, you need to ensure that your system stays cool while under load!

Excessive amounts of heat are dangerous for all electronics, but they can seriously degrade the lifespan of your laptop’s internals.

Storage Space

So, do you think you’ve found a reliable laptop for Solidworks?

It’s loaded with an NVidia GeForce GTX graphics card and has plenty of memory, plus it’s got a CPU Intel Core i7-10750H.

But what about storage?

The best laptop for Solidworks needs lots of space to store your files because newer versions of this program tend to have much larger file sizes.

Ensure your laptop has a 512GB SATA SSD at the least, but look for a device with an NVMe SSD for a smoother and more efficient laptop. Most of the laptops I’ve covered here have at least 512GB SSDs.

Display Quality and Size

Solidworks is all about the details, so you’ll need a bright and color-accurate display if you intend to use the program, whether professionally or as a student.

Fortunately, most laptops for Solidworks follow the industry-standard size of 15.6-inches and feature a Full HD display. This screen size gets you a native display resolution of 1920×1080.

Battery Life

While designing and rendering projects, you’ll likely be plugged in. This means it’s not that important for your mobile workstation to have a good battery life, but emergencies can crop up.

In case you’ll need to rely on your laptop’s battery life, ensure it has a battery backup of around 7-9 hours.

This will shorten in real use conditions, but hopefully, your laptop will last long enough for you to find a socket. Otherwise, it’s best to stay plugged in.

Extra Features

It’s better to think of these last features as auxiliary features that aren’t necessary for a Solidworks laptop, but they’re convenient.

If you intend to code in dim conditions, you should get a laptop with a backlit keyboard. However, darker conditions may affect the color accuracy of your work, so it’s inadvisable.

Professionals with data management and security concerns should get a laptop with a fingerprint security system to keep their files safe.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Learn more about running Solidworks here!

What Kind of Laptop Can Run Solidworks?

You may wonder if your trusty Microsoft Surface book can safely run Solidworks. I would advise against it since an MS Surface may not have the processing power required.

Solidworks will run best on workstation laptops with an NVidia GeForce GTX card. Your card should have 2GB of graphics memory at the bare minimum.

However, I recommend getting a discrete graphics card with at least 4GB of RAM to make the most out of your purchase and projects. A Microsoft Surface, unfortunately, doesn’t have the chops for Solidworks.

With this in mind, you’d be better off looking into gaming laptops or picking up a lightweight workstation laptop.

Is a Gaming Laptop Good for Solidworks?

Gaming laptops look like they’d be great at running Solidworks, with their incredible performance paired with their other powerful parts.

If this was your hunch, you’re right…with one slight condition. While a gaming laptop will work perfectly well with Solidworks, the program won’t fully support your gaming laptop’s GPU.

The reason behind it boils down to the support that Solidworks provides for different kinds of graphics cards. Solidworks prioritizes NVidia Quadro cards over NVidia Geforce cards.

Solidworks will run fine on an NVidia GeForce RTX card, but it hasn’t been tested or certified by Solidworks itself. This means you won’t be able to find drivers for your gaming-focused card.

Can Solidworks Run Without a Graphics Card?

You might think, “Well, my laptop has enough onboard graphics memory to run most games, but I don’t have a dedicated GPU. Will that be enough for Solidworks?

Technically, yes. Your laptop for Solidworks technically doesn’t need a dedicated GPU, but the issue will then move from “Running it” to “Running it stably.”

Regardless of how much RAM your system has under the hood, your integrated graphics don’t have the necessary components to render complex models like a discrete GPU.

Look for a laptop with a Quadro or NVidia GeForce RTX graphics card for greater stability and a better chance of running your CAD programs without crashing.

Which Operating Systems Can Solidworks Run On?

Students and professionals who want to use Solidworks will typically have the Windows operating system, but which OS versions does Solidworks support?

I’ll start with the good news: Windows users can get by with any laptop made in the last 6-7 years. That’s because Solidworks supports both Windows 10 and 11, but only the 64-bit versions.

Now for the bad news: Solidworks will not run on a Mac. If you wish to share your work with a Mac user, then there are multiple programs that can accomplish this, such as eDrawings.

Summary

Here are my picks for the best laptops for Solidworks!

Best Budget – Asus TUF Dash 15

Thanks to an impressive processor paired with a speedy RTX card, the Dash 15 is perfectly-equipped and priced to run any program from the Solidworks suite!

Best Value – HP ZBook Studio G8

The ZBook G8 is a shockingly lightweight but powerful device with an excellent selection of USB ports if you need to remain connected.

Best Overall – MSI WS76

The best laptop for Solidworks is the MSI WS76! This ISV-certified laptop is perfectly suited for engineers who need to keep their Solidworks projects secure.

Conclusion

SolidWorks laptops need to be built tough and brimming with power to have any hope of successfully running the Solidworks application.

Without enough power in your laptop for Solidworks, this program will chew through your hardware resources and leave you with a lagging mess of a laptop.

Think of these laptops as the easel and Solidworks as your paint. You can create amazing projects with one of these powerful devices at your disposal!

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