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Best Laptop for SolidWorks In 2024

Find the perfect laptop for SolidWorks and other demanding engineering software.

Drafters and engineers must run a variety of heavy programs on their computers on a regular basis, one of which is most likely SolidWorks or a comparable high-performance program. This software has been in use for almost two decades, and a high-performance computer is required to run Solidworks smoothly and efficiently (with no crashes or delays).

A variety of laptops will suit Solidworks users well, but what do you need from a laptop that can run Solidworks and other CAD applications? Quite a few features.

laptop for solidworks


Details such as a large quantity of storage space and numerous cores on a laptop, as well as how the graphics card and HD display show ray tracing, renderings, and other visuals, can all have an impact on how effectively the program translates and functions.

Our buying guide below, coupled with our top selections for some of the best laptops in this category on the market, will help anyone looking for a solid Solidworks laptop make an informed decision.
If you’re working with the greatest 3D modeling software and CAD programs, you’ll need the best laptop for SolidWorks to ensure maximum reliability and speed.

Solidworks was among the first businesses to create 3D CAD (Computer-Aided Design Software) that could operate on a desktop computer. Since the 1990s, the business has developed a variety of products, including SolidWorks 2024 for CAD and 3D modeling.

If you look at the system requirements website, it doesn’t appear difficult to select the finest laptop for SolidWorks. To achieve peak performance, the website recommends a 64-bit Intel or AMD CPU, at least 16 GB of RAM, and an SSD.

This means that many laptops are compatible, but things get trickier when it comes to graphics cards and GPUs, as not all of them are entirely compatible with every SolidWorks feature. Fortunately, SolidWorks has come to the rescue by offering a list of officially authorized devices and graphics cards that are compatible with its products. We’ve chosen the best options for your consideration.

Still, because different SolidWorks products have different needs, we recommend that you contact the manufacturer before purchasing to ensure that your device is entirely compatible. One of the most important lessons I’ve learnt is that you should avoid purchasing a “fad” laptop. Windows-based laptops meant for gaming can often run most software, including SolidWorks and MATLAB, but their battery life suffers.

You should confine yourself to SolidWorks specification requirements. I would prioritize the most crucial ones as follows:

  • Processor: 64-bit, Intel or AMD.
  • Memory: 16 to 32GB
  • Graphics: SolidWorks provides a list of approved cards and drivers, as well as our own list of the finest GPUs for SolidWorks.
  • Operating System: Windows 10 or Windows 11.

And, because SolidWorks is a single-threaded application, you’ll want to focus on computers with excellent single-core performance – evidence of this includes a higher clock speed and a decent CPU architecture. If you perform a lot of rendering, it may be worth looking into 8-12-core processors.

In terms of GPU, I’ve mostly included laptops with one of the latest NVIDIA RTX models, a processor faster than an Intel i7, and RAM ranging from 16 to 32 GB. Our in-house experts at Hawk Ridge Systems have extended the recommendations available on the SOLIDWORKS website. They are based not only on the greatest hardware available today but also on internal testing and customer support experience.

This guide covers practically all SOLIDWORKS 2024 products. If you want to learn more about specialist products, we’ve listed links and recommendations at the end of the article. Are you wondering what hardware is optimal for utilizing SolidWorks? You have arrived at the correct location. We’ll go over the best off-the-shelf/OEM components for SolidWorks 2024 to help you optimize your setup for peak performance.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

SPECIFICATIONS

  • CPU: 1.3GHz Intel Core i7-11370H (quad-core, 12MB Intel Smart Cache, up to 4.8GHz)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA RTX A2000 Ada
  • GPU RAM: 8 GB
  • Screen: 14.4-inch QHD (2,400 x 1,600) touch
  • Storage: 1TB SSD (PCIe, NVMe, M.2) (Up to 2TB)
  • Dimensions: 12.72 x 8.98 x 0.746 in (32.3 x 22.8 x 1.9 cm)
  • Price: $3599

REASONS TO BUY

  • Cool design, powerful GPU, and an amazing display.

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Expensive.

We recently reviewed the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio and are quite enthused about its sequel, the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2, which rendered a digital image in Blender twice as quickly as a 2023 M2 MacBook Pro at a live Microsoft event.
Whether you buy the original or its sequel, both include NVIDIA RTX 2000 series GPUs. The original Studio laptop had 4GB of VRAM, however, the current gadget has the ‘Ada’ variation, which has 8GB of non-ECC VRAM. The lack of error correction is beneficial because it allows the GPU to work around the clock and do very intense operations.


The 14.4-inch monitor isn’t very huge for displaying 3D designs. The 2,400×1600 (3:2) resolution, which allows 3.84 million pixels, should be able to display images. The 120Hz refresh rate is also ideal for image rendering and other applications that require constant refreshes. The 1TB NVMe SSD is perfect for storing both the SolidWorks software and your projects. At slightly under 2 kilograms, it’s also great for designers who prefer to work outdoors.

Speaking of working outside the office, the original model’s battery life lasted approximately 11 hours in our tests. We have yet to study the new Surface Laptop Studio, but online research indicates that it has a substantially longer battery life – approximately 19 hours. In our review, we grumbled about the absence of legacy ports, but this isn’t a huge issue if you solely use SolidWorks. The major reason for not purchasing a Surface Laptop Studio is the price, which is among the highest we’ve seen for a very capable laptop.

Other variants that employ the RTX 4050 and 4060 family of graphics cards start around $2,400. The SolidWorks website states that the RTX 4000 series is supported, but does not specifically name these cards. As always, we recommend contacting SolidWorks before purchasing.

You may also want like to read: Best Laptops for Fusion 360

HP ZBook Studio G9 Mobile WorkStation

SPECIFICATIONS

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-12800H vPro
  • Graphics: NVIDIA RTX A3000
  • GPU RAM: 12 GB
  • Screen: 16″ WQUXGA LED UWVA Anti-Glare 120Hz DreamColor (3840×2400)
  • Storage: 2 TB PCIe-4×4 2280 NVMe TLC SSD
  • Dimensions: 14 x 9.52 x 0.75 in (35.6 x 24.2 x 1.9 cm )
  • Price: $5126

REASONS TO BUY

  • Multiple combinations.
  • Powerful graphics card
  • High-resolution displays

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Short battery life.

Hewlett Packard’s ZBook Studio line is well-known for its portability as well as its computing power, which rivals that of a desktop computer.

There are several distinct setups available. The above specifications apply to the model we evaluated in our initial review. For readers who do not know Dutch, our tester Bram did benchmarks using a G9 system that includes the NVIDIA RTX A3000, which is officially certified to work with SolidWorks, especially given its massive 12 GB of VRAM. Our reviewer remarked that this GPU is essentially similar to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, a powerful and popular graphics card for gamers.

Given the exorbitant pricing of our test model, we should highlight that there is another variant available with the RTX A1000 that costs over $1500 less, however, you’ll only get a third as much VRAM at 4 GB. You can also save $1052 by going with the aforementioned GeForce RTX 3060 with 6 GB of VRAM. Both of these graphics cards have been confirmed as SolidWorks-compatible.

This configuration also has the best available display: a 3840×2400 (16:10 aspect ratio) with a 120Hz refresh rate, similar to the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio, making it perfect for jobs such as producing complex digital images.

The 2 TB SSD offers plenty of space for SolidWorks tools and designs, but you can save $630 by downgrading to 1 TB.

After reviewing the official product specifications, we learned that this model’s beginning weight is 1.73 kilograms. However, considering the configuration’s maxed-out display, hard disc, and RAM (64 GB DDR5), it will most likely be a little heavier. Nonetheless, even at roughly two kilograms, it’s a relatively small device.

Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Mobile Workstation

SPECIFICATIONS

  • CPU: 13th Generation Intel Core i5-13600HX
  • Graphics: NVIDIA RTX 5000 Ada
  • GPU RAM: 16 GB
  • Screen: 16″ WQUXGA (3840 x 2400), OLED
  • Storage: 2 TB SSD M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4 (Up to 2 x 4 TB available)
  • Dimensions: 14.33 x 10.47 x 1.19 in (36.4 x 26.6 x 3 cm )
  • Price: $5775

REASONS TO BUY

  • Ample storage.
  • Powerful graphics card with an OLED touch display.

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Heavy

Lenovo’s mobile workstations are specifically built to outperform your regular laptop, which is exactly what SolidWorks requires. The model we evaluated features the NVIDIA RTX 5000 Ada, which has an impressive 16 GB of VRAM, making it ideal for CAD and 3D modeling. However, there are various setting options accessible. If you’re willing to settle for only 12GB of VRAM, you can choose between the RTX 3500 and 4000, saving almost $2,000 in total.

Our test model also contained a sophisticated OLED display, which astonished our reviewer with its 400 nits of brightness, making it visible even in the middle of the day.

This means that the P16 is appropriate for graphical tasks. A variety of system RAM configurations are also available. Ours came with 64GB of DDR5 RAM, but you can increase it to 128GB for about $500 more.
In terms of storage, the system can accommodate up to two SSDs. Our model came with a 2TB drive, however you may choose a combination with up to two 4TB drives. We believe this is excessive if you only want to generate and store SolidWorks projects, but it is nice to have the option.

The ThinkPad P16 weighs 6.5 pounds / 2.95 kilograms and measures 1.2 inches thick, making it significantly larger and heavier than comparable mobile workstations we’ve tested. Given that there are comparable machines that cost and weigh less, we’d only recommend this model if you need to max out the graphics card, as it’s one of the most powerful laptops we’ve examined.

Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 3 (15”) Mobile Workstation

It’s difficult not to trust a laptop that has been tested to military specifications, as this Lenovo Thinkpad has. The laptop’s body and system are susceptible to accidental spills, cold temperatures, and a month of fungal exposure.

It is also feasible to achieve peak performance using a built-in mode. Thanks to its cooling system, the computer can function at its peak performance without overheating or failing—ideal for software like Solidworks.


The Intel core contains seven cores in total, 12 threads, and a lighted keyboard. The Lenovo Thinkpad also handles large components with ease. One reviewer said the laptop has a “premium feel for a Solidworks/programming laptop” and the screen is “top quality.”

Another client commented, “Fast performance with large assemblies in Solidworks and high-resolution renders in Vray.” Easy to transport from home to office because to its lightweight and thin design. I can also speak to the durability of the splash-proof keyboard after dropping a full glass of water on it.”

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Operating system: Windows 10 Pro for Workstations
  • RAM: 32 GB
  • CPU: Corei7-10875H
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA Quadro T1000 4GB GDDR5 
  • Storage capacity: 1 TB
  • Display resolution: 4K
  • Battery life: Up to 15.9 hours

Acer Nitro 5 AN517-54-79L1 Gaming Laptop for CAD Software

This Acer laptop with a dedicated graphics card is ideal for customers who wish to prioritize gaming and use applications such as Solidworks. Professional SolidWorks users and college students can use it for jobs, school, and gaming.

Bloatware is almost nonexistent on this Acer laptop, and it is well-suited for running demanding games and programs due to its two exhaust ports and dual cooling fans that can be monitored and regulated.


Another RAM stick can be installed for anyone who requires extra memory. One satisfied customer stated that the “computer works well for my husband, who uses it for CAD.”
“I use 3D modeling and game engine programs like Unity, 3DsMax, Blender, Photoshop, and Unreal,” stated another delighted client.

“I use 3D modeling and game engine programs like Unity, 3DsMax, Blender, Photoshop, and Unreal,” stated another delighted client. In my limited free time, I enjoy playing MMORPGs and Steam games. I’ve been using this laptop for two months and have had an excellent experience.”

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Operating system: Windows
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-11800H
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti
  • Storage capacity: 1 TB SSD
  • Display resolution: 1920×1080
  • Battery life: 8 hours

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

Sticker shock is typically induced by exorbitant pricing, but this Acer laptop has an extremely low price tag for what it offers. When looking for the best workstation laptop, a few thousand dollars is typical, but many reviews swear that this laptop model, in particular, can handle any program or game thrown at it.
It has a 7.5-hour battery life and various connectors (which are becoming increasingly scarce these days), including an Ethernet connection. The illuminated keyboard and slim design are further features. Furthermore, it can be improved with a few minor upgrades, such as adding another RAM stick.

“We use a handful of these at the shop I currently work at and they are great office computers,” said a reviewer. This model performs similarly to the one I have, and I’ve been delighted with it for a low-cost purchase.

The same customer, who is currently employed as an engineering manager, states that they use the i3 version of this model to work with the whole Adobe Suite, Maya, and Blender for 3D, Solid Edge, and Fusion 360 for CAD.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Operating system: Windows 10
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3000-Series
  • Graphics card: Radeon RX Vega 10
  • Storage space: 128 GB
  • Display resolution: 1920×1080, full HD
  • Battery life: 7.5 hours

Dell Precision 5760 Workstation with Intel Core i7-11850H

At slightly under five pounds, this Dell laptop model is the lightest among the company’s workstations (albeit not the lightest overall). This laptop’s full HD display, which measures 1920 x 1200 pixels, outperforms several other laptops on the market.

It also features excellent visuals from the NVIDIA Geforce RTX A200 graphics card, as well as up to 100% Adobe RGB for the most accurate image. In terms of unique characteristics, the laptop is Energy Star rated and boasts a backlit keyboard.


“This machine is a dream,” one client told Google. “Enjoying every minute using it. It works well, looks fantastic, and performs like a beast. It’s perfect. There’s nothing wrong with it.

Another delighted buyer stated that this laptop is a step forward from the Intel Core i7-10750H, and that “what used to take one minute or longer in processing time now takes less than 15 seconds.”

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Operating system: Windows 10 Pro, English, French, Spanish
  • RAM: 32 GB, 2 x 16 GB
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-11850H
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA Geforce RTX A200
  • Storage capacity: 512 GB, SSD
  • Display resolution: Full HD display, 1920×1200
  • Battery life: All day; depends on usage 

Dell XPS 13 Touchscreen Laptop

For the lightest total laptop, this efficient Dell machine weighs only 2.8 pounds and is hard to beat for portability. Dell demonstrates that a compact frame does not imply lower processing power, memory, or efficiency.

This efficient laptop is ideal for engineers, designers, and students who need to take their work with them on the road or to other locations. It falls short in terms of battery life. That being said, it is comparable to the average life of other similar laptops and exceeds that of gaming laptops.

“I’m amazed by start-up time,” remarked one client, “and despite having nine tabs open on internet with programming software on the other monitor, in addition to working on three excel workbooks, this beast runs with lightning speed and definitely exceeded my expectations.”
Another user commented, “If you’re looking for a small and extremely portable laptop that can handle anything you can throw at it, the Dell XPS 13 9310 is an excellent candidate.”

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Operating system: Windows 10
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-1185G7
  • Graphics card: Intel Iris Xe
  • Storage capacity: 512 GB SSD
  • Display resolution: Full HD display, 1920 x 1200
  • Battery life: 4–7 hours depending on use

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the minimal requirements for running SolidWorks on a laptop?

We strongly recommend contacting SolidWorks before downloading any software, but at the very least, we recommend a laptop with:
Requires 3.3 GHz Intel Core i5, i7, or similar AMD CPU.
8GB RAM • 1TB SSD
NVIDIA RTX A1000 GPU (4GB VRAM).

Will SolidWorks function on macOS?

SolidWorks creates some macOS programs, such as eDrawings Viewer and DraftSight. Other programs are only compatible with Windows 10 or 11. Nonetheless, they may be able to function with virtualization software such as Parallels. The SolidWorks system requirements page lists the versions of several hypervisors that can be used to run their software, however at the time of writing, the specs for SolidWorks 2024 are not available.
Naturally, when running virtualized versions of applications this will mean your device won’t be able to make full use of graphics processing power. You’ll also need to purchase and install virtualization software, as well as a valid Windows 10 or 11 licence, to run your preferred SolidWorks application. This is why we only recommend adopting macOS if you have no other options.

Can I use a low-end laptop with SolidWorks?

SolidWorks is resource-intensive, therefore low-end laptops are unlikely to operate.
However, there is a cloud-based solution: SolidWorks Cloud. This platform was constructed by the same team that created Solidworks 3D CAD, but the business claims it can be accessible from any device with a web browser.
This may allow you to use a lower-spec laptop, but we recommend contacting SolidWorks first to ensure that your device is compatible with their platform. If you’re on a tight budget, we’ve rounded together the greatest AutoCAD laptop bargains.

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