System Requirements for SOLIDWORKS CAD Workstations

We are often asked to advise on the best hardware to run SOLIDWORKS and your other CAE applications on. The answer will invariably depend on the type of work your company does, the size and the complexity of the models and drawings which you will create.

One thing, however, is certain. The criteria used when selecting hardware for CAE Applications is different to the criteria used when selecting hardware for gaming or for general 'office' applications to run. This is especially the case when selecting a Graphics Card. There are any number of Graphic Cards released each year but only those designed for Workstations / CAD usage should be considered for a CAD / CAE workstation.

SOLID Applications have defined a selection of Workstations and Mobile Workstations as solutions to run SOLIDWORKS. We are able to provide the best possible prices for this class of machines. We have chosen a selection of specifications which are outlined below, but these are subject to change at any time. Please see our SOLIDWORKS Worksations page for further information. Alternatively Workstations and Mobile Workstations are available to purchase via our Online Store.

For information on the system requirements for SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM, click here.

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System Requirements

Use this information to ensure you are always working with a SOLIDWORKS supported and optimized system for hardware, operating system and Microsoft products.

Operating Systems SOLIDWORKS 2016 SOLIDWORKS 2017 SOLIDWORKS 2018
Windows 10 64-bit
Windows 8.1 64-bit
Windows 7 SP1 64-bit

Minimum Hardware

RAM 8GB or more recommended
Video Card Certified cards and drivers
Processor Intel or AMD with SSE2 support. 64-bit operating system required
Install Media DVD Drive or Broadband Internet Connection
Microsoft Products
Internet Explorer IE 10, 11 IE 10 ,11 IE 11
Excel and Word 2010, 2013, 2016 (SW2016 SP3) 2010, 2013, 2016 2010, 2013, 2016


Supported Anti-Virus Products


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

Virtual Environments

Supported Virtual Environments

SOLIDWORKS Server Products
Windows Server 2016 (2017 SP2)
Windows Server 2012 R2 1
Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1


Microsoft Products

Microsoft Products Start of Life End Of Life 2
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 Active
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 SP05
Windows Server 2012 2014 SP0 2018 SP05
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



  1. Electrical Server 2016 isn't supported on Windows Server 2012 R2.
  2. 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.
  3. SOLIDWORKS Product Support Lifecycle defines the End Of Support for SOLIDWORKS versions.
  4. SolidWorks recommends using the latest Microsoft Service Pack of Windows, Office and Internet Explorer.
  5. SolidWorks recommends using a Windows Server operating system for all SOLIDWORKS server-based products.
  6. Windows Server operating system support applies to Standard and Enterprise editions only.
  7. Windows Home Editions and Windows To Go are not supported.
  8. Microsoft Office 'Click-To-Run' feature is supported for SOLIDWORKS 2017 and later.
  9. Apple Macintosh® based machines running Windows using Boot Camp are not supported.
  10. SOLIDWORKS 2018 on Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 requires the Microsoft April 2014 update

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