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 2018 SOLIDWORKS 2019 SOLIDWORKS 2020
Windows 10 64-bit
Windows 8.1 64-bit
Windows 7 SP1 64-bit
(End of life: SW 2020 SP5)

(End of life: SW 2020 SP5)


Minimum Hardware

Processor 3.3 GHz or higher
RAM 16GB or more recommended
PDM Contributor or Viewer: 8GB or more
PDM Web Client or Web Server: 8GB or more

ECC RAM recommended
Graphics Card Certified cards and drivers
Hard Drives SSD drives recommended for optimal performance
Disk Space PDM Contributor or Viewer: 10 GB or more
PDM Web Client or Web Server: 5 GB or more
PDM Archive Server or Database Server: 50 GB or more
SOLIDWORKS Manage: 10 GB or more
Install Media Broadband Internet Connection
Microsoft Products
Browsers (PDM Web2 Client) Microsoft Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge,
Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari
Excel and Word 2010, 2013, 2016 2013, 2016, 2019 (SW2019 SP2) 2013, 2016, 2019


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 2019 (2019 SP3)
Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows Server 2012


Microsoft Products

Microsoft Products Start of Life End Of Life 1
Windows 10, 64-bit 2015 SP5 Active
Windows 8.1, 64-bit 2014 SP1 2018 SP5
Windows 7, 64-bit 2010 SP1 2020 SP5
Windows Server 2019 2019 SP3 Active
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
SQL Server 2017 2018 SP0 Active
SQL Server 2016 2017 SP0 Active
SQL Server 2014 2015 SP0 2021 SP5
SQL Server 2012 2013 SP2 2019 SP5
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 2019 (64-bit recommended) 2019 SP3 Active
Excel, Word 2016 (64-bit recommended) 2016 SP3 Active
Excel, Word 2013 2013 SP4 2020 SP5
Excel, Word 2010 2010 SP5 2018 SP5



  1. 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.
  2. SOLIDWORKS Product Support Lifecycle defines the End Of Support for SOLIDWORKS versions.
  3. SolidWorks recommends using the latest Microsoft Service Pack of Windows, Office and Internet Explorer.
  4. SolidWorks supports each Windows 10 release for applicable SOLIDWORKS releases as long as it is still covered by both the SOLIDWORKS Product Support Lifecycle and Microsoft Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet.
  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 Mac ® 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
  11. It is not recommended to install any instances of other applications on the SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive or Database Server. For PDM Professional, it is recommended the Archive and Database servers are two separate, dedicated machines.
  12. To ensure optimum performance, it is not recommended to install anti-virus software on the SOLIDWORKS PDM vault computer.
  13. 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.
  14. Beginning with SOLIDWORKS 2020, DVD distribution media will only be provided on request. Please contact your Reseller.

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