SOLIDWORKS System Requirements plus Hardware Recommendation in 2021

 These requirements apply to all SOLIDWORKS products without mentioning them anywhere. Use this information to make sure you're always working with SolidWorks-supported and optimized systems for hardware, operating systems, and Microsoft products. 

 SOLIDWORKS 2019-2021 System Requirements plus tips for selecting your next SOLIDWORKS system. SOLIDWORKS 2021 hardware recommendations & answers to FAQs from Learncade, including how much Memory (RAM) is recommended for SOLIDWORKS 2021.

Operating Systems

(EDU 2019-2020)
(EDU 2020-2021)
(EDU 2021-2022)
Client Products (e.g. SOLIDWORKS)
Windows 10, 64-bitYesYesYes
Windows 7 SP1, 64-bitYesYesNo
Server Products (e.g. SOLIDWORKS PDM)
Windows Server 2019Yes

(2019 SP3)

Windows Server 2016YesYesYes
Windows Server 2012 R2YesNoNo
eDrawings for Mac
macOS Big Sur (11.0)NoNoYes
macOS Catalina (10.15)NoYesYes
macOS Mojave (10.14)YesYesYes
macOS High Sierra (10.13)YesYesNo
macOS Sierra (10.12)YesNoNo


  • 16 GB or more, SOLIDWORKS
  • 32 GB or more – recommended for large assembly work and Simulation

Video Card

  • Visit https://www.solidworks.com/support/hardware-certification for a list of certified cards and drivers.
  • Nvidia Quadro or AMD FirePro or AMD Radeon Pro.
  • Integrated Intel HD graphics and gaming cards (Nvidia GeForce for example) are not certified and not recommended.
  • Quadro NVS are not recommended; they are 2D-only cards.
  • While a certified video card is important SOLIDWORKS is a CPU-bound application, you’ll see more performance gains from a faster CPU.
  • For SOLIDWORKS 2019, the new performance pipeline requires Nvidia Quadro series cards Kepler, Maxwell, Pascal, and Volta that support OpenGL 4.5.


  • 3.3GHz or Higher
  • Current generation Intel or AMD with SSE2 support processor – as fast as you can afford.
  • The Intel i7 Generation 8 Coffee Lake series are the fastest CPUs today.
  • SOLIDWORKS will take advantage of multi-core and multi CPU architectures up to 4 cores.
  • All SOLIDWORKS Simulation products take advantage of multi-core and multi CPU architectures.

Hard Drive

  • Sata Controlled SSD (solid-state drive) recommended at a minimum.
  • New PCIe M.2 drives are strongly recommended for use for the primary drive.

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


Top 10 best laptop for SOLIDWORKS detail article to buy the best laptop for Solidworks

Very few laptops that have the certified graphics cards for SolidWorks:


SOLIDWORKS has created a benchmark to gauge system performance.

See what other SOLIDWORKS users have for hardware and their performance to make a better-informed decision.

Hypervisors (Virtual Environments)

VMware vSphere ESXi6.56.76.7 U3
VMware Workstation141515.5
Microsoft Hyper-V201620192019
Parallels Desktop, Mac1414TBA
Citrix XenServer7.47.68.2
  • SOLIDWORKS and eDrawings require a GPU for optimal performance in a virtualized environment. SolidWorks has tested and certified graphics cards for virtualized environments. For a complete listing, check Certified Cards and Drivers.
  • Check Hardware Benchmarks for applications and references that can be used to help determine hardware performance.
  • SOLIDWORKS Composer is not supported in virtualized environments.

Microsoft/Apple Products Support Lifecycle (SOLIDWORKS 2018 and older)

ProductsStart of SupportEnd of Support1
Windows 8.1, 64-bitSW 2014 SP1SW 2018 SP5
Windows 7, 32-bitSW 2010 SP1SW 2014 SP5
Windows Vista, 64-bitSW 2008 SP3.1SW 2013 SP5
Windows Vista, 32-bitSW 2008 SP0SW 2013 SP5
Windows XP, 64-bitSW 2006 SP4SW 2012 SP5
Windows XP, 32-bitSW 2001Plus SP0SW 2013 SP5
Windows Server 2012SW 2014 SP0SW 2018 SP5
Windows Server 2008 R2, SP1SW 2009SW 2017 SP5
Windows Server 2008SW 2008SW 2014 SP5
SQL Server 2008 R2SW 2010 SP4SW 2017 SP5
IE 10SW 2013 SP0SW 2016 SP5
IE 9SW 2011 SP4SW 2015 SP5
IE 8SW 2009 SP5SW 2014 SP5
Excel, Word 2010SW 2010 SP5SW 2018 SP5
Excel, Word 2007SW 2008 SP1SW 2014 SP5
OS X El Capitan (10.11)eDrawings 2017eDrawings 2018
OS X Yosemite (10.10)eDrawings 2015eDrawings 2018

Antivirus Products

Guidelines to help ensure SOLIDWORKS installation success and optimal runtime performance
  • 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).
  • To ensure optimum performance, it is not recommended to install antivirus software on the SOLIDWORKS PDM vault server.
  • 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.
  • If you encounter install or runtime errors or warnings from your antivirus product, first check the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base for known issues or contact your SOLIDWORKS reseller.


End Of Support (EOS) 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 EOS 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 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.

SOLIDWORKS recommends using a Windows Server operating system for all SOLIDWORKS server-based products. Refer to the Microsoft Windows Server documentation to select the Windows Server edition that meets your needs.

Windows Home Editions and Windows To Go are not supported.

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

It is not recommended to install any instances of other applications on the SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive or Database Server. For PDM professionals, it is recommended the Archive and Database servers are two separate, dedicated machines.

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. Please contact your Reseller.

SOLIDWORKS 2019-2021 System Requirements, hardware recommendations &amp plus tips for selecting your next SOLIDWORKS system including how much Memory (RAM) is recommended for SOLIDWORKS 2021.