SOLIDWORKS 2018 Requirements and Recommendations - Let Me Fulfill

SOLIDWORKS 2018 Requirements and Recommendations

Updated on August 14, 2022

Before making the investment in a new CAD system such as SOLIDWORKS, there are a few things to consider. One must-do is to ensure that your new buy is supported by the proper hardware. SOLIDWORKS system compatibility is one of the most often requested topics about purchasing and upgrading equipment. In order to ensure that you have the necessary hardware, our Engineering Team has compiled a list of recommendations along with each SOLIDWORKS version’s system requirements. Here are the minimum and suggested specifications for your computer.

SOLIDWORKS System Requirements

Except when otherwise specified, these specifications apply to all SOLIDWORKS products. You may use this information to ensure that you’re always working with a SOLIDWORKS-supported and optimal system for operating system, hardware, and Microsoft products like Microsoft Office.

SOLIDWORKS Products for Windows

SOLIDWORKS 2017
(EDU 2017-2018)
SOLIDWORKS 2018
(EDU 2018-2019)
Operating System
Windows 10, 64-bit Yes Yes
Windows 8.1, 64-bit Yes Yes
Windows 7 SP1, 64-bit Yes Yes
Virtual environments (See chart below) (See chart below)
Hardware
Processor Intel or AMD with SSE2 support.
64-bit operating system required
RAM 8 GB or more
Install Media DVD drive or broadband internet connection
Software
Microsoft Excel and Word 2010, 2013, 2016 2010, 2013, 2016
Network Microsoft Windows networking. Novell networks and non-Windows network storage devices are not supported
Antivirus SOLIDWORKS recommends:

  • 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).
  • 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.

 

Supported Virtual Environments (Hypervisors)

Virtualization Environment SOLIDWORKS 2017 SOLIDWORKS 2018
VMware vSphere ESXi 6.0 (SW2017 SP02) 6.0
VMware Workstation 9 9
Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 2012
Parallels Desktop, Mac 10 10
Citrix XenServer 6.2 6.2
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac is only supported for the non-server SOLIDWORKS products.
  • Support for virtual environments listed in the above table applies to SOLIDWORKS 2015 and later. Virtual environments are not supported in earlier releases.
  • SOLIDWORKS and eDrawings require a GPU for optimal performance in a virtualized environment.
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SOLIDWORKS Server Products

SOLIDWORKS 2017 SOLIDWORKS 2018
Operating Systems
Windows Server 2016 Yes (2017 SP2) Yes
Windows Server 2012 R2 Yes Yes
Windows Server 2012 Yes Yes
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Yes No
SQL Server (SOLIDWORKS Electrical Server)
SQL 2016 Yes Yes
SQL 2014 Yes Yes
SQL 2012 Yes Yes

 

Microsoft Products

Microsoft Products Start of Life End of Life*
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 2020 SP5
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 SP5
Windows Server 2012 2014 SP0 2018 SP5
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

 

When a Microsoft product is no longer supported in a SOLIDWORKS version, it is referred to as End of Life (EOL) (This is synchronised with the Microsoft Mainstream Support End Date). Releases of SOLIDWORKS after the End of Life (EOL) date are not supported by Microsoft, and SOLIDWORKS installations are prevented if an operating system is installed.
The End of Support for a SOLIDWORKS version is defined by the SOLIDWORKS Product Support Lifecycle.
Windows, Office, and Internet Explorer should all be updated to the most recent version.
Windows Server is the operating system of choice for all SOLIDWORKS server-based solutions, says SOLIDWORKS.
Standard and Enterprise editions of Windows Server are the only ones that receive operating system support.
It is not possible to run Windows Home Edition or Windows To Go on this system.
SOLIDWORKS 2017 and later versions support the Microsoft Office ‘Click-To-Run’ capability.
The use of Boot Camp on an Apple Mac® to run Windows is not supported.
The Microsoft April 2014 update is required for SOLIDWORKS 2018 on Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
The best-effort assistance provided by SOLIDWORKS does not include VPN testing or certification. On a case-by-case basis, users may be directed to contact their VPN provider to resolve concerns.
SOLIDWORKS 2020 will only supply DVD distribution media upon request.

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TriMech Recommended Hardware Configurations

Listed below is a list of hardware recommendations from the TriMech technical team, organised by level of SOLIDWORKS proficiency. TriMech’s Customer Support Center is here to help you adjust these recommendations to meet your individual needs. In order to make these recommendations, you’ll need a new computer.

Entry Level SOLIDWORKS

This profile is for SOLIDWORKS 2018 users with light-to-no analysis tools, assemblies up to 300 parts, some sheet metal and light surfacing.

Processor* Current Generation Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen/Ryzen Pro or better
RAM 16GBs or more
Hard Drive* 250+GBs; 7200RPM (or faster)
Operating System Windows 7 (64-bit)
Windows 8.1 (64-bit)
Windows 10 (64-bit)
Additional Software Microsoft Office 2010 or newer; Adobe Acrobat XI or newer; Internet Explorer 11.X or newer
Video Card NVIDIA Quadro K620, 620 or better; AMD FirePro W5130, Radeon Pro WX 4100; Intel HD Graphics P4000 or better
Suggested Desktop Models (Download full guide)
Suggested Laptop Models (Download full guide)

Mid-Range SOLIDWORKS

This profile is for SOLIDWORKS 2018 users with ~500 part assemblies, somewhat complex parts, demanding sheet metal designs, moderate surfacing and/or FEA/CFD analysis.

Processor* Current Generation Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen/Ryzen Pro or better
RAM 32GBs or more
Hard Drive* 1TB+ SSD and RAID storage solutions
Operating System Windows 7 (64-bit)
Windows 8.1 (64-bit)
Windows 10 (64-bit)
Additional Software Microsoft Office 2010 or newer; Adobe Acrobat XI or newer; Internet Explorer 11.X or newer
Video Card NVIDIA Quadro K2200, 2200, or better; AMD FirePro W5170, M4100, Radeon Pro WX 4100 or better
Suggested Desktop Models (Download full guide)
Suggested Laptop Models (Download full guide)
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High-End SOLIDWORKS

This profile is for SOLIDWORKS 2018 users with 1000 or more part assemblies, complex sheet metal parts, complex surfaces, and/or FEA/CFD analysis.

Processor* Fastest Intel Core i7, Xeon, or AMD Ryzen Pro; consider multiple processors in parallel
RAM 64GBs or more
Hard Drive* 1TB+ SSD and RAID storage solutions
Operating System Windows 7 (64-bit)
Windows 8.1 (64-bit)
Windows 10 (64-bit)
Additional Software Microsoft Office 2010 or newer; Adobe Acrobat XI or newer; Internet Explorer 11.X or newer
Video Card NVIDIA Quadro K5200, 5200, or better; AMD FirePro W7170, M6100, Radeon Pro WX 5100 or better
Suggested Desktop Models (Download full guide)
Suggested Laptop Models (Download full guide)
  • Multi-processing can greatly aid rendering and analysis computations.
  • Requires hard disk space to install application and ample free space for files and swap space.

For even more detailed specifications and suggested hardware specifications for this SOLIDWORKS release, download our complete recommendations guide.