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MacBook Pro vs Dell Precision 5540 for SolidWorks

Question asked by Huening Tong on May 20, 2020
Latest reply on May 27, 2020 by Alan Sweetenham

Hi, I am trying to decide between purchasing a MacBook Pro or a Dell Precision 5540. My main purpose for buying the laptop is to run CAD software such as Solidworks, AutoCAD etc (I still do not know precisely which CAD software I will primarily be using yet)


I understand that the general consensus in the CADing community is that a PC is better to run CAD software on. However, I have also heard that PCs tend to not last very long and that a Mac is way more stable. In addition, I can use bootcamp/parallels on my Mac which should overcome the problem of CADs needing a windows system. A Mac is a little more expensive than a Dell but if it has a longer lifetime and the overall experience is better, it might be worth the difference. 


Below I have included the specs for each model. The only main difference is in the processor (Intel Xeon vs Intel I9) and graphics card (Radeon Pro 5500M vs Nvidia Quadro T2000).

Mac model I am interested in:

Model: 16‑inch MacBook Pro

Processor: 2.4GHz 8‑core 9th‑generation Intel Core i9 processor, Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz

Memory: 32GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory

Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 8GB of GDDR6 memory

Storage: 1TB SSD storage

Price: ~2900 USD


Dell model I am interested in: 

Model: 15 inch Dell Precision 5540 Mobile Workstation

Processor: Intel® Xeon E-2276M (6 Core Xeon, 12M Cache, 2.80GHz up to 4.70GHz Turbo, 45W, vPro)

Chassis Options: Intel Xeon E-2276M NVIDIA Quadro T2000 4GB

Memory: 32GB,2x16GB, 2666MHz DDR4 Non-Ecc Memory

Graphics Card: NVIDIA Quadro T2000 w/4GB GDDR6

Storage: M.2 512GB PCIe NVMe Class 40 Solid State Drive

Price: ~3400 USD 


Does anyone have experience running Solidworks on a Mac using parallels/bootcamp? If so, would you recommend getting a Mac instead of a PC? If you do not, why? Is a Mac worth the price difference?