I currently use the following system with Solidworks 2012 SP 4.0:
Dell Precision M4300 Laptop (4+ years old, but performace is good)
Intel Core 2 Duo CPU T7300@2.00 Ghz (64 bit capable)
Win-XP SP3 32 bit
4 GB RAM (3.5 GB reported by OS)
NVidia Quadro FX 360M
1920 x 1200 display
256 GB Solid State Drive
3D connection Space Pilot
While it's a little old, I am still happy with the performance, especially after adding the Solid State Drive.
Now I want to update my OS to Win-7 64 or Win-8 64 on the same computer, in order to upgrade SW. I plan to do this by first cloning the drive (so I can go back if I don't succeed or if I'm not happy with it), and then doing a clean install of the OS and all programs. Here are my questions:
1. Should I go with Win-7 or Win-8, and what are the pros/cons?
2. Documentation of M4300 shows maximum memory as 4GB. Is it possible that it could use more than 4GB, but that is relic Win-XP information? Dell says that 4GB is a Motherboard limitation.
3. Do you think the performance would increase or decrease with the new OS?
4. What other advise do you have regarding this change?
( I know the obvious answer is to get a new computer, but even if I did that, I would want to keep this one running as the 2nd home computer)