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Workstation options for an Education Setting

Question asked by Josh Marsh on Jan 30, 2014
Latest reply on Feb 3, 2014 by Josh Marsh

I have been given the job of specing out replacment workstations for a Solidworks lab in one of the schools I work at.  The problem being that I am not a solidworks user. I have a few options, but have been mainly looking at the Dell Precision line.  From browsing on the forums, I have a bit of a feel for what is needed, but I would like some opinions from people who use the program. 


Current Spec plans, dependant on answers below...

  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • Core i7 (with hyper threading)
  • K600 if desktop, K1100M is laptop.


At the moment, the computers are Core2Quads with Radeon HD 2400's, and they haven't been having too many issues, but I know that they will want the new machines to last as long as the old ones did.  As far as the modeling goes, they are mostly doing small parts, but in the future they plan to start modeling more complex items, like a lathe or a CNC mill. 



  • Would a K600 in a desktop (Low-Profile) be better than a K1100M in a laptop?
  • Is there any advantage to a desktop over a laptop, or vice versa (aside from portability)?
  • Does an SSD make a difference in performance when using Solidworks, or is it mainly in launch and load times?
  • Does working in Solidworks use enough RAM to worry about getting 16GB?
  • Is it necessary to put an i7 in, or would a high end i5 do the job?
  • What components should be highest priority?  (CPU, GPU, RAm, Storage?)