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Top 5 Ways to Boost Performance for SOLIDWORKS 2024

Friday March 15, 2024 at 8:00am


  1. Choose the Right Graphics Card
  2. Ensure Correct Setup
  3. Update Graphics Drivers
  4. Adjust Your SOLIDWORKS Settings
  5. Optimise File-Specific Settings

As the go-to CAD software for engineers and designers, SOLIDWORKS offers unparalleled capabilities for creating complex 3D models and assemblies.

However, as projects become more intricate and your workstation hardware ages, performance bottlenecks can hamper your productivity.

To unlock the full potential of SOLIDWORKS, it’s important to optimise your SOLIDWORKS and graphics card settings to get the best performance from your software.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll show you the best settings to make sure you are using SOLIDWORKS and your hardware effectively.

#1 - Choose the Right Graphics Card

The biggest boost for SOLIDWORKS performance comes from your graphics card.

We typically recommend opting for NVIDIA's professional range of graphics cards. These cards are tested with SOLIDWORKS and can be relied upon to do the heavy lifting for you, especially the Ada generation of cards.

The RTX 3000 and RTX 4000 series offer what we believe to be the best price-to-performance ratio in 2024, but if you’re doing only very simple CAD work, you may be able to get away with opting for the lower series cards below the RTX 2000.

Other recommended Ada Generation cards for SOLIDWORKS 2024:

  • RTX 2000
  • RTX 3500
  • RTX 4000
  • RTX 5000

Every year, SOLIDWORKS release a full list of recommended graphics cards that offer the best performance and reliability for the software.

Regardless of whether you're tackling complex simulations or rendering photorealistic designs, investing in a professional-grade graphics card ensures seamless operation and accelerated workflows.

#2 - Ensure Correct Setup

Even with the most powerful graphics card, improper setup can undermine its potential.

It's imperative to ensure that your monitors are directly plugged into the dedicated graphics card, bypassing onboard graphics from your motherboard.

For laptop users, confirming that SOLIDWORKS is utilising the dedicated GPU is crucial for optimal performance.

You can check this by going to the NVIDIA Control Panel and Manage 3D Settings, setting SOLIDWORKS to run on your graphics card.

By eliminating potential bottlenecks in the hardware setup, you pave the way for a smoother and more responsive SOLIDWORKS experience.

#3 - Update Graphics Drivers

Graphics drivers serve as the bridge between your hardware and SOLIDWORKS software.

Keeping them up to date is essential for unlocking peak performance and ensuring compatibility with the latest features and hardware acceleration.

Regularly check for updates and install the latest drivers supported by your SOLIDWORKS version.

By staying on top of your driver updates, you can not only enhance performance but also mitigate potential compatibility issues and stability concerns.

Not sure how to update your graphics drivers? Check out our helpful walkthrough guide here.

#4 - Adjust Your SOLIDWORKS Settings

Fine-tuning SOLIDWORKS settings can yield significant performance gains, enhancing efficiency and productivity.

Within the Performance section of the System Options, enabling enhanced graphics performance and hardware acceleration for silhouette edges can yield noticeable improvements in rendering and visualisation tasks.

Experimenting with other settings allows you to tailor SOLIDWORKS to your specific workflow, maximising efficiency without compromising quality.

For a full list of SOLIDWORKS settings to change for better performance, check out this comprehensive guide.

#5 - Optimise File-Specific Settings

While global settings impact overall performance, fine-tuning file-specific settings can provide targeted optimisations for demanding projects.

Performance Evaluation tools can help you identify CPU-intensive features. Make sure any threads are cosmetic to minimise rebuild times.

The document properties in SOLIDWORKS contain image quality sliders, and if you are seeing degraded performance, then it’s worth checking in on these to find a balance between performance and visual fidelity.

You might have heard that SOLIDWORKS only uses one core of a CPU, but we’ve debunked that myth in this blog article that you can read over here.

Hardware for SOLIDWORKS

Find the CAD workstation that's right for you with our range of Dell hardware optimised for SOLIDWORKS.

Compare products and balance price with performance so you can be modelling more efficiently in as little as 48 hours!

Getting the best SOLIDWORKS performance requires a holistic approach encompassing hardware, software, and settings optimisation.

By choosing the right graphics card, ensuring correct setup, updating drivers, adjusting SOLIDWORKS settings, and optimising file-specific properties, you can demand more from your hardware.

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