best graphics card for CAD reviews are performed for Nvidia and AMD products

Choosing the Best SolidWorks Graphics Card

When deciding to choose what hardware you will use to run your high-end 3D CAD software, you will need to select a SolidWorks graphics card. With so many options available, selecting the right graphics card may seem like a difficult task.

However, with a good understanding of how you plan to use the software and a budgetary target, you can make a good decision and feel confident that the chosen card will work for you.

Click here to see our Top Picks for the Best SolidWorks Graphics Card


Importance of Selecting a High-End Graphics Card

SolidWorks is a high-end 3D CAD modeling software. It’s highly demanding on hardware, and requires the appropriate selection of hardware components to run properly. In order to have the best possible user experience, it is important to select a an appropriate card designed for such a resource-demanding software.

Best SolidWorks graphics card
AMD Fire Pro

If you plan to make the significant investment in purchasing SolidWorks, it makes sense to provide the best possible platform to maximize your experience that fits within your budget. Keep in mind that a more expensive graphics card is not necessarily better suited for use with SolidWorks. Ultra high-end gaming cards may not necessarily be the most cost-effective choice for 3D modeling, and so you should consider looking specifically for workstation graphics cards, which the software may be able to use more efficiently.

[easyazon_link cloaking=”default” keywords=”amd firepro” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”cad1208-20″]Click here to see reviews and prices for the Best Cards on Amazon[/easyazon_link]


Evaluate your Needs

How much power you need in a graphics card will depend on how you plan to use SolidWorks. These are questions you should ask when choosing a SolidWorks graphics card.

  • Will you be using dual monitors?
  • Do you plan on using the software to create photorealistic renderings of your models?
  • Do you plan on exporting the models to other ray-tracing applications for rendering?
  • Do you plan on creating visualizations of simulation data using Flow Simulation or FEA?

If you want to work more efficiently with these tools, you may want to consider selecting a higher-powered graphics card.

Best SolidWorks Graphics Card

We reviewed several graphics cards to find the two best. The [easyazon_link asin=”B00NJNDQMO” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”cad1208-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]AMD FirePro[/easyazon_link] and [easyazon_link asin=”B00BLTE8HK” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”cad1208-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]NVIDIA Quadro[/easyazon_link] are highly recommended for not just SolidWorks, but for other CAD softwares as well, e.g. AutoCAD, CATIA, among others. Check out the reviews, prices, and ratings of each by clicking below in the table:

[ws_table id=”13″]

SolidWorks Graphics Card Driver Selection Tool

Once you understand your needs, you will have a better idea of the price range within which you may be willing to spend. The best place to start is probably the SolidWorks Selection Tool to evaluate a particular card in one of two ways –

  • By selecting a certified computer system and graphics card combination
  • By selecting from a list of graphics card by vendors

By using this tool, you can be sure that your card selection has been certified by SolidWorks. Check out the tool here.

If you want to see how various cards stack up against each other, check out their benchmarks.

[easyazon_link cloaking=”default” keywords=”amd firepro” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”cad1208-20″]Click here to see reviews and prices for the Best Cards on Amazon[/easyazon_link]


Final Thoughts

Keep in mind the big picture when selecting a card for SolidWorks. If you are tailoring your hardware selection for this particular piece of software, you are making a decision about your own user experience. If you will be using the software on a daily basis, consider budgeting an amount of money that will cover the cost of the highest-end graphics card.

Take the time to decide for what purpose you will be using the software, how often you will be working with it, and select a certified card that meets these needs and fits your budget.



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7 responses to “Choosing the Best SolidWorks Graphics Card”

  1. […] Check the list of compatible video cards here. We have written a detail guide to choosing the best SolidWorks graphics card as well – check it out for the details. In short, you are going to need to select a […]

  2. […] the first thoughts that come to mind are often related to “horsepower” – lots of RAM, a high-end graphics card, a large and fast hard drive.  While having a high-end system is one of the most important aspects […]

  3. […] For information on GPUs please refer to the previous article here. […]

  4. Anthony Barker Avatar
    Anthony Barker

    I’m trying to build a machine for solidworks and I’ve been frustrated with the price and confusion of graphics cards. I’ll be running a single 4k display through a DP1.2. I won’t be running any photo-real renderings or ray tracing, but I will be doing FEA. What’s an appropriate and economical graphics card to use?

    1. core71 Avatar

      Graphic cards listed here are at least for me too small. I would not think anything below 2GB (I have 4GB) and 6 MB cache (I have 8). I use a lot real time render feature and actual rendering tasks. For 4k I guess 2GB might be so-so enough – depending on actual modelling complexity in hand. That said, I dont use 4k – just dual full HD monitors…

      Solidworks performance depends hugely on complexity of CAD models incl. the actual “style” how geometry is modelled and the total number of parts and assemblies you need to run simultaneously. Therefore for better guidance, it would be nice to know more about your design needs. For example I might run >1200 parts in one top level assemby having ~500…700 individual part geometries (=rest are dublicates).

      Solidworks benefits from multi-core and hyperthreading processing typically during rendering, simulation and some techical drawing related features. Geometry solving/calculation/displaying 3d) then again does not utilize multi-core/ht that much, but is a CPU-eater anyways ***together*** with GPU. So, for Solidworks it’s important to balance both GPU and CPU to your needs. For CPU consider i7 or Xeon, or i5 for less demanding use.

      1. Jason A Avatar

        Great answer. Thanks for sharing

  5. […] Talking about 3D CAD applications you will need a professional, OpenGL graphics card and not a DirectX one. This is because an OpenGL card will calculate higher detail models at relatively lower frame rates which is opposite to what the DirectX does. The same philosophy applies to graphics card when it comes to CAD, when choosing a graphics card you want to keep in mind the type of work you will be doing. If your work requires you to handle very large assemblies with numerous parts then go for a GPU with more memory otherwise your GPU performance will suffer from lag and stutter. Check out reviews of the best graphics cards here. […]

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