SolidWorks is a three-dimensional parametric design software program. The program is used by mechanical designers and engineers around the world because of its versatility and power. Whether you are considering using SolidWorks for the first time or just switching computers at your home or office, it is important to know the system requirements for SolidWorks. This will help you avoid unpleasant surprises when you install the software.
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Unfortunately users of Macintosh, Linux and other operating systems, SolidWorks is only produced for Microsoft Windows operating systems. Microsoft Windows XP Professional x86 and x64 can run any version of SolidWorks from 2008 through 2011, as can Vista versions x86 and x64. Computers with Windows 7 versions x86 and x64 can run SolidWorks 2010 and 2011.
To use SolidWorks, your system must have some basic hardware. While SolidWorks recommends that your system have at least six gigabytes of random access memory (RAM), you may use the program with as little as one. Regardless of your operating system, SolidWorks will only work on Intel and AMD processors.
To fully operate SolidWorks, you will need some additional software that interfaces with the program. You will need a version of Microsoft Office Excel, either version 2002, 2003 or 2007. SolidWorks will also want to interface with a version of Adobe Acrobat higher than 7.0.7. Finally, SolidWorks requires a version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer higher than 6.0.
SolidWorks maintains a database of certified, approved and tested graphics drivers. The company recommends these graphics cards and drivers for optimum performance of the program. SolidWorks maintains a page where users can check to see if their graphics cards are tested and recommended by SolidWorks (see References). Other graphics cards may work with SolidWorks but will not provide optimum performance.
You will need peripherals to make the program run properly. A mouse is required to properly operate the program. You will also need a DVD drive to install the program.
For those working in larger offices, SolidWorks offers the opportunity to network your computers, allowing the entire workforce to work together without leaving their desks. All networked computers must have a USB port or a parallel port, for versions of SolidWorks prior to 2010. SolidWorks does not support virtual servers.
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