Do you need a graphics card for solidworks

Last Updated: Feb 22, 2024 by

If you’re a designer or engineer, chances are you’ve heard of SolidWorks. This powerful 3D CAD software is used by professionals in a variety of industries to create detailed designs and models. But if you’re new to SolidWorks, you may be wondering if you need a graphics card to run it effectively.

In this article, we’ll explore the role of a graphics card in running SolidWorks and help you determine if you need one for your specific needs.

What is a Graphics Card?

Before we dive into the specifics of SolidWorks, let’s first define what a graphics card is. A graphics card, also known as a video card or GPU (graphics processing unit), is a specialized computer component responsible for rendering images, videos, and animations on your computer screen.

In simpler terms, a graphics card is what makes it possible for you to see images and videos on your computer. It takes the data from your computer’s CPU (central processing unit) and converts it into images that can be displayed on your screen.

The Role of a Graphics Card in SolidWorks

Now that we understand what a graphics card is, let’s explore its role in running SolidWorks. SolidWorks is a complex software that requires a lot of processing power to run smoothly. This is where a graphics card comes in.

A graphics card is responsible for rendering the 3D models and designs in SolidWorks. Without a graphics card, your computer’s CPU would have to handle all the rendering, which can slow down your system and make it difficult to work with large and complex designs.

In addition to rendering, a graphics card also helps with tasks such as rotating and zooming in on models, as well as applying textures and lighting effects. These tasks can be quite demanding on your computer’s resources, and a graphics card can help alleviate some of that strain.

Minimum Requirements for SolidWorks

SolidWorks has specific minimum requirements for running the software effectively. These requirements include a minimum of 16GB of RAM, a 64-bit operating system, and a graphics card with at least 2GB of dedicated VRAM (video random access memory).

While it is possible to run SolidWorks without a dedicated graphics card, it is not recommended. Without a graphics card, you may experience lag, slow performance, and even crashes when working with larger and more complex designs.

Do You Need a Graphics Card for SolidWorks?

Now that we understand the role of a graphics card in running SolidWorks, let’s answer the question: do you need one for SolidWorks?

The short answer is yes, you do need a graphics card for SolidWorks. As mentioned earlier, a graphics card is essential for rendering and handling complex designs in SolidWorks. Without one, you may experience performance issues that can hinder your productivity.

Recommended Graphics Cards for SolidWorks

If you’re in the market for a graphics card specifically for SolidWorks, there are a few options that are recommended by SolidWorks themselves. These include the AMD FirePro W7100, the NVIDIA Quadro P4000, and the AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100.

However, these are high-end graphics cards that may not be necessary for everyone. If you’re a casual user or working with smaller and less complex designs, you may not need such a powerful graphics card.

Entry-Level Graphics Cards for SolidWorks

If you’re on a budget or don’t need the most powerful graphics card for SolidWorks, there are some entry-level options that can still provide decent performance. These include the AMD Radeon R7 250 2GB graphics card and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 graphics card.

While these may not be as powerful as the recommended options, they can still handle SolidWorks effectively and are more budget-friendly.

Other Factors to Consider

While a graphics card is an essential component for running SolidWorks, there are other factors to consider when choosing one. These include the CPU, RAM, and storage of your computer.


The CPU is the brain of your computer and is responsible for executing instructions and calculations. A powerful CPU can help with tasks such as loading and saving large designs, as well as running simulations and rendering.

When choosing a CPU for SolidWorks, look for one with a high clock speed and multiple cores. This will ensure that your computer can handle the demands of SolidWorks effectively.


As mentioned earlier, SolidWorks requires a minimum of 16GB of RAM to run effectively. However, if you’re working with larger and more complex designs, you may benefit from having more RAM.

Having more RAM allows your computer to store more data, which can improve performance when working with large designs. If you’re a heavy SolidWorks user, consider upgrading to 32GB or even 64GB of RAM.


While a graphics card and CPU are essential for running SolidWorks, storage is also an important factor to consider. SolidWorks requires a lot of storage space, especially if you’re working with large designs and assemblies.

Consider investing in a solid-state drive (SSD) for faster loading and saving times. You may also want to consider having a separate hard drive for storing your SolidWorks files to keep your computer running smoothly.


In conclusion, a graphics card is an essential component for running SolidWorks effectively. While it is possible to run the software without one, it is not recommended, and you may experience performance issues.

When choosing a graphics card for SolidWorks, consider your specific needs and budget. If you’re a casual user or working with smaller designs, an entry-level graphics card may suffice. However, if you’re a heavy SolidWorks user, investing in a more powerful graphics card may be necessary.

Remember to also consider other factors such as your CPU, RAM, and storage when choosing a graphics card for SolidWorks. With the right components, you can ensure that your computer can handle the demands of SolidWorks and help you create amazing designs and models.

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.