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Budget laptop upgrade for Solidworks?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

My brother is in his junior year of college and the program he's enrolled in involves using a lot of programs like Solidworks, and his laptop with his i5 4210u and his 6gb of ram and intel integrated graphics is having trouble keeping up...he never plays any games on his laptop, so what would be the best option for him to upgrade for better performance?

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more memory and probably an SSD will do

CPU: i7-2600K 4751MHz 1.44V (software) --> 1.47V at the back of the socket Motherboard: Asrock Z77 Extreme4 (BCLK: 103.3MHz) CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15 RAM: Adata XPG 2x8GB DDR3 (XMP: 2133MHz 10-11-11-30 CR2, custom: 2203MHz 10-11-10-26 CR1 tRFC:230 tREFI:14000) GPU: Asus GTX 1070 Dual (Super Jetstream vbios, +70(2025-2088MHz)/+400(8.8Gbps)) SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB (main boot drive), Transcend SSD370 128GB PSU: Seasonic X-660 80+ Gold Case: Antec P110 Silent, 5 intakes 1 exhaust Monitor: AOC G2460PF 1080p 144Hz (150Hz max w/ DP, 121Hz max w/ HDMI) TN panel Keyboard: Logitech G610 Orion (Cherry MX Blue) with SteelSeries Apex M260 keycaps Mouse: BenQ Zowie FK1


Model: HP Omen 17 17-an110ca CPU: i7-8750H (0.125V core & cache, 50mV SA undervolt) GPU: GTX 1060 6GB Mobile (+80/+450, 1650MHz~1750MHz 0.78V~0.85V) RAM: 8+8GB DDR4-2400 18-17-17-39 2T Storage: 1TB HP EX920 PCIe x4 M.2 SSD + 1TB Seagate 7200RPM 2.5" HDD (ST1000LM049-2GH172), 128GB Toshiba PCIe x2 M.2 SSD (KBG30ZMV128G) gone cooking externally Monitor: 1080p 126Hz IPS G-sync


Desktop benching:

Cinebench R15 Single thread:168 Multi-thread: 833 

SuperPi (v1.5 from Techpowerup, PI value output) 16K: 0.100s 1M: 8.255s 32M: 7m 45.93s

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From what I read, mate processing is handled by the CPU and the drawing of lines is handled by the GPU - if specifically those two processes are slow, then it could be those components. More RAM would help all around, as would an SSD (as the previous post said). 


One thing you could recommend to him is to open up and work in a typical Solidworks file he has, and then open up the resource monitor in task manager. Tell him to look at the graphs and, when Solidworks starts to slow down, take note of which of the graphs are at or near 100% usage (CPU, GPU, Disk, etc). That should instruct him on where the bottleneck is.


if it seems like all of the components in the laptop aren't quite capable enough, then there are a couple alternatives to a new laptop:

  1. Some schools have virtual lab software that runs an instance of Solidworks being run on their servers on your computer, so you don't really need much processing power on your end - you just need to be able to "stream" it.
  2. His school probably has capable computers on campus with Solidworks to accommodate people who don't have laptops.
  3. There's a program called Fusion 360 that is free and cloud based - so no intense processing has to be done on his computer. I've never used it myself, but I hear it's quite comparable to Solidworks.


AMD A8-5500•••ASUS GTX 660•••MSI MS-7778 Mobo•••2x4GB DDR3 RAM•••CoolerMaster v550 Semi-Modular PSU•••1.5TB HDD•256GB Samsung 850 Evo SSD•••Optical Drive•••Phanteks Enthoo Pro

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