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Improving Efficiency: How to Optimize Your SolidWorks Performance

Written by Rahul Lath

Updated on: 07 Dec 2023

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In the domain of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and engineering, SolidWorks has earned its laurels as a software suite of choice. Famed for its capacity to create intricate models and facilitate advanced simulations, SolidWorks offers a simplified and user-friendly environment.

However, to fully optimize SolidWorks performance, one must consider a confluence of factors. These include understanding the nuances of the system’s hardware, the software settings, and even the application of SolidWorks-approved hardware.

This comprehensive guide is dedicated to helping you understand the various ways to optimize SolidWorks performance for a more enhanced user experience.

Importance of Optimizing SolidWorks Performance

Why does it matter to optimize SolidWorks performance? The reason is multi-fold and resonates on various operational aspects:

  • Faster Processing Times: Optimized settings and hardware enable SolidWorks to swiftly process intricate designs and simulations, thereby speeding up project completion times.
  • Increased Efficiency: A smoothly running software allows engineers to focus more on the design and problem-solving aspects, rather than dealing with software lags or crashes.
  • Better Quality Outputs: Optimized SolidWorks setup can offer higher-quality rendering and simulations, thereby ensuring accurate and precise results.

By understanding the reasons to optimize SolidWorks performance, you can take full advantage of the software and increase productivity.

What Are The Main Factors That Influence Performance?

Performance in SolidWorks can be affected by a series of factors:

  • Hardware: Your computer’s hardware, encompassing the processor (CPU), the graphics card (GPU), memory (RAM), and storage drive (SSD/HDD), holds significant sway in SolidWorks’ performance.
  • Software: The version of SolidWorks in use, its settings, and the enabled add-ins can influence performance.
  • Model Complexity: Complex models require more computational resources, which can impact performance if the system lacks capacity.

Understanding these influencing factors is the first step to optimize SolidWorks performance.

Hardware Optimization

The underpinning of an efficient SolidWorks system lies in the right hardware. Be it for creating simple models or running complex FEA simulations, your hardware needs to meet the demands of your work.

Recommended System Requirements for SolidWorks

While SolidWorks can run on various systems, to truly optimize SolidWorks performance, your system needs to meet or exceed the following specifications:

  • Processor: Intel or AMD with SSE2 support, 3.3 GHz or higher
  • RAM: 16 GB or more
  • Graphics Card: A SolidWorks-approved workstation-grade card with 1GB or more memory
  • Hard Drive: Solid-state drive (SSD) with at least 20GB free space

These requirements are designed to ensure that your SolidWorks software runs smoothly and efficiently. They represent a balance between cost and performance and are based on testing and user feedback.

Choosing the Right Processor, Memory, Graphics Card, and Storage

The selection of the right hardware components is critical to optimize SolidWorks performance. Here are some tips:

  • Processor (CPU): A faster CPU will assist in speeding up tasks that are single-threaded, like opening files and rebuilding models. It’s often more beneficial to prioritize high clock speed over more cores.
  • Memory (RAM): More RAM allows for working with larger models and assemblies without causing a slowdown. Aim for at least 16GB for typical work, or 32GB for larger assemblies and complex simulations.
  • Graphics Card (GPU): An approved workstation-grade graphics card is a must for optimal SolidWorks performance. Consumer-grade cards may not have the required drivers to run SolidWorks smoothly.
  • Storage: Solid-state drives (SSDs) are faster than traditional hard drives (HDDs), leading to quicker load times. They can significantly enhance performance, especially when dealing with large files.

With the right hardware in place, you’re already on your way to optimize SolidWorks performance.

Benefits of Using SolidWorks-Approved Hardware

The benefits of using SolidWorks-approved hardware are significant. Selecting certified components ensures that your system is optimized to deliver the best performance and stability when running SolidWorks. A SolidWorks-approved system can provide:

  • Reliability: Certified hardware has been tested extensively by SolidWorks to ensure it meets the software’s demanding performance requirements. This results in fewer system crashes, hangs, and other reliability issues.
  • Performance: SolidWorks-approved hardware is optimized to deliver the highest performance when running SolidWorks. This leads to faster model creation, shorter rendering times, and more efficient simulations.
  • Support: If you encounter issues while running SolidWorks on certified hardware, SolidWorks technical support can provide assistance because they are familiar with the tested configurations. This can result in faster resolution times.

Thus, using SolidWorks-approved hardware is a strategic decision to improve SolidWorks performance.

Software Optimization

Just as hardware plays an integral part in SolidWorks performance, software optimization is equally significant. This includes maintaining the latest version of SolidWorks and adjusting various software settings for optimal performance.

Keeping SolidWorks Updated to the Latest Version

Ensuring that your SolidWorks software is up-to-date is a critical step in the pursuit to optimize SolidWorks performance. Here are some reasons why:

  • Bug Fixes and Performance Enhancements: Each new release and update of SolidWorks comes with bug fixes and performance improvements. These optimizations often result in faster processing times and better stability.
  • New Features: Updates usually come with new features or improvements to existing ones, making the software more robust and user-friendly.
  • Compatibility: Latest versions of SolidWorks are designed to be compatible with modern hardware, ensuring smooth and efficient performance.

Properly Configuring Your SolidWorks Settings

The default SolidWorks settings for best performance are suitable for most users. However, advanced users may wish to fine-tune these settings to optimize SolidWorks performance based on their specific needs. Let’s dive into the key settings that affect SolidWorks performance:

Launch Time and Add-ins That Load at Start Up

  • Streamline Add-ins: While add-ins can expand SolidWorks’ capabilities, they can also increase the software’s launch time. Load only the necessary add-ins during start-up to speed up the process.
  • Disable Start-Up Items: Other non-SolidWorks programs that launch at start-up can consume system resources. Disabling unnecessary start-up items can free up resources for SolidWorks.

Document Properties: Image Quality

Image Quality settings can significantly influence performance, particularly with complex models. Reducing image quality can increase the performance at the expense of visual accuracy. Find a balance that suits your needs.

In the next segment, we will go through the various system options that can be checked to maximize SolidWorks performance, starting with general settings, performance settings, and going down to the specifics of assembly settings, external references, feature manager, and view options. We will also cover the implications of color settings on performance. Stay tuned for these performance optimization tips.

Checking System Options to Maximize SolidWorks Performance

System Options in SolidWorks offers a host of settings that can be tuned to optimize SolidWorks performance. Here, we discuss a few essential options:


  • Use Software OpenGL: Enabling this option can improve SolidWorks performance on systems with unsupported or underperforming graphics cards.


  • Verification on rebuild: This option checks the model geometry for errors during a rebuild. Turning this off can speed up rebuild times, especially for complex models.
  • Level of detail: Reducing this can speed up the display of large assemblies but at the cost of visual detail.

Drawings: Display Style

  • Use software OpenGL for HLR/HLV: When working with drawings, enabling this setting can boost performance.


  • Use specified color for shaded with edges mode: This setting can influence the overall look of your models without affecting performance.

Assemblies: Display

  • Use Large Assembly Mode to improve SolidWorks performance: Large Assembly Mode simplifies the display and omits non-essential details to help with the performance in large assembly files.


  • Level of detail: Similar to the general performance settings, adjusting this setting for assemblies can balance between performance and visual detail.


  • Update mass properties while saving document: Disabling this setting can speed up save times for large assemblies.

External References

  • Don’t prompt to save read-only referenced documents (discard changes): This setting can prevent unnecessary save prompts, which can interrupt workflow.

Feature Manager

  • Scroll selected item into view: Disabling this option can prevent automatic scrolling in the feature manager tree, enhancing system performance.


  • Use Enhanced graphics performance: This feature utilizes the modern OpenGL 4.5 graphics pipeline to improve SolidWorks performance.


  • Disable file indexing: Turning off file indexing can free up system resources for SolidWorks to use.

By fine-tuning these settings, users can optimize SolidWorks performance to meet their specific needs. After all, SolidWorks’ versatility is one of its biggest strengths. Users can gain the maximum benefit from the software by understanding and leveraging its extensive list of options and settings.

Wrapping Up

In the competitive world of product design and engineering, the ability to optimize SolidWorks performance is a crucial skill. By understanding and manipulating various software settings, staying up-to-date with the latest software versions, and investing in SolidWorks-approved hardware, you can achieve significantly improved performance.

Remember, each step taken to enhance your hardware and software settings goes a long way in improving your overall productivity. The time saved from these efficiency gains can be better spent on design, simulation, and analysis, which are the core tasks that add value to your work. And the beauty of SolidWorks is its adaptability and flexibility. The software allows users to personalize settings to match their specific workflow and project requirements.

However, these optimizations are not a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s important to evaluate the nature of your work, the complexity of your models, and your hardware capabilities when deciding on the best settings. Also, consider taking SolidWorks classes online for a deeper understanding of these complex concepts.

This comprehensive guide has given you the necessary tools to improve SolidWorks performance. By applying this knowledge, you can ensure that you’re using your resources efficiently and effectively.


How do I improve my assembly performance in SolidWorks?

To improve assembly performance, use Large Assembly Mode, lightweight components, SpeedPak, and simplify the model using Defeature. Configuring your Image Quality settings can also boost performance.

Why does my SolidWorks drawing take so long to save?

Long save times can be due to large file sizes, complex models, or unsuitable system settings. Optimizing your system settings, as we discussed above, can improve save times. Additionally, try to reduce the complexity of your models and maintain efficient file management practices.

How to Benchmark Your PC for SolidWorks?

SolidWorks offers a built-in Performance Test that benchmarks your PC by measuring how long it takes to complete a series of tasks. This can be found in the SolidWorks RX diagnostic tool.

How do I improve graphics performance in SolidWorks?

Graphics performance can be improved by using a SolidWorks-approved graphics card, enabling ‘Enhanced graphics performance’ in System Options, reducing the level of detail, and selecting a lower image quality setting.

For more detailed information, you can refer to the official SolidWorks Performance PDF provided by Dassault Systèmes.

Written by by

Rahul Lath

Reviewed by by

Arpit Rankwar

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