Ideal computer setup at work. Mac or PC?

Hey guys,

My new job asked for my computer requirements and im curious to see what you use at work. I’ve been using PC at my previous jobs but i live in Apple’s ecosystem persoanlly and my design team, consisting of creative director and graphic designers, uses Mac. (I’m the only industrial designer.)

My main software is Solidworks and Keyshot so it’s probably the best if i use a PC desktop but i would love to use a Mac if running solidworks wasn’t an issue. I know i can use parallel or bootcamp to switch back and forth but that sounds a bit of a hassle. I saw some consultancies use solidworks on Mac so i was just curious about your experience.

  1. if you use solidworks on Mac, how is your workflow? Do you mostly live in windows side or go back and forth between windows (for solidworks) and everything else for Mac? Is it laggy?

  2. if you do use a PC, what’s your basic computer spec? (Processor, ram, ssd, graphics card, etc)

I won’t be working on crazy big files nor use assembly since i’ll be designing packaging but i’ll often use keyshot for photorealistic renderings. Maybe it’s time for me to learn fusion 360 if i wanna use Mac haha.


It was several years ago but I did use Solidworks on a Mac through Bootcamp for a while. It wasn’t the best experience, there were some hick-ups and I found I’d just leave it in Windows and never boot it in Mac OS.

I’d honestly have a look at Fusion 360, I haven’t personally used it but I’ve heard good things about the sheet workspace.

I feel like it depends on the industry and how complex your files get. I used to use solidworks on my mac, and it was kind of a nightmare. There’s always a tipping point where your files get too big and the computer has a lot of trouble processing. Even when it was running fine, it never felt like it ran well.

I tried using Fusion 360- it never felt like it ran 3d graphics well. Granted this was a few years ago, but I would suggest getting PC and if you need the Apple UX- an ipad pro. We recently got surface books and they’ve been great in comparison.

If you are going to be using the Keyshot, bi-directional plugin for Solidworks I think they will need to be running on the same platform. That can only happen on a PC. Keyshot uses processor cores for rendering - the more your CPU’s have, the faster it will run.

I run a PC with dual 6-core Xenon processors (24 total cores), 32 meg ram, Nvida Quadro graphics. I also run Rhino, Adobe - Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign. Almost all of my work is packaging.

8-Core i7 - 32GB RAM - Nvidia Quadro - SSD for the OS and standard HD for random storage. It’s almost 4 years old now, but runs very well still.

Would you guys ever use a laptop instead of a desktop?

I like the idea of carrying the laptop to work remotely and move around in the office, then connect it to a monitor at my desk. Laptop will never be as powerful as a desktop but it may be powerful enough to get the job done.

Workstation laptops (Dell precision or similar) are more than enough for 95% of design work. I have both a desktop (custom build) and a workstation PC and while the desktop is a lot faster for rendering, I really haven’t run into any issues using CC, Sketchbook, or Solidworks. Though I will say the specs on my laptop are almost identical to the what NURB mentions above which you pay a premium for.

I wouldn’t bother with a mac for a work owned computer.

Nice specs. For anything other than graphic design work I avoid Macs. Rhinoceros runs well on it though. I am using Fusion360 and it is not as good as Solidworks, it is all very much in beta stage, there are lots of UI inconsistencies and glitches. I bought a sub $1k gaming laptop with Intel UHD and 8 cores, then upgraded it to 16Gb RAM. Next to that I have a desktop station with lower specs 1. for delegating rendering jobs and 2. for the ergonomics of switching between workstations (it’s a standing desk).