Laptop for Solidworks 2009

Hi Guys,

I know that there are a few threads re laptops for designers but I cant find anything specific for SW 2009.
Has anyone had any luck runnings SW2009 on anything less than the really expensive mobile workstations?

I’m in Australia and a Dell mobile workstation is close to $5k. Any other decent laptop (ie 4gb ram, 2.5 duo processor) is more like $1.5k but does not use the certified quadro fx graphics card.

If anyone is using SW successfully on a lower spec model PLEASE let me know.


refurb? They are usually a great deal… and work fine

I wouldn’t worry to much about having a certified graphics card.

Hi Junior,
Bad advice from Kevin. It is very important you have a certified Graphics Card. I work for a Solidworks reseller and it is one of the most common problems customers have is the wrong hardware. Their is an article just about to be released in the free magazine Develop3d specifically about SW2009 and graphics cards.

I have also pasted part of a document that Solidworks issue regarding Graphics Cards;

Video Card
The video card is perhaps the most important consideration when selecting a new computer. With regards to video cards, we encourage the use of a video card/driver combination listed on the Graphics Card page mentioned above as passing and that supports functions that the user is interested in (“real view graphics”, dual monitor support, etc).
Note: It is recommends you select a certified graphics card and run the driver that was certified for your version of SolidWorks. For more details visit the SolidWorks Hardware and Graphics card page at:\

Can I use my Game Graphic card with SolidWorks?
While you can, it is not recommended or supported by graphic card makers.

Should I buy the most expensive graphics card?
Having a workstation level graphics card with an up-to-date driver will be more important than buying the most expensive card on the market. From a performance standpoint, the CPU, RAM, and hard disk will affect system performance more.

I would recomend you buy a laptop with the following minimum specs;

2gb of Ram minimum
Nvidia Quadro FX 570 and above
and spend as much as you can afford on the processor. The Dell precisions are designed to handle Solidworks, but as you have stated you will need to spend about 4k upwards.

Just be aware that the software is only as good as the hardware it is run on. If you have not purchased Solidworks yet, speak to a reseller about a package as they can get good deals on laptops.

I would have a look around for a 2-3 year old Dell Precision M90. I bought mine in Australia 3 years ago and it did cost 5k, but probably only worth about 1.5-2k on ebay.

I have just had a look for you on ebay australia and you can get the following;


price: AU $1,299.95 Buy It Now >

End time: 14 hours 53 mins (24-Jul-09 10:33:37 AEST)
Postage: AU $49.95
Service to Australia
(more services)
Posts to: Australia
Item location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

I hope this helps. :smiley:

Thanks for the replies guys.
I think the refurb option is the way to go…