What PC should I get for Solidworks and CS?

I am looking to upgrade my PC at home to something that will actually turn on as well as running Solidworks, Photoshop and Illustrator at the same time. I am wanting it to be pretty quick as it’s for doing my own stuff so I want it to be quicker than my computer at work (time is even more precious when not being paid for it).
The problem is my knowledge of computers is pretty much turning them on and using the programs.
For this reason I was wondering if anyone has recently bought a PC/knows about computers and has any advice on spec and/or where to buy from. Also is there anyone to avoid. I will be buying in the UK and am wanting the computer to last as long as possible (ie overspeced for current versions of software). From talking to the lad in PC world I need a good graphics card and a quad core processor. If anyone can expand on this I would really apreciate it.

I was just looking at this deal the other day. Nice card, good amount of RAM, no Vista, Quad Core.


You can definitely spend more to get more, but this seems like a nice bargain, especially since you don’t have much computer knowledge. You can usually build something yourself for less but it takes a little computer savvy to do it.

I would not do anything other than Dell. You can purchase from the referb department at Dell as well to save some cash. I am not even sure what is the powerhouse dell laptop now days.

Has anyone purchased the XPS 17" laptop from Dell?

I’m waiting for Core i7 desktops to come down in price.

cheers for the responses
with regard to dell the only problem i have with them is that alll the dells at work are currently dieing on their arse (and they are the most recent machines we have apparently) also i’m not sure how easy it is to upgrade a dell compared to a standard pc
i had thought about getting a pc made but as i live in london where all the computer shops also seem to be stolen mobile phone shops i can’t really trust that they are putting the components in that they claim to be
does anybody know a decent place/person to build a computer in london or i could get a place i know with a good reputation to build it (only problem is that they are a few hundred miles away if anything goes wrong)

do people still upgrade computers? I buy a new one… they is so cheap an I aint rich.

I did see SW and Pro/E run on a powerbook. impressive! its a grand more tho.

I’ve upgraded my Dell quite a bit. Just made the jump from a fairly slow 1.8ghz Core 2 Duo to a 2.6ghz Quad core. Upgraded the video card, doubled the Ram, dumped a few new hard drives and a blu-ray drive in. Should be able to go at least another year before I have a real reason to upgrade again.

Thats the nice part about desktops though, as long as you have a motherboard that’s going to support a range of CPU’s, then you can start slow and upgrade down the line - at least up until the point where they standardize DDR4 memory.

FWIW, we haven’t had the greatest luck with Dell, but they are relatively cheap… Their monitors seem nice for the money. I just bought a workstation about a year ago from Dell- nothing crazy (US$3k w/2 24in monitors). If I had it to do again, I’d skip the 64-bit processor. Neither SW or CS2 seem to be benefiting. I remember reading the quad cores were often overkill too- seems like addressing gets difficult at that point.

In any case, check out Cadalyst magazine (Budget-Conscious Workstations (Cadalyst Labs Review) | Cadalyst) for some recent workstation reviews. When it’s time to replace the Dell, I think that I’ll probably go with a Lenovo on the strength of their laptops (much better made than Dell’s).


A Mac that runs Windows lol, that’s how I do it.

A past employee brought a mac over to the office the other day running Pro/E . The MAC showed no apparent slow spots and ran as fast or faster than our DELL precision workstations that we teach with at design engine.

Remember that from a hardware standpoint Macs are now PC’s.

If you take an equally spec’ed PC and put it against a Mac it will perform the same.

Since most of the Mac Pro’s now are dual Quad Cores, they’ll light up just about anything in performance unless you’ve got a brand new i7 system.

Also mbC: You can’t skip a 64 bit processor - every CPU made right now is 64 bit. Again the only reason that this will benefit you is when you start getting into the 4+ gigs of ram region.

If you do a lot of rendering you’ll absolutely notice the power of the quad core. With that said I still do all my day to day work on a single core Pentium 4 at work, the quad core machine I have is my own personal box.