Does SolidWorks Use CPU or GPU?

When it comes to computer-aided design (CAD) software like SolidWorks, a common question that arises is whether it utilizes the CPU or GPU for its processing needs. To answer this query, let’s delve into the intricacies of SolidWorks and explore its hardware requirements.

Understanding SolidWorks

SolidWorks is a powerful 3D CAD software widely used in industries such as engineering, architecture, and manufacturing. It allows designers and engineers to create detailed models and simulate real-world scenarios with precision.

The Role of CPU

The Central Processing Unit (CPU) plays a crucial role in running SolidWorks efficiently. It handles the majority of tasks related to modeling, assembly, and rendering. The CPU’s clock speed and number of cores directly impact the software’s performance.

Higher Clock Speed: A higher CPU clock speed ensures faster single-thread performance, which is vital for tasks that require sequential calculations. This includes opening files, rebuilding models, and performing simulations.

Multiple Cores: SolidWorks can take advantage of multi-core processors by dividing tasks among different cores. This parallel processing capability helps in handling complex assemblies and improves overall workflow efficiency.

The Impact of GPU

While the CPU carries the primary load in running SolidWorks, the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) also plays a significant role in enhancing certain aspects of the software’s performance.

RealView Graphics:

  • SolidWorks’ RealView graphics feature delivers realistic visualizations by simulating lighting effects, shadows, reflections, etc.
  • This feature heavily relies on GPU capabilities to provide smooth real-time rendering during modeling and assembly processes.

PhotoView 360:

  • PhotoView 360 is a rendering tool in SolidWorks that produces high-quality photorealistic images.
  • Giving PhotoView 360 access to a powerful GPU can significantly reduce rendering time and improve the overall rendering experience.


In conclusion, both the CPU and GPU play important roles in running SolidWorks effectively. The CPU handles most of the processing tasks, including modeling, assembly, and simulation. On the other hand, the GPU enhances visualizations and rendering capabilities.

To ensure optimal performance when using SolidWorks, it is recommended to have a balance between a high-performance CPU with a sufficient number of cores and a capable GPU that supports features like RealView graphics and PhotoView 360.

Note: It’s always advisable to refer to SolidWorks’ official system requirements and recommendations for specific hardware configurations based on your usage needs.