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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    1

    Default Solidworks with a MacBook?

    Hi guys, looking for some laptop advice really.

    I've been using solidworks for a few years at work but have been wanting to get a laptop which can run solidworks so I can do some of my own projects and build up a portfolio of my own work. We have a desktop computer at home which my wife uses extensively for her own business. We don't have room for another desktop hence looking at laptops so l can sit and work in kitchen or lounge.

    So Christmas has just been and I was blown away with my wife's generosity when I opened up her present to me and found a MacBook Air 13. Unfortunately my wife didn't realise that solidworks runs only on windows operating system. .

    I've seen some people install windows onto MacBooks using boot camp. Has anyone experience of running solidworks like this and does it work ok?

    I still have the option of returning the MacBook. so is the best option to return it and look at getting a windows PC with solidworks in mind?

    Thanks for your thoughts?

  2. #2

    Default

    You have two options for running Solidworks on Mac. 1) Bootcamp, which requires you to reboot into Windows to access Solidworks, or 2) to run a Virtual Machine (Parallels or VMware Fusion) which allows you to run a VM copy of Windows from within the Mac OS. prototyping services gujarat
    Option 1. Boot Camp

    Boot Camp is a neat tool provided by Apple which allows you to partition the hard drive on your Mac and install a second (or more) OS on the new partitions. This allows you to install Windows on a Mac as if it was any other computer hardware. Once complete you simple select which OS you want to run when the Mac boots up. The down side is you don’t have access to any part of the Mac OS when in Windows and vice versa so you are basically are just running Windows on Apple hardware. You cannot run the two OS’es side by side.
    Option 2. Virtual Machine
    Option 2 still requires you install a bootcamp partition and a copy of Windows however using additional software you can set up a Virtual Machine (VM) from within the Mac OS which allows you to boot up your installation of Windows and run Solidworks with out leaving the Mac OS. The big advantage of this is you have full access to both the Mac OS and the Windows OS along with all the installed programs. The downside is that all your Windows software thinks its running in a new machine so you will need to re-activate Windows and Solidworks (I recommend to transferring your license of Solidworks from within native Windows before opening a VM within the Mac OS). You only have to do this once, unless you plan on booting up Windows natively which means you go through the activation/transfer process again.
    I have personally only used Parallels and have not had any experience with VMware but Parallels seems to work fine once you have gone through all the set up which can take some time.
    Performance
    The Performance of Solidworks when running within a native Boot Camp install of Windows is as per you would find on a similar spec’d PC. The only limitation is the graphics card as its not a certified card so you don’t get all the fancy real time reflections and glows that the “Real View” provides. I personally don’t like Real View and find it slows down systems even with approved hardware hence I turn it off, so its not a great loss for me. Running windows natively is definitely my recommendation for Solidworks users with big assemblies, complex parts of if you just don’t give a hoot about the Mac OS. However when running Solidworks under a VM from within the Mac OS the performance of Solidworks is no where near as good as when running natively. The biggest slow down I find is when you select a part or object and Solidworks highlights all the edges so you know what you have selected can take ages to highlight all the edges. This is on fairly basic parts too.
    Conclusion
    If you want to buy a Mac because you like their hardware, want to run Solidworks, but don’t care about the Mac OS than going for a Boot Camp install of Windows and running it natively is the best choice. However if you really want or need to run the Mac OS but need to access Solidworks without the trouble of rebooting and your parts/asm are not that big or complex than running a VM is a great option… If I didn’t want to run the Mac OS for everything else I do a part from Solidworks I would just use Windows natively. So until Solidworks is ported to the Mac OS, I’ll have to juggle operating systems.

 

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