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My choice of laptop for SolidWorks

First I would like to introduce myself more of a SolidWorks expert than a techie expert. The following is my recommendation based on my personal experience.

Last year I purchased a laptop with the intent of using it mainly for SolidWorks 2017. I did some research and found some interesting and very informational articles online between several laptops. I ultimately decided to proceed with purchasing an MSI laptop. I have now owned this laptop for over a year and I'm very pleased with my purchase. My background with SolidWorks, is over 12 years of working as a designer, engineer and also an instructor on teaching beginners on how to use the software. Based on years of experience I have come across computers that will under perform when using this software. SolidWorks has published system requirements based on different versions, so while you are shopping around make sure to reference their minimum requirements.

The model that I purchased is a GE62 6QF Apache Pro:


  • Windows 10 Home / Windows 10 Pro

  • Latest 6th Gen. Intel® Core™ i7 processor

  • GeForce® GTX 970M graphics with higher performance


  • NVMe M.2 SSD by PCIe Gen3 X4 up to 2200MB/s speed(optional)

  • The latest USB 3.1 SuperSpeed+ interface built in

  • USB Type-C reversible plug

  • Exclusive SHIFT technology boosts performance under controlled noise & temperature

  • Exclusive Cooler Boost 3 Technology

  • Nahimic Sound Technology delivering 360⁰ immersive audio experience

  • Audio Boost 2 enhancing the gaming headset sound detail and sound stage

  • Sound by Dynaudio system

  • True Color Technology for increased color contrast and greater image detail

  • SteelSeries Engine 3 with GameSense to personalize your play style

  • Keyboard by Steelseries with full color backlighting

  • Upgraded Killer Gigabit LAN Controller + Killer Shield + 802.11 ac

  • Xsplit Gamcaster 1 year free premium license for broadcasting, recording and sharing

  • Elegant brushed aluminum chassis, creating an ideal fusion of aesthetics and performance.

This laptop is a gamer laptop which is obviously intended to perform well when graphics are demanding. I was recommended to look into these types of laptop when I started shopping. In regards to SolidWorks one of the toughest requirement to meet is a good graphics card. This laptop is equipped with an Nvidia GTX970M, which has worked great and has been very reliable. I use it to make my training videos, which can also be found on my YouTube channel. I have used it to work on some freelance drafting/design work and it has been one of the best investments that I have made in my small business thus far.

Now that the shared with you all the good I also feel obligated to share the not so good of this laptop as well so you don't get caught off guard. Even though I did run into these surprises I would still purchase this laptop again since there was a solution to these minor inconveniences.

RealView Graphics

One of my favorite features in SolidWorks is the appearance of the 3D models in real time provided by the RealView Graphics option. However SolidWorks did not allow me to use the RealView Graphics with this particular laptop straight out of the box. The reason for this is due to the NVIDIA card on this laptop is not listed on the certified list provided by SolidWorks. This was a major disappointment for me however through the wonderful world wide web I found the following YouTube video which provided me a resolution for my sadness of missing out on this option.

On the 3:57 mark of this video you will be provided a series of numbers. The one that worked for my laptop was 31408, which was the first one that I typed in. This video provided the steps necessary to enable the RealView Graphics. See below for the difference between RealView and no RealView:

With RealView Graphics

With RealView Graphic

Without RealView Graphics

Without RealView Graphics

Lag while in the Rotate Command.

The second issue I stumbled onto is not even an issue but more on maintenance of keeping up with the latest driver downloads for Nvidia. I once noticed that while rotating the 3D models there was a lag issue. After speaking with a techie I was told all that was needed was to check to see if there was an update on the graphics card driver, which there was. I downloaded the latest driver update and the issue was gone. There will be updates on the driver from time to time so check regularly or just activate the notification to get notified when updates are available.

So in conclusion I highly recommend the MSI GE62 6QF Apache Pro as a reliable laptop for the intention of using it for SolidWorks and AutoCad. It is competitively priced with similar laptops. If you are looking into a laptop for a different CAD program, just make sure to confirm what their specific requirements are.

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