Solidworks 2012 Installed and Running Well (on a MAC)

Ok, so I am about a month into the newest version of Solidworks 2012. I am seriously impressed with the simplicity to generate full, complex, photorealistic assemblies. Prior to pulling the trigger on the Professional package (~$6000), I had spent countless hours comparing the likes of AutoCAD, ProEngineer, etc,… While they all had their own pro’s and con’s, Solidworks really seemed to be the industry leader in terms of 3D design and rendering. I have extensive experience in both AutoCAD and ProE and figured at first I would end up with either one on my computer. Another thing I need to tell you is that my computer setup is a Mac Pro so I was fortunate to be able to run Parallels 7 to create the Windows environment for the purposes of installing the CAD program of choice. Solidworks is very similar in the way that a part is created to ProE which is by way of extrusions and rotations, etc,… However, SW is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition when talking about ease of use and intuitive user interfacing.

I had a couple of simple parts I needed to create and assemble to inspect the clearances and fit of the assembly. It was a matter of 20 minutes from start up to completion. Ok, this assembly is rather simple indeed but, if I had been using the other programs, it would have taken me nearly twice the time. In my business as in most others, time is money. For that reason, I highly recommend taking a look at Solidworks 2012 when thinking about purchasing a 3D CAD software.

Sean Yakeley

Odyssey Solutions – Product Development Consulting

**12/26/2012 UPDATE: I wanted to share some information to anyone reading this post that since posting the above, I have chosen to upgrade the RAM to help with the rendering and overall video performance on Solidworks in the Windows VM. I now have 16gb of DDR3 RAM installed and 4gb allocated to the Windows VM. This appears to have helped a lot with the quality and performance.”**

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6 thoughts on “Solidworks 2012 Installed and Running Well (on a MAC)

  1. Ryan says:

    If I may ask, would you give more detail on your Mac Pro configuration (processor/cores, how much ram, graphics card, etc)? Have you had any problems or performance issues running SW with Parallels? I am considering a purchase of SW Premium and would plan to install it on an iMac w/ 16 GB (or more) ram. I have not used parallels since Win 7 made it impossible to use parallels and/or bootcamp without a fresh windows registration every time you opened windows in one or the other. Thanks for any info you can provide.

    • boilerz25 says:


      This is straight from the “About this Mac” screen so I hope it helps.

      Mac Pro
      Mid 2010
      Processor 2 x 2.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
      Memory 6 GB 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC
      Graphics ATI Radeon HD 5870 1024 MB
      Software Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 (11C74)
      Hardrive: 1TB

      There are 8 slots for RAM and i think which i am only using 6 (1Gb) cards at the moment. I purchased the computer for various software but SW was the main one that caused me to build it accordingly. I have not had any issues with rendering, animation, or other high RAM functions. I also keep it running all of the time while i am using the MAC OS and there are no problems whatsoever. I would say if you go this route you will be pleasantly surprised at how efficient the MAC is with the Parallels environment. Just to reiterate I am running the following on the PC side:

      Parallels 7
      Windows 7 Professional (64bit)

      I would never go back to PC-only and having the ability to run any program, any GUI i love the setup.

      Good luck

  2. Simon H says:

    How does your Mac deal with real view and rendering Sean?

    I am looking at running SolidWorks 2012/2013 on my faithful Mac, not sure whether via boot-camp or virtually via OS X, my main concern is render quality and ease as this will be a large part of what I intend to do with the software.

    • boilerz25 says:


      In order to best handle the load that the rendering puts on the computer i would certainly suggest upgrading your RAM. Additionally you can adjust the memory allocation with Parallels to help make the pc side work without stalls. All in all i have not had any issues.

      Thanks for the comment.


  3. leon says:

    Hi Sean

    I’ve got a 2.9 GHz i7, 8 gb 1600 MHz DDR3 13 inch macbook pro. installed parallels, windows 7 and Solid Works.

    Can’t say SW works amazingly fast though.

    I’ve got the memory of parallels on 4 GB now. Aree you using a lot more?



    • boilerz25 says:

      Over time since posting this original blog I have noticed at times the rendering is not perfect and have upgraded to 16gb of RAM for the entire machine. I still only allocate 4gb to the Windows environment but you can better manage this if needed. I spent about 30mins on the phone with the Paralells tech guys to see about better optimization and we went through everything (RAM allocation, shutting down redundant applications not being used and also boosting the Video memory in the Virtual Machine to the max). This helped a lot and I still may go and max out the RAM at some point to have it function better but for now it appears to be holding up fine. When in doubt give the Paralells guys a call and they will walk you through you system settings.

      Good Luck!

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