Solidworks and Surface Pro 3

When I first picked up my Surface Pro 3 on Monday I was extremely excited about the possibilities of having a full power laptop with the thin form factor of a tablet. I was really curious to see if it could be the ultimate creating machine, something I could do my dev work on as well as something that’s ultra portable. I also really like the idea of touch and having a pen for using with CAD software. I usually use my desktop for this work as it has a pretty beefy GPU that comes in handy, but when I compared the specs there really isn’t that much more that’s pushing my desktop ahead. So my first test was to see if I could actually work on the road with solidworks on my surface pro3.

To give a brief here are the specs of my desktop compared to SP3

Specs for desktop:
Cpu: Intel core i5 750@ 2.67ghz
Ram: 12 GB
GPU: Nvidia GeForece GTX 650 Ti
Disk: Samsung 840 Evo SSD

Specs for Surface Pro 3
Cpu: Intel core i5 4300@ 2.5ghz
Ram: 8GB
GPU: Intel HD 4400
Disk: unknown 256 SSD

When I run solidworks benchmarks;

Solidworks benchmark on SP3

Solidworks benchmark on SP3

Solidworks benchmark on Desktop

Solidworks benchmark on Desktop

So it looks like my surface pro isn’t as fast as my age old desktop PC yet, but the thought of Solidworks getting a touch makeover and the ability that it enables with portability is well worth the performance difference. The biggest caveat is obviously having the discrete graphics processor on my desktop where the differences is the most obvious but not terrible at all. For the novice Solidworks user this is well worth the difference as most designs I work with are quite basic. Currently solidworks supports certain touch features that are really cool like zooming, panning and rotating with touch. The pen also provides a precise means on clicking on toolsets. So far I’m quite pleased!



5 thoughts on “Solidworks and Surface Pro 3

  1. I too have the SP3 and using Solidworks. But I find it strange that the icons are very small compared to some text elements. I have scaled my windows to 150%. The Solidworks interface is not very consistent for high resolution displays. Do you have any tricks that could help with this issue.

    • Unfortunately no suggestions here. I think Solidworks will have to pick this up as adobe did with Photoshop. Making the icons and texts touch and hi res friendly.

  2. I’ve been considering to use a Surface Pro 3 as my primary SolidWorks device. I’m currently dealing with selling my MacBook and I’ve been asking around for suggestions on the matter. What would you recommend?

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