@stephenbell Sorry you are still experiencing issues with your printer.
You do not need the Pro version of MC in order to use your printer. Pro version is for special add-ons and ad removal.
I find that the actual slicing on MC is faster than my Cura and Simplfy. That being said, when you press the slice button; MC does not just slice the object, it optimizes and also writes to your drive and then reloads it. MC is based on Cura slice engine. CPU/drive speed is the factor here. I have a 1012 layer print that takes a maximum of 30 seconds to do. Actual slicing part of this process is done in under 1 second. The difference may be your hardware. Graphics are unmatched in Mattercontrol, you can see great detail and the texture shading is awesome, but here hardware is required. I have nVidia and Radeon video cards which work equally well. If you are using cpu graphics, here could be one of your issues. I assume you have a high end video card since you are working in Solidworks?
You can use another slicer, but you still have to load the item back into MC to place the leveling code into your gcode.
I would like to know more about the hardware you are using, maybe a system info printout would help us. You may also have a bad install of the program? If you reinstall MC, uninstall it, remove folders created and any registry entries you may have. Reboot before reinstalling again with the most up to date software.