Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Performance: Graphic card testing (part 1)

Sales    : Yes, anything that I can help you?
User    : I’m looking for a graphic card, any recommended?
Sales    : What type of graphic card you are looking for?
User    : For SolidWorks CAD software application.
Sales    : We do have the model from NVIDIA, ATI, GIGABYTE, ASUS, SAPPHIRE, MSI……
User    : I think I choose NVIDIA.
Sales    : Which model you prefer? Quadro FX1700, Quadro FX1800, GeForce, GeForce GTS, GeForce GTX…?
User    : @.@

Having difficulty to choose a graphic card? Maybe I can help to solve your problem. Found that your newly installed graphic card is not up to your satisfaction? Pay for a huge amount of money but the graphic seem to be not functioning well in SolidWorks? Not sure what is the root cause for this phenomenon? Don’t worry, try the following step.

Go to Tools > Options > System Option > Performance. Select Use software OpenGL.

Why doing this? When you select the option Use software OpenGL, SolidWorks will operate in OpenGL mode, which mean that SolidWorks will not using the graphic card accelerator to process the image, but display it through the OpenGL feature.

Through this method, if your SolidWorks works fine in OpenGL mode, it means that the cause of the poor image display is from the graphic card hardware itself. With that you will need to check is your graphic card installed properly or it might due to the driver of the graphic card. The most important thing will be is your graphic card certified by SolidWorks?

Stay tuned for my next article part 2 : Is your graphic card certified?

More about OpenGL can refer from here.

Chan ( is the Application Engineer (AE), specialist in SolidWorks and SolidWorks simulation for IME group of companies. His analytical skill solve a lot of customers' stress and fatigue.