SOLIDWORKS has very specific requirements for use related to the video card you select and having certified drivers.
- [Instructor] As mentioned previously, video card selection can be very important for your workstation. This gives your system its display and graphics processing power. Video card selection is also interesting, because SOLIDWORKS certifies only certain cards to be used with their software. Their main certifying partner being NVIDIA. Having a certified SOLIDWORKS video card paired with the correct driver ensures that SOLIDWORKS will perform optimally and also have the ability to use the RealView Graphics feature, which is not available with a non-certified graphics card.
Now depending on your work you may want a very powerful card to give you the added support when creating renderings or animations, but if your budget is a factor you may want to go with a card that's less powerful, because you know it isn't going to have to do as much work for you. Let's start here by checking the graphics card that's in my machine right now. To do so I'm going to go down to the Start button, right-click, and then go up to the Device Manager. When looking for your video card it won't say video card here in the list, but it'll say Display adapter.
So by going to Display adapter we see that I have an NVIDIA Quadro M4000. Now I mentioned before that NVIDIA is one of the main certifying partners for video cards for SOLIDWORKS. But let's look online and make sure that we have a certified card in this machine. So going to solidworks.com, I go to Support, I then go to Hardware & System Requirements, and here I'm going to click on Graphics Card Driver.
Now you'll see here that they give you a bunch of drop-down menus where you're going to select exactly what you have. So the first selection isn't really important, unless you've got a prepackaged machine, I know a lot of people build their own workstations now, I do personally, but if you do have a purchased machine from one of these certified members you can select that here. I don't, so I'm going to select Any System Vendor. I'm looking for a Driver Status that is Certified.
You can also check to see if it's been tested. There are some drivers and video cards that have been tested, but not certified. So I'm going to go to my Graphics Card Vendor, I know that I have a NVIDIA. I have a Model Quadro M4000. I'm using the 2018 SOLIDWORKS version and I'm doing that on a Windows 10 64 bit machine. Let's see the results. Clicking on the results below we see that the Certified that's Recommended Driver is listed below.
So now this lists 37.11. You can see listed below that it passes all of the extra features, except for the RealView with limitations. I'm going to click on this link right here and if I do so it'll let me download the driver if I don't have it available. Now right now we're going to want to check and see which driver we have available. We know that our graphics card is good and we know that it has a driver that's certified. So going back to the Device Manager I'm going to right-click on this Quadro M4000 and go to Properties, and then Driver.
Here you see that my Driver Version is 188.8.131.5248. This is an older driver. Because right now I'm doing work and I don't want to mess with anything I'm going to leave this alone. This driver works good for me. But if I wanted to all I would have to do is click on this extension below and install the driver. It has an automated process inside of it that handles everything.
Now one of the things I mentioned with this driver is that it has the RealView graphics available. So let's open up SOLIDWORKS parts and see how we use this. So here you can see I've got a valve that's modeled up, it's a downloaded product I got offline, off mcmaster.com, they have a lot of nice models. Up here on the right under the View Settings I have RealView Graphics selected and on. So you can see what it looks like on. When I turn it off you can see that the graphics step down substantially and it does not look even close to as nice.
Now one thing to note, if you want to increase your performance you'll want to turn all of these options off. These are only for when you want increased graphics, not increased performance. So there's a balancing game here where you want to have the best performance or the best graphics and you have to decide what works best for you.
- How your workstation's hardware functions
- Adjusting System Options settings
- Modeling best practices
- Creating custom configurations
- Fixing your assemblies
- Using SpeedPak
- Increasing modeling performance with Instant2D and Instant3D