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SolidWorks should stop requiring Quadros and FireGL cards

Question asked by Marc Gibeault on May 20, 2008
Latest reply on Aug 12, 2008 by Simon Oldfield
SolidWorks is asking its customer to get one of the selected few video cards it approves in order to get "enhanced" performance and technical support.
I now believe its just BS so they have a little less work and they can get some cross-marketing with the two vendors involved (nVidia/PNY and ATI).
Some facts:
-Even with a recommended card and tested drivers, SolidWorks can be very fragile. I have a pair of computers with the same card, the same drivers and the same SolidWorks SP and one has some display problems, the other does not.
-A Quadro FX1700 is about $450 while a PNY VCG86512GXPB-OC GeForce 8600GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 is around $120. Both are built by PNY and the GeForce has better specs across the board.
-We don't get more features with the "pro" cards; the "RealView" graphics eye candy is all available in other software (try Rhino) on standard cards. These are just disabled in SolidWorks when no "pro" card is detected.
-SolidWorks can afford the extra testing; one guy (Jeff LaSor) is doing the development of the Rhino graphic engine and the testing on his card collection (quite a few). If a user encounters a problem, Jeff sends him a small utility he wrote that does some OpenGL testing and logging and the results helps him create a setting that works with this particular configuration.

Imagine the performance we could have if we were not tied to Quadro Cards. A pair of PNY VCG88512GXPB should offer quite smooth navigation...

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