6 Replies Latest reply on Apr 26, 2017 9:43 AM by Brian Hillner

    What is a good affordable graphics card to use for Interior rendering ?

    Ethan Harwood



      I am currently running an AMD FirePro 4100 graphics card. Im just trying to find an affordable upgrade to compensate for faster and better rendering for interior rendering.


      Any input would be appreciated

        • Re: What is a good affordable graphics card to use for Interior rendering ?
          Brian Hillner

          Hi Ethan,


          The best answer is as much money as your budget will allow


          Visualize uses only NVIDIA graphics cards to drastically improve your render performance. Since you are asking specifically about rendering interior scenes, those take the longest to render and those scenes need the most horsepower to improve render speeds. I would suggest a multi-GPU chassis for your render beast machine, which will give you the best bang-for-your-buck. At least NVIDIA Quadro P4000 or M4000 will give you a noticeable boost. Using multiple P4000s or even single P6000 will give you a considerable render boost. Please refer to the data found in the article link below.


          Check out the link below to a previous Visualize blog post comparing various NVIDIA graphics cards using the same Visualize test scene. You can see how they compare to each other to help you find the sweet spot of performance and price. Of course there's always the argument of NVIDIA Quadro vs NVIDIA GeForce, which is explained in this video here.


          We are always making improvements to Visualize to render faster on the same hardware, so stay tuned for more announcements this October.


          SOLIDWORKS Visualize - Graphics performance NVIDIA Quadro


          Brian HILLNER

          Product Manager | SOLIDWORKS Visualize

          • Re: What is a good affordable graphics card to use for Interior rendering ?
            Anna Wood

            Define affordable....  What is your budget?

            • Re: What is a good affordable graphics card to use for Interior rendering ?
              Taloot Abdullah

              hello ethan,

              i did search on that, and i found the best setup is to have the rendering done on another machine not in your workstation, as it will remain useless until the render is complete, also using xeon's as workstation isnt the ideal computer for such job becouse solidworks relay on single thread on most task,, also CPU vs GPU for render about 40x faster whats i have done now is having 7700k as workstation and having x99 mobo + e5v3xeon+ 2x 1060 3g and 1 gtx 1070

              gtx1060 3g is the most cost effective of power computing for your render you can have many of them

              • Re: What is a good affordable graphics card to use for Interior rendering ?
                Helge Feddersen

                Hi Ethan,

                having spent a lot of time trying to find the answer to exact that question i can pretty much confirm what taloot has written.

                then bringing Anna`s question into play: what is your budget? Also adding my own question: how much Visualize do you need?


                my workstation is a dual Xeon CPU (40 threads) that initially had a nvidia k4200. This PC is 3 years old. The Build was configuered for a lot of PV animation rendering. I used to set the CPU affinity during rendering to leave 2 cores for productive work. the other threads and cores were at 100% load chiming away at the animations.

                Getting more and more into Visualize the limitations of the K4200 beacme apparent. I then got the P4000. In a apple to apple render comparison the k4200 took 10:32 and the P4000 took 3:27


                my short term (4 - 5 renders and 30sec Animation per week):

                trying to get the most out of my setup i have learned to use the Queue in Visualize. sofar this has been very reliable und kept me productive during working hours. pushing a lot of rendering into the night and over the weekend. for now this setup seems powerful enough und sufficient for my user case.


                My mid term (once night shifts and weekends are not enough anymore;-) ):

                my 3 year old "current" workstation will probably be getting 4x GTX1070s (very comparable to the p4000) on a step by step basis. This will be a dedicated render machine. The P4000 will be put into a new PC on a up to date i7 platform with the highest GHZ in one core. to get the most out of SolidWorks.


                hope this helps

                  • Re: What is a good affordable graphics card to use for Interior rendering ?
                    Brian Hillner

                    Thanks Taloot & Ethan for providing very helpful information on this thread.

                    Most our new Visualize customers are new to GPU rendering, so all this is super helpful to understand the many benefits and how to spec your Visualize rendering system(s).


                    These are good questions to ask yourself when spec'ing out new Visualize render machine(s):

                    • How many people are using Visualize at your company?
                      • The more people, the more it makes sense to put all the budget into building a GPU render farm (using Visualize Boost) for multiple users to send all their render jobs. Usually a single user doesn't need a render farm to stay productive (unless your boss who holds the keys to the budget can build you a render farm!). But 3+ users would see immediate benefits from implementing a GPU render farm.
                    • How often are your rendering?
                      • If you are only using Visualize once a week, then a mid-range GPU like new P4000 would be OK. If you are using Visualize often, then it makes sense to invest in multi-GPU machine. The more GPUs you throw at Visualize, the faster it will render...which means you can create much more content in the same amount of time!
                    • What type of content are your typically creating from Visualize?
                      • Similar to above, if you only create images from Visualize every so often, then you single P4000 would give good performance. But if you are rendering animations, VRs, interior panoramas, etc...then a multi-GPU set up is definitely preferred. We have some amazing new render outputs coming in the near future, and you will definitely be happy if you invest in multi-GPU machines right now