I'd like to run Solidworks on a laptop. Some say the have video cards like radeon 4250 or 5600. will solidworks run on these?
Solidworks will install and run on every machine I've ever tried it on. Including some ancient laptops.
However the performance may not be suitable for your task. Having the wrong graphics card and using software opengl causes a big performance loss.
SolidWorks will run very well on a laptop if it has a certified video card. The processor and memory are important but a certified video card is key. If you are buying a laptop for this purpose SolidWorks has good information at http://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/videocardtesting.html . When you are shopping go to the manufacturers small business sites and look for mobile workstations. If you want to save some money check out both Dell and HP refurbs.
yes, SW will run on a laptop and you don't need a certified graphics card
I have a Toshiba L505D-S5983 that cost $450 last Nov., AMD M300 CPU w/ ATI® Radeon 4100 & 3Gb RAM
you'd be hard pressed to find a less impressive machine to run SW, but it runs fine as my backup/on the go
it all depends what you are trying to do with it
IMO, the biggest fraud/myth perpetuated on this forum is the need for a certified graphics card
You're absolutely right, Mark. The only reason someone "needs" a certified graphics card and driver is if they want SolidWorks to run as quickly and robustly as possible. If they are willing to put up with slow performance and crashes they can use any card they like. Of course, a non-certified card may work very well for a particular user and his type of work and even the "best" card is no guarantee that SolidWorks will actually work.
Yes, for SolidWorks 2008, I'm running a Dell M4400 with the minimum certified graphics card, an NVIDIA Quadro FX 770M, and it works great!
I haven't found crashing to be a problem with non-certified cards. I have found crashing to be present, even prevalent on a full certified system. With no noticable difference in stability on machines that were never intended for CAD use.
The main things I notice without a certified graphics card are the loss of realview and a heavier CPU load when rotating parts.
If it's been certified, then you know it should work. Lack of certification means it hasn't been considered or tested by solidworks. That is all it means.
You'd be rather silly to think a certified system will be issue free and crash proof.
I think the important point that wasn't mentioned here is that non-certified cards will not provide any hardware acceleration at all. Thus, there is no reason to spend money on a fancier video card for your laptop, hoping for better performance in SolidWorks. As far as SolidWorks is concerned, get the cheapest video card you can, if it is not certified. It won't be doing anything, anyway.
Wow, I cannot believe it, an accurate post on this forum about graphics cards
you are absolutely correct Dougal, my ATI HD Radeon 2400 is not certified to run 2010, yet it does just fine running dual monitors
crashes? don't the rest of you tell my card it is supposed to crash and run slow, it might believe you
I used to have a system with a Matrox 400 & another with a 450G, neither where certified, yet both ran dual monitors very nicely
again: The need to run cetified graphics cards are the biggest fraud perpetuated by this forum
I will add however, if you buy a card that isn't certified, particularly a top end gaming card you are very likely wasting your money, you are better off not investing a nickel and using the onboard motherboard graphics
Surely you mean "may not provide any graphics acceleration"?
Because a card doesn't have to be certified to be opengl and work with solidworks. Certified just means it's been tested and approved.
Theoretically you are correct, but after a recent review on SolidWork's certified video card list, I believe that there aren't any cards that will work that they haven't certified.
It looks like you are getting a lot of opinions. My experience with cards that were not certified and certified cards with the incorrect driver is that they work ok (not great) for simple surfaces and shapes. For what we do they are not usable. We design consumer products with complex surfaces (kayaks). The issues we saw were surfaces which were not visible, and the screen locking up. The software was not technically crashing you just could not interact with it. I did try running in software openGL as part of the trouble shooting process. Everything worked fine in that mode with the exception of display quality and speed.
The machine you use to run SolidWorks is a tool. Buy a good one and you will save yourself a lot of time and frustration in the long run. Buy a cheap tool and pay for it everyday.
a good tool is one that gets the job done, period. The cost of the tool has nothing to do with it, the forum is full of users that have spent lots of money on their computer that have impressive spec sheets and they have problems and/or poor performance, there are many people who have inexpensive computers that some would consider obsolete and their's run great
being engineers, a great deal of emphasis here is placed on data sheets & specs, the only thing that matters is how it functions in real use.
I run a Dell M6400 with ATI Firepro in it, it has 1gig ram ... system has 4 gig running windows 7.
I've only managed to crash Solidworks a few times so far, and it was usually during an assembly rebuild where constraints failed...not surfaces.
Granted, I don't do any complex or free-form surfacing. No autobody panels or anything like that here.
I'm a previous inventor guy, and somewhat IT guy as well.
I think you're seeing a lot of opinions from people trying to justify spending 4000 or so on a computer system that we can do with a dell refurb for 1000 or less.
I personally, have not had problems with OpenGL cards. Generally, I've noticed "gaming" cards do outperform the standard cards and built in ones.
As for the Quadro CAD cards - I honestly have not seen an improvement over the lesser expensive gaming style cards. Again, I don't get into complex faces.
To be objective as possible here, I have to say it really comes down to how you use your system. In Inventor they have moved away from openGL and with microsoft compliancy have moved toward Direc3D. They have a software switch in options to select opengl or direc3d depending on your card and what works best for you.
If you are doing moderate assemblies over 100 pcs, with basic shapes and structure, an average "gaming" style card similar to mine mentioned above should work well for you. AS with any video card - and system for that matter - the more memory the better. Think of RAM as paper size to your drawing, do you want to do everything on 8-1/2 x 11 or be able to spread out to an E-size. RAm is how much "workspace" or "desk space" you have to work with. more ram = bigger desk.
Hard drive equates to filing cabinet - how much storage you have.
Video - is a little more complex but openGL and Direct3D have to do with how many polygons it can produce to create an image in a given processor cycle. the more complex the geometry the more polygonal objects are required to produce that geometry - having a weak card with small ram in it, requires enormous processing load which affects performance.
Bottom line: If you're in manufacturing, ddoing non-complex parts. (i.e. square edges, few curves, basic solids - no surface lofts, etc.) you should be fine with virtually anything. I don't recommend onboard video - they tend to be of the minimal spec. and rely on your system processor as opposed to it's own graphics processor for the workload.
For what it's worth ... and sorry I rambled a bit.
I've recently tried SW2010 on a MacBook Pro with the standard NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M graphics card. It was certainly hardware accelerated and in fact the graphics performs nearly as well as the couple Dell workstations I use with Quadro cards. In fact, benchmarks show the overall system to be about 10-15% faster. The biggest drawback is the lack of RealView.
To be very clear. I am not saying spend a lot of money. I am saying spend a little more and get a system that is certified. Buying a tool designed for the purpose it is being used for will make the odds of having a tool that will get the job done a lot better.
Yes, and if it is not "Certified" big deal you loose "realview" (not needed IMHO).
My lap top is a "home build".
AMD TL-68 CPU
MSI mother board (came with laptop case / kit)
17" screen (runs dual monitors with ease)
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2600
8 GB ram
1 TBWD Scorpio Blue harddrive (storage drive)
OCZ 120GB SSD (OCZSSD2-1VTXEX120G) (Windows 7 and programs drive)
Sure its a "Gamer Build", runs circles around most work stations that are "fully certified" (certifiable???)
Let's be clear here. I am not justifying a $4,000 computer. In fact, outstanding SolidWorks computers can be built for $1,100 to $1,400. If you would like to see proof, check out Anna Wood's benchmark table: http://www.solidmuse.com/solidworks-benchmark-punch-holder.html , http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pz7wTpIkC7LA28ybEyxyTPw (note that the top few are really expensive, but there are cheap ones just below those!)
I also think that the new ATI FirePro V3800, which costs $123, is probably good enough for most basic users: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814195095. The only reason I say "most" and "probably" is because I have not heard from anyone who has actually purchased and used this card yet.
$123 is a pretty good deal. Yes, you can get a "gamer card" for $50, $100, but at $123, if you use SolidWorks daily, I think justifying this card is a moot point.
But more importantly, I would like to address, again, the "gamer card" fallacy. You cannot use a gamer card's hardware acceleration with SolidWorks. Troy, your statement is false. At home, I have an ATI Radeon 4850 gamer's card. I also use SolidWorks at home (occasionally). I purchased this Core i5 system last fall (for $800), and I really like it, even for SolidWorks. Here is the important part: The video card does nothing. To use this card, I have to run in software OpenGL mode. Thus, the CPU of the computer is doing all of the video rendering. The ATI card's GPU is doing nothing.
So, to tie back into the original poster's question, and a summary of the issues:
Yes, you can use just about any computer's video card to run SolidWorks.No, if it is an NVS, GeForce, GTX, or Radeon, the graphics card will not be doing any 3D rendering. None. If that is acceptable for you, then that is ok. This is often the case for laptops that aren't used for SolidWorks all the time.
My suggestion for anyone building a system designed for SolidWorks: just get the professional card!My suggestion for anyone building a system for not-SolidWorks, but occasional SolidWorks use: just use the onboard video card! Do not buy a "gamer card" specifically for SolidWorks! That is a complete waste of money.
How to check if your video card is doing anything:
1. You should be able to turn on/off realview. If you can turn on realview, then your video card is doing 3D hardware acceleration.
2. Load SolidWorks without any parts open. Go to Tools>Options>System Options>Performance. There is a checkbox for "enable software OpenGL". If that box is checked and greyed out, that means that your video card is not doing any 3D hardware acceleration.
Not to be argumentative, but the system I noted above using a Geforce card was most definitely using hardware acceleration. In fact I turned it off, in Options as you describe, to test it. The only thing quite obviously different was the lack of RealView. And there are actually hacks circumvent that due to the chipset similarities with the Quadro.
I'm not arguing that there aren't performance advantages to a certified, good quality card. But those differences aren't necissarily night and day.
ah! we are getting closer to the truth now. I don't disagree with anything you say in the above post, but let's remember one thing, SolidWorks says:
For optimum performance of RealView graphics in SolidWorks® 2010 software, see Video Card Testing
some of you are reading way too much into that, it doesn't say you will not have RealView if you do not have a certified card, nor does it say you will not expierince problems if you do have a certified card, it says for optimum performance, a pretty nebulous statement.
I have a non-certified card, and on top of that I am running a non-real 64 bit OS, XPx64, yet I do have realview/3D hardware acceleration
I don't disagree with your suggestion, just amend it to say if you don't have a certified card, don't run out and replace it for the sake of a certified card, test how your setup functions, if it isn't causing you problems, you are good to go, IOW, if it aint broke, don't try fix it.
this would also apply to the "should I upgrade to Windows 7" question that pops up around here on a regular basis.
Please define 3D hardware acceleration...
Is it the Real View Graphics (Fancy texture rendering, reflections, etc.)
or is it both, including the regular view graphics?
The reason why I'm asking is because, all the places that I worked at using SolidWorks,
the boss, or the guy signing my paycheck didn't give a Flying Pickel's fart about high quality graphics. All he
cared about was the paper drawings must be on the floor for the machinist & cnc programer, customer picking up product in xx days.
I work with a quadro FX 4600 now, and at home I have a Gaming Radeon HD 5770. And the 5770 seems to work much faster with regular graphics (no Rendering)
Sketching seems to be much smoother and faster (Higher FPS).
Beside a new wooden deck doesn't need Fancy Rendering.
Please suggest a few current production laptops that will run solidworks 2010 well with snappy interaction. I think that there are only two or three.
It is diffcult to flip between laptop vendor data, and the certified cards, and some cards do not have SW2010 compatible drvers.
I was horrified to see SW2010 running on a high performance tower with a fancy 4500 graphics card. It ran slower and worse than SW2007 on my 5 year old Dell M70 laptop.
I think you have always been reading too much into my suggestions. I never suggest high-dollar cards. I also never suggest upgrading to Windows 7 (unless they have run out of RAM at 4GB and need to get into 64bit). I also don't suggest buying a new video card for an old system. Just when you do get a new system, buy Win7, don't buy WinXP. But if someone asks I want to build a good system, what do I need? Well, a pro card and Win7 will definitely provide good results. And yes, I would never spec a "work computer" without a pro card.
Previously, I have always said that 80% of cad users will be happy with an nVidia Quadro FX 580, because that was the cheapest card where they would always get good results. Most people don't work with enough polygons to require the Quadro FX 5800, mainly because those cards are designed for people designing "emmersive environments". Noone is using SolidWorks to make movies like Toy Story 3. Now with ATI undercutting them on price, both the ATI V3800 and the V4800 are cheaper than the FX 580.
I am surprised you are able to use hardware OpenGL. I have not seen anyone able to do this since SW2007. I used a Geforce 3 w/SW2006 at work, that I brought in from home, because we were using really old ones at work. Since the switch to the new rendering for SW2008, my understanding was that the software locked out all acceleration by the gamer cards.
Please provide your hardware (GPU and CPU) and software used to accomplish this.
Any laptop with a professional card will cost more. The manufacturers seem to know "you mean business" and hike their costs. Here's the best deals Chris could find, I think they seem appropriate. And yup, they are expensive:
That was a few months ago, maybe there are some faster/cheaper solutions out there now.
I'm running it on a Dell Inspiron 1525 upgraded to run Win 7 with 4 gigs of memory and it works just as good as my desktop. I don't get the fancy graphics as my certified desktop video card gets, but it runs very well on this 2 1/2 yr old $500 laptop. If you have one running Vista I highly recommend upgrading to Win 7 it runs alot cooler.
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