For our testing BOXX also provided four graphics cards. All of the cards were professional graphics cards ranging from an entry-level card to a high-end model. Adrian and I tested each of the different graphics cards expecting to see a performance gain between each of the models.
When we did not see the outcome we expected; we spent hours and days going over our results and retesting each of the different video cards trying to find a reason for our results. After much research we found that graphic processing performance is tied to programs written to take advantage of those capabilities. With our test data set SOLIDWORKS did not take advantage of these advanced capabilities. The result was little performance difference between an entry-level and high-end graphics adapter.
What CATI recommends is choosing a professional graphics card that has been tested with, and certified by, the application(s) you plan to use. When choosing a more advanced graphics card, make sure the software that you plan to use will leverage the advanced features of midrange and high-end graphics adapters.
Adrian and I plan to dig more deeply into the effects of high-end graphics cards on SOLIDWORKS tasks in our future testing. However, our testing to date has shown that a standard professional graphics card will suffice for use with SolidWorks.
Please check back to the CATI blog as we will continue posting our series of articles that goes further into the details of each of our tests. All of these articles will be stored in the category of Maximizing SOLIDWORKS Performance and links to each with their release date are listed below:
- Maximize SOLIDWORKS Performance White Paper (7/2/12)
- MSWP-12-#1 Introduction (7/9/12)
- MSWP-12-#2 Windows Visual and User Settings (7/12/12)
- MSWP-12-#3 SOLIDWORKS Options Set to Optimal (7/17/12)
- MSWP-12-#4 Graphics Cards (7/19/12)
- MSWP-12-#5 Turn Off SOLIDWORKS Add-Ins (7/24/12)
- MSWP-12-#6 Processor Clock Speed (7/26/12)
- MSWP-12-#7 Reducing SOLIDWORKS Mates and Rigid Subassemblies (7/31/12)
- MSWP-12-#8 Number of Processor Cores (8/2/12)
- MSWP-12-#9 SOLIDWORKS Graphic Settings (8/7/12)
- MSWP-12-#10 Network Storage and Anti-Virus (8/9/12)
- MSWP-12-#11 Level of Detail (8/14/12)
- MSWP-12-#12 RAM and SWAP File (8/16/12)
- MSWP-12-#13 Hard Drives (8/21/12)
- MSWP-12-#14 Lightweight and Large Assembly Mode (8/23/12)
- MSWP-12-#15 Optimal Configuration and Conclusion (8/28/12)
Josh Altergott, CATI Support Manager
Adrian Fanjoy, CATI Technical Services Director