Solidworks Performance -Pro Tip

So I have been using Solidworks pretty well on an older i5 laptop, that was never anything special. I have also been using it on a much beefier i5 Desktop, and have had super crappy performance. It is so bad I haven’t wanted to spend too much time designing parts. I swear it used to work so much better on windows 8.1…and then I found this.

I spent the last 2 days piecing together a new build with a workstation card instead of the “gaming” card I currently have. I have been through all the specs and nothing is all that much better than what I have other than the workstation cards…and solidworks. I decided not to spend the $1800 on a tiny upgrade to what I currently have.

I remember some old driver hack for solidworks to get realview to work on non-quadro cards but I don’t really care to have realview so I kept poking around. Turns out if you just add the solidworks exe file to the gaming list in catalyst control center for the video card and change nothing else, BAM!!! This this is super fast and fluid now, I’m starting to get all conspiracy theory on this stuff now.

If you look at the build guides and FAQ’s at,, the only time they really recommend the Quadro $$$$$$ cards is for solidworks, lame use of money. I rarely render but would rather have the horsepower of a “gaming” card for that than using solidworks realview.

Maybe it’s time for me to switch to onshape or fusion 360. What an ordeal. If that “gaming” fix didn’t do the trick I was going to buy a quadro…

Those gpus are serious bucks, overpriced on purpose for “professionals”. Hardware wise they’re very similar to Geforce but come with double precision computing for science, whatever that is. Better support too.

That is an odd fix though, makes me think was it computing with integrated intel hd graphics the whole time?

And then there’s me, i3 6100 desktop, no graphics card. Somehow manage to even launch the program

The worst part is they claim higher suitability and they will only support those cards. I have not had solidworks crash on my home system either before or after that little fix.

The custom build at my last job that was brand new, sporting a quadro crashed all the dam time costing me tons of time and the clients tons of money. Calling the support desk did nothing to fix it. We had a separate rendering stack and I never used realview, so that computer was babied. I think I need to spend some time with fusion now that it is getting most of the features it was missing…sheet metal…good for lots of things other than sheet metal. Onshape though might be the better choice, it functions 100% identical to solidworks as far as I can tell, we’ll see.

F360 has yet to crash on me. The fact I can sketch, design, simulate, cam, and render all in one is so nice. Still an Inventor user by heart though, the 8th grade memories of modeling a swing-set with no consideration of tolerance, material, etc. Good times :slight_smile:

I just don’t have the fusion workflow yet. I am really fast with solidworks, switching is going to be hard and I can’t store all my files in the cloud and I am not ready to pay for it yet. I’ll wait for my solidworks to be obsolete, I do all the same things other than CAM and I still prefer estlcam to fusion cam.

Wow, when I was in the 8th grade all my school had were two IBM ps/2’s, and a few commodore 64’s!

I had a PS/2!!! I begged my grandma for a computer forever, she took me to the navy base and got it, I remember loading like 3 AOL diskettes into it, and then not knowing what to do after that. Netscape navigator…bbs’s, I had a typing class in high school and we traded bbs phone numbers for …um… quality pictures that took all night to download. Dam that computer started it all for me.

A PS what now?? Is that like an app? Meanwhile every toddler has their hands on an iPad.

Kids these days will never know the wonder of progressive jpegs!



Oddly enough a couple of my friends on twitter were talking about digital archaeology and I posted up this pic. I may be a hoarder, but a semi-organized one at least…

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I still have one of these in my garage,

Progressive was amazing…saved me so much time downloading, um…poor subject matter.

What kind of subject matter???

Heck I didn’t have access to a computer until I was a senor in high school, and that was a teletype connected through some sort of a dedicated phone line to the actual computer at the science and engineering museum downtown. I wrote a bowling score calculator and got an A in the class. About the only one I got in those years… :wink:

I have 105 Boxx workstations for our engineers and CAD guys at work… they all have Quadro cards except for a couple. Those couple have GTX cards we got as a test… The GTX cards have proven to be more reliable than the Quadros… The Quadro cards we have to get because dealing with Autodesk support if you have any issues with their products and don’t use their officially supported graphics card (most GTX are not) they blame that and won’t help you…

Another weird thing is that we have to disable graphics acceleration on a lot of files we work with as it goes slower with it enabled…

We used to use Solidworks but then switched to Autocad, Navisworks, and Revit but we are a mechanical company, not full on mechanical engineering… although we do own a mechanical engineering company as well and they use both Autocad and Solidworks, using the same Boxx workstations.

I have the guys give me parts for 3D printing and cutting on the CNC straight out of Autocad and they work perfect. The STLs are great. For the CNC I have them give me DXFs to run through Estlcam.

That is crazy, seems like solidworks is shooting itself in the foot being so “closed” about the realview thing, and only recommending what seems to not be that great of a card or at least be really great for a very specific purpose. They don’t need to support it but it obviously works on most cards now, I think they should only push quadro on Catia users. With all the new CAD programs working really well on “low end” hardware it seems like solidworks needs to play catch up on hardware support.