GoEngineer’s Technical Support FAQ Series: Computer Crash, Support Hardware and Graphics Cards

by Benjamin Modic

Why does my machine crash so often?

Crashes may happen for a multitude of reasons. The main reasons we find are due to unsupported hardware or drivers. Check SOLIDWORKS Rx (Start -> All Programs -> SOLIDWORKS -> SOLIDWORKS Tools) Diagnostics to ensure your system checks out. Here are some things to look for:

  1. Diagnostic Results: You can find this listed below your current graphics card driver (listed in red in the image above). It is essential that you run a supported card and driver. If you are running a certified computer system, check out what driver you should be running at the link here.
  2. Operating System: Ensure you are on the appropriate operating system for the year of the version of SOLIDWORKS you are running.
  3. Reboot time:  This is helpful in determining the last time you restarted your machine. Better to start fresh so your machine is not bogged down!
  4. Total system memory: This will be a factor in system performance and how many parts or features you can run in a single assembly or part file.

Why doesn’t SOLIDWORKS support Apple/ASUS/Alienware/MS Surface hardware?

SOLIDWORKS is only supported on machines running Windows operating systems and certified hardware/drivers. This means SOLIDWORKS’s developers have only spent time testing on Windows OS and this hardware.

Apple products running in combination with Windows OS, or machines with inappropriate hardware cannot be guaranteed to run with the same performance as those machines with the appropriate hardware.

The use of uncertified hardware may result in a lack of performance and is not recommended to any user. And, SOLIDWORKS and GoEngineer technical support may be limited if a user is running uncertified hardware.

Please check out these links for more information regarding system requirements and certified systems.

My NVidia GeForce 1080 graphics card cost me $1000; why does it run SOLIDWORKS so poorly?

This card has not been tested and therefore is not a certified card. We do recommend that customers use certified Workstation class cards.

The GeForce cards have a fundamental limitation in terms of performance when the threshold of the number of graphics (OpenGL) windows open in SOLIDWORKS is reached.  Once the threshold of windows has been reached display performance will degrade significantly in any subsequently opened windows.

The number of windows that can be opened before running into this problem depends largely on the combination of these two things:

  • Screen resolution/number of colors
  • Video card memory

Reduce the number of colors to 16-bit (high color) instead of true color and you should be able to open twice as many windows before seeing the problem.  You can also tile the currently open windows or minimize some of them and the performance should improve.

Please note that the GeForce family of cards are NVIDIA’s “consumer grade” cards.  They are primarily intended for games, multi-media, etc. applications, and are not ideally suited to the demands of professional 3D applications such as CAD. For users regularly opening multiple windows, and who want to run in true color, NVIDIA recommends their Quadro-based family of cards.  These are workstation grade cards that are developed for the demands of 3D design.

Click here for a list of certified systems and video drivers.

We hope you enjoyed this installation of the GoEngineer Technical Support FAQ and that you learned something new.

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