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Graphics Adapters and Drivers

How to identify your graphics adapters, and suggestions for solving video display or performance issues.

Task Details
Identify your graphics adapter.

If you have video display issues, first identify your graphics adapter to determine if the problem is with adapters or drivers.

If you know that your graphics adapter and driver are not the cause, see display issues.

To identify your video card:

  1. On your Windows desktop, right-click and select Properties.
  2. In the Display Properties dialog box, on the Settings tab, click Advanced.
  3. On the Adapter tab, click Properties.
    • On the General tab, your video card is listed.
    • On the Driver tab, the driver version is listed.
  4. Click OK until the Display Properties dialog box closes.
You may need to adapt the instructions based on your operating system.

The quality and performance of SolidWorks can depend on your choice of graphics adapter and driver. SolidWorks has tested several commonly-used graphics adapters and drivers.

To view graphics adapter test results:


Some graphics adapters support RealView. If your graphics adapter supports this display function, RealView Graphics displays on your View toolbar when you have a model open.
Decrease hardware acceleration.

If you suspect video problems are causing performance or display issues in the software, decrease hardware acceleration. This is one way of determining if the problem is with your graphics adapter or video driver.

To decrease hardware acceleration:

  1. On your Windows desktop, right-click and select Properties.
  2. On the Settings tab, click Advanced.
  3. On the Troubleshoot tab, move the slider left to decrease Hardware acceleration.
  4. Click OK until the Display Properties dialog box closes.

For more information:

  1. Go to http://support.microsoft.com/.
  2. Search using the following keywords: graphics adapters, hardware acceleration.
Open SolidWorks using Software OpenGL.

If you suspect problems with the graphics adapter, you can start SolidWorks using Software OpenGL. This disables the graphics adapter hardware accelerator, and enables graphics rendering using only software. ables graphics rendering using only software.

To enable Software OpenGL:

  1. Start SolidWorks normally.
  2. Before you open a document:
    1. Click Options (Standard toolbar) or Tools > Options.
    2. Select Performance.
    3. Select Use Software OpenGL.
  3. Click OK.
  4. Open a document and examine the display.
    • If the display improves, your graphics adapter is potentially the cause.
    • If there is no improvement, your graphics adapter is likely not the cause.

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