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SOLIDWORKS Certified Graphics Drivers

Article by Andrew Lidstone, CSWE created/updated May 2, 2011

As a SOLIDWORKS user your likely aware that SOLIDWORKS requires a SOLIDWORKS Certified Graphics Drivers for 3D graphics processing.

In many cases, neither the driver that a computer ships preloaded with, nor the latest driver available from a vendor’s website are SOLIDWORKS Certified Graphics Drivers.

Graphics card drivers that are certified for use with SOLIDWORKS are available for download from the SOLIDWORKS website.

If you have purchased a standard system from a computer vendor that came with a professional card installed, start by selecting the computer vendor’s name from the list, i.e. DELL, HP, etc., then selecting the computer’s model and then the specific Graphics Card Model installed.  These certified drivers are supplied by the vendors themselves, and have been verified to be free from conflicts with any of the other drivers or software that ships with the system.

If your computer vendor or model is not listed, or if you have installed the professional 3D graphics card yourself, you can browse directly for the card itself by selecting “Any System Vendor” from the Computer Vendor list.  This will allow you to select directly from the Graphics Card Vendor list and then the Graphics Card Model you have installed.

Certified list

Certified list

Once the card has been selected, the next selection you will be asked to make is the SOLIDWORKS Version that you are using.  Each major release of SOLIDWORKS may work best with a different certified driver.  So after upgrading to the latest major release, it is best to check to see what driver is certified for the new combination.

Finally you are asked to select your Operating System which should narrow the results down to one or two drivers.  Clicking the show results button with display the certified graphics card driver, if there is one for the combination you have entered, with a link for download.

The key provides the results of testing performed using the driver with the specified combination of graphics card, operating system and SOLIDWORKS version.

SOLIDWORKS Certified Graphics Drivers

Certified Drivers

Download a graphics driver with SOLIDWORKS RX

An additional way to access the certified driver for your combination is through the SOLIDWORKS Rx tool.

Launch the SOLIDWORKS Rx tool (START and search for Rx; or START > All Programs > SOLIDWORKS 20.. > SOLIDWORKS Tools) and go to the Diagnostics tab.

SOLIDWORKS Rx will gather the required information and find the certified driver that matches providing you with a Download Latest Driver button.  This utility generally works best with pre-built systems from a computer vendor and can sometimes have difficulty determining the correct driver for a custom install, in which case it maybe necessary to select driver following the process above.

SOLIDWORKS Rx Diagnostics

SOLIDWORKS Rx Diagnostics

Installing a Certified Driver

Once you have downloaded the certified driver you can install it following these steps:

  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Device Manager > Display Adapters
  2. Right-click the graphics card and select Uninstall to remove the old driver
  3. Restart your computer
  4. Install the downloaded certified driver
Device Manager

Device Manager

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Andrew Lidstone, CSWE

Andrew is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.

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