Best Solidworks 2010 Graphics Card for Under £150

The question’s in the title.

I’m looking to get a graphics card to upgrade rendering capabilities. It would mostly be used within Solidworks 2010 and rendering low to medium complexity models in Hypershot. I’ve had a look at the Nvidia Quadro’s - are these a good bet?

Can anyone suggest a good card for around £100-150? Might be willing to buy second hand off eBay if the card is worth it.

Thanks for any advice folks.

Keep in mind Hypershot is 100% CPU driven, a high end video card won’t help you there. (Unless you’re talking about the new version of Bunkspeed SHOT which is a different tool and GPU driven)

For Solidworks, a workstation card will enable the Real View feature for realtime shading and improve your overall draw performance and possibly stability, but will not increase render speed.

If you’re not looking to spend much and you don’t need Realview, a higher end Nvidia gaming class card might be fine, otherwise go with whatever Quadro you can afford in that price bracket (check Ebay - used Quadro cards tend to be a lot cheaper and more powerful then the brand new offerings).

Thanks CD.

I didn’t realise Hypershot was solely reliant on CPU performance. In that case I suspect upgrading the RAM / CPU would be the boost we need to get higher quality renders in a shorter time.

I haven’t tried Bunkspeed Shot yet - is there a noticeable difference in quality of output from Hypershot?

Yes - faster CPU = shorter time. If you’re running anything shy of a core I7 it’s worth the jump.

As far as Hypershot vs Shot I don’t use either tool so I wouldn’t be the best one for advice. I’ve seen demos of both and they both seem pretty similar, I believe Shot is supposed to have some new features that take advantage of both the GPU and CPU for the fastest speed improvements. I tried watching a web demo of it but it kept crasing on them and thats when I gave up. :wink:

I was pretty excited to try out the shot demo specifically for the GPU acceleration but found out that it requires at least 1gb of VRAM to enable the feature, just something to keep in mind as I completely missed that bit.

Depending on what GPU you have now, you might be able to use a program like RivaTuner to enable RealView and/or speed things up a bit. A lot of nVidia cards use the same chips between the gaming and CAD oriented ranges, so you can use RivaTuner to change the identity of the card to something that will allow the use of RealView. You should be able to Google the details. I’ve done this on a MacBook Pro with no real issues, fooling Windows into thinking it was running a Quadro card.