Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Revit 2011 Introduces Certified Graphics Hardware List and Utility


Revit 2011 Introduces Certified Graphics Hardware List Autodesk products like Inventor have had this for a while. Many of the new features within Revit 2011 will rely on the compatibility of your graphics card.

When the product ships, there will be a list of certified graphic cards uploaded on the Autodesk web site somewhere. If Autodesk work to form, this will be available in the Architectural area before the Structural Area of their web. There is also going to be a new utility that you will be able to download and run on your computers to make sure you have a certified graphics card and driver.

Once the list and the utility are uploaded, and I find it, I will post a link on the blog.

If your graphics card is not supported you may (I suspect will) have to turn off Hardware Acceleration as a result, if you do then:-
  • Realistic Views will not show realistic materials (textures)
  • Ambient Occlusion the new 3D effect to create soft shadows effects will not appear even when enabled
  • Very slow performance of drawing Mechanical views due to hidden line generation.
  • Some artefacts will display on the screen that are not intended when displaying an underlay
  • Slower average performance of project
The not too old “acer” laptop that I used to Beta testing crashed bombing out of the program when I tried to zoom in or out on a view of a very simple four column single storey structure, until I turned off hardware acceleration, and even when I had turned it off lets say I experienced some strange and problematic visual problems with 3D views, which were attributed to my non certified graphics card with its latest driver.

The system requirements have really increased and having bought what was a mid to top end PC last year for home, it now appears that this will be a low end pc this year. Whilst you expect that a program like Revit will need a good specification machine Individuals and companies tend to replace computers on a three – five year cycle and I feel that Autodesk have kind of lost sight of that fact.

Autodesk seem to have added too much and too many fancy rendering bells and whistles to please the Architects without sorting out the basic like a text editor that can support subscript and superscript and fixing very basic drafting problems that have been reported and on the wish list for some time. You can’t please all of the people all of the time!

So basically it is essential that you check your graphics card before upgrading from 2010 to 2011.

On a 32 bit machine the switch for hardware acceleration is turned off by default.

Certain graphics cards and the 3GB switch can cause conflicts (it just gets better and better!) So you will need to turn these on in the options dialogue box if you want them enabled, but you will get a nice warning message that a crash could occur as a result.

Bottom line is this is a great update to Revit but it may come at a cost to your hardware budget in a time when many companies are not looking to invest in new hardware probably having an excess of PC’s due to the lay offs that nearly every company has had in the last 12-18 months.

This may result in a delay in rolling out 2011 at some companies, I know of one very large company that pays the subscription, has the software in the cupboard and is still running 2009 because of the cost of training on the new Ribbon in 2010.

As a CAD Manager, with AutoCAD it use to be the even versions that seemed to be more stable and got implemented, with Revit it looks like it’s the odd versions. So what are you going to do if you have the suite which gives you both products?

Answers on a postcard or perhaps make a comment below:-

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