Friday, 30 April 2010

Certified Graphics Card Update

Obviously the whole criteria for the Graphics cards for Revit have altered from 2010 to 2011.

During some testing of Revit 2011 on a low specification spare 3 – 4 year old office laptop with years a NVIDIA GeForce 6600 graphics card. I had to turn off hardware acceleration just to stop Revit crashing after constructing a simple four column ring beam structure. I then had some very interesting graphical problems.

Now I know this is the office clunker, but this experience has made me somewhat nervous and apprehensive about rolling out Revit 2011 onto PC’s with Video Cards that are not on the list.

In my post on Tuesday 30th March Revit 2011 Introduces Certified Graphics Hardware List and Utility

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

On the 17th April I reported that Revit Certified Graphics Hardware List now on Autodesk web site

And again told you that I would let you know when the utility arrives. I have been chasing it because I wanted to check out those machines not listed. In my imagination I had created this utility that you would automate or semi automate the testing process to interact with the end user, using known testing techniques built into a utility that would assist the user to test the video card and send the information back to Autodesk to enable them to create and update the list of approved cards and drivers.

A representative from Autodesk asked me where I had obtained the information about the utility the answer was between 1:25 – 1:50 minutes into the video, Troubleshooting What’s New in Revit 2011 by Harlan Brumm Global Technical Lead for Revit between and I quote

“On when the product ships a list of certified graphics hardware for Revit products will be available. There will also be a new utility you will be able to download and run on your machine to make sure your running a certified graphics card and driver”

At this point I’m worried am I having another senior moment,  (Post Update 2nd May 2010 the video has been edited  and the statement removed from the video and re-uploaded to YouTube

The next exchange of emails a term of that quote being a “Bit Inaccurate” was made.

Now in the world I occupy there are two options


1 There is going to be a utility or
2 There is NOT going to be a utility

I’m British, Male and an Engineer….. I like a YES or NO answer to a YES or NO question.

And when anyone uses the term a “BIT” I always reply you can’t be a BIT Pregnant you either are or you are not.

I don’t do and have never done and will never do politics, or political jousting. A spade is a spade (you would think that I originated from Yorkshire that's Gumby country!)

Then we parlay about if there is or isn’t there going to be a Utility in the future, and what was I expecting of said utility etc etc.

Finally, its transpired there is kind of something in the pipeline, however It’s the same as what’s built into Revit which just looks at the same list that’s on web site, but it should have the added capability of being able to be driven from a script that could send the utility out to scan several machines on a network and aggregate the results.

I'm told the user case for this utiltiy would be for a system admin that wants to evaluate all machines in-house prior to installing Revit, so they can have a better understanding of their ‘graphics readiness’ for Revit.

Now that is exactly why I have been chasing such a utility. With three offices we have a number of network copies that we share around because we don’t all need Revit at the same time. Without this utility It has taken some time and effort to obtain the data, but about half of our computers are using video cards that are not on that list.

Now depending how quickly this thing actually makes out of the Factory, if it ever does, will depend how useful it actually is for anyone. For me and I suspect many others, I’ve don’t it the hard way.

Regarding getting your card on the list for testing, I would not hold you breathe. When answering the question about getting your card tested the answer was and I quote then I can't make a mistake in interpritation

“We added that to our list of requested cards to be tested and will occasionally be acquiring and testing new cards based on customer demand. Currently, we do not have immediate plans to test your specific gaming card.”

Occasionally = Ummmmmm, once a month, bi-monthly, six monthly, yearly , if enough fuss is made?

Such a nice vague descriptive word don’t you think!.

So if you want your card added to the list, I suggest that you post a request via the Report a problem with your Graphics Hardware stating that your card is not on the list and you would like it added to the list for checking. Then if they get enough requests for a certain card they might just might test it.

I have also been pointed to a new FAQ page on the Autodesk support areas regarding Graphics cards, so obviously there are a lot of us out there that are a bit twitchy about the stability of the software on our 2010 compliant hardware.

At least they have posted this page on the Architecture, Structure and MEP support pages, this is a great improvement, and until recently it would have only been posted to the Revit Architecture area. So perhaps old dogs can learn new tricks!.

Revit Structure Services & Support Graphics Hardware FAQ
Report a Problem with Graphics Hardware for 2011 Revit Products

Revit Architecture Services & Support Graphics Hardware FAQ
Report a Problem with Graphics Hardware for 2011 Revit Products

Revit MEP Services and Support Graphics Hardware FAQ
Report a Problem with Graphics Hardware for 2011 Revit Products

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