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How to Ensure that You are Running a SOLIDWORKS Certified Graphics Card Driver

Keeping your Graphics Card Driver up to date is critical for smooth performance within SOLIDWORKS. This article will show you how to check what driver you currently have installed and how to find out which driver is the latest certified one for your graphics card and version of SOLIDWORKS (Hint: The recommended driver may or may not be the newest released driver because there are different types or families of drivers for each card.) This article will show the process for NVIDIA Graphics Cards, but the process will be similar for AMD cards.

How to Check Which Graphics Card Driver You Currently Have Installed:

1. Right click on the blank space on your Desktop and Open “NVIDIA Control Panel”

NVIDIA Control Panel

2. Click Help -> System Information

NVIDIA System Information

3. This will show your current Graphics Card Driver Version. You can write this down for future reference.

Current graphics card driver version

Which driver should you install for your version of SOLIDWORKS?

1. To check the latest drivers that are certified for your SOLIDWORKS version go to the SOLIDWORKS Hardware Certification page and find your graphics card.

Note: If you cannot find your Graphics Card that means that is it not a certified Graphics Card for SOLIDWORKS and you have a higher chance of it causing issues within the software.

Find your SOLIDWORKS Graphic card

2. Use the Version Dropdown Menu to filter for the SOLIDWORKS version and note the recommended Driver (In this example, for the Quadro T1000, SOLIDWORKS Version 2021, the R450 driver is recommended). Click on the Driver link to be directed to the manufacturers website to download the driver.

SOLIDWORKS recommended graphics card driver

3. Filter for your Graphics Card and Select Search

Search for your SOLIDWORKS graphics card

4. Find the latest version of the SOLIDWORKS recommended driver and compare the Version number with the Graphics driver current installed on your computer. In this example we would want to have the “R450 U7 (452.96)” driver installed because we previously found that SOLIDWORKS recommended the R450 driver. Please note, often the newest NVIDIA Driver in the list is not the SOLIDWORKS recommend one. This is because NVIDIA uses families of drivers (eg. R450 family or the R460 family) for different use cases and then releases new versions within that family of drivers.

NVIDIA driver downloads

5. Click on the driver and follow the prompts to download the driver and start the installation manager.

6. During the installation of the Driver, it is recommended to select the “Custom (Advanced)” option and select the “Perform a Clean Installation” checkbox. This is done to ensure that your computer is using the correct driver and to help eradicate any conflicts that may arise between different drivers.

NVIDIA Installation options
NVIDIA Custom installation options

You should now have the recommended graphics driver installed on your computer! Remember, keeping your graphics card up to date will help improve your performance of SOLIDWORKS! If you are interested in learning about how different hardware affects SOLIDWORKS performance, go here for a comprehensive guide to hardware: SOLIDWORKS Hardware Guide.

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