How to Force SOLIDWORKS to Use Your Graphics Card

SOLIDWORKS is a heavily visual program, so making sure that it is using the correct graphics card is critical to performance and reliability. This article will cover how to force SOLIDWORKS to use your Dedicated Graphics Card. The preferred method to do this is through the dedicated Graphics Card Settings (NVIDIA or AMD) but it can also be done through Windows Settings. This article goes over how to do this through NVIDIA, AMD, and Windows Settings. If you want to learn more about how computer hardware affects SOLIDWORKS performance check out this guide: MLC CAD SOLIDWORKS Hardware Guide.

Choose Your Graphics Card Type

Force SOLIDWORKS to Use Graphics Card Through NVIDIA Control Panel (Recommend Method for NVIDIA Graphics Cards)

1. Open the NVIDIA Control Panel by right clicking on your Desktop and selecting “NVIDIA Control Panel” (Note: If you are using a NVIDIA card and don’t see this option, I would recommend checking out the How to Ensure that You are Running a SOLIDWORKS Certified Graphics Card Drive article to make sure you are running an appropriate Graphics Card Driver.)

Force SOLIDWORKS to use NVIDIA Graphics card

2. Within the NVIDIA Control Panel, perform the following steps (See Screenshot for Reference):

1. Open the “Manage 3D settings” page under the “3D Settings” category.

2. Select the “Program Settings” Tab to specify what graphics card to us for specific programs.

3. Under “Select a program to customize” drop-down select “Dassault Systems SolidWorks…” If you don’t see it in the list, click the “Add” button and select it from the list here or browse to the SLDWORKS.exe file for the application. (The default location for it is “C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS\SLDWORKS.exe”)

4. Under the “Select the preferred graphics processor for this program:” expand the drop-down and select “High-performance NVIDIA processor” to make it use your NVIDIA Graphics Card.

5. Select “Apply” to lock in the changes.

Select apply to lock changes

Force SOLIDWORKS to Use Graphics Card Through AMD Radeon Pro Settings Pro (Recommend Method for AMD Graphics Cards)

1. Open AMD Settings by right clicking on your Desktop and selecting “AMD Radeon Pro Settings” (Note: If you are using a AMD card and don’t see this option, I would recommend checking out the How to Ensure that You are Running a SOLIDWORKS Certified Graphics Card Drive article to make sure you are running an appropriate Graphics Card Driver.)

Radeon Pro Settings

2. Select the “System” option

Radeon Pro AMD

3. Within this page perform the following steps (see screenshot):

1. Select the “Switchable Graphics” Tab

2. Select the “Installed Profile Applications” button

3. Select the “Browse Button” and browse to the SLDWORKS.exe file for the application (The default location for it is “C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS\SLDWORKS.exe”)

4. Once you see SLDWORKS.exe in the list, click on it and change to “High Performance”

Radeon Pro Settings 2

Force SOLIDWORKS to Use Graphics Card Through Windows Settings

1. Open Windows Settings. This can be done by pressing the Windows key and selecting the gear icon.

Force SOLIDWORKS graphic card through windows settings

2. Click on “System” and go to the “Display” section.

3. Scroll down to the very bottom and select the option “Graphics settings”.

Graphics Settings

4. In this dialog, make sure the app preference is set to “Desktop app” and select “Browse”.

Browse Graphics Settings

5. Browse to the “SLDWORKS.exe” file used to open SolidWorks and select “Add”. The default location for it is “C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS\SLDWORKS.exe”

Add Default SOLIDWORKS Graphics location

6. SolidWorks should now appear on your applications list. Select the “Options” button under SolidWorks and specify “High Performance” and save the changes.

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