Why SOLIDWORKS/DraftSight uses integrated graphics card and not the external graphics card?

Graphics card is an extremely crucial component inside the workstation. SOLIDWORKS/DraftSight requires a compatible graphics card to function.


Laptops usually have two graphics cards: graphics card integrated into mother board (usually Intel HD Graphics) and external graphics card (usually NVIDIA Quadro). Sometimes it might happen that SOLIDWORKS/DraftSight uses the graphics card that is integrated into motherboard (usually incompatible card) and not the external card (compatible card). Here are the tips to resolve the conflict.


STEP 1: See THIS LINK to download and install the SOLIDWORKS-recommended graphics card driver. If you are unsure how to do it, please contact PLM Group Technical Support.


STEP 2: Observe the behaviour how SOLIDWORKS/DraftSight loads the graphics cards.

1. Launch Windows "Task Manager" and go to "Performance" tab.


2. Check the option "Always on Top" to keep "Task Manager" window active all the time.

3. Launch SOLIDWORKS/DraftSight and draw something and/or rotate the model. Observe how two graphics cards are occupied ("GPU 0" is usually an integrated card and "GPU 1" is an external card). Normally only the external card should be loaded. If integrated card is loaded, proceed to STEP 3.


STEP 3: Define the external graphics card as preferred graphics processor.

Instructions below apply only to NVIDIA Quadro graphics cards. If you have "AMD" graphics card, same procedure should be performed via AMD's own software called "AMD Catalyst Control Center".

1. Launch NVIDIA Control Panel.


2. Go to tab called "Manage 3D Settings". Choose the option "Base Profile" from dropdown menu and select the option "High-performance NVIDIA processor". Select also the option "3D App - Default Global Settings" and select the same option "High-performance NVIDIA processor".

Press "Apply" to save changes.


When using DraftSight, add an additional, program-specific rule according to picture below.



3. Launch SOLIDWORKS/DraftSight and observe the behaviour of graphics card (instructions in "STEP 2"). If SOLIDWORKS/DraftSight still uses integrated graphics card, proceed to STEP 4.


STEP 4: Go to "BIOS Options" to disable hybrid graphics.

Instructions below apply to HP ZBook laptops. BIOS settings are different in different laptop models. You can search for information in Google with kewords "disable hybrid graphics lenovo"if you have a Lenovo laptop, for example.


1. Shutdown your computer.

2. Startup your computer and press ja "Esc" button repeatedly. Note: You have to press "Esc" button right after startup of your workstation. Continue pressing "Esc" button until you see this dialog.. Choose "BIOS Setup".


2. Go to tab called"Advanced" select "Built-In Device Options".


3. Select the option "Discrete Graphics".


4. Press the button "F10" from your keyboard. Select "Yes" to save changes.


5. Windows is started up normally. Observe the behaviour of graphics cards again (instructions in STEP 2). Now, after all, SOLIDWORKS/DraftSight should use only the external graphics cards and not the integrated graphics card.


Please contact PLM Group Technical Support if you have any questions or challenges.


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