You Don’t Know What You’ve Been Missing until you get it Back! – RealView #solidworks

It’s been close on three & half years since I last used SolidWorks on a Workstation (HP xw4400) with a Certified Graphic Cards (NVIDA Quadro4 750XGL).  The HP xw4400 at the time was 32bit running XP and was no long coping with what we were throwing at it!   When we decided that we should look at a laptop the first choice was to look at the Dell Precision Mobile range but at the time we could justify the cost which was around $5800AUD.   So we settled with the Dell Studio XPS16.  Sure it was classified as a “gaming” machine but it’s “standard” specification was far and way much better than the “base” specification of the Precision Range.  With a cost that was nearly half that of the Precision ($3000AUD)  As we weren’t 100% convinced that a laptop was the way to go it was a good compromise!  Over the years I’ve done my best to try & kill it including 48hours at 100%CPU running Render Animations!

If I can just get sidetracked for a minute.  It wouldn’t be a discussion about tech hardware (or software) without pointing out the huge disparity that we pay in Australia (& I’m sure those in the UK will chime in as well) compared to the US.  A quick compassion is the same specified (current) Dell Precision M3800, base spec on the USA site – $1,799US on the Australian site – $2,999AUD.  Even allowing for the difference in the price of the dollar ($0.92AUD today) it’s a big difference!   But I digress.

This post is suppose to be about Graphic Cards!  One of the compromises with the XPS was the non-certified Graphic Card and with that no RealView in SolidWorks.  There was the issue of potential problems with non-certified cards but I have to say apart from the odd “floating” part that is fixed by Ctrl+Q rebuild I’ve never had issues.  (Sure we have all heard the horror stories but I have to say, I don’t experience many, maybe we’ve been fortunate)    At the time we decided that we could live without RealView but now there is a solution!

Last week Lou Gallo on his – SolidWorks: HEARD! site put out a post titled –  RealView on a Mac … Secrets Revealed

(Lou – SolidWorks: HEARD! produces a weekly podcast on SolidWorks – Tips & Industry News & is a self professed “tech geek”.  What Lou doesn’t know about SolidWorks, tech & computers is most likely not worth knowing!)

In his post Lou explains how by making a “simple” Registry Change which should allow RealView to work in SolidWorks!   There are a few words of CAUTION (and NO guarantees) and although it is specified for Mac it is about non-certified Graphic Cards (NVIDIA & ATI).    I’ve been around computers long enough to best describe my knowledge as “knowing enough to get myself into trouble” but I can follow instructions!  (Despite what my wife may think!)

As Lou provides detailed instructions  – “What could go wrong”  First Launch ‘Regedit” then navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\

RegeditSolidWorks\SolidWorks 2014\

SW - SW14Performance\Graphics\Hardware\Gl2Shaders  
As I have an ATI Card I added the new Key to the recommended R420 Key

Performance  Add my MOBILITY Radeon HD 5730, create the new DWORD – Workaround and Check the Value data was: 0

DWordAs simple as that!  Launch SolidWorks (holding ones breath only slightly) and now RealView (gold ball displays)
I’ve forgotten just how nice it is to have RealView display!

Pipe StandardRealView PipeSolidWorks without and with RealView.

Chess StandardChess RealView

To prove it was not just beginners luck I tried with a computer I run at home fitted with a ATI Radeon HD 5670.  A few minutes later RealView!
Tap StandardTap RealView

If you are going to try, read Lou’s RealView on a Mac … Secrets Revealed ,carefully!    Take heeded of his CAUTION but the rewards are well worth it.  THANKS Lou

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