SOLIDWORKS RealView – For All. Non-Approved Graphic Cards #SOLIDWORKS

I’m never been a big user of RealView Graphics in SOLIDWORKS.

For those not aware, RealView Graphics is hardware driven by the Graphic Card which supports advance shading, self shadowing and scene reflections.  It are those scene reflection which is one of the reasons I don’t use RealView Graphics on a day to day bases whilst modeling.  Selected faces tend to flair and overall the reflective surfaces are too bright for long hours in front of the screen.

There is one area that RealView Graphics becomes invaluable and that is with some SOLIDWORKS Appearances.  There are a  number of Appearances that require the use of RealView Graphics so they can display correctly.  Without using RealView  Graphics these appearances just display as a flat surface colour.  Which does tend to makes them difficult to adjust!

You can run PhotoView 360 Preview to view and make the adjustments but it can be a slow process with the resources demands of the rendering process.

Realview Graphics are only available with graphic cards that have been approved to use with SOLIDWORKS.

There are many augments to be made in regards to using Approved Graphic Cards and they really should be considered for any computer used for business.  However there are a  wide range of computer out there.  Including the rapid rise in the use of hybrid computers with the likes of the Microsoft Surface and Dell XPS.  Included in that group is the HP Spectre x360  which I have as my personal computer. It is used for running Beta, presentation for my User Group and my own SOLIDWORKS learning.

These computers in the main all use integrated graphic cards, which are not approved and therefore don’t display RealView Graphics.  There is a simple reason why RealView isn’t available with non-approved Graphic Cards.  That is because they are not listed in the computer registry.   Which means, that there is a very simple fix to allow the benefits of RealView Graphics in SOLIDWORKS.

That fix requires you to manually list your Graphic Card!

There are plenty of cautions about making changes to the Registry of your computer but to be honest I’ve never experience an issue when adding things to the Registry, especially this procedure.

Here are the steps to add the Graphic Card :

First open the Device Manager.  With Windows 10 there are numerous ways to do this.  The simplest is to select Cortana search or the Windows Icon and start to type.  Open the Device Manager and navigate to Display adapter, select and display the name of the Graphic Card.

Then open Regedit Again the simplest way is via Cortana / Windows Icon search

In the Registry Editor navigate to Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks\SOLIDWORKS 2018\Performance\Graphics\Hardware\Gl2Shaders

Or if you are not running SOLIDWORKS 2018 then the version of SOLIDWORKS you are using

Select and open the Gl2Shaders folder.  There are a number of folders inside the Gl2Shaders folder and these are the list of approved Graphic Cards.  The folders group the Makes and Model of the Approved Graphic Cards.  You need to find the folder which is the closest match to your Graphic Card.   The HP Spectre x360 uses the integrated Intel HD card and  I find the Intel Cards listed in the Others

Right Button Mouse on the required Folder (in my case Other) and add a “New” – “Key”  Name the key the exact name of your graphic card as you see it in the Device Manager including the spacing  (In my case Intel(R) HD Graphics 620)

Right Button Mouse on the added Graphic Card and add a “New” – DWORD.   Name the DWORD – Workarounds

Right Button Mouse on the Workarounds and Modify   I have always left the Hexadecimal Value Data as 0.   If you are adding a Graphic Card that is similar but not listed from NVIDIA or AMD you might need to check the Value Data of those similar cards and use that number.

Exit out of the Registry Editor and Open SOLIDWORKS!    RealView Graphics should now show and be able to be activated.

As this is a manual entry to the Registry, it will need to be done after each Service Pack update.

18 responses to “SOLIDWORKS RealView – For All. Non-Approved Graphic Cards #SOLIDWORKS

  1. Hi and thanks for your great writedown!
    I’m on a MacBook Pro with Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650 and the value “0” doesn’t work. I’ve found several other values online but none works.
    Do you maybe have an idea?
    Thanks in advance

    • It’s Frank again
      I found a way!
      I made everything you said plus I renamed
      Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks\SOLIDWORKS 2018\Performance\Graphics\Hardware\Intel\Intel(R) Iris(R) Plus Graphics
      Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks\SOLIDWORKS 2018\Performance\Graphics\Hardware\Intel\Intel(R) Iris(R) Plus Graphics 650
      That’s it!

      Maybe that helps somebody…


  2. I was so happy that it worked that I didn’t test it further…
    Unfortunately, it now crashes as soon as I try to sketch something.
    When I open a new sketch and try to draw a line or anything it crashes immediately.
    So in fact unusable.
    I wonder what those values do and if that would change anything…

    • I’ve never had issues, I have found that RealView either works or it doesn’t.
      A couple of things:
      I have re-read your information, I assume that you just didn’t write the full path. I note that you didn’t have the folder G12Shader\Other

      Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks\SOLIDWORKS 2018\Performance\Graphics\Hardware\Gl2Shaders\Other

      I’ve never been able to find the values, but looking at a few listed in the Other Folder I have a Intel(R) Iris(R) Pro Graphics P it has a value of 30408 and a Intel(R) Iris(TM) Pro Graphics P it has a value of 8

      You may want to try them

      • There are two things:
        1. Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks\SOLIDWORKS 2018\Performance\Graphics\Hardware\Gl2Shaders\Other\Intel(R) Iris(R) Plus Graphics 650 enables RealView
        2. Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks\SOLIDWORKS 2018\Performance\Graphics\Hardware\Intel\Intel(R) Iris(R) Plus Graphics 650
        allows to disable Software OpenGL
        Even if I only do the second one it crashes.

        I guess Dassault and Intel are no friends…

      • My thoughts are that GI2Shader is the location for dedicated Graphic Cards.. By adding the Graphic Card in that folder it is recognised as a dedicated card and allows RealView I would think the Intel Folder is simply there as part of the chip package.

  3. Hi Michael
    I figured it out.
    I have a 13″ MacBook Pro with integrated Intel Iris Plus 650 graphics.
    To run SolidWorks 2017 on windows 10 via Bootcamp I needed to do the following:

    First, I had to install an older graphics driver. I found the right one via the SolidWorks online tool. Any system vendor -> Certified -> Intel -> Iris Pro Graphics P580

    Second, to be able to uncheck the software OpenGL in the SolidWorks performance settings, as described above, in the registry, rename
    \HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks\SOLIDWORKS 2018\Performance\Graphics\Hardware\Intel\Intel(R) Iris(R) Plus Graphics
    Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks\SOLIDWORKS 2018\Performance\Graphics\Hardware\Intel\Intel(R) Iris(TM) Plus Graphics 650

    And third, as you described, make a new key:
    \HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks\SOLIDWORKS 2018\Performance\Graphics\Hardware\Gl2Shaders\Other\Intel(R) Iris(R) Plus Graphics 650
    and add the DWORD Workarounds with the value 0

    Sorry to fill your comment section, but I tought it may help to prevent somebody from sleepless nights…

    Greetings from Switzerland


    • Hi, Frank. I’m having the same “crashes every time I try to sketch” problem you describe — it started all of a sudden last week. Not sure if it’s related to a Windows update.

      I see your solution to load an older graphics driver. I’m running on a Surface Pro. How did you determine which older driver was the right one for your machine?

      Thanks for any help you can provide

      • Hi Jim
        As I said up there I had a look at the SolidWorks onlinetool, took what seemed to be closest to my chipset and went for it.
        On the intel site you can find older revisions of your actual driver.

  4. Michael – I accidentally commented twice above, once with my email, could you please remove that for me? Thanks

  5. Thank you sooooooooooooooo much!! I have been searching for years for a solution, always convinced that Dassault is just selecting the cards they want to favoritism. When you are travelling a lot and want to work on a light laptop, it becomes a nightmare. I bought the best and the most expansive ones without a change and was on the verge of making it again. And then, a few clicks and line and that’s it. FANTASTIC. a big big thank you.

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