In order to ensure that Navisworks runs as efficiently as possible, you need to have a compatible graphics card installed correctly on your computer. The widely adopted graphics standard, OpenGL®, is used to generate graphics in Navisworks. You have the option to generate graphics in Navisworks without using OpenGL, by turning off hardware acceleration. However, tests have shown that using OpenGL hardware acceleration in Navisworks is faster than relying solely on the software.
Because all of Navisworks 3D graphics are processed using OpenGL, the only requirement to ensure a graphics card is compatible with Navisworks is to check that it fully supports the OpenGL 1.5 standard or later versions. Most new or recent graphics cards from the major graphics vendors, such as NVIDIA and ATI, meet this requirement.
There are two types of graphics cards commercially available: workstation and consumer. Workstation graphics cards are much higher priced than consumer cards, because they generally offer more stable drivers and are tested and optimized to work across a wide range of leading CAD applications. Examples of current workstation quality graphics cards include NVIDIA Quadro® FX and ATI FireGL™.
Consumer graphics cards are usually relatively inexpensive. However, they are generally optimized for video games, and it is necessary that you install the latest driver versions as they are released. Examples of current consumer quality graphics cards include NVIDIA GeForce® FX and ATI Radeon™.
Autodesk performance testing has found that Navisworks performs well on both workstation and consumer graphics cards, with neither offering any performance advantage over the other. It is strongly recommended that you buy the best card your budget can afford and keep the drivers up to date.
If you are planning on purchasing a consumer graphics card, ensure that you download the latest drivers from the vendor's website, because the drivers provided on the installation CD included with the graphics cards are commonly out of date. If you are considering purchasing a workstation graphics card, verify that your computer meets the requirements of the card.
Note: The enclosed recommendation is based on tests with Navisworks 2009. We will provide an updated version for later product releases, if applicable.
Feedback, comments or suggestions? Please let us know.