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  • Renderworks Hardware Dependencies

    PVA - Admin

    Vectorworks' Renderworks module is powered by the CineRender engine from Maxon. As such, it is completely 64bit and can take advantage of over 128GB of RAM and multiple processor (CPU) cores. 

    However, this only affects the Renderworks-based modes specifically. OpenGL, Wireframe and Hidden Line do not utilize the CineRender engine, and thus not capable of using as much memory as their Renderworks counterparts on a powerful 64bit machine with plenty of RAM and multiple CPU cores.

    Hardware Dependencies:

    The chart below lists each of the types of rendering mode, as well as if it uses your Graphics card (GPU) or if it depends on your processor (CPU) to perform rendering operations:


    Rendering Mode                   Uses Graphics Card (GPU)                      Uses Processor (CPU

    Wireframe                              Yes                                                               Yes - Single Core

    OpenGL                                  Yes                                                                No

    Hidden Line                            No                                                                Yes - Multi Core

    Final Quality Renderworks   No                                                                Yes - Multi Core

    Fast Renderworks                 No                                                                Yes - Multi Core

    Custom Renderworks           No                                                                Yes - Multi Core 

    Final / Shaded Polygon        No                                                                Yes - Single Core

    As you can see from the above chart, the only rendering modes that will access your video cards resources is OpenGL and the basic Wireframe mode. None of the other rendering modes are dependent on it at all, so upgrading your video card will not improve any rendering speed or quality with any rendering mode other than OpenGL and Wireframe. (Note: your video card is directly relied upon for Top/Plan view and general navigation graphics in 2D, even though that is not a rendering mode.)

    Conversely, the Renderworks-based modes primarily use your CPU and are capable of utilizing multiple cores. So to increase rendering speed in those modes, a superior processor (CPU) would be beneficial. 

    Wireframe mode tends to benefit from both upgraded video cards as well as a more powerful CPU, however it is more heavily dependent on the graphics card. 

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    User Feedback

    Is this information still correct as of Vectorworks 2021? Have there been any changes to rendering modes that might leverage a faster GPU these days?


    This chart definitely answers questions that I have had about Vectorworks for many years, especially every time I started using a computer with a faster graphics card.


    Thanks in advance for any accurate reply...





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    I would also like to get an updated list for VW 2021. I came to this tread because I suffer from VW being very slow for many years, also with simple daily tasks like moving objects i 2D top view, that should get GPU support! I was also wondering if an update of the hardware could help, but it seems as people having better systems also experience slow behavior. 


    System: Windows 10 pro, Intel i5 5800K, 48 GB RAM, Geforce GTX1070.

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