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Does Vectorworks benefit from SLI or Crossfire?

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I'm currently speccing out parts for a new workstation, with Vectorworks being one of the main programs that will be running on the machine.

I was just wondering if Vectorworks directly benefits from SLI or Crossfire technologies. I know that both were originally developed for the gaming community, however with the way they handle 3D environments it seems like the sort of thing other programs would start to tailor to.

I've been trying to research the topic but can't seem to find a definitive answer. Has anyone had experience with SLI or Crossfire helping (or even hurting) Vectorworks performance?


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Vectorworks 2009 and 2010 utilize the graphics card for both user interaction and OpenGL rendered mode. While Vectorworks is not designed to directly take advantage of SLI or Crossfire it may indirectly benefit when working on large monitors or with complex OpenGL models.

See the following Knowledgebase article for a more in-depth discussion of video card considerations: Video Graphic Card Guidelines for Vectorworks - 9/15/2009

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This is the email I received after submitting a bug:

"The Hardware Acceleration option was removed from Vectorworks

starting with the 2009 version. Its unpredictability and difficulty

supporting at times are a couple of reasons why the option was removed.

Hopefully we can take advantage of newer video card technology in the

near future to help improve the Vectorworks user drawing experience.



Nemetschek North America"

I believe Gunther. If 2D use of the graphics card was working, we wouldn't get "white blotches" during navigation (eg. panning). When it was working (v11), text, infill patterns, etc. would be removed while navigation accurs and it would reappear once navigation was finished. So, I still maintain Vectorworks makes no use of the graphics card except for OpenGL.

Other programs like ArchiCAD, AutoCAD, Revit, etc. uses current video card technology, so I don't see why it's so difficult for Nemetschek to make vectorworks use this current technology. It's just amazing. Also graphics cards are so powerful today that you have programs like Octane Render and Arion, among others, that use ONLY the graphics card to render.

What's even more amazing is vw had it in v11 but NNA took it out. Amazing!!!!

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Hi All

I believe Gunther too because he is a top bloke and wouldn't lie to you but I get the feeling that Nems is a little "under resourced" when compared to AutoDesk. It's not really fair to compare them. VW is a fantastic program and delivers far more bang for the buck than most. You just have to live with the work arounds...for example I purchased Win7 64bit the other day. Now you would think that a 64bit operating system would speed up VW but no..it actually slows it down, not that I've got to witness this because VW wont install on my machine...keeps telling me all sorts of things about missing DLLs...sheesh. Of course Revit and ArchiCAD just loaded straight on and run like rockets. But here's the thing. it! I just just LIKE Vectorworks, I like the people that use it, I like the local distributor and I like Gunther too so I put up with the little irritations. oh yeah my work around for Win7 was to go to dual boot. I do all my CAD in Vista and everthing else in Win7. I'll try installing VW in a month or two and it will probably go fine. Meanwhile I'm just chillin out and getting on with it LOL


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

You are absolutely right; Vectorwork?s had the ?Hardware Accelerated 2D Navigation? option and it was removed. That option was removed because it didn?t provide consistent results, did not scale well with large models, and sometimes the proxy was so different from the original it became disorientating. OpenGL also needed to be re-tasked to replace the old GDI/QD interactive XOR drawing with the colorful interactive stuff seen today. In doing this we laid the foundation required to move to a full OpenGL environment unifying our 2D and 3D. Currently the model is drawn using GDI+ or Quartz to a memory buffer which is then converted to a texture. This texture and everything else in the drawing window are imaged using OpenGL.

Our goal here is to be efficient and effective it was decided that it would be better to initially drop the ?Hardware Accelerated 2D Navigation? and build it back into the interactive framework then trying to build an interactive framework from it. I assure you this was not meant to be malicious or haphazard but an unfortunate side effect of modernization.

I hope this helps explain the reasoning and if you have any more questions or concerns please let me know.

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