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Problems using 2020 with an external GPU

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Hello everyone,


Is anyone having any problems running Vectorworks 2020 whilst using a external GPU?


I'm currently running a Mac Mini (2018), 3.2 GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7 with 64 GB RAM and a Radeon RX Vega 64 8 GB plugged in to a Razer Core X.


I recently upgraded my graphics card but saw no noticeable improvements, Vectorworks seems to actually be worse since the upgrade, not utilising the graphics card at all and relying solely on the integrated graphics card. I've tried switching on the option to prefer external GPU in the "Get info" pallet but this seems to be making things worse. Trying to render in Open GL makes the model unwieldy.


I've opened the model up in 2019 and it works great, flying around the model is smooth and easy in Open GL and using SketchUp and Rhino is equally great. This isn't the end of the world but there are some useful modelling tools in 2020 and it will be a nightmare having to revert back and forwards to work with both programs, especially when paying for the service select and upgrades. Does this mean that 2020 has not been configured to work with external GPUs? Has anyone else experienced something similar?


Many thanks,



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I have done this but it only seems to make the situation worse. Vectorworks 2020 seems completely unable to use the eGPU, the fans do not start up and resposivness slows down completely. Using the same settings on Vectorworks 2019, SketchUp and Rhino get great results.


This make me wonder if Vectorworks 2020 has not been tuned for eGPUs & I just hope that a future update will look into this.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hello Hugh,


External GPU should work without too many problems and the only thing to know is that Vectorworks will benefit from a single GPU and it will not be possible to use both, internal and external at the same time. 


Please try to follow the steps below to see if this would improve the performance:



After everything is connected I would recommend to contact us directly. Our support email address is uktech@vectorworks.net or if you have purchased Service Select subscription then don't hesitate to give us a call to further investigate this issue.

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  • 3 weeks later...


The same thing is happening with me on my Macbook Pro.  

Chipset Model: Radeon RX Vega 64 External

Chipset Model: Radeon Pro 560X Internal

I am on VW 2020, just upgraded OS to Catalina, and VW will not use ANY GPU if i have the external plugged in.  If I unplug it and only use the internal, VW functions great.

I have been using VW since 2012 and had an external GPU since late 2018 without issue.  Haven't found anything indicating a problem other than a few posts on this forum.  VW tech support didn't have any suggestions other than to call Apple yesterday.


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  • 1 month later...

Yes I have the same issues - I have an i9 iMac with an external Razer and Vega 64 card, when I set the 'pref external GPU' option I crash constantly and the performance slows dramatically - as soon as I turn that preference off is works fine but using and additional external GPU I assume that the performance would be enhanced when rendering - not the case!

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  • 1 month later...

it is the VW 2020 that is causing the problem if you are running 2019 or below it works fine - there is a fundamental problem with running the external GPU with 2020

I run two iMacs both with 64gb Ram and the EGC works fine when running 2019.  the EGC works fine with all the other software (Twinmotion etc) but as soon as I swap to 'pref EGC' in the information dialogue VW crashes constantly.

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