Recommended Video Cards for ArchiCAD 16

by GRAPHISOFT, IllesArvay and Gábor Almási · updated: 01.30.2013

 

Improvements in ArchiCAD 16

The latest 3D editing OpenGL improvements include realtime shaded feedback for morph editing, surface snap rectangle feedback to the cursor and rotation feedback for 3D (and 2D floorplan as well). Antialiasing is applied to the lines of a selection or to the lines highlighted in 3D. Editing plane expansion became dynamic. You can read more details about these features in our OpenGL ArchiCADWiki article.


Windows Specific Recommendations

alt text OpenGL and DirectX 9 compatible graphic card with 256 MB or more on-board video memory is recommended to fully exploit hardware acceleration capabilities.

We do not recommend the following low-end video cards:

  • NVidia Quadro NVS series (not to be confused with the FX series)
  • ATI FireMV series (not to be confused with FireGL series)
  • Intel on-board (motherboard-integrated) video chips

Installing video card drivers

Video cards only perform properly if they have a hardware vendor supplied driver (not system built-in driver) installed correctly. It may happen that remnants of a previous installation interfere with the current driver installation. If you experience display issues with the drivers listed below, please “clean-install” the driver again. “Clean-install” means removing all previous driver files before installing a new driver. Unfortunately, a simple uninstall may not efficiently remove all components of a driver. There are tools that can do it, like ATI’s cat uninstaller or third party tools like driver cleaner or driver cleaner pro 1.5

“Professional” vs. “Gaming” video cards

Graphic card manufacturers typically have different product lines targeted for “gamers” and “professional users”. While the hardware setup is very similar for both cards, there are main differences in their firmware and driver.
“Gamer” cards (such as Nvidia GeForce and Ati Radeon) are optimized for 3D games, where speed is more important than image quality. Typically a 3D model in a game contains a low number of polygons with textures applied to them, while polygon count is high in CAD modeling, and the quality of the stationary image of the wireframe or the shaded model is more important than navigation speed. Also, professional cards’ memory usage is optimized for using multiple application windows, while in gaming this is not relevant. Another key difference between the two product lines is the way they are delivered and supported. Professional cards (such as Nvidia Quadro and ATi FireGL) are built according to the video chip manufacturer’s references, so you can always be sure that the driver delivered by the video chip manufacturer (e.g. Nvidia or ATI) fits your card. The manufacturers of gaming cards (such as ASUS, Sapphire, Gigabyte, PNY, etc…) may diverge from the chip manufacturer’s references, so their drivers may not be compatible with the chip manufacturer’s reference driver. Also, the product life cycle and driver release cycles are much shorter in case of gaming cards.

GRAPHISOFT cooperates with:

  • Nvidia to test and certify video card drivers for the Nvidia Quadro FX and Nvidia Quadro (Fermi) series. This product line is recommended by GRAPHISOFT for ArchiCAD 16.
  • AMD to test and certify video card drivers for the Ati Fire Pro series. This product line is recommended by GRAPHISOFT for ArchiCAD 16 as well.

Video card drivers for laptops

In most cases, graphic card drivers for laptops are supplied by the laptop manufacturer, and graphic card vendor supplied drivers (so called “reference drivers”) won’t be installed on laptops. This makes it practically impossible for us to test laptop video cards. If you are experiencing display issues with your laptop, and your supplier does not offer you a driver update, you might try – at your own risk – to tweak a desktop driver to work on your laptop. Note, that this is obviously not encouraged by your laptop supplier. mod tool for ATI cards nvidia laptop drivers

For reasons detailed above, we can not recommend any specific card and driver combination for laptops. However, there are professional video cards available for high-end laptops, such as the Nvidia Quadro, which are just as good as their desktop counterparts. We have also good experiences with most of the standard Nvidia cards, somewhat worse experience with AMD/ATI cards, and very bad experience with on-board intel graphic cards. Definitely avoid the latter.


Mac Specific Recommendations

alt text

Video card drivers for Macs

OpenGL compatible graphic card with 256 MB or more on-board video memory is recommended to fully exploit hardware acceleration capabilities.

Since Macs are offered with a default video card (with one optional choice at some series), and the drivers are bundled with system updates, we can not recommend a specific card or driver. Mac OSX’s graphic engine, Quartz does not allow an application to access video card functions directly, which minimizes the possibility of application-specific display problems. On Mac there are no third-party drivers, and the drivers that Apple builds into the operating system are very thoroughly tested for OpenGL compatibility, since the Quartz graphic engine itself is based on OpenGL. This means a big difference between the Mac and the PC platforms, where are hundreds of different video cards available. Drivers from different manufacturers, that are mostly optimized for games and DirectX, not for CAD and OpenGL. You can be confident that all of the current Macs come with a video card that is compatible with ArchiCAD.

For the best performance choose Mac computers with dedicated graphics cards. Integrated Intel HD 3000, 4000 cards work with ArchiCAD, but their performance is limited.

Known Errors on Mac:

Antialiasing is turned off by default on some video cards. Find the description and the list of the affected cards here: Antialiasing is not Available on Computers with Certain Video Cards.


Video Card Tests Including 3D Speed

alt textHere you can see the results how the different videocards have performed on a standard computer configuration. The cards were tested with a medium size project on two operating systems: Win7 64-bit and Win 8 64 bit. The FPS number indicates a frames per second ratio based on the speed of Quadro FX1700 on Windows 7.

Frame per second rate shows the speed of the Video Card measured while navigating in the 3D window of ArchiCAD. The speed itself might depend mainly on the memory size of the Video Card. When we open a file and turn on 3D, the memory of the Video Card is used first, when it runs out then the Main Memory (RAM) is used, and finally when that is full, then the computer starts to swap the Virtual Memory. Using virtual Memory can be much slower than the others, because it takes time to reach the stored information from a file on the hard disk.

ArchiCAD stores the model information of the objects’ parameters, and not by the coordinates of the polygons. Huge files that have a lot of parameters might occupy large ammount of memory. And when the parameters of some geometry objects are set to large resolution or segmentation adds extra burden.

Also there might be a model that itself is only just a few kilobytes, but its parameters would use up much from the Video Card memory with lots of large textures triggering slowness. This way it is not true that we can draw a paralell between the file size and the Video Card memory usage.

Test Results – Windows 7 (64 bit)

Nvidia Quadro FX cards

The following video cards have been tested for ArchiCAD 16 on Windows 7 (64-bit):

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
FX 1700 Mid-range 512 8.17.12.9670 passed 1.0x
FX 1800 High-end 768 8.17.12. 9670 passed 1.2x
FX 3700 Mid-range 512 8.17.12. 9670 passed 1.2x
FX 3800 High-end 1024 8.17.12.9670 passed 1.2x
FX 4600 High-end 768 8.17.12.9670 passed 1.2x
FX 4800 High-end 1536 8.17.12.9670 passed 1.2x

Nvidia Quadro cards ( Fermi series )

The following video cards have been tested for ArchiCAD 16 on Windows 7 (64-bit):

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
400 High-end 1024 8.17.12.9670 passed 1.2x
600 High-end 1024 8.17.12.9670 passed 1.2x
2000 High-end 1024 8.17.12.9670 passed 1.2x
4000 High-end 2048 8.17.12.9670 passed 1.2x
5000 High-end 2560 8.17.12.9670 passed 1.2x

ATI FireGL cards

The following video cards have been tested for ArchiCAD 16 on Windows 7 (64-bit):

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
V 5600 Mid-range 512 8.911.3.3 error* 1.3x

ATI Fire Pro cards

The following video cards have been tested for ArchiCAD 16 on Windows 7 (64-bit):

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
V 3800 Entry-level 512 8.911.3.3 passed 1.5x
V 4800 Mid-range 1024 8.911.3.3 testing x
V 4900 Mid-range 1024 8.911.3.3 testing x
V 5900 Mid-range 2048 8.911.3.3 passed 1.5x
V 7800 High-end 2048 8.911.3.3 passed 1.6x
V 7900 High-end 2048 8.911.3.3 passed 1.6x
W 5000 Mid-range 2048 8.982.2 passed 1.5x
W 7000 High-end 4096 8.982.2 passed 1.6x

ATI APU technology (Fire Pro)

The following APU chips have been tested for ArchiCAD 16 on Windows 7 (64-bit):

A 300 Entry-level 512 8.982.2 passed 1.2x

Geforce Gamer cards

Some popular gamer cards tested for ArchiCAD 16 on Windows 7 (64-bit):

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
Asus Geforce 8600 GT Mid-range 512 8.17.13.142 testing x
Asus Geforce 8800 GT Mid-range 512 8.17.13.142 passed 1.5x
Asus Geforce 8800 GTX Mid-range 768 8.17.13.142 testing x
Asus Geforce 220 GT Mid-range 512 8.17.13.142 passed 1.2x
Asus Geforce 250 GTS High-end 1024 8.17.13.142 passed 1.5x
Asus Geforce 430 GT High-end 1024 8.17.13.142 passed 1.2x
Asus Geforce 460 GTX High-end 1024 8.17.13.142 testing x
Asus Geforce 560 GTX High-end 1024 8.17.13.142 testing x

Radeon Gamer cards

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
Radeon HD 4850 Mid-range 1024 8.961.0.0 passed 1.5x
Radeon HD 5670 Mid-range 512 8.961.0.0 passed 1.6x
Radeon HD 5750 Mid-range 1024 8.961.0.0 passed 1.5x
Radeon HD 5850 Mid-range 1024 8.961.0.0 testing x
Radeon HD 6850 Mid-range 1024 8.961.0.0 passed 1.5x
Radeon HD 7770 Mid-range 1024 8.961.0.0 testing x

Error Descriptions

* Trace rotation with ArchiCAD extended on two screens produces trashy feedback.


Test Results – Windows 8 (64 bit)

Nvidia Quadro FX cards

The following video cards have been tested for ArchiCAD 16 on Windows 8 (64-bit):

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
FX 1700 Mid-range 512 9.18.13.679 passed 2.4x
FX 1800 High-end 768 9.18.13.679 passed 2.4x
FX 3700 Mid-range 512 9.18.13.679 passed 2.4x
FX 3800 High-end 1024 9.18.13.679 passed 2.4x
FX 4600 High-end 768 9.18.13.679 passed 2.4x
FX 4800 High-end 1536 9.18.13.679 passed 2.4x

Nvidia Quadro cards ( Fermi series )

The following video cards have been tested for ArchiCAD 16 on Windows 8 (64-bit):

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
400 High-end 1024 9.18.13.679 passed 1.8x
600 High-end 1024 9.18.13.679 passed 2.4x
2000 High-end 1024 9.18.13.679 passed 2.4x
4000 High-end 2048 9.18.13.679 passed 2.4x
5000 High-end 2560 9.18.13.679 passed 2.4x

ATI Fire Pro cards

The following video cards have been tested for ArchiCAD 16 on Windows 8 (64-bit):

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
V 3800 Entry-level 512 8.982.8.1 passed 1.8x
V 4800 Mid-range 1024 8.982.8.1 testing x
V 4900 Mid-range 1024 8.982.8.1 passed 2.1x
V 5900 Mid-range 2048 8.982.8.1 passed 2.2x
V 7800 High-end 2048 8.982.8.1 passed 2.2x
V 7900 High-end 2048 8.982.8.1 passed 2.2x
W 5000 Mid-range 2048 8.982.2 passed 2.0x
W 7000 High-end 4096 8.982.2 passed 2.0x

ATI APU technology (Fire Pro)

The following APU chips have been tested for ArchiCAD 16 on Windows 8 (64-bit):

A 300 Entry-level 512 8.982.2 passed 1.9x

Geforce Gamer cards

Some popular gamer cards tested for ArchiCAD 16 on Windows 8 (64-bit):

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
Asus Geforce 8600 GT Mid-range 512 8.17.13.1070 passed 2.3x
Asus Geforce 8800 GT Mid-range 512 8.17.13.1070 passed 2.4x
Asus Geforce 8800 GTX Mid-range 768 8.17.13.1070 testing x
Asus Geforce 220 GT Mid-range 512 8.17.13.1070 passed 1.9x
Asus Geforce 250 GTS High-end 1024 8.17.13.1070 passed 2.4x
Asus Geforce 430 GT High-end 1024 8.17.13.1070 passed 2.4x
Asus Geforce 460 GTX High-end 1024 8.17.13.1070 testing x
Asus Geforce 560 GTX High-end 1024 8.17.13.1070 testing x

Radeon Gamer cards

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
Radeon HD 4850 Mid-range 1024 8.0.891.0 passed 2.1x
Radeon HD 5670 Mid-range 512 8.0.891.0 passed 2.2x
Radeon HD 5750 Mid-range 1024 8.0.891.0 passed 2.2x
Radeon HD 5850 Mid-range 1024 8.0.891.0 testing x
Radeon HD 6850 Mid-range 1024 8.0.891.0 passed 2.2x
Radeon HD 7770 Mid-range 1024 8.0.891.0 passed 2.1x

Video Cards tested for BIMx

alt textHere you can see our BIMx results with different videocards. We used a quite complex model, the Shanghai Park Hotel, this can be downloaded from here amongst other BIMx ready Global Illuminated buildings. Tests were done on Win7 64-bit. The FPS number indicates a frames per second ratio based on the speed of the Quadro FX1700 on Windows 7 with the full Global Illuminated model (with shadows on).

Test Results – Windows 7 (64 bit)

Nvidia Quadro FX cards

The following video cards have been tested for BIMx on Windows 7 (64-bit):

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
FX 1700 Mid-range 512 8.17.12.7589 passed 1.0x
FX 1800 High-end 768 8.17.12.7589 passed 1.4x
FX 3700 Mid-range 512 8.17.12.7589 passed 1.5x
FX 3800 High-end 1024 8.17.12.7589 passed 1.6x
FX 4600 High-end 768 8.17.12.7589 passed 1.5x
FX 4800 High-end 1536 8.17.12.7589 passed 1.7x

Nvidia Quadro cards ( Fermi series )

The following video cards have been tested for BIMx on Windows 7 (64-bit):

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
400 High-end 1024 8.17.12.7589 passed 0.9x
600 High-end 1024 8.17.12.7589 passed 1.1x
2000 High-end 1024 8.17.12.7589 passed 1.7x
4000 High-end 2048 8.17.12.7589 passed 1.6x
5000 High-end 2560 8.17.12.7589 passed 1.9x

ATI FireGL cards

The following video cards have been tested for BIMx on Windows 7 (64-bit):

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
V 5600 Mid-range 512 8.911.3.3 passed 1.0x

ATI Fire Pro cards

The following video cards have been tested for BIMx on Windows 7 (64-bit):

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
V 3800 Entry-level 512 8.911.3.3 passed 1.1x
V 4800 Mid-range 1024 8.911.3.3 testing x
V 4900 Mid-range 1024 8.911.3.3 testing x
V 5900 Mid-range 2048 8.911.3.3 passed 0.9x
V 7800 High-end 2048 8.911.3.3 passed 0.9x
V 7900 High-end 2048 8.911.3.3 passed 0.9x
W 5000 Mid-range 2048 8.982.2 passed 0.8x
W 7000 Mid-range 4096 8.982.2 passed 1.6x

ATI APU technology (Fire Pro)

The following APU chips have been tested for BIMx on Windows 7 (64-bit):

A 300 Entry-level 512 8.982.2 passed 1.2x

Geforce Gamer cards

Some popular gamer cards tested for BIMx on Windows 7 (64-bit):

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
Asus Geforce 8600 GT Mid-range 512 8.17.13.142 testing x
Asus Geforce 8800 GT Mid-range 512 8.17.13.142 passed 1.5x
Asus Geforce 8800 GTX Mid-range 768 8.17.13.142 testing x
Asus Geforce 220 GT Mid-range 512 8.17.13.142 passed 1.0x
Asus Geforce 250 GTS High-end 1024 8.17.13.142 passed 1.5x
Asus Geforce 430 GT High-end 1024 8.17.13.142 passed 1.1x
Asus Geforce 460 GTX High-end 1024 8.17.13.142 testing x
Asus Geforce 560 GTX High-end 1024 8.17.13.142 testing x

Radeon Gamer cards

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
Radeon HD 4850 Mid-range 1024 8.961.0.0 passed 1.0x
Radeon HD 5670 Mid-range 512 8.961.0.0 passed 1.0x
Radeon HD 5750 Mid-range 1024 8.961.0.0 passed 0.9x
Radeon HD 5850 Mid-range 1024 8.961.0.0 testing 0.55x
Radeon HD 6850 Mid-range 1024 8.961.0.0 passed 0.7x

Test Results – Windows 8 (64 bit)

Nvidia Quadro FX cards

The following video cards have been tested for BIMx on Windows 8 (64-bit):

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
FX 1700 Mid-range 512 8.17.12.7589 passed 2.4x
FX 1800 High-end 768 8.17.12.7589 passed 2.8x
FX 3700 Mid-range 512 8.17.12.7589 passed 2.9x
FX 3800 High-end 1024 8.17.12.7589 passed 3.0x
FX 4600 High-end 768 8.17.12.7589 testing x
FX 4800 High-end 1536 8.17.12.7589 passed 3.4x

Nvidia Quadro cards ( Fermi series )

The following video cards have been tested for BIMx on Windows 8 (64-bit):

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
400 High-end 1024 8.17.12.7589 passed 1.3x
600 High-end 1024 8.17.12.7589 passed 2.2x
2000 High-end 1024 8.17.12.7589 passed 3.1x
4000 High-end 2048 8.17.12.7589 passed 3.4x
5000 High-end 2560 8.17.12.7589 passed 3.5x

ATI Fire Pro cards

The following video cards have been tested for BIMx on Windows 8 (64-bit):

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
V 3800 Entry-level 512 8.911.3.3 passed 1.6x
V 4800 Mid-range 1024 8.911.3.3 testing x
V 4900 Mid-range 1024 8.911.3.3 passed 1.8x
V 5900 Mid-range 2048 8.911.3.3 passed 1.8x
V 7800 High-end 2048 8.911.3.3 passed 1.8x
V 7900 High-end 2048 8.911.3.3 passed 1.9x
W 5000 Mid-range 2048 8.982.2 passed 1.6x
W 7000 Mid-range 4096 8.982.2 passed 1.8x

ATI APU technology (Fire Pro)

The following APU chips have been tested for BIMx on Windows 8 (64-bit):

A 300 Entry-level 512 8.982.2 passed 1.4x

Geforce Gamer cards

Some popular gamer cards tested for BIMx on Windows 8 (64-bit):

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
Asus Geforce 8600 GT Mid-range 512 8.17.13.1070 passed 2.7x
Asus Geforce 8800 GT Mid-range 512 8.17.13.1070 passed 2.9x
Asus Geforce 8800 GTX Mid-range 768 8.17.13.1070 testing x
Asus Geforce 220 GT Mid-range 512 8.17.13.1070 passed 1.6x
Asus Geforce 250 GTS High-end 1024 8.17.13.1070 passed 3.1x
Asus Geforce 430 GT High-end 1024 8.17.13.1070 passed 2.5x
Asus Geforce 460 GTX High-end 1024 8.17.13.1070 testing x
Asus Geforce 560 GTX High-end 1024 8.17.13.1070 testing x

Radeon Gamer cards

Product Range Video RAM Driver Notes FPS
Radeon HD 4850 Mid-range 1024 8.0.891.0 passed 2.5x
Radeon HD 5670 Mid-range 512 8.0.891.0 passed 2.6x
Radeon HD 5750 Mid-range 1024 8.0.891.0 passed 2.6x
Radeon HD 5850 Mid-range 1024 8.0.891.0 testing x
Radeon HD 6850 Mid-range 1024 8.0.891.0 passed 2.7x
Radeon HD 7770 Mid-range 1024 8.0.891.0 passed 2.7x

Below you can find a testfile for videocard testing purpose.

ArchiCAD16_GraphicsCardTest.pla


Troubleshooting

In this article you can find a collection about the discovered known issues with Video Cards: CategoryVideoCards

 

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