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CADspeed -- Optimizing Hardware for CAD Software

How to Keep Your Workstation Graphics Card Updated, Part 2: What Should You Do?

Posted by cadhardware

Aug 9, 2011 2:01:16 PM

My last post talked about why it is so hard to keep graphics card drivers updated. This post will help you figure out what you should do about it.

One option is to check the ISVs website to see what they post as the latest driver to use with their product. I will post several links to common ISV pages at the end of this blog series. However two caveats regarding checking the ISV's website:

  1. Not every ISV posts the actual driver that they certify. They might just list the latest certified driver version and then you have to go to the AMD site to actually download it.
  2. The ISV may have certified a new driver, but be slow to actually list or post it, lagging behind by a few weeks or more.

What About Automatic Checking in the Application?

Autodesk AutoCAD, Inventor and Revit all support automatic checking. They have an XML that checks what the user is using and if it doesn’t match what Autodesk certified / tested then the user is notified. Also, these applications will notify the user if there is an updated driver that was tested/certified. This is a great per-application feature. Unfortunately this is not common practice for other software vendors. ( I encourage you to write to your favorite CAD vendor and get them to implement this!) So if you want to know what the latest driver is for your particular software, then you need to check the AMD website or the particular software vendor's site.

Where to Get the Latest Drivers?

From AMD

For me the simplest thing is to go to the AMD website:


This page is updated every other week with the latest information on which drivers are certified for which versions of software using a particular graphics card. So if it is on the AMD site, the ISV has certified that version of the driver for accuracy and performance.

AMD Graphics Card Driver Updates

From Nvidia

If you own a Quadro you can do the same thing from their list of certified drivers (although their page interface is a bit more confusing, listing every software version with every driver and card at once).


Nvidia Graphics Card Driver Updates

For the last post in this series, I'll give you some rules of thumb for updating.

Author: Tony DeYoung

Topics: Workstations, Hardware, Graphics Card, GPU, Graphics Cards, AMD, Upgrade, CAD

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