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How to Keep Your Workstation Graphics Card Updated, Part 3: Rules of Thumb

Posted by cadhardware

Aug 11, 2011 2:17:03 PM

In this series, we've talked about why it's so hard to keep your graphics card driver updated and what to do about it. In this post, I'll give you my rules of thumb for updating.

The rule of thumb I use is to try out most updated certified driver from the list of apps that you are using. So if AutoCAD 2011 is certified for v8.773, but ANSYS 13 is only is certified to v8.43, try using v8.773. If you encounter an issue in ANSYS, I would recommend dropping back to the last working certified driver or the lowest common denominator certified driver.

What I Want to See from AMD and Nvidia

In the ideal world what I would like to see from AMD and Nvidia is for the Catalyst Control Center software (or Nvidia equivalent) to let me set a weekly or monthly update schedule to automatically check for updates.

It should also offer the option to check manually for when I don’t have a continuous Internet connection or am regularly behind a firewall. If the software finds a new driver version to download, it lets me know (as well as clearly letting me know what performance enhancements or bug fixes are included in the driver). Most importantly, it would let me scan my system for applications that are ISV certified and indicates if they are or are not certified for this new version. So at a glance I could see which of my critical apps are certified for the driver update. Then I can decide whether or not to update.

Hopefully I will see this kind of feature in a future Control Center update. Until then, I will keep checking the CAD website for driver update news. I also have an Outlook calendar alert set to remind me to check the AMD site every 3 months. I look forward to the next update and performance boost!

CAD/CAE ISVs Links for the Latest Certified Drivers

AutoCAD or any other Autodesk products


Creo Elements/Pro (formally called Pro/ENGINEER—at V5 they rebranded it to this marketing name) & Creo Element/Direct (formally Cocreate)


HyperWorks 11:
PDF http://www.altairhyperworks.com/ResLibDownload.aspx?file_id=807&keywords=graphic


CEI Ensight:

Bentley MicroStation:

(V7900 and V5900 are certified and will be posted here soon)

NX, Teamcenter, Technomatix, Solid Edge:

Side Effects Houdini

Know of other good resources? Add them to the comments below!

Author: Tony DeYoung

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

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