If you thought it doesn’t matter which video card you use with AutoCAD LT, it’s time to think again. Randall Young wrote today’s guest post to explain why.
Certified Graphics: Not just for AutoCAD anymore
Every year the development team at Autodesk tries to bring you the newest technology. This not only affects our hardware-acceleration-using AutoCAD users, but now also AutoCAD LT users. Since 2009, when the ribbon and the new layer manager were introduced, users have been using hardware acceleration without knowing it. This is because these features are developed on Microsoft’s .Net framework, which means “certified graphics are not just for AutoCAD anymore.”
When it comes to graphics cards, we have two levels of support: certified and tested. Certified graphics cards have a higher level of support and are considered in the “Workstation” class. If you find a defect while using certified graphics we will work with the vendor to get an expedited fix. Tested graphics cards do not have the same guarantee, but they are run though a similar qualification process. There is a considerable amount of testing that goes into stamping a driver as tested or certified. If you stick with these drivers, you will be running in an environment that is very similar to what AutoCAD developers are in. In doing this you are limiting the possibility of graphics-related crashes or artifacts.
To figure out what graphics card you have you:
- Go to ‘My Computer,’ right click on it, and select ‘properties’ in the menu
- (For XP) Go to the ‘Hardware’ tab and click the ‘Device Manager’ button
- (For Vista and Windows 7) Click the ‘Device Manager’ button on the left of the dialog
- Expand the node next to ‘Display Adapters’
- Right click on the graphics card listed and select ‘properties’ in the menu
- On the ‘Driver’ tab you can see the version and card information should look something like below.
Once you have this information, go to the AutoCAD Certified Graphics page (http://www.autodesk.com/autocad-graphicscard). To use this site, just chose your card from the card pull down (shown below in red). To download the latest drivers for your hardware click the little blue down arrow next to the operating system name. This will download and begin installing the best driver for AutoCAD and your system.
The certified hardware list is not only good to check for the latest driver for the hardware you have, but it is also a good resource to see what video card you should consider in your next desktop or laptop. We currently recertify every four to six months, so please stop back and check for the current driver. Thanks for reading this post, and good luck on your upcoming projects.
Software Quality Assurance Engineer
AutoCAD Test Development