Users of the design viz tool Solidworks Visualize should soon be able to choose between Nvidia or AMD GPUs for the ray tracing calculations. On the AMD stand at Siggraph last week DS Solidworks demonstrated a beta version of Solidworks Visualize 2020 that was being accelerated by an AMD Radeon Pro WX 9100.
As you can see from the screen shots below, users will be able to select their preferred render engine – Nvidia Iray or AMD Radeon ProRender – to match the GPU hardware they have in their workstation.
As this is beta software one can’t be 100% certain that AMD Radeon ProRender support will make it into the final release but AMD told DEVELOP3D that a DS Solidworks spokesperson said that everything is on track.
Solidworks Visualize (or Bunkspeed Shot as it was known in a previous incarnation) was one of the pioneering applications for GPU rendering. Nvidia Iray has been its sole render engine for years, but as it is based on Nvidia CUDA it is not compatible with AMD GPUs. Nvidia Iray does run on CPUs but delivers relatively poor performance.
Adding support for Radeon ProRender should mean the software will now run on a much wider range of desktop and mobile workstations.
Of course, DS Solidworks continues to rely heavily on Nvidia technology. Solidworks Visualize 2020 will be the first release to support Nvidia RTX technology, which uses the special ray tracing cores in Nvidia RTX GPUs.
Other new features mentioned for Visualize 2020 include: X-Rite Appearance eXchange Format (AxF), GL Transmission Format (glTF), IES Light Profiles, and large-screen resolution support.