SolidWorks Visualize to get substantial boost from GPU tech

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Product designers and viz artists using Nvidia’s new RTX GPUs should get a significant performance boost in SolidWorks Visualize 2020 when the software ships later this year through support for Nvidia RT (Ray Tracing) Cores.

This is a natural progression for the GPU accelerated physically-based rendering software but it appears that Dassault Systèmes is not putting all of its eggs in one basket. At SolidWorks World last week AMD demonstrated a ‘technology preview’ of SolidWorks Visualize that could be accelerated on AMD’s own Radeon Pro GPUs.

If both of these developments come to fruition, it will mean users of SolidWorks Visualize will be able to choose between Nvidia or AMD GPU hardware to accelerate the ray trace calculations, offering more choice on desktop and mobile workstations and in the cloud.
By adding support for Nvidia RTX technology, SolidWorks Visualize will be able to take advantage of the dedicated ray tracing cores that are built into the new Turing-based Nvidia RTX GPUs. Nvidia has released early performance figures from the Visualize Tech Preview with RTX acceleration showing a substantial improvement with the Quadro RTX 4000 over the Maxwell-based Quadro M4000.

In DEVELOP3D’s in-depth review of the Quadro RTX 4000 we’ve taken these figures and predicted that enabling the RT cores in SolidWorks Visualize 2020 should cut render times by about 35%. You can read the full article here.

Meanwhile, the news that AMD has been working with Dassault Systèmes on an integration of the Radeon ProRender SDK as an alternative ray tracing engine in Visualize took many by surprise when AMD demonstrated the technology at SolidWorks World last week. SolidWorks Visualize (and Bunkspeed, as it was called before) has only ever been able to be accelerated by Nvidia GPUs through Nvidia CUDA. Giving users choice is always a good thing but so far there has been no announced roadmap or date for delivery of a version of SolidWorks Visualize powered by Radeon ProRender.

We imagine that any integration of Radeon ProRender in SolidWorks Visualize would include machine learning denoising, as detailed in this article, which sounds similar to the Nvidia-accelerated AI denoising capabilities already included in SolidWorks Visualize 2019. AMD was not able to give any further details.


Luxion surprised even more people at SolidWorks by demonstrating a future version of KeyShot that was accelerated by Nvidia Quadro RTX GPUs. We see this as massive news for the design viz industry, and a big endorsement for GPU rendering as a whole, as KeyShot has always been CPU only.

Future versions of SolidWorks Visualize may be able to be accelerated by Nvidia or AMD GPUs

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