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AlanZhang 01-30-2008 11:05 AM

Graphic Cards Compatible With Flexsim
 
This article was generated from a thread that was posted to gather information regarding graphics cards, i.e. which ones work well in Flexsim, and which ones don't. Information from the different posts of the thread have been gathered together and organized in this article. All of the original posts of the thread can be found by scrolling down below the article.

Note on posting replies to this thread - Since this is a thread, you can obviously post replies. However, since this is also a wiki article, if you just want to add your graphics card experience, please add it to this main wiki article instead of adding a reply post. This will make the article more organized so that people can get the right information directly from the article, instead of having to search all the reply posts. Also, in adding your own experience, please include the graphics card, the driver version if available, and the version of Flexsim you're using.

Graphics Card Overview
Flexsim and its users have found that Nvidia cards generally perform quite well with Flexsim. They provide both high quality and a good refresh rate, and do not present very many problems to users. ATI cards have been found to generally perform less impressively. Either they have lower quality/refresh rate, or cause problems like not refreshing the window properly, or not working at all (refer to posts by Lolke Koopmans, syseo, alanzhang, ralfgruber, martijnkooijman).


Onboard graphics cards, such as those made by Intel, have also had issues in Flexsim (refer to post by Tom David).


If you are having problems, the first thing to do is to experiment with different device driver settings. For ATI cards, this can be done in the ATI Catalyst Control Center. For Nvidia cards, you can do this through the NView application. Try disabling/enabling different features to see if it makes a difference. If none of these work, you can try tweaking Flexsim's graphics settings through Flexsim's graphics configurator. As a last option, you can often fix problems by choosing the "High Compatibility" option
in Flexsim's graphics configurator. This completely disables graphics acceleration, so everything is done on the CPU, meaning it will be much much slower, but it should fix any issues.

Nvidia Card Overview
Nvidia graphics cards generally work well with Flexsim. However, in some instances, the user will experience some delays in big models with a lot of drawings when clicking in the model space (sometimes it takes up to 5s) (Nvidia 7900 GTX Card, refer to post by Nico Zahn). Flexsim is working on this slow clicking issue, and the version 5 release should resolve it.

Nvidia Card Configurations
Below is a list of hardware configurations using Nvidia cards, as well as a description of how well they work.

NVIDIA Quado FX 3500 in desktop computer (AlanZhang) - Works fine. No compatibility issues encountered. Graphic quality is good. Refresh rate much faster than ATI FireGL 3400.

Nvidia GeForce Go 6800 in mobile desktop (Tom David) - never had problems with it.

Nvidia Quadro FX 2500 M on Dell M90 (Steven Hamoen) - That card has/had some problems. First off all the driver update frequency is very slow (maybe once a year) and I had some problems with Flexsim that if I switched to a different program and came back to Flexsim, the ortho or perspective view simply showed the other program. The latest update (after 1,5 year the first update!!) has improved that. The other issue is speed, one thinks with this professional card it should be ok, but my collegues use the GEFORCE GO 7900 GS and that card is clearly faster and gives absolutely no problems.

Nvidia Geforce GO 7900 GS (colleagues of Steven Hamoen) - gives absolutely no problems.

Nvidia 7900 GTX Card 514MB RAM Desktop (Nico Zahn)
- I experience some delays (in big modells with a lot of drawings) when clicking in the model space(sometimes it takes up to 5s). Once it snapped in I can move around quiet smoothly.

NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT (Lolke Koopmans) - this works fine.

Nvidia GeForce 7950 GTX Card 1gb (Pablo Concha) - same clicking issues as 7900 GTX card above

Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT 512 mb (Pablo Concha) - same clicking issues as 7900 GTX card above

Nvidia GeForce 6800 GT 256 mb (Pablo Concha) - same computer and models as above don't show that clicking problem.

Nvidia GeForce FX Go5650 on Dell Lattitude D800 128MB (Kris Geisberger) - has worked very well with Flexsim

Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT 256MB dedicated + 256MB shared on Dell Vostro Intel Duo Core T7500 2.2GHz/800Mhz FSB, 4MB Cache 3GB DDR2 SDRAM (Kris Geisberger) - I believe this is the same card Lolke has. This card works well in Good, High and Best Quality Flexsim modes with the Nvidia 3D settings at either Performance or Quality. The best looking combination of settings is the latter of each (Best+Quality) and the fastest combination is the former of each (Good+Performance). I found it interesting that this card does not work in High Speed or High Compatibility modes - 3D shapes don't show. I have no reason to select these modes, so I am not concerned.

Nvidia Geforce 8800 (Brenton King) - no problems.

Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT 2 GB RAM 2.2 Ghz Dual Core CPU (syseo) - It shows good quality and performance running flexsim.

Nvidia GeForce Go 7900 GS on Dell Inspiron 9400 Core 2 Duo T7400 @ 2.16 GHz with 2GB RAM (Cliff King) - my laptop that I really like

Nvidia Quadro NVS 120M (chipset is GeForce Go 7400) on Dell Latitude D820 Core 2 Duo T7400 @ 2.16 GHz with 3GB RAM (Anthony Johnson) - it works great

NVIDIA GeForce 8700M GT on Toshiba Satellite X205 (Brandon Peterson) - Intel Core Duo T7300 @ 2.00Ghz / 2GB Ram / Windows Vista Ultimate. Had Vista issues with 4.0 but it works great with 4.3

ATI Card Configurations
Below is a list of hardware configurations using ATI cards, as well as a description of how well they work.

ATI FireGL 3400 in desktop computer (AlanZhang) - Works fine. No compatibility issues encountered. But graphic quality is not very good. After upgraded to Flexsim v4.3, experienced wired graphic problem. The details of the objects are missing if you zoom in to some level. After upgrading to latest driver, Flexsim won't work. So I have to roll back to previous driver. At the same time, AC3D won't work. My experience is avoiding ATI FireGL card. Updated 06/11/2008 - a CT model crashes my computer whenever I open the model using Flexsim. Same model does not have the problem on a computer using NVidiaQuado FX 3500card.

ATI Mobility Fire GL T2 in IBM T42 notebook (AlanZhang) - (Some compatibility issues. For example, fs3d/textureplane.wrl does not show until I turn on the Flexsim compatibility mode).

ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 on HP Compaq nx9420 (Martin Kooijman) - I run Flexsim at high compatibility because otherwise it wo'nt start

ATI Radeon 4350 on Dell Vostro Desktop (Anthony Johnson) - We bought a test machine with this card, Catalyst version 9.7, driver version 8.632.0.0, opengl driver version 6.14.10.8787. It seems to work fine on my basic tests, i.e. building a post office model and opening/running/navigating a flexsim display model. Works in both Flexsim 4.52 and 4.32.

Integrated/Onboard Graphics Cards
Integrated graphics cards (cards integrated into the cpu or motherboard) have been shown to not work well with Flexsim. Usually you must go into compatibility mode in order to get them to work.

Intel GMA 4500 on Dell Vostro Desktop (Anthony Johnson) - Flexsim 4.52. With this chip you can drop objects into the model, but you can't click on them or move them around. Also, panning around in the ortho/persp isn't right. However, we've made some changes for the upcoming version 5 release, and these changes appear to fix the problem with this chip.

Tom David 02-01-2008 12:00 AM

We (in Germany) always advise our user to buy NVIDIA cards, because they do not have problems like the ATI cards. As far as I know this is because ATI displays the OpenGL standard (!) not in the same “right” (?) way as NVIDIA does.

I know that there are usually issues with onboard graphic chips (like Intel, etc.).

So I guess that a Flexsim user should always look for an NVIDIA card and not think of ATI or Onboard Graphic cards, even if some of them work.
We also (in Germany) recommend if someone is going to buy a computer for simulation he should look for the high-end stuff, because it is always CPU, RAM and Graphic Card which can make the simulation runs fast or slow.

Anyway, I used so far only one Graphic Card with Flexsim and had never problems with it.

NVIDIA GeForce Go 6800 in mobile desktop.


Take care
Tom the (A)tom

P.S.: I agree with Cliff, that this is a great thread. Good idea, Alan!

Steven Hamoen 02-01-2008 02:16 AM

As in Germany we also advice NVIDIA cards. I personally would go for the high-end gaming cards for instance the GEFORCE series.
When I bought mine new laptop (DELL M90) I went for a proffessional graphics card, a Quadro FX 2500 M. But that card has/had some problems:
First off all the driver update frequency is very slow (maybe once a year) and I had some problems with Flexsim that if I switched to a different program and came back to Flexsim, the ortho or perspective view simply showed the other program. The latest update (after 1,5 year the first update!!) has improved that.

The other issue is speed, one thinks with this proffessional card it should be ok, but my collegues use the GEFORCE GO 7900 GS and that card is clearly faster and gives absolutely no problems.

Steven

Tom David 02-01-2008 02:37 AM

Yes, Steven you are right that this is one disadvantage of notebooks or let’s say mobile graphic cards.

Because I do not like the slow update rate for the drivers of mobile graphic cards and like to use newer drivers, I found a way how to update to newer drivers, which is in a way a little bit of hacking, but it works so far for me.

I found a home page (unfortunately it is in German, but I am sure there are also pages in English) where some guys change the ini-file for the NVIDIA Driver and include the mobile graphic cards. So with this ini-file you can just install the latest NVIDIA driver. I never install beta version, but the latest version before the beta version.
Like said, this works fine for me. So if you like to try it, I can give you some further information on it, but I will not be responsible if something happens to your system. ;)

So everybody who reads this post use this information on your own risk.

Nico Zahn 02-01-2008 02:45 AM

Hi,
I am mostly working on Desktop with a Nvidia 7900 GTX Card. Also this card has some 512MB of memory I experience some delays (in big modells with a lot of drawings) when clicking in the model space(sometimes it takes up to 5s). Once it snapped in I can move around quiete smoothly. There is the option to add a second card of the same type to speed up graphics, but I think this won´t bring down the delay in accesing the model space...

I also recoomend the Nvidia cards, also ATI works well when you deactivate the acceleration and put Flexsim to compatibility mode.

For a desktop working place I would recommend graphic cards which are able to serve two screens so you can work with a view strechted over 2 screens, making modelling more comfortable.

If you connect a second machine by an KVM-switch (Keyboard-Video-Mouse) you can use one keyboard and mouse and work on two machines with real multi tasking...(I experienced a plus in productivity):)

Lolke Koopmans 02-01-2008 02:46 AM

I am using a Dell laptop with: NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT

this works fine.

Before I had an ATI graphics card. There I had some problems in the beginning, but that worked ok in the end as well.

Pablo Concha 02-01-2008 08:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nico Zahn (Post 958)
Hi,
I am mostly working on Desktop with a Nvidia 7900 GTX Card. Also this card has some 512MB of memory I experience some delays (in big modells with a lot of drawings) when clicking in the model space(sometimes it takes up to 5s). Once it snapped in I can move around quiete smoothly.

I've experienced the same issue with Nvidia GeForce 7950 GTX Card (1gb of memory) and with a new GeForce 8600 GT (512 mb of memory).. same computer and models with a GeForce 6800 GT (256 mb of memory) don't show that problem.

regards,

Pablo Concha E.

Kris Geisberger 02-01-2008 09:27 AM

For the past 3 years I have used a Dell Lattitude D800 with an Nvidia GeForce FX Go5650 128MB which has worked very well with Flexsim.

When searching for a new laptop I found that some time ago Dell stopped using Nvidia in the Lattitude product line. At this point I thought it would be necessary to upgrade to a more expensive Precision (Nvidia Quadro - see Steven Hamoen's post) or XPS (Nvidia GeForce). Then I found that I could configure the cheaper Vostro line with the same CPU, more RAM and a better GPU for less.

Intel Duo Core T7500 (2.2GHz/800Mhz FSB, 4MB Cache)
3GB DDR2 SDRAM
Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT (256MB dedicated + 256MB shared)
Windows XP

I believe this is the same card Lolke has.
This card works well in Good, High and Best Quality Flexsim modes with the Nvidia 3D settings at either Performance or Quality. The best looking combination of settings is the latter of each (Best+Quality) and the fastest combination is the former of each (Good+Performance).

I found it interesting that this card does not work in High Speed or High Compatibility modes - 3D shapes don't show. I have no reason to select these modes, so I am not concerned.

(I use Dell mainly because of the Next Business Day Service Plan)

Brenton King 02-01-2008 02:23 PM

Techsupport's Graphics Cards
 
I use a NVidia Geforce 8800 with no problems.
Others in the office use the Geforce 7600

syseo 02-02-2008 05:58 AM

I use Dell Vostro note book same as Lolke and desktop in office.

The notebook has NVIDEA GeForce 8600M GT.
Main memory is 2 GB and CPU 2.2 Ghz Dual Core.
It shows good quality and performance running flexsim.

DeskTop pc has also NVIDEO Graphic card becaus of flexsim.
I do not remember the NVIDEO Graphic model number.
It is maybe 7600. It also shows good quality and performance.
It is 1.86 Ghz Dual Core and 2 GB memory.

I also had used ATI graphic card in my old notebook.
It did not show smooth animation.

Regards.

Cliff King 02-04-2008 07:03 PM

Cliff and Anthony's Computer Specs
 
Here's the specs for my laptop that I really like:
Dell Inspiron 9400 Core 2 Duo T7400 @ 2.16 GHz with 2GB RAM and a NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GS graphics card.


Here's the specs for Anthony's laptop and he says it works great too:
Dell Latitude D820 Core 2 Duo T7400 @ 2.16 GHz with 3GB RAM and a NVIDIA Quadro NVS 120M (chipset is GeForce Go 7400)

AlanZhang 02-08-2008 12:17 PM

Hi all,

Thanks for the sharing and the positive feedback. Looks like we have gotten a lot of information here. Maybe someone in Flexsim later can summarize and put a list of graphic card in their homepage or somewhere else. But let me try to make a short summarization. Please feel free to edit this post if you think it is appropriate.

1.
Recommend using NVIDIA cards, both on desktop and laptop.

2.
Looking for high end gaming card such as Nvidia Geforce series (Geforce 6800 and up). Quadro series may have some minor problems.

3.
There is one NVIDIA card Nvidia 7900 GTX Card which should be avoided.

4.
Generally ATI cards should be avoided. If you already have one, try: deactivate acceleration and put Flexsim in compatibility mode.

5.
If buy a new desktop dedicated to simulation, try this (up to 02/08/2008):
Intel Duo Core T7500 (2.2GHz/800Mhz FSB, 4MB Cache)
3GB DDR2 SDRAM
Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT (256MB dedicated + 256MB shared)
Windows XP

RalfGruber 02-11-2008 04:04 PM

Alternative display driver for ATI
 
"Alan:
4.
Generally ATI cards should be avoided. If you already have one, try: deactivate acceleration and put Flexsim in compatibility mode."

If you have to stick with your ATI card, for what reason ever and have the guts to try an alternative driver to improve OpenGL, try this website:

http://www.omegadrivers.net

These Omega drivers implement OpenGL much better than ATI´s catalyst drivers do. I could even use my ATI Radeon 9000 notebook with it (not for very large models, don´t expect wonders!!).

Ralf Gruber
aka
ralle

Martin Kooijman 02-22-2008 03:35 AM

My black screens on model startup seems to be solved with version 4.3.

I use a HP Compaq nx9420 with a ATI :( Mobility Radeon X1600. I run Flexsim at high compatibility because otherwise it wo'nt start. I have not yet tried this for version 4.3.

Anthony Johnson 04-10-2008 11:32 AM

Just moved this thread into User Generated Articles, making it into an article and trying to organize all the information into one spot.

Brandon Peterson 04-11-2008 10:03 AM

Here are the specs on my laptop had Vista issues with 4.0 but it works great with 4.3

Toshiba Satellite X205 / Intel Core Duo T7300 @ 2.00Ghz / 2GB Ram / NVIDIA GeForce 8700M GT / Windows Vista Ultimate

rothe_ve 05-17-2008 12:51 AM

Graphics card compatibility issues
 
I dont think that either of Nvidia or ATI cards have any problem:D. The problem lies with the settings (Flexsim OpenGL Configurator and respective card display options):mad:.

I am not a expert in resolving graphics card problem. My experience with changing the settings on the application as well as the graphics card has always been good.

Steven Hamoen 05-28-2008 08:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pablo Concha (Post 961)
I've experienced the same issue with Nvidia GeForce 7950 GTX Card (1gb of memory) and with a new GeForce 8600 GT (512 mb of memory).. same computer and models with a GeForce 6800 GT (256 mb of memory) don't show that problem.

regards,

Pablo Concha E.


We bought a few months ago 2 new vostro's with 8600M GT with 15.4" screens who did not have any problems with the delay. 2 weeks ago we bought basically the same vostro with a 17" screen that does have the delay problem. So I was wondering if Nico and Pablo also have a 17" screen on there laptops and if that might be the problem?

Steven

Nico Zahn 05-29-2008 01:02 AM

Hi Steven,
I am working with a desktop. The problem occured with single 19'' Screens and two 19'' Screens splittet horizontaly.
The card quitted its duty, so now I have an GEForec 8800 GT without any problems but too me this card seems to have a slighly lower performance.

Pablo Concha 06-02-2008 11:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steven Hamoen (Post 1965)
We bought a few months ago 2 new vostro's with 8600M GT with 15.4" screens who did not have any problems with the delay. 2 weeks ago we bought basically the same vostro with a 17" screen that does have the delay problem. So I was wondering if Nico and Pablo also have a 17" screen on there laptops and if that might be the problem?

Steven

Steven, i forgot to mention that the problem ocurred on a desktop with dual 17" monitors. On the laptops we have nvidia quadro fx 1500m with a 19" screen and it works with no problems...

regards,

Pablo Concha E.


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