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Graphics card article?

mcconnell113mcconnell113 Member Posts: 74 ✭✭
I came across something on here talking about graphics card implications. A friend of mine is having issues with the way he sees things rendered which i know to be the graphics card and/or settings he is using as I see the same model perfectly fine. Can someone link me where it was talking about setting that up? I can't seem to find it although I've read through it before so I know its there somewhere. Thanks in advance.
John McConnell - Let's change things.


  • JPC204JPC204 Member, Developers Posts: 8
    or more generally is there a minimum hardware requirements and certified graphics hardware guide?
  • john_f_carrjohn_f_carr Onshape Employees Posts: 74
    We released some changes to our graphics code this morning, so you could try reloading today and seeing if it works better.

    The ?-in-a-circle icon at top right of the CAD screen takes you to help.  Graphics compatibility is discussed at https://cad.onshape.com/help/#webgl.htm .

    We don't have a hardware compatibility list for graphics cards because we don't talk to graphics cards directly.  Our basic requirement for modeling is webgl, the software that runs 3D graphics in your browser.  Visit https://get.webgl.org/ to see if you have it and find some links to information.

    If you see something that looks almost like a model, with glitches, you have webgl.  You can contact support (feedback link on the same ?-in-a-circle menu) if the problem is still present today.
  • berneberne Member Posts: 22 ✭✭
    @John_F_Carr are there any tips/tricks to webgl that we all need to learn about?  The only thing I have been suggesting to my friends is to use chrome when you can... can you suggest some basic rules of them that will make OS run more efficiently?
  • frédéricfrédéric Member Posts: 19 ✭✭
    instead of a graphic card list, is there a "prefered" browser or difference between them on the different platforms..?
  • john_f_carrjohn_f_carr Onshape Employees Posts: 74
    Our help page lists Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and Opera as "tested and approved."  Firefox and Chrome get the most use in our office.  We try to keep a uniform feature set  across all browsers.  There are minor differences in performance or appearance where we work around limitations.  For example, we'd like to implement section view using a particular webgl extension, but we have to fall back to a different method on Chromebooks that don't support the extension.  All these workarounds are subject to change in every new release of Onshape
  • frédéricfrédéric Member Posts: 19 ✭✭
    ok, great..!
    only tried with Firefox actually, but all seem's ok for me. :)
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,470 PRO
    How do you know what graphics card would be good for using OS? Mostly specs just have open gl version and nothing about webgl.. What features are important for OS?

    This is difficult matter considering cads in general, usually cheap 'game graphics' look better in specs than 2x priced professional graphics that most likely would still be worth the money for 3d designer.
  • pete_yodispete_yodis OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 666 ✭✭✭
    @3dcad You'll want that cheaper and much more powerful gaming card. Don't need the overpriced professional card that they charge lots of money for because you're stuck with it...
  • jakeramsleyjakeramsley Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 652
    @3dcad You'll want that cheaper and much more powerful gaming card. Don't need the overpriced professional card that they charge lots of money for because you're stuck with it...
    Yes.  As far as I know, none of the graphic card companies have done any special drivers/cards that are made for WebGL applications.  Paying for a workstation card's firmware won't give you added benefit  for Onshape right now.
    Jake Ramsley

    Director of Quality Engineering & Release Manager              onshape.com
  • pete_yodispete_yodis OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 666 ✭✭✭

    @jramsley Hopefully it stays that way, too.  Good stuff.

  • Charles_22Charles_22 Member Posts: 2
    edited April 2015
    I've joined the forum after a, sadly, unsuccessful attempt to run Onshape on my system. As far as it goes, support have been very helpful. It remains true that I can run lots of WebGL examples found on the web. Onshape loads a document, but is horrendously slow. So slow in fact that initially I assumed it was crashing Firefox.

    I'm joining this thread in the hope that we can come to a  some consensus as to what graphics hardware and software is a minimum requirement to get Onshape to work acceptably.

    It's easy to spend money on quad core i7 processors and perhaps thousands on massive GPU cards. A quick google produces cards from £75 to an astounding £4189!

    So the simple question is what works, or more importantly does not work for you?

    I open the survey with my experience:
    Linux Fedora 17 on a 2.8GHz dual core Dell Dimension 3100 containing embedded Intel 915 graphics hardware. Note. This uses Mesa software emulation for OpenGL.  With the help of support, this does NOT work.

    Unfortunately Dell Dimension mother boards don't have a PCIe x 16 slot, therefor a complete machine upgrade is probably in order.

    Before spending thousands speculatively it would be great to know what is a minimum hardware requirement specification? Processor, memory, graphics adapter and Linux kernel version would be good. Clearly the only way to get to some kind of answer is to ask for user experience.

    Specifically is anybody running with a non express PCI card? For example a vanilla PCI Geforce FX5500

    TIA, Charles Bradshaw
  • john_rousseaujohn_rousseau Member, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 339
    edited April 2015
    @Charles, thanks for sticking with it. Sorry your experience has been a frustrating one so far.

    I wish I had a comprehensive list of supported hardware, but I don't. The fact is that most of the machines that we get our hands on run Onshape just fine. Looking around Camp Onshape World Headquarters you will find a lot of MacBook Pros and Lenovo w540s (running both Ubuntu and Windows). These are developer class machines though and you really don't need that much horsepower. Note that getting WebGL to cooperate under Linux can take a little work.

    The gaming machine that my son built with an Asus GTX750TI ($149, newegg.com) running Windows 8.1 displays complex models without ever dropping the frame rate. Stunningly fast.

    @Lou Gallo loves running Onshape on his Chromebooks. I've had great experiences with 2011 and newer MacBook Airs.

    2010 era MacBook Pros with the dual graphics chip sets are known to have WebGL based crashes and are best to avoid.

    Here's a stab at some desktop specs, totally assembled from anecdote:
    • I think any Intel i3, i5, i7 processor created in the last 4 years should be fine.
    • I haven't played with many AMD chips recently, but I can't see why something from the past 4 years wouldn't be fine as well.
    • Enough memory so that running the browser doesn't thrash should be fine so let's call that 4GB. 
    • A graphics card that will support a WebGL browser. I would look for something mainstream vs. top end performance. You are looking for support from the OS and the browser more than FPS.
    • An operating system that supports WebGL well. MacOS has it. Windows 8.1 has it. Linux depends more on the graphics drivers. In general we've had better luck with the native (ex. NVIDIA) drivers over the generic ones in the distributions.
    Pick a good browser. We use Chrome, Firefox and Safari a lot. 

    I think we've been saying this subtly on the forums, but maybe not as clearly as we should: You really don't need a lot of hardware to run Onshape (note the excellent performance on iPads, recent Chromebooks, etc.). You DO need a "mainstream enough" graphics card so that you don't run into goofy browser bugs. Faster graphics cards will let you rotate the International Space Station public model around at a faster frame rate than slower graphics cards, but that's really more useful for impressing your friends than being able to model.

    Hope this helps. 
    John Rousseau / VP, Technical Operations / Onshape Inc.
  • david_sohlstromdavid_sohlstrom Member, Mentor Posts: 159 ✭✭✭
    @Charles Bradshaw  Hi Brad hope you can get your problems fixed. I'm running OnS on aHP and a Acer laptop with nothing exodic in them 


    David Sohlstrom

    Ariel, WA
  • MichaelPascoeMichaelPascoe Member Posts: 1,651 PRO
    edited January 2022
    @john_rousseau, This is an old post/discussion, but I'm looking for some comparisons and load times from the click of the document to fully loaded graphics in an assembly. This doesn't seem to be calculated in the performance panel.

    For example, I click a medium sized assembly, it takes 15 seconds to fully load while the performance panel shows it only takes 20ms for the "Mate solve time".

    Another example, open semi complex part studio, it takes 11 seconds to fully load while the performance panel shows a "Total regeneration time" of 86.5 seconds. In the same studio, I rolled to the beginning of the feature tree then back to the end and it took 8.5 seconds to fully load, while the performance panel still showed a total regeneration time of 86.5 seconds. If I edit the most time costly feature, then let the studio regen, it takes 198 seconds to fully load while the performance panel shows a total regen time of 119.5 seconds; in this case, the performance panel stops the timer as soon as the basic graphics have loaded, but the studio was not functional (the loading icon didn't go away) until 78.5 seconds after the performance panels reported total regen time.

    Specifically, I need to know how much the gaming class graphics cards impact the load time for large assemblies. Has this information been researched? If not, I will be running some tests. If it's already been done, it would be nice to have those comparisons between a few of the cards ex: Nvidia GTX 1060, 2060, 3060, 3080, 3080 mobile, etc.

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  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 3,876 PRO
    I have a RTX 2070 Super.

    I've loaded enormous assemblies without a problem.
    The browser itself seems to have more of an impact with large assemblies.

    I think firefox crashes less, but I use Edge as my daily driver.
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