What type of video card does SoftPlan require?
SoftPlan requires a video card that at a minimum is capable of supporting Microsoft® DirectX® 11 (DX11), but will offer significant performance improvements when used with a video card which supports DirectX 12 (DX12)¹.
Depending on the card, a higher numbers of pixel shaders, vertex shaders, stream processors, and ray accelerator cores will generally yield better performance.
SoftPlan runs well with the majority of mainstream graphics cards recently released, but it is important to keep the video driver current. For more information on updating the video card driver check the card manufacturer’s web site.
Minimum Video Card: At least DirectX 11 support, 1 GB+ dedicated RAM.
This class of cards may support DX12 but do not support DX12 ray tracing. They are suitable for 2D and basic 3D work but use a much slower software based ray tracing engine native to SoftPlan and some SoftPlan 3D features will be unavailable. Examples² include:
NVIDIA GeForce 900 series
Better Video Card: DirectX 12 support, 6 GB+ dedicated RAM,
This class of cards support DX12 ray tracing but have no dedicated ray tracing hardware. They are suitable for advanced 3D work, but will result in longer processing times than video cards in the Best class. Examples² include:
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660
Best Video Card: DirectX 12 Ultimate support, 6 GB+ dedicated RAM.
Video cards in this class have dedicated hardware for Ray Tracing and Physically Based Rendering for the fastest processing. Examples² include:
NVIDIA GeForce RTX™ 3xxx series
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2xxx series
Exclusions: Workstation class graphics cards, such as the NVIDIA Quadro® series and the AMD Radeon Pro (formerly FirePro™) series, are NOT recommended as they tend to deliver poor performance when used with SoftPlan, which is designed to take advantage of features provided by so called ‘gaming’ cards, features which most workstation cards lack.
Limitations: Integrated graphics (i.e. no separate graphics card) often do not have dedicated RAM, instead sharing memory with the system in general. This is common with both laptop and desktop computers and can result in inferior performance as compared to that of a separate graphics card.
¹ SoftPlan version 2020 and all earlier versions of SoftPlan do not make use of DirectX12.
² Examples are for reference only and program compatibility is not guaranteed.