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Fixing Solidworks OpenGL on Parallels

The following is not MeshCAM related, I’m posting it here with the hopes that it will save some other Solidworks user the hour it took me to figure this out. Just a warning though- do this at your own risk since it involves registry editing.

For a few years I’ve been using Macbooks for my MeshCAM development. I usually just skip OSX and install Windows using Bootcamp since I’m only on the Macbook for the better display and keyboard. I just got my new Retina Machbook Pro and I finally have to stay on OSX to take full advantage of the new display so I’m installing Windows 7 under Parallels. MeshCAM and all of my development tools work really well under Parallels, the only problem is Solidworks 2012- it insists on using software OpenGL which slows everything to a crawl.

After a lot of tweaking and Googling I found this page . At the bottom of the page you can find the registry tweaks I used.

To summaraize, I opened Regedit went to

 \HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks\SolidWorks 2012\Performance\Graphics\Hardware\ 

and went into each graphics adapter listed that started with Parallels and changed the Workarounds:10

to Workarounds:4000480

(as a hex value). In my case, I did this to four adapters that were combinations of Parallels and ATI/NVIDIA.

After this change Solidworks used the hardware OpenGL and is more than fast enough for anything I do. The performance under Parallels is just as good as the performance under Windows natively.

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