Budget Graphics Card for Microstation 2D CAD


Any experienced Microstation V8 XM users here? Apparently the nVidia 7300LE 128MB PCIex cards that came with my Dell workstations don't provide enough power to have a couple of Microstation instances open at the same time without massive slow down.I talked to a Bentley tech and they said it was a problem with having too little graphics memory. I believe these 7300LE's share system RAM (2GB) so I think there should be enough, but that's what the Bentley tech said.So I'm looking for a budget card to replace the 7300LE's with. Right now I'm looking at the 8800GTS 320MB or the 9600GT 512MB, both around $150.Any recommendations?

Please help

I didn't find the right solution from the internet.

Creative advertising studio


  • If you are using MicroStation V8 XM Edition it is probably time to consider upgrading to a more recent release like MicroStation CONNECT Edition. As the XM version is only certified for use on system with an O/S version up to Windows Vista it is worth considering the CONNECT version as it is able to be used on all supported versions up to Windows 10. Also, if you using the XM version with new graphics hardware and new versions of Windows then this may cause issue with its display.

    The following Wiki provides recommendations for MicroStation V8i but even this is probably out of date.


       Andrew Bell

  • Hi,

    I agree with Andrew that MicroStation V8 XM Edition version is pretty old and should be upgraded.

    .I talked to a Bentley tech and they said it was a problem with having too little graphics memory.

    In my opinion 2GB is enough for 2D. How much memory is required does not depend on a drawing complexity too much (2D and 3D is the difference, but 2D with 1000 and 1000000 elements not), but primarily whether 2 monitors are used and how many MicroStation views are used. Every opened view is computed separately, so it requires separate part of graphic card memory.

    It means 2GB can be more than enough for 2D drafting in a one view, but not enough when more view / monitor / MicroStation instances are used.

    don't provide enough power

    I see two problems here (beside maybe not enough memory):

    • MicroStation V8 XM Edition was the first version that have used DirectX for graphic acceleration. The quality and performance was, from today perspective, very poor, and was greatly enhanced in laters versions (including migration to higher versions of DirectX).
    • Nvidia provide seriously poor and buggy support for DirectX. As they are great in HW performance, OpenGL and computation, their DirectX is terrible (including with ocasional lies what DirectX feature is really supported and what only simulated inside driver).
    Please help

    My very personal advice is to forget Nvidia and try some basic AMD gaming card. Quite a lot of my customers (and me also ;-) use AMD cards extensively (we don't talk about extreme 3D modeling) and they report zero problems. In general, because gaming cards are often optimized for DirectX and AMD is focused to this market, the quality and performance is often better comparing to professional cards, where main focus is to OpenGL and computation.

    With regards,