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Revit file performance/Graphics card drivers

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    Revit file performance/Graphics card drivers

    I have been having some issues with Revit running slowly, and behaving as if it is bogged down. I think I have some pretty good habits when it comes to Revit file maintenance- I review warnings, audit, and compact weekly, make a new local file regularly, work with only one or two views open at a time, and rarely use graphics intensive visual styles.

    I tend to think that a big part of my issue is the graphics card. I was running the certified driver for my Quadro FX 1700, and it would blue screen regularly. Then I upgraded to the latest driver, and Revit would crash regularly. Now I am running an older driver and no longer experience any crashes. Revit just runs slowly now.

    I guess from all that, my question is, can anyone recommend a better driver for the Quadro FX 1700, or anyway to improve the performance of my Revit files in general?
    Sarah Foulkes

    Not a Revit Robot

    Hi Sarah,

    Whilst it might be totally unrelated, I remember about a year or so back, the gremilins (it couldn'tve been me as I wouldn't do anything so silly), had placed several hundred tiny detail compnents in a row that in normal screen zoom appeared as a line! Once I had discovered them it was all sweet again. Alternatively, I find that I need to completly shut down the computer and restart to free up ram that has got stuck somewhere. Most of the time, just shutting it off at the end of the days work does the trick, but occasionally, I would do it a lunch time if it felt like it was spinning in a glue pot.

    Does the performance remain the same no matter what file is open?

    What is the basic set up of your computer CPU RAM driver number for video card etc? Is the file work set or a ssingle stand alone file?

    Ian Kidston


      I have gotten into the habit of exiting Revit everyday at lunch, and turning it off every night. You are right, it does help keep things running smoothly. The file I am working in is workshared, with the server located in the same office.

      So it's Windows XP 32 bit Intel Xeon processor @2.83GHz 3.25 GB Ram
      Nvidia Quadro FX 1700 on driver 162.55.

      Thanks for your input, Ian.
      Sarah Foulkes

      Not a Revit Robot


        I was just looking at Autodesk's Graphic Card list, and they recommend driver 197.03 for the FX 1700 on XP 32-bit. So I would suggest upgrading to that driver and see if that helps. (there's now a link to "archived" nvidia drivers in the Hardware Recommendations Video Card thread sticky).

        Also, what size project files (in megabytes) are we talking about here?

        And it's important to know whether this happens on similar sized files or just one file. If it's just one file, maybe there's something in the file that is contributing to the issue. If it happens on every file of similar size, then it's probably the hardware.

        As a side note, indicating you have a "Xeon" is a little bit like saying you have Toyota car... there are tons of Xeons, and even knowing it's 2.83GHz only narrows it down to the last five years or so - knowing the model number can be helpful in determining whether the CPU might be underpowered for the size of files you're working on.

        Finally, can you be more specific about what you mean by "slow"? Slow in what ways?

        Hopefully the driver upgrade would just take of the problem.


          Thanks for your input Iru. And sorry about my woeful documentation- I am not terribly hardware savvy and I am never quite sure what information is helpful. The model number for the Intel Xeon is E5440. (I think- if that doesn’t sound right can you please tell me where to look to find this? Oh and for the record, I drive a Honda). The largest file I am working on currently is 34 Mb and workshared. It was 50 Mb yesterday but I did some purging and compacting since then. But smaller files in the neighborhood of 8 and 10 Mb demonstrate the same behavior; these smaller files are not workshared.

          By slow I mean every command takes a few seconds to register. If I move an element it takes two or three seconds for Revit to complete it. This 2-3 seconds applies to the simple commands, like moving a single door 4 inches or aligning one component to a wall. If I grab a component and move it manually, its movement is choppy. Another example, if I click an element and then click on "edit type" sometimes I manage to hit edit type before Revit has even realized that I have clicked something. I have to wait 2-3 seconds for Revit to update the properties dialog to edit the type. I hope that makes sense the way I have described it. Essentially, using the analogy that Ian suggested, it is like working in a pot of glue.

          I was originally using the recommended driver 197.03 and I was having issues with blue screens. Finding no other solution to the blue screen issue we upgraded to the most current driver and continued to have issues with unstable behavior. Since switching to the 162.55 driver I have not have any trouble with crashes, but the file runs slowly. I will take slow over unstable, but it is frustrating to work in all day. Again, thanks for your help. Having limited computer knowledge I it has been difficult for me to troubleshoot on my own.
          Sarah Foulkes

          Not a Revit Robot


            I drive a Honda too! I almost used Honda instead, but thought that might make me sound biased, so I switched it to Toyota at the last second...

            No problem with not being hardware savvy, not many people are, so we try to help each other out where we can. E5440 is correct. It's not an issue here, but it's good to provide that info anyway because it could figure into what recommendations to make if you can't fix the FX 1700.

            You provided a good description of the "slowness".

            Okay, now I realize when you mentioned "certified" driver in your first post, you were probably referring to the 197.03 driver.

            I totally forgot to ask this before, but is this happening with Hardware Acceleration (HWA) on or off? (under Revit options - Graphics tab). If it's on, turn if off. Also turn off anti-aliasing. Then shutdown and reboot computer (rebooting shouldn't really be necessary, but under the circumstances...).

            Assuming HWA had previously been on, if the slowness is gone, you're set (abet, shadows and stuff will be painfully slow). If the slowness is still there, go back to the 197.03 driver, but leave HWA off. If you blue screen again, you need new hardware.

            At that stage, personally I'd strongly recommend getting a new computer since it's outdated anyway and not work sinking more money into. If that's simply not an option, you can get a video card that should work better for around $100. To work with the slowness as it is doesn't make any business sense to me.

            Best of luck!
            Last edited by iru69; December 17, 2010, 04:13 PM. Reason: anti-aliasing


              Thanks for your help Iru! It looks like I need to make a new investment.
              Sarah Foulkes

              Not a Revit Robot


                One thing that I am not sure many people pay attention to but can help significatly is your view regions. I have yet to convince everyone at my office that paying attention to the view extents is farily important. If you have a plan and you only need to see from +2' to 0 then make it so it is only +2' to 0 rather than +2' to -100' or somethings similar. When opening views that large extents can be very slow because it has to generate everything below, even if you do not actually see it in the view.


                  That's a great tip! We need a thread dedicated to project file performance tips.

                  In this particular case, because it's slow or fast depending on the video card driver installed, and it happens on every file (even small ones), we're pretty sure it's a hardware issue.


                    BTW Sarah, if you need some advice or have questions about making "a new investment", don't hesitate to post about it.


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