macbook vista osx nvidia softmodFor those who just won’t allow that shiny, white MacBookPro to be torn from their cold, dead hands and insist on having the best of both OSX and Vista on one box, this post is for you.

We’ve shown you how to go about soft-modding your nVidia graphics card for RealView graphics on a Mac with Windows XP. This will show you how to get SolidWorks with RealView up and running on your MacBookPro within Microsoft Vista. It’s quick, it’s simple and everything you need is right here.

Total Credit goes to Lou Gallo from SolidWorks Heard! who uses a MacBookPro, has done this software mod and wrote it up to share with all the SolidSmack readers interested in using SolidWorks on a Mac.

If you would like to download the process for future reference, here’s a link to the complete how-to. Download (pdf)

It’s a simple 12-step process. This assumes you already have Vista installed using Bootcamp, Parallels or VMWare. All the file downloads to soft mod the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics card to a Quadro 570M driver are included below.

Step 1: Download RivaTuner

Step 2: Install RivaTuner and run.

Step 3: Click on Customize (Note: your adapter will say NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT) select “Low-level system settings”
install vista on a mac with rivatuner

Step 4: Under “Graphics adapter identification” select “custom” then select “040C (unknown device)” and check “Unlock professional capabilities” and click OK. This will require a reboot to apply. (Note: after the reboot, RivaTuner’s tweeks will set your Display Adapter to “Generic Display Adapter”)

Adjust setting for RivaTuner

Step 5: Download the nVidia Quadro 570M driver (direct download)

Step 6: Unzip the driver (don’t install).

Step 7: From the Control Panel, Device Manager, Expand Display Adapters and right click on “Generic Display Adapter” and select “Update Driver”.

Step 8: Select “Browse my computer for driver software”
m570 driver settings for MacBookPro

Step 9: Select “Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer”

m570 driver locations for MacBookPro

Step 10: Now click “Have Disk” and browse to your unzip location of the Quadro 570M driver.

Step 11: Now follow the rest of the directions through applying the new driver and now when you launch SolidWorks, RealView should be available in your menu.

Step 12: Hold on to your shorts because it is the fastest ride out there!

Again here’s the process in .PDF format.

Thanks again to Lou Gallo for putting this together.


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.