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Upgrading to Vista?

February 18, 2007

Filed under: CAD/CAM/CAE,review — Terry Wohlers @ 09:58

I’m not. XP Pro is just fine, thank you. My first in-depth experience with Vista will likely occur when I purchase a new desktop computer. The one at my desk is about three years old, so it may happen in the next year or so. Am I excited about working with a new OS? Not really. 2006 was the first time in 20 years that Wohlers Associates had all of its computers running the same OS. Many years ago, we were running DOS, Windows, Mac, and UNIX—at the same time—and the computers were networked, although not as smoothly as they are today. Life in the office is much better now.

Ralph Grabowski reported in his February 3, 2007 upFront.eZine newsletter that CAD software runs dramatically slower on computers equipped with Vista. Compared to XP, Pro/E runs 6.7x slower, SolidWorks 9x slower, and UGS NX an unbelievable 50x slower. Grabowski goes on to say that the reason for the poor performance is Microsoft’s decision to abandon support of the OpenGL graphics library in Vista. Most CAD software companies use OpenGL, so until they support Microsoft’s Direct3D graphics system, CAD software performance will be horrible.

According Grabowski’s February 10 issue of his newsletter, UGS stated that it plans to support Vista and expects to complete testing later this year. With new graphics drivers, UGS does not anticipate performance to be an issue for NX, Solid Edge, and other UGS products.

In the same newsletter, Grabowski pointed out that OpenGL is only one reason for the terrible performance. Vista’s file system checking takes up valuable resources. Also, he explained that Vista checks all computer hardware 30 times per second to ensure that its digital rights management (DRM) hasn’t been compromised—another reason for its lackluster performance.

1 Comment

  1. Ralph Grabowski reported the following in his February 20, 2007 upFront.eZine newsletter: Autodesk vice president Buzz Krozz said that the company’s Inventor software runs just as fast on Vista as on XP because it uses DirectX graphics. AutoCAD 2008 will ship with both OpenGL and DirectX drivers.

    Comment by Terry Wohlers — February 21, 2007 @ 09:36