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Vectorworks 2011 = SLOOOW!!

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I have files that I am working on in both 2010 & 2011. I must admit that I find the 2010 version better. Maybe they will fix some of the quirks in 2011 in an update but until then I am sorry I paid for the "upgrade?". The join roof command was a big selling point and it really hasn't been a major help with all the other problems taken into account.

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I have no regrets. Looks like we have the same rig. 2011 is not perfect, but it seems quite stable. My drawing files are not very complicated compared to architectural docs filled with PIOs.

Apparently, there are many licenses out there performing acceptably - the VW2011 user base is way bigger than the forum population. I believe that a forum's tone is likely slanted to the negative side because it exists primarily for airing (and hopefully resolving) complaints, problems, and criticisms.

-B

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I use vectorworks architect 2011 on two different computers, and there is definately a problem with this version, I'm going back to using 2009, 2011 becomes unusable the larger the drawing file becomes

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I believe that a forum's tone is likely slanted to the negative side because it exists primarily for airing (and hopefully resolving) complaints, problems, and criticisms.

This is true, but have you ever seen so many people not even being able to use the program due to multiple bugs? These are not just "make it a bit better" problems, they are "I can't even use it" problems.

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It certainly took me some adjustment time to get used to 2011 and its quirks, however, I can use it, at least on rig1, rig 2 is slow and annoying. Large file sizes don't turn me off too much, such is life in 3D.

What causes me concern is the method of NVW handling the current state of their product. The product has bugs and does not support current gen. hardware (multicore procs.). The increase in 3D capabilities require increased processing power. I haven't seen any replies from NVW that address the concerns expressed.

A bug list that is tracked and updated would be nice. I have determined to reduce my reliance on VW because I am unsure about the future. If development continues in the same direction I will need to be able to use another platform.

I don't know what percentage of the userbase I represent, however, both those I interact with on the forum and in person seem to hold similar concerns.

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I suggest that for the next Service Pack, they concentrate on making file sizes smaller and the overall performance of VW 2011 faster. Getting frustrated at having to wait so long for a file to open... and the fact that the files sizes have ballooned! Wow. Huge.

I like the suggestion of waiting 2-3 years behind the updates.... stick with what works. So far I'm not too impressed with the upgrade from 2008.

-------------------------------------------------------

"The large print giveth and the small print taketh away." - Tom Waits

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There are at least three threads here, including this one, that make VW 2011 seem like a pretty miserable experience in terms of performance:

http://techboard.vectorworks.net/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=147767

http://techboard.vectorworks.net/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=147767

These threads have each persisted at least a few months after what appears to be the latest update, SP2 released in early December.

There is little or no presence in these threads by either NVW representatives or by "VectorWorks Addicts." Not sure what that means...

The VW Knowledgebase states quite clearly that "starting in Vectorworks 2009, the more powerful your graphics card is, the better your Vectorworks experience will be." They then differentiate between Desktop graphics cards and Workstation graphics cards. Workstation graphics cards are the "best option" for VectorWorks, while terms like "good" and "acceptable" and, in the case of newer iMacs, "generally adequate speed and reliability" are used.

Looking through all three threads, I could only find one person using a workstation graphics card; the rest seemed to be mostly Radeon and GeForce desktop cards.

I'm wondering if maybe inadequate graphics cards are indeed responsible for a lot of the problems people are having? (Though it is hard to imagine how graphics cards could be responsible for an inability of VW 2011 to import files from previous versions...)

Not that replacing desktop cards with workstation cards is necessarily an appealing solution: I could only find one Quadro FX (NVIDIA workstation card) for the Mac, and it was about $1,000...

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Speaking only for myself, not in my role as a moderator, here is what I think.

I think there are a few people who are having a very difficult time with VW2011.

Some combination of hardware, software and operating system casing them to see very slow performance with VW2011.

Without being able to replicate the problem, it is very difficult if not impossible for NV to find and fix the problem. Gunther of NV has requested information from anyone having a problem so they can try to track down the issue.

There are many more people are not having problems.

I know that does not make things better for those who are, but it does tell me to take with a grain of salt some of the dire predictions and insults of VW, RW and NV.

As for why so little involvement from the "Vectorworks Addicts" I think there are three reasons.

1. The "Vectorworks Addicts" are not seeing the problem, so it is difficult to come up with solutions for a problems you don't know.

2. This is a difficult problem and the addicts have seen the easy solutions typically offered fail, so there are not a lot of other suggestions to offer.

3. The tone and attitude from a number of the posters is really a turn off to want to help, so no help is offered.

I know many of the people at NV and believe they are all trying to make the best product they can.

Anyone who is having problems and only posting to the board instead of contacting NV Tech Support directly and bugsubmitting files that show the problem are not really interested in a solution (in my opinion), but rather just interested in complaining.

Pat Stanford

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I can back up what Pat has said as I've also always found that the people at NV are keen to solve performance problems and fix bugs. The catch 22 is that to do that they need the files that demonstrate the problems. Trying to track down what a problem is from what is said in a post is nigh on impossible.

As Pat says though some posters seem more interested in complaining than they are about solving their problem. I had direct experience of that recently where I made two separate offers of help to a user having Renderworks problems - I didn't even get a response from him.

If you are having problems and genuinely do want them solved then please be proactive and submit them as bug reports so they can be properly investigated.

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Thank you Pat and Mike; I feel better just having heard from a couple of "VectorWorks Addicts."

There's no question that complaints and negative reviews far outweigh the positive, particularly on the Internet and in tech forums such as this. Yet, at least comparatively speaking, I actually find the VW tech forum a generally upbeat, positive place. Certainly there are plenty of understandably frustrated people that appear here, but just as often there is appreciation expressed over solutions offered, and there is no shortage of positive comments regarding VectorWorks. But not so for these three particular threads, which seem uncharacteristically negative to me, and which have made me hesitant when it comes to pursuing VW 2011, especially since I have a huge, ongoing project in 2008.

A lot of the features added since VW 2008 address a surprising number of items on my own VW "wish list." So while clearly there is a lot of effort going into VectorWorks' development, sometimes, at least when one is focused on a particular issue, NVW can seem terribly unresponsive. That might generate a bit more in the way of complaints. (Based on the 2011 demo, issues I brought to their attention with 2008 still persist with 2011...).

But, mostly, I'm glad to hear that the majority of users are not having trouble with 2011; that's reassuring.

Thanks again for the feedback.

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Hmmm,

I use VW 2009 in conjunction with Sketchup. Only 1/2 of my work in VW has been in 3D as the drawing / ideation and results are so much faster in SU and altho I have RW I use a repeat drawing in SU to show finishes, cause its quicker. My hope was VW 2011 was 3D oriented enough to eliminate the use of SU. The online training/webinars showed that promise so I was excited about loading it up.

I'm confident that NV is dealing with the slow regen issues and stability but I will stick to VW 2009 and Sketchup together until this forum reports better success.

Maybe that's pessimistic but better the evil I know......

Your posted thoughts appreciated!

RJC

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Pat Stanford:

Thank you for your post. You make some helpful observations. I agree that a tone of venting frustration does not represent all users and usually is not helpful. I hope to make my post as accurate and helpful as possible.

Speaking only for myself, not in my role as a moderator, here is what I think.

I think there are a few people who are having a very difficult time with VW2011.

Some combination of hardware, software and operating system casing them to see very slow performance with VW2011.

Without being able to replicate the problem, it is very difficult if not impossible for NV to find and fix the problem. Gunther of NV has requested information from anyone having a problem so they can try to track down the issue.

My rig 2 listed below is unworkably slow in a file of any substantial size (a landscape design of even .2 acre with grading, irrigation, planting etc.) I can send files to tech support, but my issue is not file specific, it is computer specific. The performance on rig2 seems to scale corresponding to hardware when I compare rig 1 and rig2. Both rigs run quality components with industrial grade hard drives in RAID 5 with a dedicated raid controller.

I am not requesting tech support for rig2. All other programs run normally and the health of the machine is good. I used to work in the tech support industry and am very familiar with computer performance issues. I am also not suggesting that VW decrease 3D support or decrease file sizes. I believe this is a necessary part of progress and I value the 3D features of VW.

I am stating that were VW to support multithread processing that the severity of this issue would be significantly decreased for every user, even those not posting on the forums. Multithread support is prevalent in the industry. Processing per clock cycle has not increased significantly in the last five years, but the number of processors has, and that seems to be the trend in the future. Also, I have not seen any data that shows a professional VCard will resolve my issues. The little data available seems to suggest otherwise. Additional data on how to optimize performance would also be helpful as would information on when/if VW will support multithread computing.

What percentage of VW users have a computer like my rig2? (about 3 years old) I don?t know. I do know that mot systems in use are not cutting edge systems and that customers value the added lifecycle for hardware that results from multithread processing support.

I know that does not make things better for those who are, but it does tell me to take with a grain of salt some of the dire predictions and insults of VW, RW and NV.

I agree that some threats and predictions are overblown; however, hardware requirements, multiprocessor support, bug resolution and stability will certainly influence purchasing for my organization as well as my recommendations for others.

As for why so little involvement from the "Vectorworks Addicts" I think there are three reasons.

1. The "Vectorworks Addicts" are not seeing the problem, so it is difficult to come up with solutions for a problems you don't know.

2. This is a difficult problem and the addicts have seen the easy solutions typically offered fail, so there are not a lot of other suggestions to offer.

3. The tone and attitude from a number of the posters is really a turn off to want to help, so no help is offered.

.

For the most part I agree. With regard to #1: I think that as users, we would have better motivation to catalog bug issues if there were a list of known bugs that we could see worked on and updated. When I first started using VW2011 I experienced 2 or more crashes a day. Now I experience maybe 1 week. Most of the time I learn a work around rather than posting. I would, however, be interested in making an effort to document and replicate crashes if I felt it did some good. I think this would also result in an improved user experience.

I know many of the people at NV and believe they are all trying to make the best product they can.

I completely agree. I hope that this feedback is helpful to them.

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Pat Stanford:

Thank you for your post. You make some helpful observations. I agree that a tone of venting frustration does not represent all users and usually is not helpful. I hope to make my post as accurate and helpful as possible.

Speaking only for myself, not in my role as a moderator, here is what I think.

I think there are a few people who are having a very difficult time with VW2011.

Some combination of hardware, software and operating system casing them to see very slow performance with VW2011.

Without being able to replicate the problem, it is very difficult if not impossible for NV to find and fix the problem. Gunther of NV has requested information from anyone having a problem so they can try to track down the issue.

My rig 2 listed below is unworkably slow in a file of any substantial size (a landscape design of even .2 acre with grading, irrigation, planting etc.) I can send files to tech support, but my issue is not file specific, it is computer specific. The performance on rig2 seems to scale corresponding to hardware when I compare rig 1 and rig2. Both rigs run quality components with industrial grade hard drives in RAID 5 with a dedicated raid controller.

I am not requesting tech support for rig2. All other programs run normally and the health of the machine is good. I used to work in the tech support industry and am very familiar with computer performance issues. I am also not suggesting that VW decrease 3D support or decrease file sizes. I believe this is a necessary part of progress and I value the 3D features of VW.

So there must be something different between the two rigs and we just need to figure out what it is.

VW is quite sensitive to Quicktime versions. Have you made sure that both rigs are running the same version of Quicktime? What about checking the slow machine to make sure it has the version of Quicktime that shipped with VW2011?

I am stating that were VW to support multithread processing that the severity of this issue would be significantly decreased for every user, even those not posting on the forums. Multithread support is prevalent in the industry. Processing per clock cycle has not increased significantly in the last five years, but the number of processors has, and that seems to be the trend in the future. Also, I have not seen any data that shows a professional VCard will resolve my issues. The little data available seems to suggest otherwise. Additional data on how to optimize performance would also be helpful as would information on when/if VW will support multithread computing.

What percentage of VW users have a computer like my rig2? (about 3 years old) I don?t know. I do know that mot systems in use are not cutting edge systems and that customers value the added lifecycle for hardware that results from multithread processing support.

Probably many users are trying to get by on 3-year old hardware and form many it should be acceptable and it should be at least usable for all.

In previous conversations with NV staff, (I don't remember the exact location), they stated that many parts of VW are not well suited to parallelization to make use of multi-cores. I don't know if this is true or not, but they believe it is (or was) true. The parts that can most benefit (Renderworks) have been parallelized.

Based on my knowledge of the program, it is likely that as more of the core is updated, better support and speed will be achieved. Just not quickly enough for all.

I know that does not make things better for those who are, but it does tell me to take with a grain of salt some of the dire predictions and insults of VW, RW and NV.

I agree that some threats and predictions are overblown; however, hardware requirements, multiprocessor support, bug resolution and stability will certainly influence purchasing for my organization as well as my recommendations for others.

Absolutely, you can only recommend based on your experience. The key I think is to not extrapolate that you are having a bad experience to thinking that everyone is having a bad experience.

As for why so little involvement from the "Vectorworks Addicts" I think there are three reasons.

1. The "Vectorworks Addicts" are not seeing the problem, so it is difficult to come up with solutions for a problems you don't know.

2. This is a difficult problem and the addicts have seen the easy solutions typically offered fail, so there are not a lot of other suggestions to offer.

3. The tone and attitude from a number of the posters is really a turn off to want to help, so no help is offered.

.

For the most part I agree. With regard to #1: I think that as users, we would have better motivation to catalog bug issues if there were a list of known bugs that we could see worked on and updated. When I first started using VW2011 I experienced 2 or more crashes a day. Now I experience maybe 1 week. Most of the time I learn a work around rather than posting. I would, however, be interested in making an effort to document and replicate crashes if I felt it did some good. I think this would also result in an improved user experience.

Posting bugs definitely does good. They get entered in the bug tracking database and assigned to engineers from there. If they don't get in the database they don't get assigned and fixed.

There is an extensive beta testing program that is constantly working one version ahead, but a finite number of beta testers can not attempt to simulate the potential hardware and software combinations and different workflows of 500K users, so some things slip through.

And as for posting, even if it has been posted before it is useful to have extra examples and/or descriptions as yours might be the one that clicks with the engineer to find/fix the problem. More samples is always better.

Also, it 100 people submit the same bug, it is much more likely to get priority than a single report.

I know many of the people at NV and believe they are all trying to make the best product they can.

I completely agree. I hope that this feedback is helpful to them.

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I run Vectorworks on two machines the first is a new one(see spec in signature) this is an 8 CPU machine the second is an HP Laptop its spec is Intel core 2 Duo p8600@ 2.4GHz, 2.4 GHz, 4.0GB Ram, 64 bit OS, windows vista & Geforce 9600 M GT graphics card. This laptop is about 18 months old yet it runs Vectorworks faster & smoother than the newer machine, all the info palettes refresh quickly, less crashes, less problems all round. I was lead to understand that the new machine would be better but its not, is this the software or the hardware? anyone got any answers?

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It is definitely software related and possibly hardware related as well.

The first thing I would check would be the version of Quicktime installed on the new machine. VW is very sensitive to Quicktime. Try the version that shipped with VW2011 and see if that helps. Also, check and make sure that you have the absolute latest and greatest video drivers. Check directly with NVIDA, not just through the hardware manufacturer.

There is a small percentage of people who are seeing these problems and I don't think anyone has managed to figure out exactly the combination of things that is causing the problem.

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pat

why does VW even use quicktime?

windows doesn't "need" it,

apple is killing it off,

what does it do?

why is VW so sensitive to out of date software,

yet requires up to the second graphics drivers?

a little clarity or rewriting would help...

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pat

why does VW even use quicktime?

windows doesn't "need" it,

apple is killing it off,

what does it do?

why is VW so sensitive to out of date software,

yet requires up to the second graphics drivers?

I can't answer those questions with authority, but here are my guesses.

1. Quicktime is required because when it was selected (MiniCad 7?) it was the best cross platform framework to use. It might not be the best today, but it is probably a very big job to change it.

2. Sensitivity. I don't know why it is sensitive, just that it is and that many times updating the video drivers makes a huge difference, especially with redraw problems.

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hello,

I just upgraded to a Macbook Pro 15.4" 2.2GHz Intel Core i7 processor with 8GB of 1333 MHz of DDR3 RAM (early 2011 model) and VW 2011 is running slow. I was running 2010 on the same machine and had no issues with refresh rates or drawings. I am using VW with Renderworks and Spotlight with no 3rd party symbols. OS 10.6.7 and yes, permissions have been repaired and still same issue.

I seem to notice the problem is more noticeable when working with many viewports. Resizing my pages and waiting for the screen to refresh is as most have noticed, coffee break time.

It took upwards of 30 seconds to open a layer that had 10 viewports.

I have also used this on an iMac 27" and have the same issues.

Thanks in advance,

Gary

Lighting Director

The House of Dancing Water, Dragone Theatre

Macau, China

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In my experience VW2011 is just a dog of a program. I also have been dealing with Computers Unlimited in the UK regarding the PAINFULLY slow refresh on macs in 2D mode using the mouse scroll - it seriously is impossible to work with this for more than a few minute without the strobing of the pixellation and 'ping' making you feel sick. I first of all was told it was my graphics card - funny - because its a standard imac graphics card on a Oct 2010 i3 imac. It also does the same thing on my MBP Santa Rosa 2007. It also does the same thing on every other one of the 12 apple machines in our office, including Mac Pros. We were advised to change our graphics cards....

When I pointed this out and recorded a screen video of the juddering zooming and also the missing line issue on zoom, I was informed that these were actually 'features' and how the majority of users liked the new graphic behaviour.... I mean, come on, what do Nemetshek / Computers Unlimited take us for?

Here's the video if you're interested.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/237495/disappearing-lines-rotated-plan.mov

Nemetshek appear to be deluding themselves that nothing's wrong - either that or they don't care. As it stands, I am trying to use VW2008 for as long as possible. I am now convinced that my next CAD move will not be VW - I am just glad that Autodesk products are now starting to reappear on the mac, and I fully intend to migrate over to them rather than suffer the health issues of using VW2011.

As others have pointed out, there are clearly some users (fanboys?) who have very low expectations of their software and for whom 1-2 second refreshes on zooming is a reasonable delay. I am not one of those people.

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I have lived with this for so long I seem to have got used to it. I use another CAD program that doesn't have this issue and it is not a high end/high priced piece of software either.

I feel that it just another one to add to the long list of items that don't work properly.

I can only think the reason it is not fixed is because it is too complicated or too deep in the program to be fixed.....otherwise why would you not fix it?

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Helo,

in the german version we have the same problem.

we have a big files (200 to 300mb) and when we change layout it will take up to 30 sec until it appears on screen. the same file in vw 2010 it is 10 times faster.

there is only the vw process running on one processor - nothing else

the protocol of the process has a lot of errors.

i now install my imac i7 with 16gb ram complete new with riding 0 on HD.

and than i only install vw 2011.

we will see

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in the german version there will be an update at 7th april to solve that problem

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I have been able to resolve my issue on my rig 2. I did a re-install of win7 over itself and vectorworks now works fine.

The re-install is done by inserting the instal disk, choose upgrade, and wait, and wait. All programs are preserved.

It appears that I somehow got a windows component corrupted that affected vectorworks performance.

I would still like to see a bug tracking database that users can see and comment on and more dual core support.

PS changing quick time versions did not resolve this issue.

Edited by NTZeek

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