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Vectorworks becomes slow and screen refresh/redraw becomes laggy




I am finding that after ~30mins of using Vectorworks 2017 & 2016 the redraw rate and the object info boxes flicker and the program becomes really slow. Changing between tools and moving objects around the screen is laggy to the point where it affects my workflow. Text boxes are almost impossble to work with as i can't select text or move text without waiting a few soconds per operation.

I would like to think that i am running powerful enough hardware to not have a problem but clearly something is not right and i can't seem to track it down.

I phoned up the Vectorworks support line and they tried to fix the issue but to no avail. The girl was very helpful but basically just changed some of the graphics properties within vectorworks which made no difference.

It does not matter how large or small the file is, how complex or how simple the geometry is. I am working only in 2D plan.

Sketchup, 3DS Max, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premier Pro etc. all work absolutely fine without any issues but AutoCAD suffers the same issue.

I am hoping someone else had had the same problem or knows where i can next look for a solution.

My specs:
AMD FX 8350 CPU (8 cores overclocked to 4.7Ghz)
AMD radeon R9 270x 2gb dedicated RAM (this is a dedicated graphics card)
16GB Corsair DDR3 1333mhz ram
both programs are running on an SSD (samsung 840 pro)
ASUS TUF Sabertooth 990FX R2 motherboard
Windows 10
2 screens @ 1080pi each.

i would be hugely grateful to anyone who could shed some light on the problem. I am not sure how to track down if its a hardware issue or a software issue.


Many thanks


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I am also noticing this - after a while everything slows down to the point of becoming unworkable - it takes abuot 2-3 seconds between clicking on an object for it to become highlighted, etc.


I have tried running VW with all sorts of different settings, but the problem persists... I am also running a decent hardware setup, so do not think that it is my hardware that is causing the problem.


Did you every get anywhere with solving this problem?





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Hi Nick,


Are you Mac or PC based? This was happening for me on a Mac. When I investigated further it turned out to be Apple Time Machine trying to do a backup. The original poster is PC based so there's some other issue out there as well.


If you go up and click on your user name in the top right corner you can add a signature like mine which will help others know what version/system you're running Vectorworks on.





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HI Guys,


sorry for the slow reply i have been swamped with work recently. My issue with Vectorworks has not gone away. I am running Windows 10 Home and the software is becoming unusable.

Its such a frustrating issue because i cant work out how to solve it. I have been looking at trying to buy an AMD Fire GPU which should be better at 3D and CAD work but the problem might persist even with a new CAD graphics card. I would rather not pay for something that might not be the issue.

Perhaps it is a windows backup running in the background. I will check the Windows 10 backup. My files are also syncing through Google drive which might be the issue. I will report back after i have run some 'tests'.

Nick, my desktop hardwear should have no problems running Vectorworks. I did realise though that in terms of 2D drawing Vectorworks is still a single core process and i know that my AMD cpu is better suited to multicore processes. Perhaps this is the cause of the issue? What is your CPU brand/type?

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On 27/01/2017 at 6:51 PM, JBratton said:

Hi Hughmitchell,

by any chance do you have "unified view" (Ctrl+Alt+L) turned off?

If so, try turning it on and see if that helps.






I changed this but to no avail. I am still having problems with laggy performance after some time. Text is particularly bad. The program just feels very poorly optimised for my system. But i can work out why this would be. My PC meets all the recommended requirements. 

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I am also suffering from the problem. Brand new 4.2 GHz Intel Core i7 retina Imac, and it feels swamped, very jittery - if I select a number of items, on larger files it can take a few seconds to acknowledge the selection, and sometimes only tells me in object info, as opposed to visually updating with a box.  This is on 2017, whereas 2016 is fine. It's also fine on older imacs in the office, which leads me to suspect issues related specifically to retina imacs. 

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I draw mostly in 2D and I am suffering weird performance glitches in VW 2017. My new MSI Stealth Pro Laptop with an i7 7700HQ, 16GB DDR4, Geforce GTX 1060 6GB that I use to work from home occasionally performs slower than a 5 year old Mac Mini. It is by no means perfect on the Mac mini but on the Laptop every time I exit or enter a viewport the screen goes black and the blue circle appears. This can last anywhere from 20-40 seconds. The same result upon entering or exiting some large groups. 



Unified view is turned on and Navigation Display is usually set to Best Performance. I tried Good Compatibility & Best Compatibility but both did not improve the situation. 

Edited by Kevjos
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We had the same problem at work. 


We're running VW2017 on Windows with i7s and nvidia gtx1060s and the problem seemed to happen out of nowhere. I dont think it was graphics related though.  


Our fix was really simple, we just open the workspace dropdown menu and clicked on our workspace profile in the list to refresh it and the flickering stopped instantly. 


Hope this helps some of you.



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Same problem here. VW 18 seems to run ok for 2-3 hours and then it slows right down. Takes ages to zoom in and out.

And the computer is brand new and should be very capable:


OS Name    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro
Version    10.0.16299 Build 16299
Other OS Description     Not Available
OS Manufacturer    Microsoft Corporation
System Manufacturer    System manufacturer
System Model    System Product Name
System Type    x64-based PC
System SKU    SKU
Processor    AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Eight-Core Processor, 3600 Mhz, 8 Core(s), 16 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date    American Megatrends Inc. 3803, 22/01/2018
SMBIOS Version    3.1
Embedded Controller Version    255.255
BaseBoard Manufacturer    ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC.
BaseBoard Model    Not Available
BaseBoard Name    Base Board
Platform Role    Desktop
Secure Boot State    Off
PCR7 Configuration    Binding Not Possible
Windows Directory    C:\Windows
System Directory    C:\Windows\system32
Boot Device    \Device\HarddiskVolume2
Locale    United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer    Version = "10.0.16299.248"
User Name    AC\design2
Time Zone    New Zealand Daylight Time
Installed Physical Memory (RAM)    32.0 GB
Total Physical Memory    31.9 GB
Available Physical Memory    27.1 GB
Total Virtual Memory    36.7 GB
Available Virtual Memory    31.1 GB
Page File Space    4.75 GB
Page File    C:\pagefile.sys
Virtualization-based security    Not enabled
Device Encryption Support    Reasons for failed automatic device encryption: TPM is not usable, PCR7 binding is not supported, Hardware Security Test Interface failed and device is not InstantGo, Un-allowed DMA capable bus/device(s) detected, TPM is not usable
Hyper-V - VM Monitor Mode Extensions    Yes
Hyper-V - Second Level Address Translation Extensions    Yes
Hyper-V - Virtualization Enabled in Firmware    Yes
Hyper-V - Data Execution Protection    Yes

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee
14 hours ago, Heiko A&C said:

Same problem here. VW 18 seems to run ok for 2-3 hours and then it slows right down. Takes ages to zoom in and out.

Most recently we've seen issues with Vectorworks overall speed after a period of working, many ended up being related to Trend Micro security products or other antivirus programs. Normally the easiest way to test this is to shut down all applications, disable any security services temporarily, then run Vectorworks again and see if the delay returns after the same period.

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I always have performance problems running VW across multiple screens.  The sweet spot seems to be running single screen 1080P only.  I think because VW draws all the vectors in stacking order, this calculation is naturally slow on bigger projects.  When you factor in the program trying to calculate line weights twice, it gets rougher.  Also, if you have any PDFs imported to draw on top of, you should ungroup & regroup those objects.

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I am now only working on one screen and I still have very slow performance. AutoCAD is ok, so it seems to just be Vectorworks which is struggling. I do have an AMD FX CPU which is known for having poor single core performance so perhaps it is just this. My laptop uses an Intel i7 and has no problems.

I will ungroup and regroup the PDF's as per your suggestion and I will disable my antivirus and backup software to see if this helps. 




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I think your computer is plenty robust to deal with this. I have big slowdowns from bringing in PDFs even if they are raster based, and even worse if they are vectorbased (ie, PDFs from CAD, Illustrator)  Explode that stuff and just keep the underlaying raster.

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