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Vectorworks 11 Speed

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We've been having some problems with Speed in VW11 that weren't evident in 10. Often simple actions of all types seem to cause a pause followed by the prolonged OSX rotating color wheel (for up to 20 or 30 seconds at times).

Changing Hardware Accelerated 2D Navigation preference does not appear to have any affect. Nor does restarting VW or the station. The workstations are quite current (G5's / G4's), packed with RAM and are generally quite well maintained.

Have others experienced this behavior?

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Yes, it is frustrating. I have been tempted to upgrade from a G4 to a G5, but as you describe, it is not a solution. The problem seems to be software.

It is frustrating that NNA's position is to not answer this. It would be helpful to know if this is a NNA problem or Apple problem. I guess the question is whether the PC guys are experiencing the same problem.

One member of this forum suggests running VW under OS9 Classic.

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I have a dual G5 with 2G RAM. My machine is screaming fast in all other applications (Photoshop, printing PDF's) however I am definately dissappointed in the performance of VW with OSX.

I believe that VW isnt currently programmed to take advantage of the 64 Bit Processor in the Macs yet, hopefully in future updates it will.

I have heard that OSX 10.4 will speed things up as well.

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I don't think any program is programmed to take advantage of the 64 bit processing in the Macs even the current available version of OSX. Tiger I believe starts the ball rolling.

Good old Adobe with Photoshop always seem to get the best out of any version of Apples operating system.

Wonder if it will involve much work, hopefully not a complete rewriting of the software.

I'll stick on version ten for a while see how things go. Great though the new functions are, I don't want to fork out a load of money to go slower.

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I think a lot of the speed issues stem from the issue with VW still not being a native OS X application. It's seems to stuck with it's old carbon code and that is holding back performance.

Graphisoft dumped support for OS 9 with ArchiCAD version 8.1 and the program has come about in leaps and bounds and is now rather speedy in version 9.

Question is, how much does NNA value it's OS 9 userbase?

BTW: I have felt for ages that the linetype thickness bug is OS 9 based. Try printing a diagonal line and a vert. line of same thickness to PDF...They don't look the same in the PDF file!!! It's NOT a printer driver problem, as I don't have any printers installed!!!!

I also don't think OS 10.3 is to blame for speed...And OS 10.4 is only going to add more eye-candy, requireing you to upgrade once again...

my 2p.

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Hmm.. Definately some issues.

I have 2 computers side by side, VW10 on PC, and VW 11 on a brand new Mac. The PC is a P4-1.8 with only 700 ram. Mac, agin is dual 1.8 with 2G ram.

On DXF imports, and polygon selections, the PC is far far quicker, up to 14 times quicker. Definately software issues, since the Mac outperforms in all other tasks.

This is quite dissappointing, because I went to whole new system, to Mac and VW11 to take advantage of Mac stability, and (I thought) speed!

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APE Design Ctr: Now we are getting somewhere! How do the two platforms compare with regard to tabing though the OIP? For me the big speed issue are the things that you cannot walk away from. Rendering speed is not such a big issue as it can render overnight. But makiing me wait to expand the Door or Window OIP or waiting for an entry to be accepted into a field before I can tab to the next one is what makes me crazy.

If the PC is that much more responsive, I would consider changing my license over to PC and buying the equipment.

Let us know more on how the two platforms compare please.

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I'm agree,I remarked this problem before than you(see-Tech note and how to suggestions- 28/08/04 "Delay on obj info palette") my Mac has 2,5 gb of RAM-dual 1,8 ...it's a software problem.I work with C4d.,Photoshop and other software without any problems,why updating spending money and losing speed?

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Even as a Vectorworks Windows user, who has also used Mac for the last two years, I'd say hold on before going PC. It's a costly move to make and I'm sure NNA are aware of the situation and working on it.

Hate for you to spend lots of money with a solution around the corner.

Maybe it's the speed of change within OSX that companies are struggling with. After all 64 bit processing is on its way and maybe they are working to get that version together knowing the old one has a limited life, after all I don't believe Vectorworks is native OSX as it stands at the moment.

Keep on asking the questions, though this site I have reason to believe is not your direct link to NNA Tech Support, it's more a users list with NNA staff contributing when they can.

The lack of any response to some important issues are causing concern with loyal users and need to be addressed to ensure they remain such.

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Hi Kevin

tough one to call.

I like the way Apples computers look, are put together and the whole ideal of the company.

Despite that I've just never been able to convince myself to pay the extra. It's cheaper than it's ever been I know.

I recently had my old Dell die on me in the middle of a project. This was old, about 4 years old, one of the earliest Twin Pentium 3's. 733 processors and 512 mbs of rambus.

Up until recently I'd been a Studio Manager at a Mac based company. My work machine, a Quicksilver 733 two years old with 768 mb of ram was slower, both running the same version of Vectorworks - old 8.5 (don't ask.)

To be honest this only noticed in such operations as hidden line render etc. exporting files to Artlantis. Opening a file was also slightly quicker on PC but not that hugely different to get upset by.

So I had to choose. Stay with Windows or go Apple. The Apple machine I wanted, Dual G5 2 Ghz was twice the price, the license changes to all my software around another ?400. For me, in my situation it didn't make sense. The gains are subjective, in my opinion, and did not seem in proportion to the outlay. Over twice the price was not going to give me anywhere near twice the speed.

I've always said, and certainly when using 8.5 once in the program it made no difference. A few keystroke changes to remember but the same great program working in either.

I never got to use anything higher at work to compare but from what I've read Macs have a problem to get sorted by NNA.

I also have rendering to do and this was always much faster on the PC.

If you've made the investment in Macs I'd say hang on in their, they've got to sort it, too many people commenting for it to be one machine, rogue problem.


P.S. APE Design I've got plug in, works fine although I've not used it much up until now. Really want to use Cinema, it's rendering etc. so much better than what I'm currently using.

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the speed problems with VW on Mac are very evident using VW 10.5.1 in OS 9.2.2 compared with OS 10.3.5

I was just told by NNA that OS 10.4 "might" sort the huge problems, not "will"..... hey they should know if Apple send them a beta version .... just like they should have know there was such a big problem when they got the beta version of OS 10.3

the speed problem is only with VW most other applications work fine

I have used VW on PC and Mac and always found the PC much quicker and less liable to crash with the work I do, especially exporting to Artlantis

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Thank you for your insight. You are right I have a huge investment in Mac software. But with the majority of my time spent using VW, it becomes a very real choice of either changing CAD software or platforms. Something has got to give.


Very interesting info. This is the first I have heard of NNA even addressing the issue. Can you elaborate on what you were told?

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Hi Kevin

here is what Paul Pharr of NNA posted in responce to the topic I started earlier (look back 4 or 5 pages), not very helpfull as I only have OS10.3 installer disks and the drawings I get sent do not lend themself to switching classes on and off in the way he suggests:-

"I'll give you an update on what we have found regarding this problem. Klaus was experiencing some extreme slowdowns on MacOS X in selecting and deselecting objects. He recalled that the same files on MacOS 9 were much more responsive. There were a combination of issues at play in his case.

First, his drawings contained many objects (over 100,000) at the top level of the layer he was working with. Grouping these objects or creating a symbol out of some eliminated the selection delay on the main layer. Nevertheless a selection slowdown remains.

Our QA staff investigated and found that the slowdown was introduced primarily by the MacOS X 10.3 upgrade after which a selection operation which would take seconds on 10.2.8 became a 10+ minute operation. We have reason to believe this has been fixed for MacOS X 10.4 (Tiger), but we will be following up with Apple to make sure.

If you are experiencing unacceptable slowdowns when selecting or deselecting objects on MacOS X 10.3.x, your options include:

Structure your drawing more effectively using groups and symbols to reduce the number of objects which must be selected or deselected at a time.

Revert to MacOS X 10.2.8

Wait for MacOS X 10.4



Paul C. Pharr

CAD Software Manager

Nemetschek North America"

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If you still feel you want to try the Windows route you'll find plenty of ways to build a good machine for your purpose, even through PC manufacturers, but you'll need to do some research first.

That's the good and bad of PC, so many choices, so much variation.

At least you could buy one machine for a good price, hook it up to your current monitor if it has dual inputs and run with it for a while.

Discover the joys of a scroll wheel mousing if you hav'n't already.

I'd say enjoy the experience but it's not like it's a hobby, we need this stuff to earn our living so it's important it works right - irrespective of which OS you choose to use.

Why is it always the next one will be better - the next OS, the next version of the software, the next big technological breakthrough!!

Ever seen the Clint Eastwood film, The Outlaw Josey Whales (think that's the spelling). The remark about it raining comes to mind, if you've seen it you'll know what I mean.

Good luck.


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APE Design Ctr

I'got the plug in C4d and it works so and so...quick(that's amazing inVW) to export,and easy to use,not so many functions to customize the export settings,especially with symbols and plug ins,it's wasting time delete the copies of symbols generate in the new file of C4d,and it take a lot of attempts find the best/settings..

class... in windows-doors etc. anyway I use C4d since first edition and it's one of the most stable software I got,I believe could be a problem of DXF/DWG setting in VW...

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I think you're being a little disingenuous here. We investigated the speed problem you reported, found it to be a problem introduced in MacOS X 10.3, reported it to Apple (radar #3752512), and gave you a good workaround. The workaround does not have anything to do with classes - simply group some of your objects using the "Group" command. Drawings with over 100,000 independent objects on the main layer without any kind of structure or grouping are far from common, and even without the MacOS X speed problem caused by Apple's bug you'd have about a 10 second wait to select all of these.

I also didn't say that 10.4 "might" fix this problem - I said that we believe 10.4 will fix this problem. We have tested using the current beta of 10.4 and it solves this problem, but I can't commit that the final release of 10.4 won't have this problem, because it hasn't been created yet. In fact, the reason we couldn't have found this problem before the release of 10.3 is that beta 10.3 (7A179) did not exhibit this problem. It was introduced in the final shipping version of MacOS X 10.3.

I'm responding with these details to fill in some of the information gaps evident in this thread. NNA is committed to maintaining good performance on Mac and Windows platforms. The Mac has been more challenging due to the rate of change MacOS X is experiencing, but we are comitted nonetheless to do what we can to solve problems as they arise.


Paul Pharr

CAD Software Manager

Nemetschek North America

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Originally posted by Pharr:


...I also didn't say that 10.4 "might" fix this problem - I said that we believe 10.4 will fix this problem...

I think this is a good lesson for all of us on how important language is. The two statements seem so alike yet tell vastly different stories.

Thank you Klaus and Paul. This is great information.

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