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Huge Speed Problem VW11 - OSX vs VW10 - PC

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Heres a perfect example. I have 2 computers sitting side by side at my desk:

I have an old P4 1.8G single processor running a XP, VW-10. 700Megs Ram. I imported a DXF into VW10, and it took .5 seconds.

I also have a brand new Dual G5 1.8G Macintosh running OS 10.3, 2 Gigs of RAM, and it took 1.5 sec for the import.

Second: I wanted to select all the polygons on the imported object, so I selected them all. The old P4 took about 1 second. The new Mac took 14 sec!

Now, just to clarify, the new Mac is screaming faster than the PC in all other tasks including Photoshop work, PDF creation etc. The Mac is not the issue.

I am definately disappointed in the performance of VW on the Mac, and I am convinced it is a software issue. Your engineers definately need to take a hard look at some of these issues!!

Your software is fantastic, but the speed in OSX is substandard.

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I run my VW 9 under Classic - simply because of the speed problem in OS X. 'Fortunately' I have some other programs that also require Classic (and no OS X version), so I need to have Classic running anyway.

The selection speed (?) is indeed one of the most irritating issues, right after OIP slowness.

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This is great information. Now if NNA would please educate us on what the problem is and how to fix it. We deserve honest anwers so we can make informed decisions.

I use a Mac for it's ease of use. But I now use most of my time with Vectorworks. Seems to me that if NNA will not give an answer then my only choice is to change over to a , gasp..., PC!

If I need to wait for 11.1 or 11.2 then so be it. If OS10.4 is the answer then I will wait. But I cannot wait forever and it does not inspire customer loyalty when NNA will not answer this issue.

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APE Design: Can understand where you're coming from. Just as an afterthought...Have you checked your disks etc...repaired permissions?

Also, is your energy saver settings set to Highest Performance...? Must say though...even at Automatic it should trash an older 1.8 Ghz Pentium!


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Energy saver allows you to throttle the processor back. It is there mostly for portables to extend battery life, but you can do it on Desktops to reduce heat and thus fan noise. Default is at Highest performance. I don't recall the percentage decrease in clockspeed, but it is noticable.

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Thanks for clarifying that. It would seem that the energy saver panel for a desktop and powerbook are different. My powerbook has the pull down menu that you speak of and I have now set it to Highest Performance. My desktop energy saver panel is different and does not have the pull-down. I guess the software knows when it is installed on a powerbook and when it is on a desktop unit.

I use the desktop for VW, so this hint is not helpful for the slowness of VW.

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Ionw, so you are saying that your performance increased largely with the replacement of the video card. How about rendering speeds?

I am finding that there seems to be a lag, not on the actual rendering, but on the preparation of the rendering, or the calculation of the geometry.

Sometimes the colored wheel spins what seems like forever. Once the rendering starts to happen it isnt that bad.

Selecting polygons takes a huge amount of time rather than the old PC with VW10.

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Thanks again. I have a 466mhz G4 witht he OEM 16vram video card. After reading your post a few weeks ago I upgraded to a new ATI card with 128vram. Not as fast as your ATI 9800 but should have been much faster than what I had.

There did not appear to be any significant difference and I experienced some video glitches with it, so back it went.

I have experimented with a Dual 1.8 G5 with the OEM Nvidia card. It is snappier but still slow. It is an improvement but still slow.

If you wouldn't mind, try this speed test on your machine. Open a new blank document. Insert a door. Once inserted, the OIP will have 7 unchecked boxes and the pallet will be collapsed. Check the lowest box. Once it expands, check the next one up, and keep this progression until all of the boxes have expanded. On my G4, running VWA11.0.1, it takes about 16 seconds to expand the entire OIP.

On the G5 it takes about 12 seconds. I would expect that the boxes would expand as fast as I could check them, but even on the G5, I have to wait for one box to expand and then check the next one up.

How long does it take on your G5?

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I can't get to the next chck box before the last has fully expanded. There is a sub-second hiccup when I click on the top (General) box but is expanded before I could think about entering any data

I forgot to mention, I did this with 5 1.5 Mb Large site plans open at the same time. I didn't do anything to speed up the results.

[ 11-01-2004, 02:40 PM: Message edited by: ionw ]

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So it sounds like your OIP is expanding as fast as you can check the boxes. (Did you start at the bottom box)? This is a significant response increase over the stock 1.8 G5.

Now that you have this new G5 with the ATI 9800, do you have any speed or response issues? There are a number of threads on this board now relating to speed. The general tone is that the stock G5 screams on other applications, but is slow on Vectorworks. Is this your experience?

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Yes I started at the bottom.

It is not a rocketship, but is a lot faster than either the Nvidia stock card, or the ATI 9600. I have 50 Mb improvement plan that I use as my test. operations that take 2 -3 minutes on either this 1.8 G5 with the Nvida 5200 video card, or on a 1st gen G5 dual 2 Ghz with the ATI 9600 Video card, take 10-20 seconds. These are operations like Select all, zoom and pan, zoom by rectangle.

I don't remember the other reults at the moment, but is took 23 seconds to do a select all on over 275,000 objects. I don't have the time today to run the checks on the other computer or video card, but as soon as I get a chance I will post the numbers here.

I find that there are momentary slowdowns, but ingeneral it seems very fast. In the the month or so we've had it, the $350 for the video card seems cheap.

But yes VW is still the doggiest of my apps. Sketchup, Pshop, Illustrator, Golive, Filemaker.


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And my output.

VW11.01, TiBook 1 Ghz, 512mb RAM ATI Radeon 9000 (64 Megs), OS 10.3.5:

Import: 9 sec

Select: 35 sec (!!!??? On a 800mhz P3 AutoCAD 2000 it takes 1 sec!!!)

Deselect: 36 sec

Select all: 35 sec

Deselect all: 34

Open GL:

Low/Tex: 2 sec

Low/Tex/Nurbs: 2 sec

Med/Tex/Nurbs: 2.5 sec

Hi/Tex/Nurbs: 2.5 sec

VH/Tex/Nurbs: 2 sec

Final RW: 8 sec

I did this test on my Tibook just to show you how SLOW it really is to select and deselct something. Now for somebody who is trying to work on a sub 1 Ghz system, I only have sympathy for, as it cannot be fun!

Having said that, OpenGL, and RW seem quite OK for my system.

All permissions repaired etc for the test. No other apps running.

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Speed tests From APE Design Ctr's file

Preliminary results

Import 4 seconds

initial select all 31 seconds

initial deselect all 19 sec

two successive select all 55 seconds

two successive deselect all 55 seconds

Open GL

low & textures 1 second +

lo, texture, nurbs 1s+

med texture, nurbs 1s+

high. text, nurbs 2s+

very high, textures, nurbs 2s+

Final RW 6 sec

At the moment I do not know why there is such a difference between the initial and successive selections. Maybe sloppy recording, I will try again later.


VW10 in OS 10.3.5

Select 29 seconds

Deselect 30 seconds


Just ran a quick set of Classic tests

VW 10.5.1 & VW 11.0.1 in classic had similar rendering times to the VW 11 tests in OS 10.3.5.

Selecting and deselecting was dramatically different.

VW 10

Select 2 seconds

deselect 3 seconds


Select 5+ seconds

Deselect 4+seconds

[ 11-02-2004, 12:50 PM: Message edited by: ionw ]

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Here are the results of my test:

VW11, Mac Dual G5 1.8G, 2G RAM Gforce FX-5200 (64 Megs), OS 10.3.5:

Import: 8 sec

Select: 18 sec

Deselect: 17 sec

Select all: 18 sec

Deselect all: 18

Open GL:

Low/Tex: .5 sec

Low/Tex/Nurbs: .5 sec

Med/Tex/Nurbs: .5 sec

Hi/Tex/Nurbs: .5 sec

VH/Tex/Nurbs: 1 sec

Final RW: 5.5 sec

PC 1.8 Intel P4, 700 RAM, Win XP, VW 10:

Import: 7 sec

Select: 1 sec

Deselect: 1 sec

Select all: 1 sec

Deselect all: 1 sec

Open GL:

Low/Tex: <.5 sec

Low/Tex/Nurbs: .5 sec

Med/Tex/Nurbs: .5 sec

Hi/Tex/Nurbs: .5 sec

VH/Tex/Nurbs: .5 sec

Final RW: 7 sec

Now this is interesting: Rendering is faster on Mac, however selection of polygons is up to 18x Faster on old PC. This has to do with geometry calculations as the Colored Beachball spins as it is thinking. Import of the object is about the same speed in both systems.

Is anyone else interested in giving this a shot, I would be happy to fire off the file to you.

Thanks for all of your help.

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Thank you Paul;

Ion Webster makes a valuable point. We, as users, are not in a position to throw money around in trial and error attemps at hardware selection.

Ion's testing seems to indicate that the ATI 9800 provides a key responsiveness increase. He says that his 1.8 machine with new card is more responsive than his previous 2.0 machine with the OEM card. So is the card the key?

And if so, then is more better? We all can look up the comparisons between video cards, but the testing is done on games. I do not know what "Unreal Tournament" is, let alone what frame rates are, and how they impact me using Vectorworks.

I just want the OIP to respond as fast as I can click and type.

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