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jnr

slow video response-any ideas?

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Mr Anderson:

I am becoming increasingly frustrated with the slow video response of version 9.01. Others on this message board have noted it as well. win 98, 600mhz, 356mb ram, 3dlabs 32mb CAD specific video card. I have tried various files on this machine as well as two other machines. All with the same result. Its not as fast as 8.5.2. And especially slow with converted 8.5.2 files. Since I understand this is now written for 64-bit technology, should I switch to win 2000 and a pentium 4 chip in order to take advantage of the full capability of the program? Is this a known flaw in the code? If so, will a patch be issued soon? Please help

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In what ways do you mean when you say "video response". Our tests on document redraw times (the time it takes to redraw an entire document) are within 10-15% of 8.5.2.

Do you mean the time it takes to rotate images in 3D, feedback in tools, or some other area?

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

Sean Flaherty

CTO

Nemetschek North America

flaherty@nemetschek.net

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Sean:

Thanks for your reply. I am having difficulty with slow video for basic commands. For example, in a plan sheet set-up using the assistant, with walls drawn using the wall tool, notes, dimensions, title block, drawing references and floor patterns indicated, to simply pan, or execute any drawing or edit command(line, offset, mirror etc.) there is a hesitation of approximately 1 to 2 seconds for the video to catch up with the keyboard or mouse command. By this time I have executed the next command. It starts to add up during the day. Also the longer a vectorworks session goes, the worse the video response becomes. I am forced to close the program or restart the computer to get improved response.

When you admit tests are within 10 to 15 percent, do you mean that 9.01 is 10 to 15 percent slower than 8.5.2? If so I would think you would want to be going the other direction with this, improving performance rather than degrading it.

Can you comment on the second part of my question regarding transition to 64 bit hardware? Any reply would be appreciated. I am considering upgrading hardware and it would be less of a gamble if I knew it would help this software's performance.

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Sean:

I forgot to mention the slow video behavior is consistent on three different machines with different files.

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Redraw is 10-15% slower in 9. I agree with you that we should always strive to make things faster, but don't forget that we DOUBLED the accuracy of this version. Any coordinate math now moves twice the data as before. There are some gains in operations that take advantage of a more accurate coordinate system (such as changing units, scale, or drawing size no longer have the long pause after execution), but ultimately 9 uses more accurate, but slower math for geometry.

That being said, a small slowdown in redraw is not the problem that bothers you, but rather the interactive responsiveness of the product. We have programmers working on this now and hope to make improvements in an upcoming update.

Regards,

Sean

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Sean Flaherty

CTO

Nemetschek North America

flaherty@nemetschek.net

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Sean:

Thanks for the reply. Can you confirm that 9.01 is optimized for 64-bit processors (I think I read it on this message board from an NNA employee)? When do you expect to release an upgrade incorporating the improvements mentioned above? (We're limping along here)

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What kind of processor/machine are you talking about? I'll get you an answer...

I've searched through the archives for previous 64-bit architecture discussion and couldn't find anything.

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Sean Flaherty

CTO

Nemetschek North America

flaherty@nemetschek.net

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Sean:

Unfortunately I can't remember who mentioned "optimized for 64-bit", but it was in response to someone's issues about slow performance. Its possible that it was a user in Alaska.

Is version 9.01 intended for 64-bit?

I'm a former Mac user who got forced off the bus into the world of Bill Gates. I'm using win 98se and will have to upgrade it sounds like. So P4, Windows 2000? Which service pak 1 or 2? How much RAM?

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To expand upon Andrew's comment, current "32 bit" processors are designed to handle 64 bit floating point numbers. The slowdowns you are seeing are not from having the wrong type of processor.

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quote:

Originally posted by jnr:

Sean:

Thanks for the reply. Can you confirm that 9.01 is optimized for 64-bit processors (I think I read it on this message board from an NNA employee)?

You'll confuse people if you say that. Macs and PCs have what are generally regarded to be 32-bit processors. What happened in 9.0.0 is that VW switched to a 64-bit floating point format for storing coordinate values

, as opposed to the 32-bit integers of VW 8 and before. This gives much greater precision and range in the values (you can model the solar system and still model a building on Earth), so you never have to worry about losing precision while rotating, changing scale, etc.

Because they are twice as large, memory access times double, file sizes are larger, the processors have to work somewhat harder, and so on. In general this shouldn't be that readily apparent in performance. On the Mac, we've noticed that certain situations can lead to a significant slowdown, and we're fixing as many of those as we can. Otherwise, most slowness probably comes from our restructuring, which hasn't yet been fully optimized.

Our new solids engine (Add/Subtract/Intersect Solid) is more precise and capable of handling curved surfaces. However, it is slower for faceted surfaces. Solids are used in some places you might not expect, such as window and door plug-ins. If you have multiple identical plug-in windows, make a symbol of the plug-in and that should speed things up.

(Note: A processor is generally considered 64-bit if its address and data busses are 64 bits wide. Macs and PCs are pretty much limited to 4 gigabytes of main memory because they use 32-bit addressing. Intel's Itanium and Compaq/Dec's Alpha are 64-bit processors. I don't expect to see them in consumer machines for a few years, and NNA is unlikely to be developing for those machines before then.)

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Andrew Bell

andrewb@nemetschek.net

I am not an official spokesperson for NNA

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jodawi:

Besides the fact that for simply 2-D drafting that the video is slow, as I work on the file, the video gets slower and slower and slower. I am forced to quit the session and sometimes restart inorder to bring the video response back to some tolerable speed. What gives? Windows memory leak? Faulty code?

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I moved up to 9.0 when switching from a G3 driven powerwave to a G4 Laptop (400MHZ). I have not noticed any significant difference. The files I worked onin 8.5 wwere large and cumbersome. The lap top handles it much better. I also have more ram and allocated more to the progam. that improved my response time significantly. I wonder if 9.0 uses the vector processor on the mac.

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At this time VectorWorks does not support the G4 Altivec unit directly. However Apple's openGL implementation which we use, is Altivec optimized. Using a other wise equal G3 and G4 computer, the G4 should perform much better in software based openGL rendering.

Matthew Giampapa

Technical Support

quote:

Originally posted by smithlb:

I moved up to 9.0 when switching from a G3 driven powerwave to a G4 Laptop (400MHZ). I have not noticed any significant difference. The files I worked onin 8.5 wwere large and cumbersome. The lap top handles it much better. I also have more ram and allocated more to the progam. that improved my response time significantly. I wonder if 9.0 uses the vector processor on the mac.

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