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Thread: How To Speed Up AutoCAD 2018

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    Default How To Speed Up AutoCAD 2018

    I have been using AutoCAD 2010 since around 2012, and while it's not anywhere near as fast as AutoCAD 2002 that I use for most design, I was forced into this new (at the time) program because dealing with vendor's drawings basically required it.

    Since I've had 2010, I've been down-converting vendor files to 2010 for speed, but lately I'm getting a LOT of AutoCAD 2018 files, so I figured it's about time to move to the new software.

    Testing at work, it seems AutoCAD 2018 is about 1/2 as fast as AutoCAD 2010 overall. I conveniently have some VB macros that time how fast things happen, and most of the issue is the load time for files; actually processing the file is about the same speed (though it is ALSO slower). I've tried comparing ObjectDBX vs "Editor", to try and eliminate the videocard as an issue; similar slowdowns.

    I've tested with a few systems, and with a few different processors, and found that outright single-thread clock speed is basically the only number that matters, but I can't find out why AutoCAD 2018 is so much slower than 2010. I thought it might be the licensing server, and even installed it to a RAM drive, but it had no impact.

    I have already disabled all of the Infocenter stuff, AutoCAD 360, and installed the offline help files, but none of that impacts anything significantly. It seems to be basically how fast AutoCAD can load a file that is the issue, and there seems to be no reason for it to be so slow. I've uninstalled and reinstalled AutoCAD, with no change. All AutoCAD versions are up to date. All drivers on the PC are up to date, however I've tried swapping videocards/drivers ("Pro" vs "Consumer"), and storage controller drivers with no noticeable impact. Even tried moving to a Ryzen system, just in case, but same-ish results.

    On my primary system, AutoCAD 2010 takes about 2 seconds to load, AutoCAD 2016 takes about 4. If I load a random selection of files (so, after AutoCAD is loaded, select these 10 files to load), it takes about 8s for 2010, and 19s for 2018. While that doesn't seem like much, a lot of my work is opening a file, doing something random programmatically to it, and save/closing it; something taking 3hrs vs 7hrs to run matters.

    Is AutoCAD just getting THAT bloated over the years? It doesn't seem like anything that matters is being added to the software, so it surprises me that the file-loading subsystem would be so much slower.

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    Default Re: How To Speed Up AutoCAD 2018

    First, what hardware do you have?

    Second, are you running x64 or x32 with AutoCAD 2010?

    Third, when you say "VB macros" do you mean VBA? Or VB6? Or VB.NET?
    If you are going to fly by the seat of your pants, expect friction burns.
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    Default Re: How To Speed Up AutoCAD 2018

    Quote Originally Posted by dgorsman View Post
    First, what hardware do you have?

    Second, are you running x64 or x32 with AutoCAD 2010?

    Third, when you say "VB macros" do you mean VBA? Or VB6? Or VB.NET?
    First: Hardware options are a 7700k system, a Ryzen 1800x system (this is what we hope to use moving forward), a dual Xeon 5120 system. The former two with 32GB non-ECC, the latter with 64GB of ECC (this system is soon to be used for another purpose, so it is being used as a convenient "professional" workstation; I realise it's a bit silly as an AutoCAD workstation). Videocards tested were a Vega 56 8GB (moving forward, we are planning to use these), a nVidia 1080 non-ti 8GB, and a Quadro M6000 12GB (and the onboard Intel for the 7700k). Hard disk is some combination of Samsung 960 Pro NVMe drives, and some spindle drives. Otherwise, the hardware used would have been basically the same between all systems (monitors [3x dell 24" @1920 x 1200], keyboards, mice, etc). Switching between all systems, and all configurations ... (excluding harddrive as the obvious primary cause of AutoCAD slowdown) clock speed is by far the largest impact on the speed of 2D AutoCAD, then it is RAM speed.

    Second: Tested with x64 versions of AutoCAD 2010, 2012, 2016, and 2018. There is a progression in general slowness as they get newer, but 2012 to 2016/2018 is the most drastic. I would presume the x32 versions of AutoCAD would be uniformly faster than their x64 counterpart, as I've found in the past, but we use Win 10 x64, so we're kindof stuck with it.

    Third: When I say "VB macros", MOSTLY they're VBA inside Excel. However, we have other tools provided by our vendors that are loaded inside AutoCAD; I can't see what they were programmed in, but it seems logical it would be VB.NET or C#.

    The macros we use are kindof moot to this slowdown conversation; I could install vanilla versions of each of these versions of AutoCAD, on a vanilla version of Windows 10 x64, and I would see this drastic slowdown (select 10 files, attempt to load [start timer], and end the timer when they're loaded). The macros are simply a convenient way to time the slowdown, not the root cause.

    As well, and not sure if it matters, I have the ribbon turned off on all versions of AutoCAD; we have a few basic toolbars, and that's it. Hardware acceleration on and off tested.

    It seems like the main slowdowns are the UI, and the licensing server, but it seems odd how they could have broken those simple features so badly. I have a feeling the slow UI is actually ALSO the licensing server, manifesting as random things taking a while to happen. I'm going to see if anti-virus is somehow unfairly punishing the newer versions of AutoCAD; I'd prefer not to have to exclude their folders/dlls from being scanned, but if I have to ...

    I'm going to have another go at this on Wednesday.
    Last edited by ettore_c; 2017-11-26 at 10:39 PM. Reason: Clarified some stuff, formatting.

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    Default Re: How To Speed Up AutoCAD 2018

    I have nit played with 2018 yet, but if what you need to do is programmatically edit a drawing, instead of interactively, perhaps look into using the Acad Core and run headless?
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    Default Re: How To Speed Up AutoCAD 2018

    Quote Originally Posted by cadtag View Post
    I have nit played with 2018 yet, but if what you need to do is programmatically edit a drawing, instead of interactively, perhaps look into using the Acad Core and run headless?
    If I edit "headless" (presuming you mean "not using Editor"), I still have the exact same issue; 2010 is faster by a lot. The problem isn't that what I am doing is overall slow, its that it's much slower with AutoCAD 2018 for no tangible reason.

    As well, many files I work with have 1M+ entities; unless I am mistaken, "Editor" has the capability of creating selection sets, while "headless" does not, therefore Editor is considerably faster since I only have to iterate through the selection set, instead of every entry, which is insanely slow. Although, I recently optimized my editor routines and sped things up considerably; might be time to look at my ObjectDBX code and see what can happen.

    This morning, now that I am looking at this with fresh eyes, I am thinking it's antivirus related; AutoCAD pointlessly re-referencing a DLL over and over seems more likely than them crippling core functionality.

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    Default Re: How To Speed Up AutoCAD 2018

    Quote Originally Posted by ettore_c View Post
    Is AutoCAD just getting THAT bloated over the years? It doesn't seem like anything that matters is being added to the software, so it surprises me that the file-loading subsystem would be so much slower.

    See also:

    https://twitter.com/BlackBox_CAD/sta...34401949249536

    https://twitter.com/cadpanacea/statu...62857657778177

    https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/autoc...ng/m-p/6312804

    The last URL there illustrates how chatty ACAD is with the registry and file system. Is this a real problem or negligible? Still not sure.
    Last edited by rkmcswain; 2017-11-27 at 01:45 PM. Reason: add more data
    R.K. McSwain | CAD Panacea |

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    Default Re: How To Speed Up AutoCAD 2018

    Well, yeah - an 8 year old program is going to be loads faster on modern hardware (try running a classic flight sim without an emulator). That's just not a good performance comparison.

    x32 *might* run faster, depending on how VBA is implemented. There isn't a native x64 VBA (hence the VBA enabler install), so there can be some slowdown there as it runs back and forth from the VBA module; it may well still be native in the x32 AutoCAD.

    Newer versions have to do a lot more stuff, from handling annotative information (you're actually checking for rogue annotation scales, not just hiding them, yes?) to checking for AEC content to be upgraded and associative arrays. While some will say "Why bother, I don't want it" that doesn't make it bloat - there are others who *are* using it.
    If you are going to fly by the seat of your pants, expect friction burns.
    Some say beauty is in the eye of the Beholder... perhaps so, but I've only seen the disintegration beam.
    Everyone else being wrong is not the same thing as being right.

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    Default Re: How To Speed Up AutoCAD 2018

    I've been using Autodesk for about 34 Yrs. now and over the past 10 I'd say the biggest pains in my rear have been

    1.) Windows Defender (constantly trying to take center stage whenever Microsoft feels my Virus software has "dropped the ball")
    2.) Windows Getting rid of "Internet Explorer" (This has always been Autodesk's best friend and will take awhile to get over)
    3.) And somebody has mentioned already The License Server's transition from 32 to 64 has been a gruesome one

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    Default Re: How To Speed Up AutoCAD 2018

    Quote Originally Posted by dgorsman View Post
    Well, yeah - an 8 year old program is going to be loads faster on modern hardware (try running a classic flight sim without an emulator). That's just not a good performance comparison.

    x32 *might* run faster, depending on how VBA is implemented. There isn't a native x64 VBA (hence the VBA enabler install), so there can be some slowdown there as it runs back and forth from the VBA module; it may well still be native in the x32 AutoCAD.

    Newer versions have to do a lot more stuff, from handling annotative information (you're actually checking for rogue annotation scales, not just hiding them, yes?) to checking for AEC content to be upgraded and associative arrays. While some will say "Why bother, I don't want it" that doesn't make it bloat - there are others who *are* using it.
    Thing is, AutoCAD 2000 and AutoCAD 2018 are pretty much the same; the additional features are ancillary at best, and mostly are simple feature adds. I get that there would be a slowdown, but it's astronomical. It would be like Office XP taking 1 second to load a file, and Office 2017 taking 4 seconds to load. Could compare Photoshop this way as well; once it's loaded, the time it takes to open a project is virtually identical. I was originally thinking it was an issue on my end, but it turns out it's simply poor programming on AutoDesk's part; shameful. So, for now, it looks like we are going to stick with AutoCAD 2010, and I'll just have the data person downsave everything when we receive it (actually looking to get IT to do it automatically).

    Thanks for the input; I'm surprised the community isn't more vocal about this.
    Quote Originally Posted by rkmcswain View Post
    See also:

    https://twitter.com/BlackBox_CAD/sta...34401949249536

    https://twitter.com/cadpanacea/statu...62857657778177

    https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/autoc...ng/m-p/6312804

    The last URL there illustrates how chatty ACAD is with the registry and file system. Is this a real problem or negligible? Still not sure.
    Did some checking with procmon ... that is absolutely insane. Its probably not the primary cause of the slowdowns, but given this is such an obvious source that hasn't been fixed, I would presume the rest of the software is pretty badly programmed as well.

    Thanks everyone.

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    Default Re: How To Speed Up AutoCAD 2018

    Quote Originally Posted by ettore_c View Post
    Thing is, AutoCAD 2000 and AutoCAD 2018 are pretty much the same
    Not even close to being the same. Try using the dotNET API in AutoCAD 2000.

    Quote Originally Posted by ettore_c View Post
    ...the additional features are ancillary at best...
    For you, perhaps. For us there are changes which are somewhere between "highly useful" and "essential".
    If you are going to fly by the seat of your pants, expect friction burns.
    Some say beauty is in the eye of the Beholder... perhaps so, but I've only seen the disintegration beam.
    Everyone else being wrong is not the same thing as being right.

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