Speed of BricsCAD

Not having any previous experience with 3D drawings I am surprised how slow things move.  I imported a small chassis, cut 5 holes in it, imported some connectors, two screws and a relay.   I positioned the components in the chassis, and created 2D drawing views of each component.    It takes about 5 minutes to switch from model space to any of the 2D layouts, and perhaps 3 minutes to save the drawing.  During this time my hard drive and machine are completely silent.  I don't have any idea when the command will complete.   Because the machine is so quiet,  I suspect this is all processor time that is being gobbled up, rather than hard drive access.   The screw models are from McMaster Carr's website.  I'm sure the helical detail is part of the problem.  But I use McMaster's fastener models, because the simplified fastener models included in the Platinum version of BricsCAD are not even close to accurate.  They have the wrong diameters.    I complained about that back when I was using V13, but the staff hasn't gotten around to correcting it yet.  I am sure it is a big job..

So how do I go about speeding this up?  Stop putting helical screw models into my drawings?  

I'm running BricsCAD V14.2.17 under 32 bit Windows 7.   The IT department gave me a business desktop with  4GB of RAM.   The processor is an Athlon II X2 255 (3.1 Ghz), and the display adaptor an ATI FirePro V5700.   None of that means a lot to me.  I just read it off the Device Manager.    Do I ask our IT manager if he would consider going to 64 bit Windows and 64 bit BricsCAD?  Will that help much?  Should we buy a faster processor?   More RAM?     Do I need a full blown workstation?   Or do I just have unrealistic expectations?
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Comments

  • "Or do I just have unrealistic expectations?"
    That is! Not only with BricsCAD, but with AutoCAD and all .dwg clones. They just are not made to work well in 3d! Unusuble with medium and large 3d drawings. Rhino and any parametric 3d solid modelers are way more capable!
  • The models from McMaster are usually WAY too complex.  You don't normally need to model the threads on a fastener anyway.  The bolts that come with BricsCAD mechanical have threads, but they are much simpler than the ones from McMaster. 

    With most of the models I get form McMaster, I end up just using them as a guide to help me model something simpler. Then, I delete the model I downloaded from McMaster.

    I will mention that I have had issues with 3D mode on my laptop with its integrated Intel graphics.  As soon as 3D mode turns on a lot of actions are EXTREMELY slow. I think that is just some sort of incompatibility, rather than the system being bogged down.

    -joe
  • Not having any previous experience with 3D drawings I am surprised how slow things move......

    I have a 4 year-old 1st Gen i5 processor and 6GB RAM and mediocre processor. I have a whole coal breaker station in 3d solids complete with stairs, beams, columns, grating, handrailing, nuts & bolts, 3d concrete bases and floor, 3d mechanical equipment (motors, crawl beams, vibrating screen, hoppers etc.) and I am able to edit and swap between paper and model space in under 1 minute. We tend to separate disciplines into xrefs, and I also tend to copy out pertinent members to temporary drawings where I do the editing and then copy them back when done (to avoid clutter and speed things up).
  • As in many things, it depends. I'm running on a year-and-something old laptop and BC 15 (and 14 before it) is pretty snappy, even in 3D models with way too much detail. Of course, it is an intel I7 quad core with 16 GB and a Quadro 2000M video processor, so it shouldn't be too sluggish...

    As Jim notes, the level of detail also matters. Holes sizes for fasteners, for example, come from Machinery's Handbook. The fasteners themselves, from the BC mechanical browser, are great for concept, assembly, and exploded views. I really don't need (or want) #4-40x5/8 machine screws with the actual ANSI thread profile.
  • To the point, you have many bottlenecks here.
    Sounds like your project iisn't all that complicated so its probably the machine.
    Depending on company funds...

    1. Have IT make sure nothing is running at startup that doesnt need to be running. (applies to all machines...everywhere...forever...lol)

    2. 4 gigs on machine = Never enough. Ram is cheap. At least 8 Gigs if the motherboard will support. (More if possible)

    3. ATI FirePro V5700 512 Mb = Old and weak. I had fair results for most work with this 60 dollar card. Nvidia GT-610 2Gb.
    But with v2015 Plat I was compelled to spend 219 dollars on Nvidia GTX 760 2Gb that fixed most of my woes on all my 3d programs for medium duty work.

    4.Athlon II X2 255 (3.1 Ghz) = Meh... but still might work. Old dual core chips are almost not enough these days. If you feel the need for a better processor then you might as well just pop for a new i5 or i7 with a good amount of ram and DEFINITELY slide one of the above mentioned video cards in. (On Chip Graphics will never do)

    My personal example rig:
    Off the shelf HP Envoy 700 for 749.00
    and Nvidia GTX 760 2 Gb for 219.00
    I do very well with this and rarely hit the ceiling. Of course its all depending on the project.

  • Note: There is a limit to the amount of memory you can use on a 32 bit system. To address 8GB RAM you will need to switch to 64 bits.
  • The models from McMaster are usually WAY too complex.  You don't normally need to model the threads on a fastener anyway.  The bolts that come with BricsCAD mechanical have threads, but they are much simpler than the ones from McMaster........

    -joe


    Joe,
    You're right...  But let me tell you how I came about incorporating McMaster fastener models in to my drawings.    (This goes back to V13.)    Whenever I needed an internal thread on one of my models, I subtracted an appropriate sized fastener from the BricsCAD library.  Now here's the problem.   Weeks later I was creating the 2D views for the model with "Generate Drawing Views".   I'd forgotten what size fastener I used, and thought dimensioning the hidden and solid line circles on the generated views, would give me a clue.   Imagine my surprise when I found out they don't correspond to any fastener size.  I return to the model library, and find that the minimum thread diameters for a number of common ANSI threads are are not even close to their published value.   I submitted a support request, and  Bricsys support admitted the  library was inaccurate.  I've been waiting for them to update the library.  

    I'm not wedded to the idea of helical threads.  I just want the max /min thread diameters (thread spacing) to be fairly accurate, so one can determine what thread it is. 


  • ..... Rhino and any parametric 3d solid modelers are way more capable! ....


    Thanks for your imput.  Would that include Solidworks or Solid Edge?
  • ...We tend to separate disciplines into xrefs, and I also tend to copy out pertinent members to temporary drawings where I do the editing and then copy them back when done (to avoid clutter and speed things up).


    Thanks Alan.   All the years I have used Autocad like products, I have never used XREF's.  Just never got around to it, because I learned CAD alone, and work alone.   All my blocks and are saved to a library as *.dwg's.   Does using XREF's boost the speed a drawing opens and saves?   I guess I never tried to use them, because they are tied to a specific directory.  What happens when you rename them or move that directory?
  • As in many things, it depends. I'm running on a year-and-something old laptop and BC 15 (and 14 before it) is pretty snappy, even in 3D models with way too much detail. Of course, it is an intel I7 quad core with 16 GB and a Quadro 2000M video processor, so it shouldn't be too sluggish...

    As Jim notes, the level of detail also matters. Holes sizes for fasteners, for example, come from Machinery's Handbook. The fasteners themselves, from the BC mechanical browser, are great for concept, assembly, and exploded views. I really don't need (or want) #4-40x5/8 machine screws with the actual ANSI thread profile.


    Thanks for your input Richard.    Just curious what brand and model laptop you use.   Sounds expensive.   

    As for the fastener sizes, I consult an application called ME Consultant when I want to know what max, min, and other thread parameters.    Last time I checked, it followed the Machinery Handbook pretty closely.   Anyway, last time I checked, the fastener models in the BricsCAD Platinum library were not accurate.  Wrong minimum diameter, wrong thread pitch.   (I don't care that there is no helix.)
  • ......you have many bottlenecks here. .............its probably the machine.
      ........Have IT make sure nothing is running at startup that doesnt need to be running. .....4 gigs on machine = Never enough. .....ATI FirePro V5700 512 Mb = Old and weak. I had fair results for most work with this 60 dollar card. Nvidia GT-610 2Gb. .......Old dual core chips are almost not enough these days. ......



    Thanks Bill.   I have limited influence when it comes to our IT department.  They get me the hardware they want me to have, and that is it.  I'm assuming if you are running 8GB memory, that you must be using a 64 bit system and 64 bit BricsCAD.   If I can convince them to switch to 64 bit, will it buy me much speed?     Do you know if BricsCAD can make full use of multiple cores?

    I will print out your suggestions and see what IT has to say about it.
  • ...To address 8GB RAM you will need to switch to 64 bits.


    Thanks.   Have you got any idea  much speed boost we can get by switching to 64 bit (OS and application), and going from 4GB to 8GB?
  • Dear Jim.
    this question keeps thousands busy - and is not simple to answer ...
    but in generally, a x64 Windows 7/8, with 8 GB RAM will be definitely be faster than 32 bit Windows + 4 GB RAM.

    On the same hardware, BricsCAD x64 is 10%...20% than the x86 BricsCAD version ... found with Lisp + BRX benchmarks.

    In generally, it is better to have higher CPU clock ... so if you have a choice, use a CPU with higher core clock, then
    many cores with lower CPU clock.
    This is as most (not all !) BricsCAD operations run in single-threaded mode.

    But more CPU cores also help Windows to manage the many background tasks (AntiVirus, Updates, services etc.) -
    those can then run on other cores, keeping the BricsCAD core(s) uninterrupted.

    If is often read in magazines, that only multithread-enabled software takes advantage of multiple cores ... but this is simply
    not correct - single-threaded software takes also advantage, as it can use its core/thread uninterrupted, as long as Windows
    can schedule other jobs to other cores ...

    So using a Core i5/7 with 2 CPU core + Hyperthreading or 4 CPU cores with/without hyperthreading is a good approach;
    but again, if you can choose, you a model with higher CPU clock.

    Many greetings !


  • Thanks Bill.   I have limited influence when it comes to our IT department.  They get me the hardware they want me to have, and that is it.  I'm assuming if you are running 8GB memory, that you must be using a 64 bit system and 64 bit BricsCAD.   If I can convince them to switch to 64 bit, will it buy me much speed?     Do you know if BricsCAD can make full use of multiple cores?

    I will print out your suggestions and see what IT has to say about it.


    Yeah the ram debate on older motherboards and 32 bit windows has gone on for years.
    IT should look it up and fill it as best they can. (they probably have some in a drawer somewhere :)
    Some crossover mobos actually had use for extra ram depending on firmware.
    Its just a good rule of thumb to not sweat it and fill them up :)

    Maybe they have a better video card in a box somewhere. If they see you need one maybe they will help.

    Yup, my newest machine is the one listed i5-12 gigs) plus the 219.00 card as of last week.
    V15 demanded the video upgrade but i was due anyways.
  • @Jim Canale:
    Thanks for your input Richard.    Just curious what brand and model laptop you use.   Sounds expensive.   

    As for the fastener sizes, I consult an application called ME Consultant when I want to know what max, min, and other thread parameters.    Last time I checked, it followed the Machinery Handbook pretty closely.   Anyway, last time I checked, the fastener models in the BricsCAD Platinum library were not accurate.  Wrong minimum diameter, wrong thread pitch.   (I don't care that there is no helix.)


    It's a Lenovo W520 "portable workstation" from back in 2012. Nice box and, all things considered, not that expensive. It's still truckin' along and it *doesn't* have Win8.  ;-)

    Yes, the fasteners could use some tweaking (and inch units, please). As an ex-submariner turned embedded firmware developer now drafted into mechanical design (as in "Hey, can you use CAD?") I'm just glad I don't have to create the damned things from scratch.
  • Thanks Torsten, Bill, and Richard.   Lots of good information here, as usual.   I need a new machine at home, so will keep your comments in mind when selecting it.   (I pay for my own machine if I want to work from home, so the budget is always first and foremost.) 
  • Runs fine on amd platform FX9370 (8x4,4Ghz) 32GB ram and currently Nvidia quadro K600.

    I doubt that the 3D kernel can benenfit from more processor cores.
    But multi core is good cause most computers run other software so the system is less hanging as with single/dual cores/hyperthreading.

    Hyperthreading: if The core is really busy, then hyperthreading will not be the same as actual 2 cpu cores.

    laptop on battery mode is not a good idea for 3D.
    on-board video also: problematic.



  • Trial version of Bricscad V15

    I created about 1 and a half years ago a boolean 3D with autocad 2014 of a technical room.
    The dwg is 16147KB , contains 823 3D parts

    First windows 7 : windows uses default 4 cores , if the system get's busy then 5 and so on to 8 cores.

    Bricscad V15 is using those 4 cores also , higher cpu use but still not mucht since 8x 4,4 Ghz is not so slow at all.
     



    imageautocad 2014 3D 823 3D blocks.jpg
    imagetaskmanager.jpg
  • Runs fine on amd platform FX9370 (8x4,4Ghz) 32GB ram and currently Nvidia quadro K600.
    I doubt that the 3D kernel can benenfit from more processor cores.  But multi core is good cause most computers run other software so the system is less hanging as with single/dual cores/hyperthreading.


    Stefaan,

    32GB - That's a lot of RAM.     Are you running a 64bit OS and 64 bit BricsCAD?    I wish you had posted your file.  My guess is my machine would choke on a file that big. 
  • I use Bricscad V14 professional 64bit and now testing a trial version of Bricscad V15 Platinium 64bit on Windows 7 professional 64Bit.


    The 3D dwg was created on a HP XW4400 workstation , dual core 2,4Ghz, 4GB ram , ATI FireGL V7200 video and windows XP 32 bit.
    (company PC) Using: Autocad 2012 up to 2014. Many problems partly due to that autodesk  stopped to certifify the videocard since autocad 2011.

    Frequent hangs etc but maneged to end the 3d drawing, partly limited:

    Architecture : not used, only base blocks of te technical room
    Water tubes: I started with he original tube but had to switch to solid tubes due to many crashes.

    The pc that I use now is not from the company, one of my own computers.
    Original a software synthesizer with many VST instruments (Omnysphere , Trillian, Electra2, Rayblaster, Nemesis, etc)
    That's the 32GB for.

    But , I use this computer for CAD and typical office applications.

    I will see if I can reduce the size so that the forum accepts it tomorrow.



  • Here it is:
    Okay, You will need 7-7ip to unpack the dwg.
    Compressed with 7-zip 64 bit.

    www.7-zip.org and don't use any other source.

    Timings : the dwg should open under 10 seconds. (with Bricscad)
    if it takes longer then there are things to improve.



    3D technical room.7z.0013D technical room.7z.0023D technical room.7z.003

  • Thanks Stefaan.  Sorry I took so long to get back to this thread.  Been busy with other things.
    I have to get the IT Manager to install 7-Zip.  That will take a while. 


  •  Stefaan,

    Ok I was able to extract the file on my home machine.  NIce work by the way!     Anyway, at home I have Windows XP (32 bit), 8 GB physical RAM (only 4GB useable), an Intel E8400 3Ghz, Dual Core processor, and a 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT gaming card.  I started BricsCAD V14.2.17, and then opened your your drawing.  It showed in 33 seconds.  I quit V14 and started V15.11.11.  Your drawing opened in 23 seconds.   Better performance, but still far below what you reported.  Guess my system is getting long in the tooth.
  • In case I haven't mentioned it, I'm still running 32 bit Windows XP and 32 bit Ubuntu on my home machine.  (Dual boot system)    I know that limits me to 4GB, but right now I don't want to invest in the time and money to go to 64 bit Windows.  It's a pain to re-install both OS's and all my apps too. 

    Since thiis was a gaming motherboard, I decided to try a mild overclock.   Upped the  CPU freq. from 3.0 to 3.2 Ghz, and RAM from 800 to 1066 Mhz.  I don't have any good benchmarking software, so I opened the file Stefaan posted.    The time to open reduced from 33 to 30 sec, and 23 to 20 sec. on V14, and V15 respectively.   Considering everyone told me V15 was more of a resource hog, I am surprised by the results.

    I keep wondering how much of this delay I'm seeing is due to using a Nvidia Geforce GT9800-512 GAMING card rather than a Nividia Quadro CAD optimized card.   I haven't been able to find out if BricsCAD uses Open GL or Direct X.   
  • Dear Jim.

    for 2D display, WinGDI is used ... OpenGL/Redway OpenGL is used for 3D display (shading/rendering);
    see Settings dialog, search for "hardware" ...

    A somewhat relevant performance bottleneck (compared to V14) was removed / fixed with latest V15.1.14/16 ...
    very likely, that this performance drop was noticed by the other reports here.
    So using latest V15 should solve that problem.

    Many greetings !
  • Hello Jim,

    you wrote
    "I'm still running 32 bit Windows XP ... I know that limits me to 4GB"

    Are you aware that without taking extra steps, an application only can use 1.6 GB on XP.
    A little tweaking makes up to 3 GB available, more details can be found in our knowledge base article "Increase BricsCAD memory limit on 32-bit Windows"


  •  Thanks Torsten and Hans!

    Hans, I looked up the article you referenced.  I was always told that a 32 bit OS could address 4GB of memory space.   Part of this would be used up by the graphics card, which in my case is 512MB.    I thought the remaining 3.5GB  of addressable physical memory would be used by the OS, or allocated to applications.  ..  If the changes described in the article are NOT made, what is the memory used for?   I'm a little reluctant to mess with boot.ini, because my machine uses GRUB to manage the two OS's.  


  • Dear Jim,

    roughly spoken, thos e4 GB *addressable* memory is splitted in 2 parts - lower and upper 2 GB ..
    the upper 2 GB are reserved by Windows for own purpose - mainly to map device drivers and its memory ...

    Without special preparations, applications can only use the lower 2 GB (even that not fully - I got max. 1.8 GB at old times).

    Many greetings !
  • A 32 bit cpu can address maximum 3,2GB usable ram when 4GB or more is used.
    Device mapping really does not need 2GB at all and why shoukld there be a split at 2GB when the processor can adress 32 bit's wide.
    You can use ...as user max 3,2GB on 4GB systems.

    Speed compare is difficult , sure between 32 and 64 bit

    Bricscad benefits alot, fast cpu , a quad core is enough, more then that is simply not used.
    For 2D: video card is far less important  , for 3D : videocard is very important.

    I had the slowest computer in this company, (dual core 2,4Ghz  intel, 4 GB ram, firegl V7200 video 512MB)

    This 8 core amd , above 4GHz  and even the nvidia quadro K600 1GB, SSD etc... fastest computer now


  • A 32 bit cpu can address maximum 3,2GB usable ram when 4GB or more is used.
    Device mapping really does not need 2GB at all and why shoukld there be a split at 2GB when the processor can adress 32 bit's wide.
    You can use ...as user max 3,2GB on 4GB systems.


    That split is defined by Windows' standard behaviour.
    It is a bit more difficult ... what you describe requires a CPU which supports PAE mechanism (Physical Address Extension), also the BIOS must be configured for;
    under those conditions, those upper 2 GB, which are reserved by Windows for device driver's memory mapping, are virtually moved to addresses > 4 GB (even when you have <= 4 GB installed); <br> *then* Windows allows to use the maximum of approx. 3.6 GB out of 4 GB.

    Using PAE also requires that the boot.ini (in XP, similar in newer boot config with Vista/Win7,Win8 x86 version);
    when CPU + BIOS support this + are configured for, then installing Windows Vista/7/8 will automatically use that mechanism;
    in WinXP it must be manually added to boot.ini ...

    But even when all conditions are given - some device drivers/services might not be compatible with PAE ... especially graphic cards can make trouble here.

    Many greetings !

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