AutoCAD Architecture General Discussion

AutoCAD Architecture General Discussion

Contributor hjs
20 Posts
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Registered: ‎05-29-2008
Post 1 of 22

ACA 2012 performance?

1322 Views, 21 Replies
09-06-2011 04:11 AM



We are planning an upgrade and have to make a decision, 2011 or 2012 (with 1st SP when its released). But from our experience 2011 is really slow.

I was wondering what the performance of 2012 is like?
Better than 2011?


Read below if you want to know why I am asking.


The reason I am asking is because we have moved 1 hospital project to ACA 2011 64b and the performance is not good. We were forced to move because of the design team and this was done ¾ of the way through the project. So the drawings were not started in 2011 but in 2009.

Our team has 8 users, 6 0n Win7 64b and 2 of which have 32b ACA 2011 and Win7. We use PN for the project. We have loads of other projects on PN but on ACA 2009 and its not that slow. Even this project was not that slow in ACA 2009.

All of them are complaining they are waiting minutes for drawings to open and close and other tasks tha involves the network it seems. Some users say they lose at least an hour a day if not more.

We only use spaces, walls, doors and windows on plan to schedule. I know it’s in 3D but we don’t model the whole thing in 3D.
We use basic wall build ups. Mostly just 2 lines, we don’t show detail in the walls just some hatch in some of them.
The doors and windows property sets contain the information for the schedules. But they use a location mark and formula to get the door and window number.

We use xrefs extensively.
There are 876 dwg’s in the PN with average size of 1.9MB. 410 dwg’s are Sheets.

I have done all the settings Autodesk has suggested in a support case. No real improvement. Their final comment was upgrade to 2012. Purged, recovered and left it a few months in the hope that it would improve as all drawings were eventually opened and saved in 2011.


Like I said, all of this information was in 2009 and it was twice as fast in 2009. Not quick, but acceptable, what you would expect from a big project.


Our Average Hardware:

Processor:    Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           E5420  @ 2.50GHz, 2493 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
Installed Physical Memory (RAM):      4.00 GB
Network:        Win server 2003    Speed: 100MB used with CAT 6 cables.
Display Adapter Description:   NVIDIA Quadro FX 3700


Because of all this I am reluctant to move 34 other seats to 2011 or 2012.
I have asked our reseller for his opinion but he gave me the usual answer. There are no problems with 2012 from
any of their other customers. Said the same about 2011.

I don’t know if is something we are doing wrong. Hardware or software or because the drawings is started in 2009. And Autodesk cant give me an answer other than upgrade and the y are not paying for produtivity lost bacause of their software.

34 for x 2 hours a day waiting for ACA = 0 productivity.


Thanks for you input.

Active Contributor
35 Posts
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Registered: ‎10-21-2008
Post 2 of 22

Re: ACA 2012 performance?

09-06-2011 08:49 AM in reply to: hjs

It would be inadvisable to upgrade to 2012 to fix your performance issues, if anything they will get worse. Our experience is that we have no problems in 2011, either running 32 or 64 bit, but we are having a lot of issues in 2012 with both 32 bit and 64 bit, and the 64 bit issues are more chronic. We were all lured by the speed promise of x64, but at this point the problems that have accompanied it have made it a nightmare to manage and no one seems to be listening at either autodesk or microsoft. Do you have any 32 bit machines running 2011 and is their performance at least stable if not faster than x64?

Active Member
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Registered: ‎04-13-2011
Post 3 of 22

Re: ACA 2012 performance?

09-06-2011 01:55 PM in reply to: hjs

Weird, I have the reverse problem as Mavsfan.  2011 was painstakingly slow, but we did notice some significant improvements with 2012.  Just not enough of them though.  The Plot dialog is still miserably slow, opening files is like using Heinz ketchup in the glass bottle.  Certain things did speed up though.  Closing programs for one, and some others like hatching, but overall it's still overwhelmingly slower than 2010 ever was.  

Even after running through the host of changes you should make... change layerdlgmode to 0, don't keep any palettes open ever (then why program them and tout their effectiveness), edit the registry to shut off the infocenter, etc... etc... it was still a dog and we're running decent machines.... Win7 64bit, Intel Xeon dual core @ 2 ghz, 10 gb of memory, NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500.  Certianly decent enough to handle simple functions like open, plot, etc...

I've looked for two years now for a fix and the best I've found is, "suck it up, 'cause it ain't getting much faster." :smileysad:  Sadness


Active Contributor
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Registered: ‎10-21-2008
Post 4 of 22

Re: ACA 2012 performance?

09-06-2011 02:06 PM in reply to: TRCadmin

Wes, I am curious about your server environment since your experience is so different, as it compares to ours. We have two data servers, one running win server 2008 R2 that is an x64, and the other server2003R2 which is 32 bit.

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Registered: ‎04-13-2011
Post 5 of 22

Re: ACA 2012 performance?

09-08-2011 11:42 AM in reply to: mavsfan

Our server is 32-bit windows 2008 R2.  Though we just use it for data storage.  Our autocad licenses aren't server based, so our server really doesn't have much to do with anything really.  Though I did finally get around to installingl 2012 on my home machine (which oddly enough is way better than my machine here at work, gotta play the good games after all) a couple weeks ago.  I should fire it up and see how it runs on that thing.  That'll determine if autocad just needs shear speed or if the software itself is really just that slow. That machine is Windows 7 with 8gb ram, AMD Phenom II 6-core @ 3.2ghz with an EVGA GeForce GTX 460 video card.  I'll test the waters tonight and see what, if any, speed differences I notice.

Active Contributor
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Registered: ‎10-21-2008
Post 6 of 22

Re: ACA 2012 performance?

09-08-2011 11:56 AM in reply to: TRCadmin

Interesting. I have learned that even though we have servers in 2003 and 2008, the one that is controlling the domain is the one on server 2003 R2. We don't run acad licenses off the server either, our problem strictly has to do with network communication and storage, saving and opening files from server. I might be chasing a dead end but I'm beginning to wonder if server 2003 R2 has issues with windows7 clients, x64 clients, or a combination of the two.

Contributor hjs
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Registered: ‎05-29-2008
Post 7 of 22

Re: ACA 2012 performance?

09-13-2011 07:30 AM in reply to: hjs



Thanks to Mavsfan and Wes for your replies.

I hope more people are reading this and I hope somebody at Autodesk
is also reading this.

Here is a lengthy update.



We do have 2 x 32 bit machines running on the project
because of other software we are using. They are just as slow and their stability
is more or less the same. You crash or restart your once a day, minimum.

Our file server is also a 64 bit machine and was rebuild
over the weekend (new server, same operating system). Even slower after that.
The IT manager we have to give it a few days and then it will be faster. Doubt
that but not my expertise.

Now my 2009 users are complaining it got slower and the 2011
people say it’s the same slow speed. Don’t know what is going on.

We have standalone licenses as well.

We have a few servers here but the file server only handle
the files. The other servers handle email and other stuff. All on the same
network, switches, etc. Getting a bit technical for me.



I also did the stuff Autodesk suggested to me. See their
reply below.

Please let us know how it went on your home machine.

Do you guys run a print server that takes care of the


From what I can see and from what I have read it looks like
this is a network thing. I spoke a bit to out IT manager and he had a few interesting
things to say and suggest. He started talking about packages and priority and
so on.

After all of this I can logically summarise  it like this:

-         ACA 2010 was still ok on the speed side and from
2011 it started getting worse.

-         The biggest change between 2010 and 2011 was the
content sensitive ribbon I think.

-         2011 open drawings slower because I am think it
checking the drawing and its xrefs more thoroughly. Annotation scales, errors, project
navigator, paths, I don’t know, just guessing here.

-         2012 might even check more stuff, so even slower
in some cases.

-         Each time you touch an object or Project
Navigator or you print it checks something on the network. Don’t know what but
it looks like it because that when it slows down.

-         The software is becoming more complicated and
their fore more network heavy. By this I mean it is sending and receiving more
packages over the network.


According to us there is network conflicts or its blocking
the network with too much info.

My IT manager suggested we do like you can do with Windows
and MSconfig and the settings on the Services you can turn off. Start ACA
barebones and systematically turn on “services” and see what causing the network

I have tried new profiles and OOTB profiles but we need
something stronger.


Anybody know how to do this sort of thing?

Or do you have other suggestions?

Is there an Autodesk person that can look into "ideal" network settings for ACA that might solve this?


Please feel free to add them here.


Well thats my thoughts.


Contributor hjs
20 Posts
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Registered: ‎05-29-2008
Post 8 of 22

Re: ACA 2012 performance?

09-13-2011 07:44 AM in reply to: hjs



This is the replies i got from Autodesk.

Looks like upgrading to 2012 is there solution but according to everybody else it might not be.

Hope SP1 one is the daddy of all SP's.


24/05/2011 14:11

Subject: Regarding [CaseNo:06504825.] ACA 2011 performance
Dear Hendrik Smit,

Thank you for choosing Autodesk Support. Here is the recommended resolution to your case:

Please try the following general suggestions for improving performance when working in AutoCAD:

Please make sure your temp folder is emptied regularly.  Using Xrefs leaves a lot of data in the temp folder that can bog down a system. You can type %temp% in your Windows Start -> Run to access the temp folder.
Please set FIELDEVAL to 4, which will only evaluate the fields on plotting thus saving from constant regens.
Please set INDEXCTL to 2, this will index the drawing making any further work in it much quicker.
Under the System tab in the options dialog box, set the "Layout Regen options" to "Cache model tab and last layout" this will help so that switching layouts does not regen the entire drawing each time.
In the System Properties->Advanced tab, set "Visual Effects" to "Adjust for best performance" which will lessen the pull of Windows on resources.
Set DYNMODE system variable to 0. (Dynamic Inputs)
Set HPQUICKPREVIEW system variable to 0.
Set ROLLOVERTIPS system variable to 0.
I have also included some information about how performance issues can occur.  Performance issues can arise for many reasons, but the most common causes are:

Drawing files are too complex.These can include many Xrefs, many layouts, larger raster images, purgable data, and heavy use of XClipping/Wipeouts etc. 
Unload Xrefs and images that are no longer needed or are not needed for the immediate procedure. 
I also strongly recommend running Audit and Purge on all drawing files (including Xrefs) to remove any junk data, which may have accumulated in the drawing over its life.
I hope this helps - please get back to us in case of any additional requirements.

Best regards,



02/09/2011 15:40Subject: Regarding [CaseNo:06504825.] ACA 2011 performance
Dear Hendrik Smit,

Thanks for getting back to us.

Maybe you might want to try on a test installation of AutoCAD Architecture 2012 if it is worth upgrading to this release?

The first Service Pack 1 for AutoCAD Architecture 2012 will be released shortly as well.

I hope this helps - please get back to us in case of any additional requirements.

Best regards,
*Expert Elite*
588 Posts
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Registered: ‎04-19-2011
Post 9 of 22

Re: ACA 2012 performance?

09-13-2011 09:25 AM in reply to: mavsfan

My partner is a IT Manager and just went through all the current MS Server2008/W7 Certifications. His entire career has been in CAD running companies, and was once a drafter in the R14 days. I asked him what he thinks about everyone's ponderings....

Windows 7 does have some compatibility issues with Server 2003 that are documented by MS with workarounds to add W7 machines to a Server2003 workgroup or network. MS works hard for backwards compatibility, but it is difficult to assure forward compatibility. He strongly recommends that if you have W7 64 machines that they are on a domain controlled by a Server 2008 64. Any XP 32 machines will be fine on it, but W7 on S2003 loses a little bit in the translation. He was very emphatic that there is no point in installing 32bit software anymore, especially on the server side. Anything that you need done in a 32 bit environment can be done on a virtual 32 bit server. His BMP is to upgrade the top of the food chain to the highest common denominator, and go down the network from there. The top level machine needs to be the best on the network, hardware and software combined.

He also recommended a gigabit switch. The slowdown can also be with your antivirus. Many are notorious for slowing down CAD. Add your AutoCAD installation folders to your Antivirus safe folder list, so it is not checking them constantly. Another thing he noticed over the years, is that AutoCAD slows down if it tries to access two servers at once, say you have your CAD standards/block library on one server, and your data on another.

His bottom line, is that your network can be slow for any number of reasons. Its hard to pinpoint each network's weak spot through forums. But I personally think you are on the right track to look in that direction. I say that because I have no slowdowns running 2012.

I have a feeling that I am incredibly lucky to have him as my IT support.:smileyhappy: ~ Mary

Normal people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Software Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.
Contributor hjs
20 Posts
0 Kudos
Registered: ‎05-29-2008
Post 10 of 22

Re: ACA 2012 performance?

09-14-2011 02:19 AM in reply to: MarySeufert

Thanks for your input Mary.

You are very lucky .


What anit virus do you guys use?

We use McAfee.


Abybody had problems with McAfee in the past?



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