With the release of Vista in all it’s incarnations, most manufacturer have started placing some version of the new Microsoft OS on machines by default. Many sites have reviews of Vista, so I’m not here to bore you with another one. So why are we talking about it? Because you don’t want it. Find out why after the jump.
The partnership between Autodesk and Microsoft is the source of much speculation, some of it bordering on conspiracy theory. AutoCAD is tied at a pretty low level to the OS and Internet Explorer to the chagrin of many IT managers. Pretty much any derivation from the recommended workstation and server configurations puts you in unsupported land.
Autodesk also maintains a number of large testing environments. These include machines of all sorts including Macs. Autodesk produces a large number of products that run on OS X so it’s important that they understand what’s happening. It’s also important that they don’t make their partners look bad.
With the release of the 2008 products, Vista will be a supported OS out of the box, but supported is completely different from optimized. C3D is written to make use of every available resource, and the simple fact is that Vista demands more from the workstation does, limiting resources available to applications.
To that end, some testing has been done that will never see the light of day. In a lab environment, C3D runs considerably faster in an XP environment than in a Vista one. Equal machines, equal tasks. How much faster? Up to five times faster in certain tasks! Of course, no one wants to say the new OS is slower, but damn, that’s a big difference to me.
The real kicker is that 2008 is much faster than 2007. This release is the first where fit and finish could be truly listed as a task for the development team. Corridor modeling has been recoded to use .net for assembly creation, and many other low level operations have been optimized. Comparing 2007 and 2008 on the same hardware, I’ve been blown away by the improvements. But you’ll never see them if you jump to Vista at the same time, they’re all negated by the OS bog.
Oh and since I mentioned 64 Bit, here’s some information from the horse’s mouth:
The installer for Cannon blocks the installation on Vista 64. Cannon must be installed on a 32 bit OS. This holds true for all the AutoCAD vertical products for the 2008 release.
Peter Funk, Autodesk Inc.
Moral of the story? Just say no to Vista. You can still get XP on your machines, just not from Best Buy. Talk to your vendor and optimize for the tasks you do, not for the geegaws of the Aero display!