One thing you’ll notice (and dislike) right away with AutoCAD 2009 is that it takes a lot longer to get started. How much longer? About twice as long as recent releases, or about ten times longer than ancient speed demon Release 13. (I bet a 1994 AutoCAD user transported forward in time would be shocked to hear that description being used). Here’s a video that shows what the first startup looks like in a collection of releases from Release 12 to 2009:
Now for the qualifications and caveats:
- Tests performed on a Core2Duo E6600 PC with 4 GB RAM, under Windows XP SP2 32 bit.
- This is not a strictly scientific comparison. Only one system restart and settle-down period was performed prior to timing all releases one after the other. Strictly, each test should get its own restart and settle-down period.
- Anti-virus and other security software was left on, but was not performing a scan, during the tests.
- This is the first startup time only. Subsequent startup times during the same Windows session are quicker, and this subject may be the subject of further coverage.
- Vista startup times may be better, particularly if you leave a spare USB key hanging out of your PC and allow Vista to use it to improve system performance. This may also be the subject of further coverage.
- The AutoCAD 2009 time is for the Release Candidate, not the shipping product. It’s possible that Autodesk managed to wring more performance out of 2009 before the code hit the manufacturing stage.
- Application startup time should not be used as an indication of overall performance. It’s just one aspect of it.
If you only start AutoCAD once a day, it’s not a significant issue. If, like me, you start AutoCAD dozens of times a day, it becomes rather wearing.