AutoCAD 2009 – The Prequel Part 6 – First Startup Time

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:

AutoCAD First Startup Time Comparison

Now for the qualifications and caveats:

  1. Tests performed on a Core2Duo E6600 PC with 4 GB RAM, under Windows XP SP2 32 bit.
  2. 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.
  3. Anti-virus and other security software was left on, but was not performing a scan, during the tests.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

3 comments to AutoCAD 2009 – The Prequel Part 6 – First Startup Time

  • Andre

    it’s all that eye candy. r12-r14 were lean and mean.
    the current software has become so bloated.

  • I wonder how it would be on comparative equipment. You have a good machine current machine but would the oldies have taken longer on their “state of the art” workstations when launched.

    I remember my first CAD box, 486 dx33, CorelDRAW used to come up with something like “nearly ready…” on the splash screen.

  • Bill Fane

    I still have a Toshiba T1000, arguably the world’s first laptop. It’s a 4.7mHz XT, 512k RAM, 1 of 720kB floppy drive, 756k virtual RAM drive, monochrome text-only display. DOS is burned onto a PROM chip. Power on to WordPerfect: 4.5 seconds.

    Our first AutoCAD station was a 6mHz AT with 2mB RAM, 20mB hard drive, DOS 3.0, AutoCAD 2.17g, and Tecmar Graphics Master board (640×480, 256 colour).

    It would go from a power-on cold boot to the AutoCAD Command: prompt in under 30 seconds.

    My current station is a 3.0 gHz, dual core, 2gB RAM, Windows XP. It takes over 3 1/2 minutes to get to the same point. That’s progress, I guess…

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