In a previous post, I showed that AutoCAD is bloatware by comparing the size of its downloads to that of BricsCAD. Obviously, an application that’s ten times the size it should be is going to cost you a lot of unnecessary bandwidth, download time and drive space. But maybe you don’t care about that. What practical difference does it make?
Well, for one thing, the blimping-out of Autodesk’s former flagship product has a big effect on installation time. Vast and ever-increasing amounts of time are wasted by users of Autodesk products, just waiting for the things to finish installing. But isn’t this just the inevitable price to pay for the functionality provided?
No. Again, BricsCAD proves it.
The installation comparison is shown below. These installations were performed on a mid-range Windows 10 i7 PC with 8 GB RAM. The downloaded files were executed from a local hard drive …
You may have seen me mention in passing that AutoCAD is bloatware. That’s not just the general grumpy-old-user moan you see from long-term users like me, who can remember when AutoCAD used to fit on one floppy disk.
Yes, programs get bigger over time as new functionality is added and old functionality needs to be retained. Hardware gets bigger, better, faster over time to compensate for that. I get that. Understood.
The AutoCAD bloatware problem is much more than that. AutoCAD is literally ten times the size it needs to be, to provide the functionality it does.
How do I know? BricsCAD proves it. Here’s what I mean.
BricsCAD V17.2 64-bit Windows Download
Downloaded File Size (KB) BricsCAD-V17.2.03-1-en_US(x64).msi 248,812 Total (1 file) 248,812 (100%)
Equivalent AutoCAD 2018 Downloads
Downloaded File Size (KB) AutoCAD_2018_English_Win_64bit_dlm_001_002.sfx.exe 2,065,829 AutoCAD_2018_English_Win_64bit_dlm_002_002.sfx.exe 328,277 AutoCAD_2018.0.1_64bit_r2.exe 120,663 AutoCAD_2018_Product_Help_English_Win_32_64bit_dlm.sfx.exe 180,013 Total (4 files) 2,694,782 (1083%)
Which dog is which? They’re both …
Today, I tried to investigate a DWG file that one of my users couldn’t open. It wouldn’t open for me on an old 1 GB PC. Trying a PC with 4 GB didn’t help, and neither did experimenting with various releases of AutoCAD. Depending on the release, AutoCAD would either try to open the drawing and eventually die with an out of memory error, or would instantly inform me that the drawing was too big to open. I don’t have access to a 64-bit version of AutoCAD (which might possibly be able to open this monster on a PC with more than 4 GB of RAM), so the drawing is effectively useless.
The drawing is 242 MB (254,145,119 bytes), which I’m pretty sure is the largest drawing I’ve ever encountered. Based on a plot of a previous revision of the the drawing, it should be about 200 to 300 KB, …