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Author Topic: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?  (Read 4450 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« on: August 09, 2017, 02:28:05 PM »
Heard 2nd hand on the grape vine from someone who heard it somewhere from some bloke, so meh, but has anyone heard anything?

https://youtu.be/Y-SieCU11r4?t=25s
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2017, 02:30:33 PM »
They offer almost half price subscription right before each year and fiscal year, so basically before Christmas and end of June.
Never heard of HUGE discount on the software itself.
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2017, 02:43:55 PM »
Never heard of HUGE discount on the software itself.

They did it back in 2009. Slashed the price "permanently" by 75%.
http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1311978

I was in the room when they made the announcement to staff. The CEO didn't like it and eventually quit/was pushed out.
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2017, 03:08:41 PM »
Peer got it last month for USD $4,500 as he has home projects he wants to work on, instead of staying late at work.
The price was based on their year-end blowout. He didn't get a subscription, as far as I know. Not sure if the seats at his workplace are also a factor in the price.

None of the engineers I know want cloud CAD software. It's extremely fragile in terms of commitment to it being around/usable in many years, and not getting screwed over and forced into costly "upgrades" etc., and security of this cloud, and being able to work offline, and... I could go on about how terrible an idea it is. The suits have no understanding.
 

Offline lty1993

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2017, 06:10:31 PM »
My friend got his license last month at $5300, and 1y subscription for $1900.
 

Offline Araho

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2017, 09:03:51 PM »
I got a call from an Altium sales representative just a couple of weeks ago. If I had heard this, I'd probably try to squeeze out a license for home project use  >:D Unfortunately, I just told them I'm not in a design position currently, so I wasn't using the software and wouldn't be for a while.
 

Offline ajb

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2017, 02:58:47 AM »
Autodesk just released a preview of Eagle<->Fusion 360 ECAD/MCAD collaboration, which seems to be the functionally similar to the AD/SolidWorks thing that never really seemed to go anywhere.  So perhaps Altium is feeling a bit of pressure there, after making so much marketing hay out of the switch to a subscription model for Eagle*. 

I wouldn't be at all surprised if in another couple of years Autodesk came out with a much improved Eagle replacement with the goal of doing to Altium what they've been doing to SolidWorks with Fusion 360.  Sure, it will be a while before it reaches full feature parity with AD, if it ever does, but there's a lot of market share in hobbyists/entrepreneurs/small businesses that need some pro level features but can't or don't want to drop $10k on a single seat of a high-end software package if they can get something that has 60+% of the features for $30/mo--which is exactly what's made Fusion so successful.   

* As if Eagle's subscription was really any worse than Altium's stay-subscribed-forever-if-you-want-any-updates extortion model.
 

Offline JamesH-AltiumOfficial

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2017, 10:44:24 AM »
Hi ajb,

Our ECAD/MCAD is now OEM'd to SOLIDWORKS so the marketing/sales/support channels are all with SOLIDWORKS (a Dassault Systemes company). We provide them with the SOLIDWORKS PCB tool as well as a connector for AD - see below. Our PCB developer and Product Manager teams work with their Specification and Product Management teams, who specify requirements that are strongly focused on the perspective of the MCAD user. This relationship is working very well because it is making the collaboration much more MCAD friendly with each new release.

Connector
For Altium Designer users, the "SOLIDWORKS PCB Connector" product may be purchased from SOLIDWORKS, to enable ECAD/MCAD collaboration between Altium Designer and their SOLIDWORKS CAD tool. Please check out solidworkspcb.com which redirects to their ELECTRONICS DESIGN page.

Best regards,

James Harriman
Altium
 

Offline D3f1ant

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2017, 12:45:01 PM »
I wouldn't recommend the MCAD plugin to anyone.
 

Offline evb149

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2017, 01:21:41 PM »
:popcorn:

I can say that I regretted being on the wrong side of the economic downturn when they slashed prices to 75% off some years ago.  I would have considered buying just for personal educational skill improvement & hobby purposes at such a price had that been thinkable.  After the price went back up that was not even a remote consideration.  Of course I can understand the justification for medium or large sized businesses where they'll make up the cost in product sales and the cost is a drop in the bucket to salaries and other operating expenses.  But that's a large barrier to entry when you're not in such a position and even a couple of thousand dollars is a substantial sum for a personal expenditure without profits coming from the expense and no way to write it off against non-existing profits etc.

I still think companies with costly CAD / CAE tools of any sorts ought to just give away access to their tools for educational / continuing education purposes.  Even if there was NO functionality OTHER than educational (e.g cloud hosted with the ability to use any features you want to experiment with designing things but maybe even zero ability to export the design data), it would be useful for those trying to maintain / gain skills with the product that perhaps could be useful later in one's academic or commercial career.

Circuit Maker / Circuit Studio is great (for hobbyists that otherwise would use Kicad / Eagle / something) but it fails to do the one thing that would be most relevant for educational / skill development purposes in being not much UI / feature compatible with Designer and their other "serious" tools so one can't really maintain / gain serious Designer relevant proficiency on non-trivial designs using CM or CS.
 

Offline Gibson486

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2017, 04:40:12 AM »
I asked for a quote for a SE license (schematic only) a few days ago. My rep still has not got back to me....
 

Offline dr.pancake.pajamas

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Offline Pseudobyte

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2017, 02:05:31 AM »
Altium should run a deal like that, and I would buy myself a copy.
“They Don’t Think It Be Like It Is, But It Do”
 

Offline asmi

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2017, 03:02:15 AM »
So would I. I'm really tempted to pick up that OrCAD offer but I've never worked with their software before (for obvious reasons - I'm a hobbyist and don't have bazillions of money).
 

Offline jc101

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2017, 03:31:58 AM »
Oh this is interesting, I've been using Circuit Studio for a while now but keep going to use a feature only to discover it's not in there. I can workaround most but it's just a pain.  Will have to keep an eye out on this as CS sub is due fairly soon...
 

Offline D3f1ant

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2017, 06:20:12 AM »
Anybody tried the Maker verison of PADS?
 

Offline MasterTech

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Online AndyC_772

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2017, 06:38:07 AM »
So would I. I'm really tempted to pick up that OrCAD offer but I've never worked with their software before (for obvious reasons - I'm a hobbyist and don't have bazillions of money).

...and at $430, you don't need to have. Not that I'm bitter having paid full price for it. I can't claim I haven't had value out of it, though; I use it every day to make a living.

OrCAD's learning curve is steep, there's no denying that, but when you've got to grips with it, you'll never need to learn another PCB tool. If you ever grow out of the 'PCB Designer Standard' level, you can seamlessly upgrade to the 'Professional' tier, and then on to full-blown Allegro.

I'm amazed OrCAD doesn't get more coverage. Even the most basic version is unrestricted in terms of board size, net list size and layer count, and even without the offer, it costs no more than a good quality TV or laptop.
 

Offline asmi

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2017, 07:41:51 AM »
...and at $430, you don't need to have. Not that I'm bitter having paid full price for it. I can't claim I haven't had value out of it, though; I use it every day to make a living.
I'm hobbyist and I know for fact that I won't ever make a dime out of it. I too have no problems throwing big bucks on tools that I use professionally because I know I will get a return on that investment. But PCB tool - however good it is - is not the tool I will be using professionally.
OrCAD's learning curve is steep, there's no denying that, but when you've got to grips with it, you'll never need to learn another PCB tool.
I don't care about learning curve. I've recently learnt KiCAD so OrCad can't be much worse than that.
If you ever grow out of the 'PCB Designer Standard' level, you can seamlessly upgrade to the 'Professional' tier, and then on to full-blown Allegro.
My problem is that is seems that I've already grown out of it. I design boards with FPGAs so I need to have "highspeed" features like differential traces routing, length matching, phase tuning, interactive routing and so on which from my cursory glance on the comparison chart are only present in "Professional" edition. So I will have to immediately do an upgrade. I couldn't find exactly how much that's going to cost, but just comparing retail prices it seems to be in the order of $4k. Which is waaaay above and beyond what I can afford and/or willing to spend on a hobby. The reason I went into KiCAD in the first place is exactly because I needed these features, and KiCAD have them (even if they are a bit buggy and "temperamental", but they are still there), while CAD I used to use didn't. My only real gripe with KiCAD is not so much lack of features, as it is lack of "polish" and consistency, and poor usability. So if that $430 offer does not have these functions, I will not gain anything by purchasing.
I'm amazed OrCAD doesn't get more coverage. Even the most basic version is unrestricted in terms of board size, net list size and layer count, and even without the offer, it costs no more than a good quality TV or laptop.
Well if you can afford to casually dump $4k+ on entertainment (which is what a hobby really is) - good for you. I can't :(

But thanks for your opinion anyway! It's good to know that OrCAD is apparently good enough for professional use!
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 07:54:03 AM by asmi »
 

Online NANDBlog

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2017, 09:53:51 AM »
It was a month ago, when the sales rep called me, that my subscription is ending, and after repeated calls, and mails, I did not order it again at full price. Like I could convince my managers to spend 1000+ on getting updates for a year. He told me what am I going to miss. The updates, the vault, free pizza every friday... OK, you finished? It is beyond my control.

If they wanted to compete with this orcad pricing, they pretty much would kill circuit studio. Not a huge loss. I could imagine a basic version, which only has SCH capture and PCB. No embedded, no FPGA, no simulation. Nobody uses them anyway.
But would they go below the pricing of their subscription? And modules will cost multiple times the base software???
On the other hand, stranger things have happened. I would even buy it for home at that price.
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2017, 10:04:35 AM »
Is OrCAD as easy to use as Altium? I mean, I learned Protel at age 11, of course with a pirate copy. Over the years in grade schools I learned a lot of Altium tricks, and I think I'm not regretting spending $8k4 on Altium after I eventually got financially sound enough to pay for the best tool I have ever had in my life.

On the other side, I have never tried OrCAD, but from my experience with Virtuoso, Cadence tools are kinda buggy. I mean ADE crashes Virtuoso a few times per day, and that's a $1M software. Cadence seems to really focus on multi-user collaboration, and everything is file based (well, the unix nature), unlike Altium which uses more local, memory based IPC methods. This file based IPC looks archaic to me and it's indeed buggy in many cases.

Everyone knows Cadence has better algorithm -- their simulator's functionality and speed simply crushes LTSpice, and their schematic capture and net manager can handle latest 14nm VLSIs' design density, but Cadence software's UI is just so 1990s.

I will not try OrCAD unless being forced to use it, even if it's only $430, cheaper than half of my subscription paid to Altium every year.
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Offline evb149

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2017, 12:30:37 PM »
The OrCAD SW sale looks very interesting.  I had wondered in the past why they didn't have any better pricing sales or permanent pricing, it didn't seem that competitive to me.  This makes me think about it.

What would the maintenance costs generally be for the relevant toolset from OrCad?  I didn't see any mention of that other than free for the first year. 

What have been the general costs for options / upgrades etc.?

What's supported in terms of OS for OrCad and Altium Designer these days?
No XP?  Win7 32/64 still OK?   Does it run well in a VBOX VM under a LINUX host?

Any idea how long this sale is going on for?



 

Offline dr.pancake.pajamas

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2017, 10:57:17 AM »
I decided to order it on Friday; I'll keep you posted on how it goes as I have never used the layout before.

I asked about ongoing maintenance and the rep told me it is optional and the same as what I am paying to buy it ($430).

It comes with training (manuals are being mailed to me) and then I log into an online course. 

Also a subscription to a supposed 12 million part library...ultra librarian?  Capture symbols, allegro fps, and step...sounds too good...

Capture is easy, I've heard layout portion has a steeper leaner curve, but more robust and not as buggy as Altium.  I need stability - sick of using free, unpredictable software - not looking for more of the same.

I have a Windows 10 64 bit machine; was told there would be no issues.

Will let you know how this ends up.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 11:19:45 AM by dr.pancake.pajamas »
 
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Offline MasterTech

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2017, 10:45:18 PM »
Let us know how the manuals and training are. I did use Orcad in the early 2000 but have forgotten most of it
 

Offline asmi

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Re: Altium About To Slash Prices On Designer?
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2017, 10:56:49 PM »
I've requested a trial version of this package to evaluate if it will work for me. Hopefully I will try it out in the coming days.
Let us know how the manuals and training are. I did use Orcad in the early 2000 but have forgotten most of it
I watched few tutorial videos on YouTube, and it doesn't seem too bad, except for PCB footprints creation, which is over complicated IMHO with the concept of padstacks as a separate entity, but otherwise OK.
 


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