Author Topic: Should I upgrade to AD18?  (Read 5514 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline BenYL

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 4
  • Country: us
Should I upgrade to AD18?
« on: January 06, 2018, 07:19:35 am »
I've watched the new features webinar and it looks great. Is it stable enough? Much slower? I am still running Win7 which could affect things.

Ben
 

Offline D3f1ant

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 330
  • Country: nz
  • Doing as little as possible, but no less.
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2018, 08:12:15 am »
You can install both on same machine to try it it out. The only thing I can't get to work at all is dblibs because you cant install both 32 bit and 64bit access runtimes at the same time. The deal breaker for me is that I can't get BOM to generate correctly, all pricing/stock info etc reports as 0. Can't figure out why, same schematic works perfectly in AD17.
There is still many bugs and I don't think I could go more than a few hours without something crashing...really can't recommend if you want to be productive. Perhaps a clean AD18 install on a new clean windows install will fix everything?
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 12:00:20 pm by D3f1ant »
 

Offline BenYL

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 4
  • Country: us
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2018, 02:11:54 pm »
Thanks! The funny thing is I was going to upgrade partially in hope ActiveBOM would be better, I can't figure out how to work it in AD17. Is that what you use? I'm trying to stop doing any manual BOM work in Excel.
 

Offline julianhigginson

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 648
  • Country: au
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 11:49:56 am »
I expect I'm going to be running mostly 17, with 18 on the side for the occasional check for a while I think.

Last 5 or so years I've been pretty fast with update uptake, and am usually using a new version number within a month or so of it coming out (I don't normally switch versions of dev software mid project unless I'm moving away from an actual known bug that effects it, so taking an Altium update is usually dependant on finishing whatever was in process)

But AD18 is a pretty major change, and all major Altium releases I've ever seen since I was a protel 99 user have taken a while to settle after showing up with a bunch of issues... So I'll keep with 17, and the occasional look-see in 18, till I'm confident 18 is good.

That said, I do think it's looking promising so far with the recent update. Basic clicking around in existing projects seems stable and functional.
 

Offline marshallh

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1458
  • Country: us
    • retroactive
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 04:14:12 pm »
Best is to have 2-3 Altium releases installed at the same time.


AD18 is very close, but it is "not quite there". I suspect it'll be another 6 months or more before AD17 can be ignored.
Verilog tips
BGA soldering intro

11:37 <@ktemkin> c4757p: marshall has transcended communications media
11:37 <@ktemkin> He speaks protocols directly.
 

Offline Ysjoelfir

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 279
  • Country: de
  • Collecting vintage stuff and tinkering with it
    • Tinkertubes Lab
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 11:55:41 pm »
Right now I have the possibility to use Altium 16 and 18 at university. Personally I prefer AD16 over 18 because of some simple reasons:
- No euro prices in BOM or supplier search, even if you select "euro" as the only currency. I guess that is the case for everything other than USD.
- the sidebar system. I much prefer the popup windows for my settings of stuff. It gives much better overview in one window rather than a slim sidebar where everything seems crammed into. Also the sidebar navigation using the tab key is often buggy, I am in the component properties and want to jump from name to designator, in AD16 it was Tab - Tab - Tab and you are there. AD18: Tab - cursor vanishes quite often into the void.
- even though the systems at school aren't THAT old (I5 with 8GB ram and a quite decent VGA) I seem to experience way more slowdowns with AD18 than with AD16.
- some menu options in the Preferences are just missing and I can't find them whatsoever
- why the hell did they rename some menus? I mean, seriously, whats the point in renaming "Supplyer search" into "Part Search"? I am used to look for the "S", not for a "P"! Took me a while to find it, I thought it was moved somewhere else instead of being renamed...

So since I don't do all to complicated things which would benefit from the new features in AD18 I would, if I had to chose or buy one for myself, get an AD16 or 17 License if possible, mainly because I worked myself into the way this version works. And because I can display the BOM in my nations currency...
Greetings, Kai \ Ysjoelfir
Ysjoelfir @ Tinkertubes Lab
 

Offline Deridex

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 156
  • Country: de
  • IMHO
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2018, 09:58:52 pm »
I switched to AD18 alr, but i keep also AD17.1 installed.

From what i saw so far:
I like the new GUI.
AD18 seems to perform way faster on my (weak) office computer. Specally the 3D-Part.
But also it seems like there are quite a few bugs in AD18.
 

Offline blueskull

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 10236
  • Country: cn
  • Power Electronics Guy
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2018, 10:17:29 pm »
When you modify a design, even a small 2 layer design with ~30 components, it can get EXTREMELY slow when auto poly pour update is enabled.
Sometimes left arrow moves things to the right, and vice versa.
Multiple 3D PCB render in PDF is buggy, only first one will get exported, all other renders are same as first one.
Some pads are not default tented.
DRC occasionally shows fly wire on connected nets after rerouting (routing everything, delete traces, and reroute).
Maybe more, etc.

So far are the ones I've discovered with AD18, just the PCB editor part. I will definitely not use AD18 for larger projects, though I use it for smaller ones to get familiarized with it.

So ATM I have both 17 and 18 installed, and I can confidently say I can't do my job without 17.
 

Online filssavi

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 221
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2018, 10:19:38 pm »
I switched to AD18 at official release at my workplace and I never looked back since

There are stil some rough places but it is way better than 17 much more stable, crashing much less often, the new multi board project is also nice to have

And finally I like the gui the dark theme is a lot less eye straining and I also like the sidebars very much


One caveat is that I’m not using the Component links for the BOM, since it really slows down library management to a crawl,  opening a library project with few 50-60 components all with component links took a minute or so (in AD17, not 18 where I haven’t even tried) and it took 20 seconds at least to select a different component)
 

Offline Pseudobyte

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 43
  • Country: us
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2018, 01:59:22 pm »
64-bit , multi-threaded  8)
performance gains are insane when you are limited to working on a laptop
“They Don’t Think It Be Like It Is, But It Do”
 

Offline alexwhittemore

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 254
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2018, 07:27:16 am »
In my recent experience, coming from being an AD17 power user: I like 18 a lot in what it promises - 64bit is a big deal, and in getting there, they seem to have sorted out the massive quantity of memory leaks they used to have (and done away with that incredibly dumb green/yellow/red "you should restart soon" gauge bottom left). Performance running on bare metal is way improved, but performance in my VM under Parallels seems to be a bit degraded, probably related to relying on DX10 graphics acceleration much more heavily now. A fresh install in a fresh VMWare Fusion VM seems to do much better, but migrating my Parallels VM to Fusion seems to be no different, so maybe that's a my-vm-environment problem more than it is a hypervisor problem.

Unfortunately, routing seems to have a few bugs in AD18 that I can't solve on any platform (bare metal, fresh Win10, my normal VM, etc), so I'm stuck in 17 for now. Making that MUCH worse, Altium won't respond to any of my support tickets, so that's super cool.
 
The following users thanked this post: aylons

Offline olkipukki

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 97
  • Country: 00
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2018, 07:09:45 pm »
Making that MUCH worse, Altium won't respond to any of my support tickets, so that's super cool.

Haha, they closed most of my tickets quietly (without proposed solutions and fixes) and did not bother to send any notifications or emails.
I stopped to waste my time.

If something "super-super-duper" critical, just make a call.
 

Offline lem_ix

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 191
  • Country: cs
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2018, 03:20:56 am »
Had a quick play with it, didn't like the sidebar system, it looked very cramped :S
 

Offline alexwhittemore

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 254
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2018, 05:50:35 am »
If something "super-super-duper" critical, just make a call.

Vociemail, after 15 minutes of waiting.

Had a quick play with it, didn't like the sidebar system, it looked very cramped :S

Yeah - generally I like it, but there are some preference windows that have moved there that felt better with the extra real-estate. I also think 1) that'll grow on me as I get used to finding things again, and 2) my real issue isn't the layout or location, but that opening and closing the sidebar is slower on my VM setup than the previous dialogs were.
 

Offline alexwhittemore

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 254
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2018, 04:06:39 am »
After all that, I did finally get on the phone with someone (call at the right time and they pick right up, 0 rings! Call at the wrong time...). The rep and I went over a board I'm working on, which really exercises push and hug n push routing features since it's got fields of tightly spaced vias to route through, lots of obstructing components to push traces around, and so on. At first, he offered some useful but ultimately not problem-solving workarounds (never knew about Route>Gloss selected, for example). After we opened both AD17 and 18 on his system and tried to do identical tasks in each, he agreed with me that the routing engine seems to have regressed substantially in performance. For instance: with a trace entering a dense sea of locked vias, terminating at one somewhere in the middle, push that trace around. In AD17, you can drag any segment of the trace, as you'd expect, and it'll find its way around the intervening vias as best it can, until you've created a 90* corner or hit some other impassable obstacle. Occasionally, it'll stop prematurely if there's no easy-to-find solution, but this is generally rare. For example, the trace snakes around a bit then exits the field out the bottom in a vertical segment. If I drag that segment left and right, it'll find some path or another to let me do that, preserving the angle of the dragged trace. In AD18, when we tried this same task, we weren't able to displace the trace left and right arbitrarily. Rather, there were only two or three discrete right-left placements of the track that the routing engine could successfully solve an escape path for. Huge regression in capability, and makes certain designs borderline unroutable when the layout demands you place a lot of traces first, then push them around to make space for others.
 

Offline D3f1ant

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 330
  • Country: nz
  • Doing as little as possible, but no less.
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2018, 11:14:55 am »
Nice job testing that. Happy to hear it's not just me that is finding some of AD18s automation features have taken a bit of a slide. I felt it didn't seem to be as good, and I'm sure it feels slower too...but I really don't have time to sit and compare stuff back to back so it's only an overall feeling doing daily design tasks. I uninstalled AD17 a few weeks ago, no going back now.
 

Offline ajawamnet

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 17
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2018, 10:56:24 pm »
Making that MUCH worse, Altium won't respond to any of my support tickets, so that's super cool.

Haha, they closed most of my tickets quietly (without proposed solutions and fixes) and did not bother to send any notifications or emails.
I stopped to waste my time.

If something "super-super-duper" critical, just make a call.

Yea they did that to me with about 5 tickets. Just close them with no resolution.

As to AD18 - if you go to the forum it's a mixed bag... some of the guys I respect (Oliver and Dennis) seem to have success with 18. Oliver mentions knowing the triggers for crashes/stalls and if you know and can avoid them it's great. Oliver does some intense Snapdragon dev (HDI, etC) and has turned quite a few complex boards with it
 

Offline Navarro

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 32
  • Country: br
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2018, 11:00:52 am »
I have 15, 17 and 18 installed here.

There is a lot of differences from 17 and 18. You should spent from one to two days understanding the differences and here is everything.

As far from performace there IS A HUGE BUMP in performace from 17 to 18. It's not small. It's visible from my point of view, also for the first time, in two weeks of using a new Altium I didn't discovered any new bugs (beeing using it for 6~7 years now)

Regards,
Felipe

EDIT 1: My pc here is a i7 4770 with 16gb DDR3 and GTX1060. I also would like to mention that with the new interface where properties are on a panel, I really like the idea of using a super-wide-screen monitor. It makes more sense now (with a regular 16:9 monitor by side for instant schematic view)
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 11:03:11 am by Navarro »
PY1CX
34401A - DSOX2002A - 66332A
 

Offline labnet

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 12
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2018, 11:34:44 am »
We are on Altium 14.3 with 5 perpetual licenses.
I offered Altium $5k/annum for maintenance which they refused, so they have missed out on $20k from us so far.

Feature wise, I've used Altium since Protel DOS days, and there's nothing particularly any of us find missing. Its fast and stable enough for the sort of jobs we do.
 

Offline Navarro

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 32
  • Country: br
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2018, 09:55:10 am »
We are on Altium 14.3 with 5 perpetual licenses.
I offered Altium $5k/annum for maintenance which they refused, so they have missed out on $20k from us so far.

Feature wise, I've used Altium since Protel DOS days, and there's nothing particularly any of us find missing. Its fast and stable enough for the sort of jobs we do.

Really? I remember from 15.1 days that It was really buggy.

The feature that made I want to upgrade is the ability to work with projects with more than one PCB. From time to time I need to make a project that will be attached to another PCB and in Altium 18 the time that I need to waste verifying the connections reduced a lot!

I also loved the way we're placing 3D bodies in the project now. It helped a lot with the projects that enter in a heavy engineered plastic case.
PY1CX
34401A - DSOX2002A - 66332A
 

Offline blueskull

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 10236
  • Country: cn
  • Power Electronics Guy
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2018, 10:15:20 am »
We are on Altium 14.3 with 5 perpetual licenses.
I offered Altium $5k/annum for maintenance which they refused, so they have missed out on $20k from us so far.

Maybe your sales rep was having a bad day? I went off track since Dec 2015, and I went back on track from Jun 2017, so basically 1.5 years off track, and I ordered sub till Jun 2019, so my sub contract contains totally 3.5 years of sub plus $300 lapsed sub fee.

Based on their official price $1750/yr, that should be $6425, while I actually paid a bit less than half. And no, there's no volume discount. I have only one single license under my name.

Now for your case, you went off track from mid 2015, so to come back on track for another year to mid 2019, you need to pay $1750*4+$300=$7300. I have no idea why they turned your $5000 offer down. Usually you get somewhere like half off on subs.

While I was off track, they sent me spams for coming back, and they offered $1000 per year instead of $1750, that's 40% off even without asking any questions or even talk to me over the phone.

Of course, if your $5k is CAD or AUD, that could be a different story.
 

Offline julianhigginson

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 648
  • Country: au
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2018, 12:59:18 pm »
Blueskull, looks like he wasn't lapsed, but was offering altium just 5k/year subscription fee for 5 licenses... Not a once-off thing to get him paying full license yearly from now on, but a perpetual discount of nearly 50%.

That doesn't sound like a good deal for altium.

Or a great deal for the engineers at his business - they are going to feel like they are left behind other engineers, and won't be able to compete in the job market in future... I wonder what turnover is like for the other 4 license users...
 

Offline EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 27174
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2018, 02:14:19 pm »
I watch David2 struggle with bugs in AD18 all the time, he's complaining about it a lot.
I'm still using AD17.
 

Offline ajb

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1455
  • Country: us
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2018, 02:50:37 pm »
I probably wouldn't have renewed my subscription last year if it weren't for everything that was promised about AD18.  There are lots of improvements, but it's really frustrating that something as fundamental as interactive routing has actually gotten worse since AD17.  Subscription expires again in another month or two, and I'm leaning towards not renewing because it simply isn't worth the money.  A few hundred bucks would be reasonable, but there's no way we're getting $2k of additional value out of any given year's updates.
 

Online pigrew

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 389
  • Country: us
Re: Should I upgrade to AD18?
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2018, 02:54:01 pm »
I've switched to AD18, and partially happy with it. The new interface removed many properties dialog boxes (pad details, draftsman options, etc..), leaving only the properties pane. I found that I cannot navigate the properties list (a table of properties) as quickly as the old dialog boxes (which had things fairly intelligently grouped). Other than that, I find AD18 an improvement.

I've started to use Draftsman quite heavily, and it does seem more stable with AD18 (though I do make it crash fairly often). Draftsman is great for providing the mechanical drawings that I have to put into document control systems.

The BOM management stuff seems to have changed, I never have figured out exactly how it's intended to be used. Perhaps they are pushing us to buy Ciiva, and letting the "free" tools rot (or remain confusing). Regardless, I can't use part providers at the moment since the company VPN blocks something, so they disabled it on the Vault server (so I set up a script to scrape Digi-Key data and created a sqlite DBLib).

It does seem somewhat faster than AD17 on my not-so-fast laptop that I was issued, though generating project documentation still takes ten minutes for moderate-sized boards (~200 components). I've not had any out of memory warnings since updating, so that's a real plus.

So, I find it worth updating to if you already have the license, but there are not any compelling reasons to upgrade except for correcting the memory limit issues.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf