Author Topic: Altium Designer or Eagle?  (Read 49795 times)

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Offline Rufus

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Re: Altium Designer or Eagle?
« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2013, 10:50:04 pm »
Are there any cheaper (say $200) 3D manipulation software out there that's usable?

Can't get cheaper than "FreeCAD An Open Source parametric 3D CAD modeler"

http://www.freecadweb.org/
 

Offline David_AVD

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Re: Altium Designer or Eagle?
« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2013, 10:57:27 pm »
Are there any cheaper (say $200) 3D manipulation software out there that's usable?

Can't get cheaper than "FreeCAD An Open Source parametric 3D CAD modeler"

http://www.freecadweb.org/

Thank you.  Downloading now to check it out.
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Altium Designer or Eagle?
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2013, 12:19:46 am »
Honestly, is Altium that much better than Eagle for things that Eagle can do? There is a yearly student subscription of AD available, but I don't do BGA escape routing and advanced FPGA stuff, etc. I'll probbaly stick with Eagle anyways just because it works well for me, but I thought I'd get some different opinions.

I use Eagle for my boards... but I find it to be a bit of a joke really.  I just don't do enough schematic/PCB layouts to justify the investment in Altium or something higher end.  I don't do very intensive work, but even for the stuff I do, I find Eagle to have some ridiculous limitations.  Like... (until recently), no arbitrary shapes for pads or multiple pins per pad.  And the drawing tools are horrible, second only to the import tools.  I could draw a complex layout in AutoCAD but importing splines almost never works - huge PITA.  I had a board once where I wanted to do a crosshatch ground pour at a 45 degree angle to the rest of my board... Eagle can't do it.  Had to rotate my board and all components 45 degrees, then use a "normal" ground pour.  Stuff like that is just so silly - a lot of the Eagle faithful will tell you that the program is very comprehensive and offer workarounds for various problems.  But I shouldn't have to implement a kludge to get basic PCB layout functionality working.  Eagle is so full of kludges now that trying to get it close to in line with real PCB layout programs must be a monumental chore for the programmers.
It's not always the most popular person who gets the job done.
 

Offline westfw

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Re: Altium Designer or Eagle?
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2013, 12:38:51 am »
I'm basically a hobbyist, though I've designed at least one board that was professionally manufactured.   I use EAGLE.  I *LIKE* EAGLE.  I don't really understand the complaints about it, but then I've never used a more professional package.

That said, I don't think that there is any doubt that if you're given a choice between EAGLE and ALTIUM, you should choose Altium.  It's just a higher class of tool; like Adobe Illustrator vs Microsoft Paint, or Postscript vs HPGL...  Of course, you PAY for that; Altium's starting price is 3 times Eagles most expensive version.  But if someone else is paying; there's no contest.
 

Offline Frantone

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Re: Altium Designer or Eagle?
« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2013, 01:06:27 am »
I am still using Protel 99 - the predecessor to Altium.  I know this dates me quite a bit, and I would love to upgrade, but considering the $2,300-$5,400 investment for the new Altium I think I will continue to make do with the old grey mare for a while!
 

Offline Randall W. Lott

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Re: Altium Designer or Eagle?
« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2013, 01:15:39 am »
I am still using Protel 99 - the predecessor to Altium.  I know this dates me quite a bit, and I would love to upgrade, but considering the $2,300-$5,400 investment for the new Altium I think I will continue to make do with the old grey mare for a while!

I use Altium 6.9 at work and even that is daunting compared to 10+.  It's still better than Eagle!
- Randy
 

Offline poorchava

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Re: Altium Designer or Eagle?
« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2013, 08:00:16 am »
Eagle is crap. DipTrace is much better in that tier. And they have surpassed Eagle despite being like a 3 times younger company than Cadsoft.

Think  Eagle vs Altium = Paint vs Photoshop = MS Sound Recorder vs Audiacity = DOS vs Windows 7 = 8051 vs AMD Piledriver = Nokia 3310 vs Galaxy S4
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Offline AlfBaz

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Re: Re: Altium Designer or Eagle?
« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2013, 12:41:08 pm »
I am still using Protel 99 - the predecessor to Altium.  I know this dates me quite a bit, and I would love to upgrade, but considering the $2,300-$5,400 investment for the new Altium I think I will continue to make do with the old grey mare for a while!
What version of windows are you running it under? I hear there are some problems with editing libraries if you run it in Win7
 

Offline tskwara@mac.com

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Re: Altium Designer or Eagle?
« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2013, 01:39:54 pm »
From 1994-2003 I used Eagle for very small PC board designs, typically single layer 1" diameter circular analog boards (for sensors).  Once I did a 2" diameter board 4 layer board with mixed signal stuff.

That was my only exposure to schematic capture / PCB layout software at the time.  After some learning, I was proficient and had absolutely no problem with using it.  It was mission focused software that got the job done and I was very pleased with the price, as I was paying for it for my own company.

Fast forward to 2005-2007 and with my new startup, I decided to go with Altium and paid quite a bit for a seat, and ultimately learned it and was successful with making several boards that were 3" x 5" two-layer mixed signal boards.  Altium definitely felt more inline with today's UI methods, however it felt heavy (I really didn't use the advanced features or simulations, FPGA features).  Again I paid for it since I owned the company.

Now fast forward to today, another new startup.  Since I want to make PCB templates available as open source for customers wanting to start their projects with something more that scratch, I'm strongly considering using Eagle again.

My dilemma is about whether I should use Eagle for 100% of our work, or buy Altium and Eagle then use Altium for internal development work and Eagle to publish the open source projects that will be made available.  Again, I'll be paying for both softwares personally.

As a side note, I do use SolidWorks, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Keil-MDK.  I only mention this as I don't want to come across as one to use MS-Paint over Photoshop.  I have used these pro softwares to a deep extent and take advantage of advanced functionality.  Perhaps on the PCB software side, I didn't make enough designs/boards to fully appreciate Altium's advanced feature set.

Anyway, helpful commentary is appreciated.  I'm ready to pull the trigger on a purchase...
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Altium Designer or Eagle?
« Reply #34 on: April 17, 2013, 01:56:27 pm »
I am still using Protel 99 - the predecessor to Altium.  I know this dates me quite a bit, and I would love to upgrade, but considering the $2,300-$5,400 investment for the new Altium I think I will continue to make do with the old grey mare for a while!

I stuck to 99se for a long time as well. We (where i work) bought dxp and dxp2004 licences just so we could run 99se. But at one point you need to let go.
If you are just doing schematic pcb then 99se werks perfectly fine. It is a very stable version.
It has quirks under win7 and especially under 64 bit version.the solution is to run th win xp mode. If you have a pro version of 7 you get a free VM with win xp in it. Simply install it there. Works flawlessly.

Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline Frantone

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Re: Altium Designer or Eagle?
« Reply #35 on: April 17, 2013, 02:58:57 pm »
I still run XP on my main computer - too many dedicated XP applications to fudge with the operating system at this point.  Protell 99 is buggy - but I know the work-arounds, and I have to constantly make new templates to add to the original libraries for the ever smaller component footprints - but considering costs alone it is still a good program. 
 

Offline ve7xen

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Re: Altium Designer or Eagle?
« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2013, 04:56:11 pm »
Now fast forward to today, another new startup.  Since I want to make PCB templates available as open source for customers wanting to start their projects with something more that scratch, I'm strongly considering using Eagle again.
If this is a goal, I'd say KiCad is the only responsible and decent option currently. I mean open hardware that requires closed tools is better than nothing, but KiCad is just as viable as EAGLE at this point IMO. And it's cheaper and unlimited.

Depending on the complexity of your projects it might be worth having Altium as well for more complex internal jobs you don't intend to release, but that's a call you'll need to judge on your own. Another consideration is efficiency; if your time is very important I think you can work a bit quicker with Altium than the 'budget' or open-source options thanks to how streamlined the workflow is.
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