Monday, May 15, 2017

Benefits of Windows 10 Game Mode for CAD applications

Since April 2017, users of Microsoft Windows 10 can download their Spring update for this operating system, the "Creators Update". One of the new features in this updated Windows version, which could be interesting for professional CAD users (besides 3D Painter), is the newly added Game Mode.

This setting can reserve more Windows system resources to applications which are marked by the user or directly by the application vendor as a "game". And because system resources are always a rare commodity in the world of 3D CAD, we've tested the effect of the "Game Mode" on a demanding 3D design application, Autodesk Inventor 2018.

As with games, the special gaming mode is primarily beneficial on low-performance computers, where the struggle for system resources is toughest and their deficiency is most evident. On super-performance workstations, it cannot be expected that a mere priority-assignment method would lead to a measurable increase of application performance.

Performing Tests

To test the effects of the Game Mode, we chose Inventor 2018 and the Inventor Bench benchmark, discussed e.g. last year on our Czech blog Inventor Guru. The tests were conducted intentionally on a weak older machine - HP Pavilion with Intel Core i3 CPU at 3.3GHz, with 8GB RAM, Intel HD graphics and of course with the current version of Windows 10. The results of the benchmark test are expressed as a "Inventor PC Index" (IPI, higher is better).

First you need to enable the game mode. This mode can be enabled globally in the Windows Settings:

Turning on game mode for a given (running) application can be done from the Game Panel, which can be invoked by pressing the Win + G keyboard shortcut.

Click the gear icon to access the application's options. You need to turn on the options "Use Game Mode for this game" and "Remember this as a game". The settings will take effect on application restart.

Test Results

We ran the Benchmark repeatedly in both standard and game modes and averaged the individual results. The detailed benchmark results show, in particular, an acceleration of file (disk) operations in the Game Mode. Please note that a higher overall performance index means higher performance. The overall performance increase using the Game Mode in the tested configuration was about 5%. Typical results of both tests:

Standard mode:

Game mode:

Comparing results and their average values:

Similar minor performance improvements can be expected also with other 3D software applications such as AutoCAD, Revit or 3ds Max.

Please note that the benchmark test results are not fully authoritative - when processing other CAD or BIM models with other (higher) memory requirements, geometry complexity, linked Excel spreadsheets, with add-on applications, with Vault or other concurrent processes and with other workflows, the influence of the individual workstation parameters - and thus the resulting practical performance - can differ from the results of a unified benchmark.

You can discuss more recommendations on hardware and workflows to maximize the performance of your 3D CAD and BIM applications on

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Google Trends - CAD/BIM software

This is a short update of our two years old post on this blog.

Google Trends shows changes in popularity of major CAD and BIM software over time - in frequency of users's searches on Google, worldwide. This automatic "internet poll" analyzes data from over 100 billion searches that take place on Google every month.

Revit vs. ArchiCAD - last 5 years

This particular comparison gives a clear winner - Revit:,archicad

Inventor vs. Solidworks - last 5 years

Comparison of the most popular manufacturing design tools results to a surprisingly close-run. Even the fluctuation follows the same patterns:,solidworks

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

20 years of the web site

We celebrated 20 years of the web site This address is active since the year 1996, since the very beginning of the Internet in the Czech Republic. By that time, the mostly used (and practically the only) web browser was Netscape, and vistors with a purely textual web browser were not an exception. Google existed only in the heads of Mr. Page and Brin and the internet world was sparsely populated just with web sites of universities and big companies like HP and Microsoft. In the whole world, there were only 250.000 registered domains (and only 23.000 one year earlier) - today, there are more than 1.1 billions of them.

The CAD Studio web site (see above for its look in those days, November 1996) was then one of the first Czech web sites of a commercial company. Cesnet, a major local internet provider, was even able to publish an e-mail bulletin with a list(!) of all web sites available in the Czech Republic - this is how that list looked like, e.g. in February 1996:

see Internet Museum

The most popular sections of the original web site with about 15 pages total (today it has about 3000 pages) were already then the section "Tips and Tricks" and the section "BBS", which continued the original service "CAD Studio BBS" operated on the FIDOnet network using modem-connected computers - you were able to "dial" it on a specific phone number through a modem in your computer. Who remembers these old pre-internet days. And these pages with CAD tips, utilities and disussions were extended 4 years later to today's web portal, currently with over 750.000 registered users worldwide. The graphic style of the web site corresponded to then current belief of an attractive web site design. Please note that a typical visitor accessed the web through a modem with a "lightning" speed of 9.600 bits/sec.

The look of the web site over time can be reminded in the web archive: