28 October 2020

progeCAD 2021 Release with Improved GPU Graphics

 Sydney, Australia 20 October - CADDIT Announces the release of progeCAD 2021 on CADDIT.net for Australia and New Zealand. Based in Sydney, CADDIT has been supporting progeCAD users in Australia, New Zealand and surrounds for more than twelve years. progeCAD is a powerful general-purpose 2D and 3D CAD package which offers very similar work environment as AutoCAD, with additional tools and  lower price. progeCAD 2021 offers multiple improvements in areas of graphics performance, interface handling and file format support. After several months of per-release field testing, CADDIT is pleased to follow our global partners with the release of this version.

progeCAD, like most CAD systems, offers both simple software CPU-driven graphics and much faster hardware GPU-driven graphics. The hardware graphics offered in progeCAD uses the common OPENGL graphics language, supported at least in part by most modern graphics cards. OPENGL compatible graphics are offered by a variety of NVIDIA and Intel GPU like NVIDIA QUADRO, NVIDIA GTX and even on-board "business graphics" offered by Intel. There are different versions of OpenGL and most modern requirements call for at least OpenGL version 4 supported by Intel HD (since Haswell, excluding older Intel "Ivy Bridge" drivers which only supported OpenGL 3). "Software" graphics on the other hand, do not use any GPU, but emulate 3D graphics instructions to the main CPU. This is an even slower than Intel HD "on board" graphics, but also a bit cheaper (although most modern PCs/laptops at least offer Intel Graphics). Which graphics are most suitable depends on job size and user situation.

Details of the updated "Graphics Performance Panel"
Details of the updated "Graphics Performance Panel" with (1) Option to use hardware or software graphics (2) Optimization options new in progeCAD 2021  (3) Installed GPU list


Two new GPU optimization options are shown in 2021 Performance Options panel:

Hide small entity in block: This saves GPU bandwidth by masking the most insignificant features of block instances, hiding them as invisible. NOTE this does not affect printing, block printing is still in full detail. The job of this option is strictly to increase display efficiency.

Use Frame buffer object display system: Also new in progeCAD 2021 - this introduces dedicated memory for GPU temporary display storage as another method of optimization, commonly known as a frame buffer. As most NVIDIA cards include their own graphics memory, this option is mainly for lower-cost Intel on-board graphics which actually use system RAM for frame buffering. This will be especially useful option to enable on lower-cost laptops, Microsoft Surface Pro, etc without NVIDIA graphics but having something like the Intel UHD 5000 GPU.

progeCAD 2021 also has included a number of other new graphics optimizations for cropped and large size XREFS handling, improved realtime CONCEPTUAL and REALISTIC rendering performance, better ISOLINE display as well as optimizations for drawings with active shading. Note that a number of third party hardware options have been specifically discussed in this article to assist users with the general principles to make the best decision for their own choice of CAD hardware. A final note especially about Intel on-board "business" graphics: we have found significant performance improvement simply by updating to the latest driver version for the GPU.

progeCAD 2021 is now available for free download on CADDIT.net. CADDIT re-affirms their commitment to perpetual non-rental licensing for all progeCAD license types including simple single stand-alone PC licenses, portable USB licenses and floating network NLM licenses. We encourage users to consider the new options discussed in this article to help them in their choice to use progeCAD. Contact CADDIT Australia for more information about progeCAD or new features offered in progeCAD 2021.

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