For the past several months, I've been working on a productivity study comparing AutoCAD 2008 to AutoCAD 2011. The basic idea behind this study was to attempt to quantify the potential time saved - or productivity improvement - that a typical user could reasonably expect to achieve by upgrading from their current version of AutoCAD to the latest release.
In order to quantify this improvement, I devised a series of tests involving timing the repeated re-creation of a selection of drawings using both AutoCAD 2008 and AutoCAD 2011. The drawings I used were representative of those that would be produced by typical AutoCAD users.
By upgrading from AutoCAD 2008 to AutoCAD 2011, I reduced the time required to create these drawings by 31 percent, reducing the overall time from 13.5 hours to 9.25 hours. When I then switched from AutoCAD 2011 on an older workstation running Windows XP to a newer workstation running Windows 7, the time required was reduced further. On the more modern system, it took just 7.5 hours to create the same eight AutoCAD drawings, an overall reduction in time of 44 percent from AutoCAD 2008.
I thought that was pretty dramatic. So did Autodesk. And so did the folks at HP and NVIDIA, co-sponsors of the study.
The complete productivity study is now available on the Autodesk website.
I'll also be participating in a webcast next Tuesday, August 17, from 10:00-11:00am Pacific time. I hope you'll join us for the webcast, hosted by Heidi Hewett.