In my earlier post titled “AutoCAD For Mac 3D Graphics Performance” I pointed out the rather bad 3D graphics performance of AutoCAD for Mac on my MacBook. Today I investigated a little further and ran the same test on AutoCAD 2011 for Windows installed on the same Macbook using BootCamp. Take a look at this video.
This is the previous video of AutoCAD for Mac running natively in OSX.
As far as I can see, at least on my MacBook, the 3D graphics performance of AutoCAD for Windows using BootCamp is better than AutoCAD for Mac running natively on OSX. Now just so that we are clear, I didn’t install any special NVIDIA drivers designed for the Windows version of AutoCAD. NVIDIA has special drivers for AutoCAD designed for its Quadro and Quadro FX range of cards only and my MacBook has a NVIDIA GeForce graphics card. So these two videos show both versions of AutoCAD running on exactly the same hardware without any special drivers because none exist, as far as I know.
My point here is not to paint AutoCAD for Mac in bad light. Autodesk has put a lot of work into it and this is just the first release. I have no doubt in my mind that we are going to see improvements in leaps and bounds in the upcoming releases. My point here is to show that a lot needs to be done to make AutoCAD for Mac come up to the high standards of its Windows counterpart. And by that I don’t mean merely implementing all the commands and features that are currently missing. I mean optimizing the underlying architecture as well, which one must realize, is a task that can take years. It has taken AutoCAD 2011 for Windows many years to achieve its current level of quality, stability and performance.
If and when Autodesk releases special NVIDIA drivers for AutoCAD for Mac for the GeForce range of graphics drivers, I will re-run this test and post a video showing the improvement. After all the whole point of AutoCAD for Mac is to give users a better native Mac experience and graphics performance is definitely a part of that, not just having menus and dialog boxes that look native.