SW2008 really such a dog?

Appears to me, as an onlooker, that many people weren't all that happy
with SW2008 and preferred 2007. I'm coming from SW2005 and JUST NOW
considering "upgrading" (if you can call it that). Yes, maybe I'm a
little set in my ways now that I'm older, but like others before me I
have found that when you find a SolidWorks release that works it may be
best just to stick with it. And of course I'm wondering whether I
should install 2008 at all, or whether I might just install 2007. I
wouldn't be happy about having to go back to 2007 if 2008 doesn't run
all that well ... even though I'm the only user at my employer's place
of business. Forget 2009 for now -- like others here I probably
wouldn't install it until SP4 comes out.
Your opinions appreciated.
Mark 'Sporky' 'Long Time No See' Stapleton
Charlotte, North Carolina
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I have a pretty high opinion of 2008. We're running it in 64 bit, with the latest service pack, and Vista 64.
Overall it's very solid. The workstations we have recently purchased are likely key to the equation, but still, I beat the tar out of SolidWorks every day doing things like plastic part design, and multitasking like crazy and it really doesn't have that much in the way of issues.
We have experienced a crash when printing that seems to happen to certain users more than others, and a few other issues, but all in all with the new Lenovo Quad Extremes, Vista 64 and SW2008 64 is really getting more work done for me.
Sporkman wrote:
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Matt Schroeder
Same here as Matt
We're running SW2008 on 64bit machines but with WXP64bit, 8 gigs of memory, and it's stable and good. A few problems with lightwieght and DBWorks together, otherwise it's really fast. We're looking forward to the new speed-pack feature in SW 2009 which will speed up things further more, so we will not wait for Sp4. And after getting used to it, I like the new interface of SW.
// Krister
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Also here working with SW2008 Sp4.0 (on XP 32bit) with 4 workstations. We like the new interface: when you get used to it, it works great and you don't want to switch back to the old interface. Further no problems with the program, it's stable here.
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I have liked 2008 since I did all the beta testing on it. I had a strange crash a little while ago, but don't remember the last one. I really like the new UI. We are running two machines with XP64 and the others with XP32.
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Hey Sporky-nice to hear from you.
I am not a huge fan of the UI, but can see some advantages. Main thing is that it is DIFFERENT and for a guy in his late 50's who has used SW for over 10 years, change can be traumatic. That being said, the program itself is stable. I do a fair amount of surfacing and this facet of the software is continuing to improve. Baby steps, but still in the right direction. SW2008, sp4 on an Xi notebook with core2Duo, 4 gb ram, nVidia 1600M.
Good Luck.
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John Kreutzberger
Still slower that 2007 and earlier. Problems with the user interface that have never been fixed. Long time to load but once loaded seems OK. New user interface, same functionality.
A couple of good features, mostly ho hum.
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Paul B. Kellner
Nice to hear from you, Sporky! Sorry I'm so late replying, but I've been too busy to read the news group or the Forum for the last six weeks or so.
My own experience is not as good as the others. I am not very happy with 2008. Mostly due to problems with surfaces, splines, selection and graphics. It could be that it isn't really 2008, but the design that we are working on. We switched to 2008 when we started the new project so I can't really say that 2007 would be any better on the new design. Perhaps we are just pushing SW too hard.
Surface trims have always been problematic, but they seem to fail even more now.
Splines also seem to cause more trouble now. Someone at SW decided that you can't trim an offset spline now, which puts a major crimp in the way we work. Trimming splines is also an easy way to make a sketch go overdefined and fixing the problem can take an incredible amount of trial and error.
Selection doesn't seem to work as well as in the old days. I find that I have to use the selection filter sometimes and I never had to use it before.
We have more graphics problems, even though our cards are supposed to be OK with 2008.
Sections seem to fail more often.
I have a lot of memory problems now. The other two designers are running 64 bit and don't have them, but I am still running 32 bit and sometimes have to reboot several times a day.
The way colors are handled in 2008 is a pain. The people who have used 2009 say that it is much improved.
Personally, I would wait till 2009. In fact, I'm thinking about jumping in at SP0.
Jerry Steiger
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Jerry Steiger
I am personally very happy to see a topic in this list where honest comments are made that add to the understanding of what is going on with newer versions of SolidWorks from an empirical point of view.
Some users push more in one area and report on that, versus others. It is all good info and much appreciated.
CAD programs are so complicated that it is truly difficult to understand them with a demo or test run. By the time a user has done his own "testing" for a month or two, he is usually committed to the version whether he likes it or not. At that point the user is then locked into his projects and can't revert backward even if he wanted to do it because of the time involved.
If we users figure a way to hold the companies to a higher standard of reporting and quality upon release of SP0 software, I think we are going to finally get more consistently usable CAD.
It is all about time. Time costs more than anything we pay to SolidWorks. Loose 10% efficiency with a new software version and over a year, who cares what the upgrade price is/was/will be.
10% by itself doesn't sound like much; only 6 more seconds in a minute. Sometimes the slowdowns on specific issues, like fixing bad sketches can be resist becoming fully defined are just downright killers of productivity. I have spent 5 or 10 minutes trying everything to get them right, and given up and started over with a blank sketch. That leads to a major question!
WHY CAN'T SOLIDWORKS TELL ME WHERE A SKETCH IS UNDEFINED or otherwise Bad? Internally something doesn't "add up", so why can't it work through a set of definitions or database & diagnose WHY?
It is all about TIME. And it is a killer when it goes against the user who has too little information.
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Generally OK with SW2008. It's the little nagging things that can sometimes make you angry. For example: Why can't I do a sketch driven pattern of a part within an assembly? Why? What could possibly be the reasoning behind this? Instead you have to resort to using feature driven patterns.
Why is it that if you create a pattern within a sketch it is never fully defined?
Why is it that some dialog boxes that need to communicate such things as file paths come out small and you can't resize them? And, when you can resize them, why is it that they don't remember this? This sort of stuff is really frustrating when you are running a 1920 x 1200 desktop and your CAD package insists on little tiny dialog boxes where you can't tell what's going on.
Same applies to the feature tree when it appears within the design area (as in when you select "Up to Surface" while extruding). It is narrow, not adjustable and, if you have long feature names you can only read the first few words.
Why is it that I can't set the measurement tool to give me both inches and millimeters simultaneously? (or any two units)
Why do references to features of arrayed features break if you edit the array definition? In other words, if you create an array of holes; reference geometry on the resulting holes; then edit the array...in some cases the references break, even though you have the same holes perhaps with a different count.
There's more, but I'll stop here. In general the experience is good but there are lots of little nagging items that --I would guess-- would take no time at all to fix and would improve user experience significantly.
Oh yeah, why can't I use units in my formulas? What a royal PITA.
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