In the past year, the developers of TurboCAD have been taking advantage of hardware enhancements and overall processing power increases on the PC in order to significantly improve the performance of our CAD applications.
GPU-Based Accelerator Technology
We started by taking advantage of new, GPU-based accelerator technology that is found on newer graphics boards from manufacturers such as AMD/ATI and Nvidia. In order to do this, we integrated a relatively new graphics middleware, Redsdk, dedicated to display visualization and rendering available from the company, Redway3D.
With Redsdk now integrated into TurboCAD and DoubleCAD, we have seen overall speed enhancement over previous versions of these products of up to 60X in both 2D and 3D models. These speed gains in wireframe, hidden line, and shaded, draft rendering modes, let the user concentrate on their design without the disruption caused by slow zooms, refreshes and regenerations. The performance enhancement is particularly evident when working with larger sized models.
More recently, we’ve added multi-threading support to both editing of solid models and to draft and photorealistic rendering to our TurboCAD Pro product. Multi-threading takes advantage of multi core processors, so the turnaround time on calculations is much faster.
While TurboCAD has long supported multi-core processing, the ability to do multi-threaded processing across multiple CPU cores means that mathematically intensive processes such as photorealistic rendering and Boolean operations now take significantly less time. This improves the quality of CAD projects by quickly being able to view many different design iterations/schemes in less amount of time.
Performance is always an issue for CAD users. Your hardware’s ability to render complex designs on a display requires iterating through the pixels and calculating values for each of them. Large blocks of memory also are required to load images, perform filter operations and other high-end features. Additionally, when using these complex shapes, patterns, and images in a 3D application, it’s more difficult to achieve fast and reliable rendering. As hardware technology continues to improve, the CAD user can benefit in terms of speed, performance and advanced features.
Author: Bob Mayer, Chief Operating Officer, IMSI/Design