Thursday, April 16, 2009

AutoCAD & SSE2 Technology

AutoCAD & SSE2 Technology

If you look at the minimum hardware requirements for the Autodesk 2010 products, you’ll find they’re similar to the requirements for the 2009 products, with one exception - Autodesk is now requiring SSE2 technology.

In a nut-shell, SSE2 technology was introduced with the Pentium IV in 2001 and the AMD Opteron and Athlon 64 about 2 years later.

When code is, or was, written in earlier development platforms (like Microsoft Visual Studio) it was written in a particular format that older processors understand. But as processor architecture changed, somewhat of a translation had to take place in order for the same instructions to be carried out on newer processors. In effect, instructions sent to a processor of old, using a language of old, could result in numbers being improperly truncated and stored for future use when completed on newer processors. The greater the number of calculations, the greater the possibility for error - and not because of AutoCAD or Civil 3D per se, but simply because of the architecture of the processor and the platform used to develop the software.

Autodesk development platforms are catching up with processor architecture, mathematical computations in programs such as Civil 3D are becoming more complex, and Autodesk is simply hoping you have kept up with the trends.

CPUs supporting SSE2
AMD K8-based CPUs (Athlon 64, Sempron 64, Turion 64, etc)
AMD Phenom CPUs
Intel NetBurst-based CPUs (Pentium 4, Xeon, Celeron, Celeron D, etc)
Intel Pentium M and Celeron M
Intel Core-based CPUs (Core Duo, Core Solo, etc)
Intel Core 2-based CPUs (Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, etc)
Intel Atom
Transmeta Efficeon
VIA Nano

You can type DXdiag into the run/search on the Windows Start button to see what you have.

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