You are correct to get a better machine and loose the ATI card.

I run 1.7GHz and 1G RAM, and NVidia TNT2 32meg, the ATI card low memory was
cause of most of our previous problems - still no idea why....

We've also had problems with some printer drivers, especially a PCL6.

(Incidentally, the 'old' Protel/Altium ignored all these problems, we solved
them on
our own, however, the 'new' DXP/Altium seem to be much more helpful - at
least at the moment.)

We have an external contractor that uses a much less spec machine and 256meg
they have a policy of formatting the HD and re-installing each time Protel
(Personally, I think that's a bit extreme, read on...)

Our cad station is 2.4GHz and 1G ram, we use that for most of the work.
(This has a Geforce 64meg video card, but I doubt protel SCH or PCB makes
use of
any 3D speed ups, its mostly games that do that (Ok, and OpenGL etc.)
It only has Protel installed (and windows of course) that way we eliminate
cross application problems.

We use w2K pro everywhere.

Turn off any DRC check that you don't really need, only turn them all one
occasionally just to see.

Draft, or even better hide any poly planes unless you are editing them.
A useful tool re-pour poly on Yahoo Groups PEDA will help in this. (I wrote

P99se+Service Pack 6 is the most stable - we have had no serious crashes for
a long time.

We occasionally get an access violation at shutdown, I believe this is a
windows bug and 
out of Protels control (though only Protel does it..Hmm?)

Compress and repair the database on a daily basis, or, use the file system
rather than MSAccess.  Do this manually or Protel can take ages to save.

Lastly, take regular backups to a decent historic depth, we take at least
a day, using a batch file, just close down Protel and click to create a 50
rolling backup... :)

Good luck,


-----Original Message-----
From: Julian Higginson [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: 16 October 2002 02:31
Subject: [PEDA] Protel99se and win2k fun

Hey all,

I just subscribed, looking for a bit of help if possible.... I have just
started a new job, and I'm taking over an existing design in protel99. Now
I'm very familiar with protel, however I'm getting a bunch of problems....
generally crashing out (have had the whole computer reboot on me once, and I
have had freezes, exceptions, out of range memory accesses, all the fun

Basically the computer appears totally underpowered, its a PIII600 with just
128Mb RAM. (We've just found another 128 meg stick lying about and put it in
this computer, which makes it run a bit more smoothly, but it has still
managed to crash) I'm operating on a PCB that is 6 layers and quite large.
(the PCB file is almost 8 meg) Oh, and it has an ATI video card, which I
read about in the archives... hmm... so I spoke to my boss and I'm getting a
new computer to work on, so I'm wondering what kind of specs are necessary?

My guess is I need a good FSB speed more than I need the fastest processor.
I'll need at least 512Mb of RAM. I'll need 7200rpm drive speed, for faster
sustained disk transfers, and I'll need an OK graphics card, but no need for
some super monster 3D engine....

What sort of success has everyone on the list had with their computer
ie specs vs board size? and are there any manufacturers other than ATI to
What features will help with screen redraw speed?
what features will help with DRC time? (about 15 minutes per DRC at the
How much RAM do I need to throw at the thing to stop it going to swapfiles?



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